Folate trap?

I'm wondering if anyone could explain this in layman's terms for me, as still foggy headed! I was deficient in vitamin B12, iron and folate before Christmas last year, all been addressed, loading doses of B12, iron tablets and 400ug of folic acid daily. Prescribed three monthly injections (even though I had neurological symptoms!) When I went back to GP to ask for more injections with my NICE guidelines, they were dismissed and instead vitamin D and Thyroid tested. As the vitamin D came back extremely low (12) GP presumed that this was the reason I felt so bad, not B12. After I pushed him he sent me to gastrologist for absorption problems.

As I had to stop taking supplements (folic acid) a week before endoscopy, my palpitations and pins and needles subsided significantly! I still get them occasionally but no where near as bad as they was. My initial bloods showed 1.7 (3-23) folate serum, so definitely deficient. I have an appointment next week to see GP as the tiredness and memory is really getting me down and not due for an injection til the end of the month, going to ask for MMA test, but won't be holding my breath.

Could it be that I was taking the folic acid and my B12 levels have dropped so dramatically that it was making me worse? Or something else?

PS I already had a pretty good diet before diagnosis but endoscopy showed nothing.

9 Replies

  • Is your Folate scheduled to be re-tested as that would be the only way to find out whether it is "the culprit".

  • No, but I will mention it at my next appointment, thanks Clive, it might then rule it out.

  • Folate trap:

    If you don't have enough B12 then levels of methylfolate in the blood can rise (because methylfolate is used up when methylcobalamin is formed). That means other forms of folate (like dihydrofolate) which are needed for other stuff (like making DNA) can't be made properly.

    So you have high serum levels of folate (because the test measures all of them together) but not enough of most folates.

    So the result is low serum B12 and high serum foliate.

  • Thanks Eaoz

  • I think I've got the gist of it. Do you know what the symptoms are? I can't find anything on the Internet except an in depth explanation of the cycle.

  • The symptoms will be those of low B12 (because that's what causes it) and low folate.

  • Yes, seems a stupid question now, of course it would be! 😂

  • Has anyone tested for pernitious anemia?

  • Well I've had the IF test, it was negative. I know it's not reliable, only tested it once though.

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