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I went to see a new primary care doc a couple of weeks ago because my [B]hair has been falling out[/B] and I feel very [B]fuzzy-brained[/B]--can't find the right word, forget names, etc. She gave me a blood test for TSH (normal) and [B]ferritin[/B], which came back a [B]6[/B]. She reported the results to me via email, and did no follow-up tests, asked me no questions, just told me to take an iron supplement. Wrote "if you don't see improvement, then you should contact a dermatologist." I'm an academic so I immediately went to the primary literature to read up on iron, anemia, etc. I'm still pretty ignorant, but it seems pretty clear to me she should have at least done a CBC, asked about my diet and other questions about overall health, and given me some dietary advice.

I have a few questions for you experts:

1) how badly do you think she screwed up by not following up with more tests, asking about my diet, or advising me on how to take the supplements? I did pester her and next week have an appointment with a hematologist. I sort of want to complain about her. A ferritin of 6 with an unknown cause strikes me as serious.

2) I don't have particularly heavy periods, eat lots of meat, fish, nuts and healthy veggies, and thought I was the picture of health (no illnesses, medications, etc) and youth at 45. Evidently not! Anyone else out there with low ferritin or anemia who has a iron-rich diet, and no other pre-existing conditions that they know of? Or, was anyone in my situation, and then found out what they had?

3) how likely is the hematologist to give me an [B]iron infusion[/B]? Why would I want to wait months, with foggy brain (not good for teaching) and hair falling out (not good for anything!) for my iron levels to go up, when I could get it injected (or infused) into me? The pills make me feel yucky in my tummy.

4) other symptoms--some restless legs, cramping in calves at night, mild vertigo, tired, especially at the end of the day, and headaches! But I'm still able to run every other day on the treadmill for 45 minutes, but don't have tons of energy like I used to. I have a two-year old and work full time, so I don't know what's normal and what's sick!

I've gotten lots of advice, support and info from stalking this forum since I got my ferritin level--thank you so much for any help you can give.
I have the same kind of symptoms and we're in the same age range, only my doctor took it seriously. I was also at 6 and they gave me a blood transfusion and I got iron infusions (once a week for four weeks) I'm taking pre-natal vitamins because they're high in iron and don't upset my stomach the way iron pills do.

Chances are you've been anemic for a very long time and your body has adapted to working with less oxygen. It's just getting to the point now that it may be noticible to you that you need to have something checked out. that's what the case was for me. As a matter of fact, I thought my trouble breathing meant I had to get to the gym more.

My doctor also referred me to see a stomach doc and I had a colonoscopy and a gastro..whatever..they didn't find any bleeding. Unfortunately, if you have acid reflux it could be that there is bleeding ...then it heals up by the time they look for it and occurs again later so you are slowing being more and more anemic.

No matter what, they need to figure out what's causing the anemia and get it fixed.

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