Folate deficiency is characterized by megaloblastic anemia. This can cause:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Neurological changes (e.g. numbness and tingling in the extremities)
- Balance difficulties
- Poor memory
- Mouth sores
- Blurred vision
Early diagnosis and intervention is important to avoid irreversible damage associated with neurological symptoms of folate deficiency.
Females with low folate intake are at increased risk of giving birth to infants with neural tube defects, low birth weights, preterm delivery, and fetal growth retardation.