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Vitamin B9 deficiency symptoms: Irritability could be a sign of folate deficiency anaemia

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Tissues and organs in the body struggle to receive the oxygen they need if you have folate deficiency anaemia. Understandably, the body begins to function inefficiently as a consequence. What can you do about it?

There are various reasons as to why someone develops folate deficiency anaemia, said Medical News Today.

This can include diet, disease, alcohol misuse, medication and genetics.

Warning signs of a vitamin B9 deficiency

  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Sore tongue
  • Sores in the mouth or on the tongue

To delve deeper into the topic, vitamin B9 can’t be stored in the body, so an adequate diet full go folate-rich foods needs to be maintained.

Folate-rich foods include:

  • Spinach
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Beans

The synthetic form of folate is called folic acid, which is available in supplement form.

Getting enough folate through diet and supplements is “the best way to prevent folate deficiency anaemia”, according to Medical News Today.

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Celiac disease or inflammatory bowl disease can interfere with vitamin absorption.

Thus, either of these conditions could cause a vitamin B9 deficiency if you have a folate-rich diet.

Alcohol also interferes with folate absorption, and causes the body to remove folate too quickly.

Certain medicines can also interfere with folate absorption, so it’s best to be aware if you’re at risk. This include:

  • Methotrexate
  • Anti-seizure medicines

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Certain individuals have a “methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene variant”.

This interferes with the body’s ability to convert folate to its active form.

Women of childbearing age are advised to take daily folic acid supplements by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A folate deficiency anemia diagnosis

Symptoms alone will not lead to a folate deficiency anaemia diagnosis – only a blood test can determine whether or not you’re lacking in vitamin B9.

In a person with this condition, a blood test may reveal “abnormally shaped and immature blood cells called megaloblasts”.

These oversized and immature red blood cells can’t deliver oxygen around the body.

Treatment includes folic acid supplements or injections, depending on the person’s needs.

Unless a doctor recommends more, Medical News Today advises people to not take more than 1,000mcg daily supplements of folic acid.

Early detection and treatment for folate deficiency anaemia means long-term problems are less likely.

The NHS stated potential complications can include heart conditions and issues with the nervous system.

Folate deficiency affects around one in 10 people aged 75 or older, and one in 20 people aged 65 to 74.

If you’re concerned you may be deficient in vitamin B9, do ask for a blood test from your GP.

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