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halielz - you have been given some great advice here, but i just wanted to second what everybody has said "find yourself a new doctor". Despite this doctor's lack of knowledge, you have basically signed your own death warrant with him by telling him what you thought of your last doctor and what with them two being friends....... hmmm, i do think you are in the bad books with him :p Oh well, he's no great loss, plenty of more bad doctors out there. So many of us have had to go doctor shopping that it's just not funny.

With being a strict vegetarian do you only exclude meats or dairy as well? Do you incorporate nuts and legumes into your diet to obtain protein? I have worked with quite a lot of people from India who have been strict vegetarians and so many of them have had issues with either anemia/low iron. To simply rule out whether your low iron is diet related you can slowly incorporate meats back into your diet maybe 3 times per week, keep taking the iron supplements and by the time you find a new doctor and retest you will soon know whether your diet is the culprit or whether it's another issue altogether. A girl at my work did this as she never ate red meat and rarely even ate chicken and she found her ferretin moving back up after just one month, but she was taking a supplement at the same time as well as a little more meat. Now she doesn't take the supplements, but adds a little meat to her diet each week and it's enough to keep her numbers up and she doesn't feel as tired. She was virtually falling asleep at the wheel of her car while driving home in the afternoons from work. She was drinking strong coffee, eating chocolate or drinking those cans of 'V' to stay awake at work. Can you believe her doctor told her it was all due to 'stress' and wanted to put her on antidepressants. I kept pushing her to have a blood test and kept at her to take supplements and to have other things tested. Now she's all good and happy and it had zero to do with stress and she never needed antidepressants!!

I don't know too much about B12, but have learnt from my current doctor that B12 should be at the higher end of the range. I've also read posts/comments from people on this board about being low in B12. I'm not sure how it happens or why. My ferretin was down to 8, but my B12 was excellent, but then again i was taking Multi B's for a long while, thinking my immense tiredness might stem from low B vitamins. I'm currently going through this with my dad as his doctor has told him that his B12 of 201 is fine, but he's only 21 from the bottom as the lab range is 180 - 740. I've bought him some multi B vitamins to start him off.

Whether your low iron is due to diet, malabsorption of nutrients or something else the fact is you could possibly be low in other vitamins or nutrients. For instance i thought i was just low in iron as that was all my gp tested, then due to also shedding too much hair i took myself off to a Trichologist (hair/scalp specialist), he ran blood tests to see whether i was lacking in any other nurtrients and he kept tabs on my ferretin and helped me increase it. He is the only doctor to ever check my B12. I didn't know what the big deal was, then when i came on here there were so many people with low B12.

I feel if a doctor wont give you a copy of your results he is not worth seeing. I now have a folder with a heap of plastic sleaves in it and each time i get retested i file my results in this folder in date order. Now all my information is at hand and when/if i have to visit another doctor all my records are there.

Hoping you find a new and caring doctor and that you begin feeling better soon :)

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