There are some supplements that have been around for several years, and remain important to include into your diet, especially if they provide beneficial properties during certain times. Folic acid for example, has been linked with helping maintain health pregnancies since the 1990s. What is it about this vitamin that plays such an important role in women’s health? What are the results you can expect to see when taking them? And what does folic acid do for a woman? We plan to answer these and many other questions in today’s blog post, so stick around if you wanted to find out more.
Before we get stuck in, let’s quickly find out what folic acid is and the benefits it delivers for the body.
What is folic acid?
- Folic acid is a form of folate, also known as vitamin B9.
- Folic acid helps the body make red blood cells meaning it can effectively treat and prevent mild anaemia.
- Folic acid is known for helping the development of embryos ensuring the baby develops without complications, such as spina bifida.
- Folic acid is recommended to mothers to be to take until they are 12 weeks pregnant.
- Folic acid can help reduce the side effects of the medication called methotrexate, used to help arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease.
- The dosage amount can change depending on product, some can take it once a day, others once a week.
- If you are wanting to introduce folic acid into your daily routine, it is highly recommended to consult with a doctor and avoid self-diagnosing.
Now we have briefly covered folic acid and how it works, let’s explore more into finding out more about the results you can expect to see.
What are the symptoms of low folic acid?
The symptoms of low folic acid are linked with a vitamin B12 deficiency and mild case of anaemia. This is a result of fewer red blood cells or low amount of haemoglobin, which is the substance found in each red blood cell. There are some common signs of suffering from anaemia and low levels of folic acid, such as.
- Lack of energy and generally feeling lethargic
- Extreme levels of fatigue and tiredness
- The feeling of breathlessness
- Constant headaches and feeling faint
- Pale skin
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
These are the common side effects found many suffer from with anaemia. There are some additional symptoms that occur when you are lacking in folic acid, these are.
- Reduced sense of taste
- Signs of depression
- All over muscle weakness
- Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
It is important to consult with your doctor or GP when you are suffering from these symptoms. It is important to address the problem and begin taking the appropriate supplements to treat the problem, as the longer it goes untreated, the more long-term damage will occur.
Can folic acid help me lose weight?
No, not really, in fact you will find the opposite can occur with many scientific results demonstrating how taking excessive and unneeded amount of folic acid can result in weight gain, as well as fat accumulation and inflammation.
If it’s weight loss you are aiming when looking for when taking supplements, you will find you are limited to finding some that will deliver safe and sustainable results. The best way of losing weight is to follow an achievable exercise routine and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.
When should I take folic acid morning or night?
When taking folic acid, it is thought best to take the supplement at the same time, each time you take it. Depending on the product and how frequently you should take it, if you have folic acid in the morning, you should continue to take it in the morning. Same method goes for if you choose to have your folic acid in the evening.
You are able take folic acid with or without food and preferably with a glass of water. Introducing folic acid into your lifestyle is a simple task once you have received all clear from the doctor. It is important to remain mindful of some side effects that can occur when taking folic acid, such as.
Mild side effects of folic acid
- Feeling sick
- Upset stomach
These are common and will usually subside after a couple of days. If they worsen or you have growing concern, consult with a doctor as soon as possible.
Severe side effects of folic acid
- Skin rashes
- Peeling skin
- Swelling of the face, lips, and mouth
- Difficulty breathing
It is vital you stop taking any products as these are a sign of an allergic reaction to folic acid. Call for an emergency appointment or seek immediate medical attention.
Why would a doctor prescribe folic acid?
The reason a doctor would prescribe folic acid is due to treating and preventing folic acid deficiency. You will also usually find that introducing a B-complex supplement will improve your folic acid levels quickly and effectively. Another reason your doctor would prescribe folic acid is if you discover you are pregnant and need a daily intake of folic acid to ensure the development of the embryo is supported and any risks of birth defects are limited.
Prescription folic acid supplements come in tablet form and are usually required to be taken once a day, or as the label describes as a recommended daily dosage. It is very important you do not take over the recommended amount as this will lead to complications. There is also no need to take higher amounts of folic acid in the hope it will make you feel better quicker, as many suffering from anaemia will feel a noticeable improvement often as quickly as 24 hours.
There you have a little more information about folic acid, how to take it effectively, and the benefits you will see. Don’t forget, if you have any further questions, you can come and find us on Instagram, one of our health experts look forward to hearing from you.