What Are Symptoms of B-12 and Folic Acid Deficiency?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include numbness and joint pain, according to Harvard Medical School. Folic acid deficiency can lead to gray hair, fatigue and birth defects, according to MedlinePlus.

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What Are Symptoms of B-12 and Folic Acid Deficiency?
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Full Answer

Other signs of folic acid deficiency are mouth ulcers and swollen tongue, says MedlinePlus. It can also lead to poor growth in children. Pregnant women who don't get enough folic acid can give birth to children with neural tube defects. These defects include spina bifida and hydrocephalus, or unwanted and dangerous fluid on the brain. Complications of folic acid deficiency include anemia due to a low red blood cell count as well as a low count of white blood cells and platelets. There's also a specific folate deficiency anemia where the red blood cells are unusually large.

Other symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency are a feeling of pins and needles, clumsiness, jaundice and shortness of breath, says Harvard Medical School. If the deficiency is severe, it can lead to mental changes, including paranoia, severe depression and amnesia. It can also cause incontinence and derangements in smell, vision and taste. As with folic acid deficiency, not enough B-12 can also lead to abnormally large red blood cells, or megaloblastic anemia, according to Mayo Clinic. It can also lead to low blood pressure, and muscles that are weak or rigid.

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