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Is it safe to double my intake of folic acid?

(30 Posts)
Tinker Sat 05-Jun-04 01:15:22

Have just been looking up a congenital defect of my mum's (Arnold Chiari syndrome) and see it is a form of spina bifida - I know, I know, you should never look up these things late at night. But since my daughter was born with a sacral dimple I'm wondering should I just bombard myself with folic acid? Will it do any harm? Thanks

lou33 Sat 05-Jun-04 02:15:47

I had to take 5mg a day Tinker, to reduce myincreased chances of neural tube defects, due to dd1 being born with hydrocephalus. Are you taking less than that?

smellymelly Sat 05-Jun-04 08:51:49

Not that I want to hijack your thread - Tinker...

But I was wondering the same thing, my ds has a sacral dimple, and now I'm expecting twins, no-one has really given me much advice from the medical profession yet. It is the normal get on with the 1st 12 weeks yourself....

Tinker Sat 05-Jun-04 09:49:30

Hi - I'm just taking the stantard 400 whatever (don't have it in front of me) that you get from Boots/supermakets etc atm. Just wondered if it'll do any harm to just at least double it.

jampot Sat 05-Jun-04 09:53:02

a friend of mine (when she was in america) had a pregnancy in which her baby turned out to have very severe spina bifida (basically the bottom of the spine didn't form at all). it was picked up on a routine scan and termination was advised as the baby simply wasn't going to live. They met with genetic counsellors and were advised to reduce her chances of the same/similar happening in the future she should take 10x the regular dose of folic acid for 12 months before even conceiving and then throughout the first half of her pregnancy. She now has a perfectly healthy little daughter.

eddm Sat 05-Jun-04 09:57:26

I also took 5mg folic acid because I am also at higher risk of having a baby with neural tube defects so would suggest you might want to do the same – I had it on prescription so it was free. Apparently there's no danger from 5mg, don't think the body stores folic acid so you can't OD, IYSWIM.

foxinsocks Sat 05-Jun-04 10:03:57

My friend (who had similar previous neural tube defect problems) - also took 5mg - I think you have to get it on prescription in that form. Here is the scientific blurb on it - scroll through it for the pregnancy and neural tube defect stuff.

folic acid info

serenequeen Sat 05-Jun-04 10:31:25

crikey, tinker, are you to be congratulated??? is so sorry, i missed it and congratulations!

magnum Sat 05-Jun-04 11:11:05

My dd was born with a sacral dimple and am trying for another baby now. Does this mean that any future babies are more likely to have spina bifida?

aloha Sat 05-Jun-04 11:39:19

Folic acid is totally non toxic and women at particular risk of spina bifida are encouraged to take double the normal dose (which is extremely conservative anyway). Remember, you are expected to get around another 800mg from food (I think) on top of your supplement. Just take two of the 400mcg pills a day instead of one.

lou33 Sat 05-Jun-04 11:52:55

Certainly increasing it to 800mcg will do no harm.

zebra Sat 05-Jun-04 12:53:15

Mega high doses of folic acid (don't ask me to define that, but I would think 5mg is in the ballpark!) can inhibit zinc absorption (many things can interfere with zinc absorption, actually). But since it's only until 13 weeks, and you have an elevated risk factor, I think I would just take the double dose until then and not worry about it.

Tinker Sat 05-Jun-04 15:16:57

Thanks everyone. I'm just being ultra cautious since I'm not sure my mum's condition is definitely hereditary but better to be safe than sound. Didn't cross my mind last time I was pregannt - prob 'cause didn't have access to the internet!

Re: the sacral dimple. My daughter's dad has one and I think it can, in itself, be inherited. Doesn't necessarily mean a higher risk of spina bifida - I don't *think*. Different father this time so not so concerned about that aspect more the Arnold Chiari thing

sq - yes I am but very very early days!

Lisa78 Sat 05-Jun-04 15:25:02

Congratulations Tinker

tigermoth Sat 05-Jun-04 16:35:15

seemed to have missed this little snippet of news, tinker. Many congratulations!

serenequeen Sat 05-Jun-04 18:35:28


Marina Sat 05-Jun-04 18:56:14

Oh, TINKER! All the very best! XXX

aloha Sun 06-Jun-04 09:46:15

BTW the neural tube is fully formed four weeks after conception. It happens very quickly!

aloha Sun 06-Jun-04 10:36:55

Oh, and congratulations!!

prufrock Sun 06-Jun-04 10:44:51

Congratulations Tinker

sis Sun 06-Jun-04 13:26:59

Congratulations on the pregnancy Tinker!

hoxtonchick Sun 06-Jun-04 13:56:00

Congratulations Tinker! I have diabetes & took the high dose of folic acid (5mg I think) for a couple of months pre-conception until 16 weeks. Doubling the basic dose sounds very sensible.

Samcj Sun 06-Jun-04 21:06:32

Just to add my side, my first baby, no history of any defects, but was prescribed 5mg, I don't know why! Wasn't till I went to collect my second prescription the pharmacist queried it. He wasn't concerned and I just took and over the counter one instead. Figured with my awful tablet taking it was no bad thing!!

Tinker Mon 07-Jun-04 10:23:27

Thanks for all your good wishes everyone.

hana Mon 07-Jun-04 13:11:18

Congrats Tinker!
I think I@d be inclined to ask your gp before just taking it yourself. There may be risks (that you might not know about) and I'm sure they could give you more information and then make your decision. Best of luck with your pregnancy!

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