From Extreme Fatigue To Dizziness: Symptoms, Causes, And Tips To Deal With Folate Deficiency

Folate deficiency can occur due to a lack of folate consumption or genetic mutation. It can cause fatigue, headaches, and breathing problems.

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: May 18, 2023 14:20 IST
From Extreme Fatigue To Dizziness: Symptoms, Causes, And Tips To Deal With Folate Deficiency

Malaria & Dengue Day 2023: Fever Causes, Symptoms and Prevention Guide - Onlymyhealth

Are you feeling extremely tired, finding difficulty in concentrating, or having a reduced sense of taste? This may be a result of folate deficiency, which plays a major role in creating Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and preventing congenital disabilities. Folate or folic acid is a type of B vitamin that your body requires to function properly. You may be at a high risk of developing anaemia, peripheral neuropathy, and cardiovascular diseases, if you are suffering from folic acid deficiency. This nutrient is especially important for pregnant women as it helps in the growth and development of the foetus. 

Symptoms Of Folate Deficiency

  • Folate deficiency can make you feel tired all the time.
  • A change in skin colour with a pale appearance could indicate folate deficiency.
  • You may have breathing problems. such as breathlessness and chest pain. According to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health, there was a prevalence of breathlessness in people with folic acid deficiency.
  • You may experience recurring headaches, accompanied by dizziness.
  • You may face cardiovascular issues, such as irregular heartbeats and palpitation.
  • You may experience oral health conditions like mouth sores or tongue swelling.
  • Low folate levels can contribute to depression, anxiety, and irritability.
  • You may also develop grey hair.

Causes Of Folate Deficiency

Lack Of Consumption Of Folate

Folate is found in a variety of foods, including leafy greens, legumes, fortified cereals, and citrus fruits. A diet lacking in these nutrient-rich foods can contribute to folate deficiency.

Genetic Mutation

Some people have a genetic abnormality that prevents their bodies from correctly and efficiently converting dietary or supplementary folate to its usable form, methyl folate.

Certain Diseases

According to the National Library of Medicine, people with Crohn's disease often have folate deficiencies and this could lead to various complications. Other diseases like celiac disease, or severe kidney diseases that require dialysis can also cause folate deficiency.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

If you are lacking folic acid and are consuming alcohol in excess amounts, you should stop it right away as it can decrease folate absorption. It also increases the excretion of folate from your body through urine.

Importance Of Folate During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you should not neglect this nutrient. According to the National Library of Medicine, folate deficiency during pregnancy raises the risk of diabetes-related congenital abnormalities and autism. It can also increase the possibilities of placental abruption, a disease in which the placenta separates from the uterus. 

Therefore, pregnant women should make sure they do not lack this nutrient to prevent birth irregularities, which can occur early in pregnancy. It may also reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

Also Read: Slow Recovery To Skin Problems: Know The Major Signs Of Protein Deficiency

Tips To Prevent The Folate Deficiency

Dietary Changes

Include folate-rich foods in your diet, such as leafy greens (spinach, kale), asparagus, broccoli, legumes (lentils, chickpeas), citrus fruits, and fortified grains. 

Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Chronic alcohol use can deplete folate levels in the body. So, avoid consuming alcohol in excess or quit drinking altogether.

Manage Underlying Health Conditions

If you have medical conditions that affect folate absorption, such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease, work with your healthcare provider to develop a management plan that includes appropriate treatment and dietary modifications.


If you notice symptoms of folate deficiency, you should consult with your doctor immediately to prevent complications. It is also important to not take folate supplements without prior consultation, as excess consumption may cause side effects.