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Can you tell me which direction to go? I have six daughters - the first four have had low ferritin, the first starting 8 years ago. I have always been suspicion of malabsorpion, always looking for answers. One daughter was as low as 16 ferritin. They also have low Vit. D (20, 21, 23). Finally I had my ferritin tested, and it was 6. I developed terrible symptoms - fog, lack of concentration, memory problems, spinning room, my brain felt like it was starving - and the others such as incredible fatigue, always cold, peeling fingernails, lack of energy to do anything but the absolutely necessary.

After paying a fortune for an MRI, I found information on the web about B-12 and Pernicious Anemia. My B-12 was in the 300's. I asked the dr. for B-12 shots. I was skeptical that I would feel a difference very soon. I noticed small improvements in the first couple of days. After two months on the shots, I can function again and even smile. I don't feel perfect, but I'm much better. I have also been taking iron - 65mg two or three times a day.

I finally got an appt. with a hematologist. I was so disappointed. She treated me like I was stupid. She said my blood cells were shaped correctly, so I couldn't have PA. She said low ferritin does not have symptoms, and that my B-12 wasn't low enough to cause me any troubles. I am so frustrated!! I have watched my girls for years suffer from symptoms with their low ferritin. The symptoms improve when the ferritin goes up. And, I KNOW I did not make up the symptoms I was having. I could hardly function. With the B-12 shots and iron supplements, my symptoms have gradually lessened over the past two months.

The doctors have told me I needed anxiety medication, or that it's my hormones. This is crazy! My big concern is to prevent my daughters from getting so terribly ill as I have been. I was hoping someone would help me connect my condition with my girls'. The adult doctors will not give advice on children, and the pediatrician is out of ideas. I have spent so much money on dr. visits and tests.

Can you give me any help?

Michelle Tew
B12 deficiency can be caused for a variety of reasons---not just autoimmune perncious anemia. Other causes of B12 deficiency can be from the following: diet, specific drugs (PPI, H-2 blockers, alcohol abuse, nitrous oxide, antacids, metformin, etc.),

You may want to get tested for Celiac disease (this also runs ion families), this can cause malabsorption of iron and sometimes B-12. I have heard that malabsorption of B-12 in this case is in more severe cases. I don't know how common it is. but it's an idea. You can have symptoms of B-12 between 400-500 with this deficiency.

We also think that ferritin does have symptoms although I cannopt prove it. Many people here agree.

Malabsoprtion syndromes (celiac disease [gluten enteropathy], Crohn's disease, H.pylori, bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel, transcobalamin II deficiency, inborn error of B12 metabolism, surgical (gastric bypass, stomach or small bowel removed because of cancer, injury, ulcers, etc.), radiation therapy to ileum or stomach, pelvic region.

I would recommend seeing a good GI doc that can DX different reasons and find a cause for low iron/ferritin/B-12. A hematologsit doesn't seem to help near as much as one that deals with these issues day to day.

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