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[QUOTE=wideawakeinaz]What is the difference between needing iron and needing B12? What exactly is B12? What are the symptons of both iron anemia and B12 anemia?

My doctor put me on iron in october, but is unhappy with the results and said i'm also showing signs of B12 anemia, so she took me off iron and put me on B12--500MG a day. When I asked her, what the difference was, all she told me was, they are both anemia, but for different reasons. Gee, thanks Dr for the great answer! (yes, i don't care for my doctor, trying to find a new one with my HMO).

so, what are the signs of needing iron and what are the signs of needing B12?

my hemoglobin level in october was 8.4 and in january, only rose to 8.9. she said, for me to be considered normal, i need to be closer to the 12 range.

anyways, i just hope someone can help me. i'm 30 years old, female, and i know my mom was anemic as well. but before she died, i never asked her any of these questions, because i didn't know i would be anemic.

Does anemia last forever? will i be forever anemic or will i go back to normal once my levels are up?

To Answer your question about the differences between iron deficiecy anemia and B-12 anemia: There is really no difference in the symptoms which is what your doctor was trying to tell you. However, the reasons are more complicated as to what makes each one. Hemolytic anemia is caused by the red blood cells being destroyed sooner than they are supposed to be and putting too much stress on your bone marrow to make new cells. This results in the blood cells being smaller and carrying less oxygen to your tissues, The major organs need a lot of blood to function properly and therefore a lot is drawn away from the skin causing paleness. The liver stops processing the way it is supposed to in order to conserve and you may become jaundiced. In Pernicious anemia, the intrinsic factor is the main culprit usually. The body is unable to absorb or store the B-12 and it is flushed out of the system as fast as it comes in by either vitamins in food or by vitamin supplements. This too results in the body conserving to protect major organs and the blood cells will be too large and not have a lot of suface area too carry oxygen. If this condition continues for a long time, the heart begins to fail, the kidneys eventually will become over worked and then will begin to fail. Neuropathy will occur. At first it may appears as burning stabbing sensations and then eventually numbness in extremities, the patient may begin to exhibit symptoms of psychosis or irrational thinking, brain is being slowly starved of oxygen. Because all of the body is being effected systemically, weightloss or weight gain can occur, and of course the craving for non nutritious items such as starch, dirt, paper etc. All of these symptoms can occur with either disorder. The scariest symptom of all though is that with the loss of B-12 you can run a fever and your blood work can resemble the blood work of some one who has leukemia or other blood cancers especially if a thorough evaluation and good diagnosis is not achieved at the beginning. In fact I have known of people who were suspected to have cancers of the blood and the doctor began injections of B-12 without testing and it turned out to correct the blood disorders thereby saving the patient from chemo and radiation to cure a cancer that did not exist!!!.

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