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"My iron is low, and my left pinkie and right side of my face are numb. Should I go to the emergency room?"

ZocdocAnswersMy iron is low, and my left pinkie and right side of my face are numb. Should I go to the emergency room?


Hi, I have no insurance & am presently laid off - I try to go to plasma but often times get rejected because my iron is too low, the last couple of times not only has my iron been to low but there were problems with my blood pressure. The free clinic is only open every Tuesday but now my left pinkie is numb & this morning I woke up and the right side of my face feels numb...wondering should I wait or hit the emergency room....Thanks in advance


It can be hard not to have insurance. While it is good that you have been able to supplement your income with the donations that you describe (and certainly appropriate donations are needed in many hospital systems) it is important not to over contribute. In other words, the fact that you have low iron suggests that you may be donating too frequently. I recommend that you speak with your doctor about this question. Blood is one of the major parts of your body that requires to be constructed, specifically the heme portion of blood that carries oxygen. Without iron, blood cannot be effectively generated, and a person can become anemic. This can lead to a multitude of symptoms, including fatigue, malaise, and even an increased susceptibility to some infections. Eating a healthy, well rounded diet can help to increase your iron and thus help blood levels for many people. Red meat specifically is a good source of iron, and those who avoid meat may need to alter their diet in other ways to get enough of this important nutrient. With regards to the numbness that you are feeling, it is important to know if there are other symptoms as well, and also important to know about your past medical history. Your doctor may be able to help you even just by phone. Again, please speak with your doctor.

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