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Elderly dad and folic acid..

(6 Posts)
The80sweregreat Thu 25-Jun-15 11:25:14

Hi, not posted on here before.

My dad is 93, he always suffered with diverticulitis and has good and bad days. He wasn't able to cook much for himself when my mum died 5 years ago, he has a frozen meal each day ( Wiltshire foods) and then cheese or bread and some cake for his tea. He isn't keen on fresh food or fruit - I have tried to have him have food delivered but he just wont, he is still able to go over the local shops for milk, bread and so on and we go up once a week with some bits he might need. The Doctor has stopped him having folic acid tablets one a day, he now takes them every other day. He keeps sending him for blood tests and he told him today if the levels are not right he may end up having folic injections. I am puzzled as to why he needs this, the internet goes on about pregnant women or people that are alcohol dependant, and he is neither of these!! He had a cancer tumor removed from his head ( melanoma) about 3 years ago, that has, thankfully, not returned. I wondered if it was something to do with this? he will not ask the doctor too many questions, even when I went with him last time about his kidney readings a few months ago she didn't say too much. its not always easy for my brothers and I to go along with him to his doctor appointments in the mornings - we do go with him if its a hospital one. I wondered if anyone on here would know why folic is so important? He complains of feeling sick most days, tummy related, but for 93 he isn't in bad health, doesn't walk with a stick and hasn't any memory problems or so on. He eats his meals each day and although its not the greatest diet, its not that terrible either. He doesn't drink or smoke, never has done. Anyone have any advice?

CMOTDibbler Thu 25-Jun-15 11:28:39

You can be anaemic if you don't get enough folic acid as its used in making blood cells - info here, which sounds like the problem for your dad

madamginger Thu 25-Jun-15 11:31:20

Is he taking methotrexate by any chance?

The80sweregreat Thu 25-Jun-15 11:35:18

madamginger, not sure, he isn't on a lot of medication for his age. statins I think he takes them and eye caps for his eyes. the doctor has never mentioned anaemia and he hasn't been prescribed iron tablets before.

The80sweregreat Thu 25-Jun-15 11:40:45

me again, I just goggled the methotrexate, he wasn't given any drugs following his head operation, it was all removed and he was lucky that he didn't have to go for radiotherapy or chemo, nothing of that sort. they just kept an eye on him and he was discharged a while back. the wound healed up. thank you both for your answers though, I always associated folic with pregnant women!

Schrodingersmum Tue 21-Jul-15 10:47:01

Folic acid is also very important for the absorption of other forms of iron, specifically B12. Perhaps your dad has pernicious anaemia? With low levels of folate you can't absorb B12 and this is very common is the older population

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