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"My iron and b12 levels are both far below normal, what tests should I get done?"

ZocdocAnswersMy iron and b12 levels are both far below normal, what tests should I get done?


I'm 35 and have felt bad for about 2 years now after many antibiotics and brush offs I finally got some answers my iron and b12 levels are both far below normal I'm so tired and cranky all the time my body hurts and my left hand has a bad tremor I was told to take over the counter meds and that's it should I get a second opinion or what tests what can be wrong with me help


It is very important to discuss your test results with your doctor. Both iron and Vitamin B12, among other nutrients, are very important for your body in terms of making new red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen to all the tissues in your body, and an abnormally low red blood cell count (called anemia) can certainly lead to a variety of symptoms. Anemia in general can cause fatigue, malaise, and shortness of breath. Iron deficiency in particular can cause irritation at the corners of the mouth, spooning of the fingernails, and pica (the desire to eat non-food items such as ice or dirt). Vitamin B12 deficiency in particular can cause numbness/tingling and in very severe cases, confusion and dementia over time. Iron deficiency is often due to very poor iron intake or chronic blood loss (such as through heavy menstrual cycles or slow gastrointestinal bleeding). Vitamin B12 deficiency can be due to poor oral intake or poor absorption in the intestine. Poor absorption may be due to pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disease in which the body prevents adequate absorption of B12 in the small intestine. It is strongly recommended that you discuss these test results with your doctor. Further evaluation may be needed to determine the causes of your low iron and B12 levels. This may include such tests as a colonoscopy or blood tests to look for pernicious anemia.

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