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Is the additional blood test an anemia panel? The reason I ask is that my doctor didn't prescribe iron or B-12 for me until after the anemia panel, which was advised after the initial blood test came back showing me as anemic. After the anemia panel, the doctor put me on 325 mg. iron 3X/day and B-12 shots. I think an anemia panel shows exactly what your deficiencies are so the doctor knows which substances need to be raised (iron, B-12, etc.), and how they need to be addressed (pills, infusion, etc.).

A bit of advice in case you haven't considered it -- when I went for my initial blood test, I passed out twice, AFTER they had drawn blood. It was a vaso-vagal reaction (simply put, fainting) that I think was brought on by them drawing blood while I was seated instead of my lying flat. The first time I fainted was right after they drew blood and after they had bandaged the draw site. When I came to, I was lying flat (I scared the poor little young lab tech to death, bless her). After a few minutes, during which they gave me juice, they sat me up, and darned if I didn't pass out again. This time they made me lie there longer and gave me a granola bar. If you are at all concerned about passing out, have them lie you down. Also, unless they want you fasting for some reason, make sure you eat or at least drink something (juice might be best) before you go, and while you are sitting in the waiting room, flex the muscles in your arms and legs to get your blood flow up.

From what I've been able to gather about anemia by doing a bit of research online, anemia can involve other substances in the blood that affect the production of red blood cells, including B-12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, folate (B-9), and not just iron. I take iron and B-12.

Another thing to consider is thyroid function. A month after I was diagnosed with anemia, I was also diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroid (Hashimoto's). These two conditions have very similar symptoms. The thing is that Synthroid, which is taken for hypothyroid, can't be taken less than 4 hours before or after taking iron, since iron supplements can interfere with the absorption of Synthroid. Therefore, if I take my Synthroid at 5:30 AM, I can't take my first iron before 9:30 AM, for example.

Not sure if any of this answers any of your questions -- this has just been my own experience. Hope something I said helps you!

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