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Old 02-26-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
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Question Vitamin B12/Iron Deficiencies- PLS Share

Hello 3FC,
I have been struggling with my weight, lethargy and fatigue for as long as I can remember. I just went to a new physician who ran some blood work and said that I am quite low in B12 and iron. He phoned (I have my appointment tomorrow to discuss) and said this would contribute to a slower metabolism and general tiredness.
How long will it take to get this vitamin levels back in the normal range? Do I have hope of feeling much better? My life is quite good now, I just presumed this was the "tired" feeling everyone felt. I am quite excited to think I may get some renewed energy. I also resigned myself to my body just being slower to shrink, but will this speed up?
Does anyone have any experiences with this? How did it affect you?
Thanks for sharing. You 3FC-ers are the best resource around.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:05 AM   #2
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About a year ago I had extreme fatigue as well as dizzy spells. I was pretty close to my heaviest weight as well. I was convinced I had a brain tumor. Went to the MD, had a COMPLETE workup done, including brain scans, bloodwork, EKGs, etc. Turns out, I just had a B12 deficiency. He couldn't really explain WHY (I definitely eat a balanced diet) but the solution was 5 injections of B12 in the butt and a daily supplement indefinitely.

Since then, my energy level has been through the roof in comparison. (Not saying I don't have tired days, but it's a huuuuuge difference). I dropped about 10 pounds rather easily - probably due to the increased energy - and the dizzy spells went away.

I hope you get it worked out! When you go for your appointment, I would push for the B12 injections - they're harmless, as far as I know, and I could tell a difference almost immediately.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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Thanks Macky. I will take your advice. Did you ever figure out the root cause of the vitamin deficiency?
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:45 AM   #4
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Hi Joanne!

The subject from your posting caught my eye because pernicious anemia runs in my family. People who have pernicious anemia can't absorb enough vitamin B12 through the digestive tract. It is easy to treat with B12 shots but can cause serious problems if left untreated. My mother has permanant nerve damage because she was not diagnosed in time.

Here is a link that gives more information including symtoms

Also, my doctor put me on iron last fall because my iron count was low. I feel so much better now. You may be surprised at how much better you feel after taking care of the low B12 and iron.

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Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. - Winston Churchill
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:58 AM   #5
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Oh my goodness! I have the exact same problem.

I had some really bad stress/anxiety related stomach issues (constant hunger, nausea, etc.) in March and went to my doctor's office to see what could be the root of the problem and try to fix it. I've had stomach issues for quite a while now so I was hoping that they would finally be able to help me out.

They ran my bloodwork and it showed that I had extremely low vitamin B-12 levels - the normal range is approximately 200 - 1400 and my bloodwork showed 110. I was completely floored because I take vitamins and my diet is for the most part really healthy.

The doctor said that this level of deficiency indicated an absorption problem and referred me to a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist did an endoscopy, colonoscopy, and capsule endoscopy to determine where I might be having absorption issues. All the tests came back clean. She thought I should see a hematologist to see if it's a blood problem, but thankfully my primary care physician interceded and basically said that it would be pointless and to just start treatment. Thank goodness because the hematologist would have had to draw bone marrow which I've heard is a none too pleasant experience. So in the end I had no real conclusion...

Because I can't absorb the vitamin through by digestive system supplements are useless for me. Treatment revolves around a B-12 shot given once a week for 4 weeks followed by monthly B-12 shots for the rest of my life and daily iron supplements for the anemia. Hopefully, I will be able to work something out with the doctor's office so that I can administer the shots at home, but for now it looks like monthly doctor's visits.

Honestly, I am not really feeling a difference. But then again, I just finished up my four week series and I have heard that it does take quite a while to bring the levels back up to normal.

It's a bit comforting to know that there are others out there with the same problem, but then again I feel for all of you because this is a for life kind of thing.

Good luck with your treatment!
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:00 PM   #6
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Hey all noticed this post, I dont suffer from b12 deficiency, well I do but not enough for the doctors to be worried, but I get horrendous Iron deficiency.

I have a lapse every 4-6 months which is bad as I try to donate blood and it ends up putting that on hold for upto a year at a time. Anyway the first time i was diagnosed I had gone in for tiredness and acheyness, generally i felt physically depressed, and the dr ran some bloods and when i rang for results the reception said all is fine nothing to worry about, a week later i collapsed got rushed into hospital and they found I was anaemic, badly, my iron levels shoudl have been at about 100 and I was at 13 so i had to have lots of injections and meds for a while, now i jsut know and go to the dr's when i feel i need to and get bloods and meds for it. it makes me feel lethargic and heavy, i dont want to do anything and i just get down, my white cells and vitamins do get low but they dont usually worry the dr.

I also had the contraceptive implant for 2 years (had it removed in august) and that made me worse as i was menstrating for 7months solid, and i mean solid, so that caused a crash too.

the funny thing is as i am writing this and realising that I have all my usual symptoms and although i am jsut getting over a migraine i should really visit my dr,

it is interesting to see other people have similar problems, if not worse and Macomom, with treatment you do feel better, I get gastrointestinal upset when I have the iron tabs but i know i need them so its worth it
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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I also have iron deficiency problems, as well as other vitamins due to health issues. Mine was so bad they told me I was heading towards a coma if it got any lower and they were doing infusions, recently they wanted to do that again but my veins hid in fear ( thankfully) so I take liquid iron twice a day. I don't know how long before it goes up, it did for me fairly quickly with the liquid iron, but the most important part was having more energy! It made exercising so much easier. I didn't know it could affect my metabolism other than my motivation, so now I will definitely remember to take it all!
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