Folic acid treatment is medical therapy that utilizes folic acid, a form of B vitamin, in order to address a health issue. Researchers have studied folic acid extensively to learn about what it does in the body and how it can be applied to medical treatment. For some conditions, folic acid is a strongly recommended form of treatment. For others, there is less supporting evidence to suggest that folic acid has benefits.
One of the conditions that is universally addressed with folic acid treatment is folic acid deficiency. People who do not get enough of this vitamin in their diet or who have conditions that interfere with the absorption of folic acid can develop low levels of folic acid in their bodies. This leads to complications, including anemia. By supplementing with folic acid, the symptoms of folic acid deficiency, which include fatigue, headaches and diarrhea, can be addressed. Supplementation is also recommended when people take medications that might make it hard to metabolize folic acid, to ensure that they get enough to supply the needs of the body.
Another situation in which folic acid treatment is used is during pregnancy. When women are pregnant, their folic acid needs increase significantly, especially during the first trimester. Taking folic acid can prevent neural tube defects and will reduce the risks of folic acid deficiency in the mother. Supplementation with folic acid is very strongly recommended in pregnancy in many regions of the world.
Folic acid treatment is also used for anemia, which are associated with a folic acid deficiency. Patients with anemia may also need to be treated with vitamin B12. When patients develop anemia, it is important to find the cause so that it can be addressed with the appropriate treatment, and to continue treatment as directed until the anemia is resolved. In the case of folic acid treatment, patients should make sure they are taking the recommended dosages at the right time and that they are also taking any other vitamins recommended by a doctor.
In addition to these three widely accepted uses, folic acid treatment is also used by some people to improve cognitive function, for mood improvement, in the treatment of epilepsy, as part of cancer therapy, in the management of psoriasis, to lower blood pressure, and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Some studies on folic acid have supported such uses, while others have suggested that folic acid has no benefits for people with these conditions. It has been established that the vitamin is usually not harmful in these cases, although it is advisable to consult a doctor about folic acid contraindications.