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#243632 01/28/04 01:38 AM
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Yep...this is way off topic.
I have spina bifida occulta. This means there is a slightly increased chance that I will give birth to a child with a neural tube disorder; however, taking increased amounts of folic acid presumably eliminates that elevated risk.
I have read in multiple places (mostly online) that women with increased risk of this type should take 4,000 micrograms (4mg) a day of folic acid.
(http://www.sbaa.org/html/sbaa_folic.html)
When I asked my doctor, he called up another doctor (because he thought I was wrong) and the other doctor said yes to 4 mg a day. Apparently, there are prescriptions for these high doses, but my doc did not think this was necessary. [Confused]
Most folic acid supplements come in 400 mcg pills...that means, I'd have to take 10 of those a day. [Eek!] I could do that, but I'm wondering if anyone else has experience with increased folic acid intake.
I know medical questions belong at the doctor's office, but I'm just hoping someone out there can give me some feedback.
Thanks in advance,
Smile

#243633 01/28/04 03:12 AM
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Hey Smile,

ok, two thoughts here, 1. I have a problem taking pills that are perscription, I think in so many cases the docs just do NOT have all the info they need on rx's. I would take the OTC stuff from a GOOD QUALITY health food store, I did that with my prenatal vits as well, much better quality, better disolved, coating easier on stomach etc (so as not to just go straight through you).

2. Since you have researched this and KNOW that there is an increased risk, and your dr. won't help you on this, I am wondering if maybe you should be finding a different doc. It is not like you are someone that is clueless that is just asking for an rx for the heck of it, you want to discuss it and go with the best possible course, and this doc does not seem to be encouraging it.

Oh, and find a list of things to eat that have folic acid in them and start eating more of them [Smile]

#243634 01/28/04 08:12 AM
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hi smile,

i have no real advice about a perscription for folic acid, but i would be confused by your doc's attitude too. [Confused]
if i were you i would keep searching for info...and, i have no doubt you will do that. [Smile]

i was also going to suggest to stock up and eat food w/ folic acid. i think walmuts are supposed to be really good. i,m sure you know that.
green veggies and berries too.
it can't hurt to add them to your daily diet, in addition to a perscription.
it is a great idea to start this right away..you are always so well prepared.

#243635 01/28/04 08:16 AM
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Hi Smile,

My W has a different condition that requires megadoses of folic acid -- especially during pregnancy, but it's a lifelong condition that has many long-term health implications. MBFW will probably think I'm referring to my W's PCOS, but it's actually MTHFR, which is a genetic mutation that's not all that uncommon.

I don't remember the exact number, but 4mg sounds familiar. In any case, I think folic acid is water soluble anyway, so it's pretty hard to OD on it. The point of taking the large doses is to make sure that there's enough folic acid available to your body. Any extra goes out via the kidneys.

During her last pregnancy, my W used OTC folic acid tablets from the vitamins aisle at the pharmacy. They're about the size of baby aspirin, so it's not hard to take 8 or 10 a day.

As for doctors, we've had a tough time finding a doctor that acknowledges patient efforts to do research and be informed, but we do have a good doctor now. Sometimes you can get along with a doctor that's a little reluctant to get out of their comfort zone, but it generally pays to have a doctor that is either up on the latest research or willing to give patients credit for having a clue.

#243636 01/28/04 12:03 PM
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Thank you very much for the responses. I've had a nagging voice telling me to find another doctor, but with my insurance and being used to this gynecologist already...what a pain. I definitely will not rule it out...maybe I'll push him for more information first and see if he's willing to go the extra mile. He didn't seem unwilling to answer my questions about this issue (or any other), he just made it out to be less of an issue than I was...he thought I was worrying too much. In my eyes, better safe than sorry. I'd rather worry too much now than give birth to a child with severe health issues.

I went to eBay hoping to find folic acid in bulk and found a company called NutraBiotics that sells 480, 800mcg pills for $10. Can't beat the price and when I ran a search for NutraBiotics, their name came up all over the place (no complaints or bad reviews). I do eat foods rich in folic acid...yummy...spinach.

I did research the possibility of ODing on folic acid and like Dilbert said, it doesn't seem to be an issue. The only problem with taking large amounts of folic acid (over 1,000 mcg daily) is that it can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Thanks again for the feedback and support. I really appreciate all of you. Please let me know if you think of anything else!
[Smile]

Smile

#243637 01/28/04 12:34 PM
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quote:
The only problem with taking large amounts of folic acid (over 1,000 mcg daily) is that it can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency.

If you're not B12 deficient, I see this as no cause to worry. [Smile]

But, I guess you've figured it out. [Wink]

Petals

#243638 01/28/04 05:15 PM
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My S4 has been taking folic acid pills since he was 2. I'll check the correct dosage tonight.

IIRC, this is to suplement the iron in his system.

#243639 01/28/04 06:29 PM
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Thanks.
I've got a couple options.
1) I can press my doc to prescribe me the higher dose of folic acid (so I don't have to swallow so many pills)
2) I can swallow so many pills (I have to take five if I purchase the 800mcg)
3) I find a new doc because if this one isn't on the same page with me about the risk in the first place, I'd hate for problems to arise later.

Thanks everyone!
Smile


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