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Without adequate nutrition, the formation of red blood cells can become deformed, resulting in faulty oxygen circulation in the body. B9 deficiency anaemia can disrupt the nervous system, which can lead to a wide range of issues. Two, however, may be apparent, if you know what to look for; the NHS says pale skin could be one of them.
In addition to a lacklustre, pasty complexion, which may be harder to distinguish when somebody already has fair skin, another symptom of B9 deficiency can include weight loss.
Any type of weight loss that is not influenced by a change in diet or exercise should be investigated by a doctor.
What is a B9 deficiency?
Vitamin B9 is another term for folate, which can be found in: Brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables, chickpeas and kidney beans.
Examples of leafy green vegetables include: cabbage, kale, spring greens and spinach.
Becoming deficient in folate can lead to extreme tiredness, a lack of energy, pins and needles, and a sore, red tongue.
A B9 deficiency can also lead to mouth ulcers, muscle weakness, and disturbed vision.
There can also be “psychological problems”, which can include confusion and depression.
A folate deficiency could also lead to issues with memory, understanding and judgement.
Without swift treatment, the condition can lead to “irreversible” problems.
The NHS advises booking a doctor’s appointment if you recognise any symptoms in yourself.
Moreover, once an appointment has been made, and you’ve shared your concerns to the doctor, a blood test that checks for folate levels can be arranged.
If, however, you do not address a B9 deficiency, complications with the nervous system can ensue.
Furthermore, there can be complications with heart conditions, such as heart failure, temporary infertility, and pregnancy issues.
Once diagnosed, a folate deficiency can easily be treated with supplements.
“Folic acid tablets are used to restore folate levels. These usually need to be taken for four months,” the national health service notes.
“In some cases, improving your diet can help treat the condition and prevent it recurring.”
To increase folate intake, eat:
- Brussels sprouts
- Brown rice.
There can be other reasons as to why a folate deficiency occurs, which is not related to diet.
This is why it’s important that further blood tests are arranged to monitor folate levels post treatment.
One example of why you could be deficient in B9 is due to coeliac disease.
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