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Re: Just Diagnosed
Jun 8, 2006
I have both an iron an B12 deficiency, maybe I can help a bit :)

Anyway, for me it wasn't the meds that made me tired, but the deficiencies themselves.

Give the meds some time to work. It took me at least 4 months with the B12 injections to start to feel better... which is actually just now :) I only took the iron at a low dose for approx 6 weeks - a week of which I stopped - as I could not handle the high dose (3x 300mg Ferrous gluconate daily). I have to have my levels checked again in a week.

And just some general info regarding B12. B12 is essential to the nervous system. It can be caused by (but is not limited to) something as simple as a diet low in B12 (strict vegetarian), or it may be caused by Crohn's/Celiac's Disease (ie: malabsorption in the small intestines) or lack of intrinsic factor in the stomach (Intrinsic Factor is what B12 binds to to be absorbed by the body - a lack of intrinsic factor can be caused by an assortment of things, including low stomach acid). Symptoms include: Loss of appetite, Diarrhea, Numbness and tingling of hands and feet, Paleness, Shortness of breath, Fatigue, Weakness, Sore mouth and tongue and Confusion or change in mental status in severe or advanced cases.

Nervous System Damage may be irreversible if treatment is not started early enough. As nerves are surrounded by an insulating fatty sheath comprised of a complex protein called myelin. B12 plays a vital role in the metabolism of fatty acids essential for the maintainence of myelin. Therefore a deficiency in B12 causes a depletion of the nerves protective "coating" hence causing damage to nerve cells. A B12 deficiency can also cause a false positive pap smear for ladies, as it is a part of the epithelial cells surrounding the cervix!!

As for the Folic Acid... is your doctor watching this? Anything over 800 mcg supplementation a day is not recommended for people with a B12 deficiency. As at high levels, folic acid can mask the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, potentially resulting in serious and irreversible nerve damage.

Best thing is to ask your doctor what is causing your anemia... is he investigating this? You are your best advocate. Seeing as you have both Iron and a B12 deficiency my guess is a malabsorption issue... but that is my opinion only, you need to ask your doc really...

Good Luck :)

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