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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Folate deficiency + help understanding blood results

Hi all new to this group, made two posts on the thyroid group (linked here by Clutter).

Here is a link to my story on my thyroid situation:


Free T3 level 14.9 pmol/L Normal range 3.1 - 6.8. So over medicated on liothyronine sodium. This was on 40 mg daily.

The reason I came to this group is that I got my gp to test for b12 etc. as was suggested by the helpful people on the thyroid group. Here is the results:

Vit D 141 nmol/L Normal Range 25-170

Serum ferritin 176.9 ng/mL Normal Range 28.0 - 285.0

Serum vitamin B12 330.7 pg/mL Normal Range 197.0-771.0

Serum folate 2.78 ng/mL Normal Range 3.90 - 26.80

Haematology: Note low Serum Folate - there is haemolysis in the sample, therefore the reported results maybe falsely elevated {This was on the result sheet}

So my GP prescribed me 5mg folic acid to take for a few months to correct this level.

Medication I take just now is liothyronine sodium 20mg/40mg, Sandocal Effervescent Calcium 1000mg and one fultium D3 800iu.

If anyone else could see these results and give any advice is most welcome.

7 Replies

Sounds like the GP has chosen the correct treatment for your low folate. I would hope that they'd also given some advice on how to keep folate levels up by eating more leafy green veg, seeds and pulses

B12 looks fine..


would taking this folic acid at a high dose affect my other b vitamins?


as fbirder says your B12 looks as if it is probably okay.

serum B12 is a difficult test to interpret because people vary a lot when it comes to serum B12 levels so using it as a single measure means that you will miss 25% of people who are B12 deficient - however, the likelihood that you are one of the 25% gets much smaller as you go up in the range and your results are quite well up in the range.

because B12 and folate work together the symptoms of B12 deficiency and folate deficiency are very similar. the main difference is that folate symptoms tend to come on quite quickly whereas B12 symptoms tend to creep up over a long period of time - years or even decades.

using B12 symptoms where you have a thyroid problem as a way of monitoring is going to be difficult because of the overlap.

Your other post mentions oncology - have you had chemo therapy - there are some drugs used for chemotherapy that can significantly impact on the ability to absorb and process folate which would certainly point more to folate than B12.

If sorting out the folate doesn't help that would be the point to come back to B12 as a (remote) possibility.


Thanks for the reply and insight, I had radio therapy to deal with the cancer after the operations this was years ago that I last had that done. Yeah I think it has been a combination of high t3 and this low folate that has created these symptoms. I'am also waiting to hear back from my old ENT because my uvula has been touching my tongue for over a year now (due to a general viral infection I think) and recently just got some sort of ulcer thing in my mouth I want this looked at and sorted out.


hope you get to the bottom of things

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Hi again, I have done a little research into the folic acid supplement and it seems like Methylfolate is a better option to bring up the folate level what is your opinion on this Gambit62?


unless you definitely have a genetic problem methylating folic acid it's really just a more expensive option - 200-400g supplements available at a supermarket should suffice.

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