Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Folate Deficiency - 2 Months into treatment....Improvement limited

Hello everybody, this is my 1st post on this forum. I thought it would do me some good to join this community and gain from shared experiences than endless google searches and bouncing from website to website..each less informative than the next.

2 months ago I was diagnosed with folate deficiency (my blood result showed my folate to be 3.6ug/L, the normal ranges were 3.90ug/L to 26.80ug/L). NORMAL B12 (446ng/l with a normal range of 197-771).

The symptoms that I was presented was first and foremost constantly bilateral tingling and burning in my hands and feet. Cramping in hands and feet. Slight numbness in limbs (with no weakness). Headaches and brain fog. Tiredness was a uncommon, but did suffer from mild fatigue. I was so worried I have multiple sclerosis, a disease that mimics many of the symptoms I just be honest, it is a fear that I still have (I am a self diagnosed hypochondriac)

I was prescribed 5mg oral folic acid tablets to take for four months. It was slow going at 1st, but after 4-5wks I finally felt a difference, the tingling in my hands (more so than feet) had pretty much dissipated. I was still getting brain fog and headaches however all in all I was happy with the improvement

However over the last few days my symptoms have reared up again, I've been feeling pretty rough for the last few days. Getting to my question, how long did people find it took to find significant (AND STABLE) improvement? My doctor told me most of her patients feel much better a month into treatment. I'm two months in and there are days when I feel just as bad as I did before treatment.

4 Replies

Hi Aaron804 I'm not medically trained so am unable to answer your question "how long" as a lot will depend on how long you have been deficient.

Folate and B12 help your iron to make red blood cells and the three need to be "kept in balance" so a deficiency in one or other interrupts the process.

It might pay to have your B12 retested to ensure the level hasn't dropped from the 446 previously.

I hope you get to feel an improvement soon.


Thank you very much for the reply :)

I plan to go and get my bloods rechecked after my weekend away. It's just been really frustrating, I have a great few weeks then all of a sudden I'm back to square one.

I have been taking iron and B12 supplements whilst i've been on folate treatment as i know all three work in tandem with each other.

I just am curious about how other people found their time on folic acid treatment. Is it common to have ups and downs all throughout the 4 months.


Folate/folic acid requires B2 (riboflavin) and B6 (pyridoxine) to convert to the active form, do you take just B12 in supplement form. Might be worth trying a B-12 complex if not.


I'm currently taking B12 supplements alone, i had no idea about B2 and B6 being equally as important. Thanks for the tip, I plan to buy a B-Complex tomorrow and see how I fare :)


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