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What are the symptoms of a folate deficiency?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of folate deficiency include tongue inflammation, oral ulcers, fatigue and improper growth, according to MedlinePlus. Patients with folate deficiency may also develop gray hair.

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Full Answer

Folate deficiency refers to insufficient folic acid in the blood as a result of conditions such as excessive alcohol intake, hemolytic anemia, insufficient fruits and vegetable in the diet, and eating excessively cooked food, notes MedlinePlus. Diseases, such as Crohn's disease and celiac disease, that interfere with absorption of folic acid in the digestive tract; genetic conditions, including methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, that lower the amount of folate in the blood; and medications such as sulfasalazine and phenytoin may also result in folate deficiency. Failure to diagnose and address folate deficiency in time may result in complications such as a low platelet count, low white-blood-cell count and low red-blood-cell count.

Folic acid is a form of vitamin B that facilitates breakdown and formation of proteins in the body by working together with vitamins C and B-12, states MedlinePlus. It also facilitates the production of red blood cells, DNA formation and fetal central-nervous-system growth. One way to get folic acid and prevent folate deficiency is to eat liver, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, shellfish and citrus fruits. Poultry products, pork and whole grains, such as wheat bran, also contain folic acid.

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