Your Folic Acid Level

What Causes Abnormal Folic Acid Levels?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of abnormal folic acid levels we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow abnormal folic acid levels to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind abnormal folic acid levels consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to abnormal folic acid levels.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Alcohol Consequences
  • Megaloblastic Anemia

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
macrocytic red cells
moderate meal-induced pain
excessive flatulence
having loose stools
dairy product consumption
elevated basophil count
alcoholism
occasional unexplained fevers
frequent stools
pernicious anemia
major mid-abdomen pain after food
recent onset diarrhea
... and more than 40 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of abnormal folic acid levels:
Cause Probability Status
Crohn's Disease 99% Confirm
Alcohol Consequences 20% Unlikely
Megaloblastic Anemia 5% Ruled out
Ulcerative Colitis 2% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having had recent lab tests, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Folic Acid. Unit: nmol/L
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Confirmed deficiency in the past
→ Under 10 (low)
→ 10 to 30 (normal)
→ Over 30 (elevated)
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate history of folic acid deficiency, low folic acid level, normal folic acid level or high folic acid level, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Alcohol-related Problems

Alcohol interferes with the metabolism and absorption of folic acid.

Crohn's Disease

All inflammatory bowel disease patients are prone to low serum folate levels.

Ulcerative Colitis

All inflammatory bowel disease patients are prone to low serum folate levels.

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