What Are the Signs of Elevated Folic Acid?

Legumes contain folic acid.
Leafy green vegetables are a good source of folic acid.
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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Though folic acid is important to the body in the right amounts, it can also be harmful if too much is taken. One of the symptoms of elevated folic acid involves the digestive system, such as diarrhea and nausea. Changes in behavior can also signify this issue, though symptoms that affect other parts of the body also exist, including a rash and even deficiency of other vitamins. Fortunately, getting rid of the symptoms can be accomplished within days by ingesting less of this vitamin, as the excess folic acid is expelled through the urine.

Digestive tract problems are often the main issue caused by elevated folic acid. Bloating, gas, and diarrhea can all lead to discomfort in those who ingest too much of this vitamin, whether through too many supplements or too much food that contains this nutrient. Nausea and loss of appetite also often occur with high levels of folic acid, which means that some of the most common symptoms can interfere with the daily routine of most people suffering from this condition.

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Elevated folic acid symptoms can sometimes be more than physical, as they can affect the mentality of the person in question, as well. For example, insomnia is a common sign of excessive intake of this vitamin, and lack of sleep alone can cause changes in behavior. Additionally, those with this condition may feel irritable, hyperactive, or excited for no apparent reason. Overall psychotic behavior may be observed in more serious cases, especially when the elevated intake of folic acid has been occurring for a long time.

While this vitamin can cause minor issues, such as a skin rash, it can also cause serious complications. One example is seizures, which can also lead to injury if they are unexpected, especially if they occur while driving. Excessive folic acid can also cause a zinc deficiency, which is why it is often a good idea to add ingestion of zinc to the daily routine when taking a high dose of folic acid. Another major problem occurs when elevated folic acid levels hide a deficiency of vitamin B12, which is a condition that causes anemia and nerve damage, to name just a few of the issues associated with it. The problem is that folic acid treats the anemia that a B12 deficiency can cause, hiding the issue altogether, and allowing the nerve damage and other medical problems to continue without detection or treatment.

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turquoise
Post 3

Can high levels of folic acid from folic acid supplements cause heart palpitations? Can taking vitamin B6 and folic acid together cause such side effects?

I started taking a supplement with high amounts of folic acid and vitamin B6 last week. Sometimes I get heart palpitations, I'm not sure if it's the folic acid. I thought that excess folic acid is excreted through urine so it never occurred to me that a lot of folic acid could cause problems.

discographer
Post 2

@ZipLine-- It could be temporary if you consumed foods high in folic acid the day before the test. You can get re-tested in a few weeks to see if it's temporary or not.

Abnormally high folic acid does usually have signs. Upset stomach, nausea and difficulty sleeping are the signs that usually show up first. Mood changes and anxiety tend to show up later on when high folic acid levels continue for some time.

Also, have you been tested for vitamin B12? Lower than normal levels of vitamin B12 is a sign of elevated folic acid that is not temporary.

ZipLine
Post 1

My lab tests show that my folic acid levels are higher than the normal range but I'm not experiencing any side effects. I don't have gastro-intestinal problems or mood changes. Could this be a temporary thing? Will elevated folic acid always cause symptoms?

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