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my daughter, who is 34, eats a healthy diet, gets plenty of excercise and is having some problems. she had a blood test and her iron levels are way low (her iron serum is 19...normal is 35-165). they were higher a few years ago. she's currently running four miles every other day or so. should she stop, as this is using up her iron reserves? she wakes up hungry. she sometimes wakes up at 3 a.m. hungry, and is having nightmares. can low iron do this? please, what sort of dr. would be most helpful for her to see? she's a vegetarian, but eats plenty of rice and beans and her dr. says that's not the problem. so, we're stumped over this drop in her numbers. they're thinking an internal bleeding problem, like an ulcer. she does have some bad stomach aches sometimes, that start up and keep her in bed for a day or so. please, can anyone offer any advice about what might be causing this. i was told in my child bearing years that i had "naturally" low iron by my dr. i had three normal healthy pregnancies. i recall my mother also had to take "blood" shots because she also had low iron. can this be hereditary, and is there such a thing as naturally low iron? my dr. at the time kept giving me more iron pills and they didn't lift my numbers at all, so that's when he told me that i had naturally low iron. any ideas? thankyou!

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