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Causes of folate deficiency

The deficiency of this chemical is actually the condition of not having enough of folic acid in the organism and it is most commonly caused by leading an improper diet, which doesn’t involve the intake of this beneficial nutrient. This condition can be curable if discovered early, but, when not treated, it leads to a number of unwanted consequences. For example, the lack of folic acid increases the chances of getting some malignant tumors, or some coronary diseases; depending on which disorder is the patient susceptible of.

Symptoms

The problem is that the symptoms of this condition are very mild and not evident and because of that, it is often too late and too hard to compensate the organism with enough of the folic acid, when this problem is finally noticed. So, those signs are similar to the everyday problems and an affected person is usually mislead to believe that he or she is just feeling exhausted, depressed, and can feel hard heartbeats from time to time.

But, fortunately, sometimes the symptoms are more evident, such are the cases of the skin becoming darker, a slightly increased temperature of the body and the soreness of the tongue and when swallowing (which can be worsened and cause small injuries on the surface of the tongue). In the other cases, somewhat different problems, often associated to the gastrointestinal system may appear. Those are, for example, the urge for vomiting, anorexia, the pain in the lower part of the stomach and diarrhea. But, in the cases of those symptoms, one can be sure that they, same as the folate deficiency itself, happen because of the generally damaged absorption.

Provokers of this condition

So, this health problem occurs when someone doesn’t eat enough foods that are rich in the folates (especially when there’s an excessive consumption of the harmful substances, like nicotine and alcohol), and when the body, from some reason, is unable to absorb or process the folates (meaning by a metabolic process).

When it comes to absorption of the folates, it is actually the problem of carrying them over the intestinal wall, which happens usually in the elderly patients because of the damaged pH level in the stomach.

However, as the damaged metabolic process is concerned, it happens because of the same structure of the folates and the antimetabolites, which leads to the evident substitution. Another cause which can damage the ability of the utilization of the folates is the lack of the proper enzymes. Also, the changes in metabolism which naturally follow some changes in every organism during the life (such as pregnancy or growth, for example) can affect the decrease in the folate level, or, it can be caused by the simple lack of the vitamin B12.

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