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Old 04-14-2007, 09:01 AM   #1
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barbwest HB User
Question Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Hello All,
I am wondering if you can be both iron deficient and B12 def? I had blood work done, and to make a long story short, they have confirmed that I do not absorb iron in my intestinal tract, also my B12 is "abnormaly" low. I do not know the numbers yet. I received the letter from Dr. and it said that I should call to make appt. to arange therapy. When I called, the nurse said I would just need B12 injections. I thought they were two different things (iron and B12). I will see dr. on Tues. Does anyone know if B12 injections will also help the iron def.? or should I be asking for iron therapy as well as the B12? Thanks for any and all advice! Either way I am looking forward to feeling better.
Barb

 
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Old 04-14-2007, 11:45 AM   #2
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MikeBlue HB User
Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Hi,
Sorry, I don't know anything.
But, I've been on B12 injections for over 7 years and last year was first time I had problem with iron.
Good Luck,
Mike

 
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Not sure on your questions, but...my hemoglobin is down to 10 and doc told me to start taking an iron supplement. Then she ordered more blood work, and my B12 is really low, so now I've had to start B12 injections. I have no idea on the why's and wherefore's of it all, new diagnosis and I don't know why they're low. I don't even know when I'm supposed to have my next B12 inj, so I'm still lost in all this myself. I think somehow they play hand in hand? Good luck. Wish I knew more myself.

 
Old 04-14-2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Yes, you absolutely can be low on both B12 and iron. Your dr should be looking into the cause, but the injections should help you. And the iron will probably require iron supplements or something else depending on the severity and the reason for your defeciencies.

 
Old 04-15-2007, 09:27 AM   #5
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Ritah HB User
Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barbwest View Post
Hello All,
I am wondering if you can be both iron deficient and B12 def?
Barb
I found this:
B-12 deficiency can cause a type of anemia that is characterized by fewer but larger red blood cells. Other effects include walking and balance disturbances, a loss of vibration sensation, confusion, and, in seriously advanced cases, dementia. Since the body requires B12 to an inadequate supply of B12 can expose nerves to damage.

Symptoms of B-12 deficiency and B-12-related anemia include:

* Feeling tired or weak
* Pale appearance to the lining of lower eyelids
* Palpitations, fast or irregular heart beat.
* Faintness and breathlessness.
* Hair loss
* Bruising that occurs without reason
* Dizziness
* Long or unusually heavy menstrual periods
If you do a ****** search for "B12 Anemia" I hope this helps. I use sub lingual B12. I also get injections of B12 once a month. I buy the sublingual pills at Trader Joes.

 
Old 04-15-2007, 09:57 AM   #6
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

B12 deficiency or if it is Pernicious Anaemia can co-exist with IDA (Iron Deficiency Anaemia). In fact anyone who has pernicious anaemia is usually checked for Iron, Folate, and thyroid levels as either or all can co-exist with pernicious anaemia. Definitely get your b12 level checked as well as folate. When searching anemia, also use the spelling of "anaemia".

Regards,
cats

Last edited by catscandance; 04-15-2007 at 10:00 AM.

 
Old 04-15-2007, 10:17 AM   #7
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Wow! Thanks everyone for your replies! I should expand a little on my situation, I had gastric bypass surgery in 2001, I was not informed at the time about needing B12 injections, BUT- don't be down on my surgeon, the same week as my surgery, my husband was transferred about 1000 miles from surgeon, and since I never had any complications, after my initial 6 week check-up, I did not seek follow-up treatment. I have been hosptalized 2 years ago due to bleeding ulcers, and have had problems with getting my hemoglobin higher than 8.5 since then. They did studies last week that confirm that I do not absorb any iron taken orally, and the tests imply that my B12 is "abnormally" low. This is taken from a letter I just received from the Dr. There were no copies of the lab work included, but rest assured I will get those on Tuesday. The nurse I spoke with when I made the appt, thinks I will just need B12 injections, I think I should ask for both the B12, and Iron, as if I get my B12 regulated won't I still be having trouble with Iron? The Dr. did mention iron when I initialy saw him. It feels good to finally find a dr. who thinks anemia is serious, and is willing to do whatever I need to help me feel better. The rest act like it is no big deal, yet I can barely function now days! Thanks again everyone.

 
Old 04-15-2007, 05:20 PM   #8
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Barb,
I know what you mean about drs not making a big deal out of anemia. When my hemoglobin drops, I feel so rotten - to me it's worse than having the flu.

The big deal, I think is that you have the potential to be feeling sooo much better. Once you get things back to where they should be, you will be amazed.

Just for you reference, once you start the B12 injections, it does take a few weeks up to a couple of months to start seeing an improvement, and it's like one step forward, one back. Your may feel better, then worse as your body repairs the damage, so don't get discouraged. Figuring out you have the deficiency is sometimes a huge challenge by itself. Now you've gotten that hurdle down, you're bound to be on the road to recovery.

I've also read on this board that it's important to eat bananas/foods with potassium while your body is repairing - that your body uses more potassium when it gets the B12 so it goes into repair mode.

I get the B12 injections, but I also use the sublingual B12 and take a B complex so my B's don't get out of balance.

Hope you feel better soon!
Jill

 
Old 04-15-2007, 06:22 PM   #9
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Jill,

Can you explain the difference between B12 vitamins, and B12 injections? Or I should say, do they have a different effect? I just started taking the pills today. Anemia comes and goes with me.

Thanks,
Trish

 
Old 04-16-2007, 09:52 AM   #10
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

B12 vitamins are taken orally and if your body absorbs them your fine. B12 injections are given to those who cannot absorb the vitamin or for those who can it is a booster to get your numbers up quicker. Loss of B12 for extended periods of time can cause permanent nerve and cell damage and if totally ignored death.

Gastric Bypass is a big culprit of anemias of all types especially B12 and Iron since you bypassed a necessary component (stomach acid).

Good luck to you all.

 
Old 04-16-2007, 01:26 PM   #11
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

It's like IAMUnique says - the B12 shots go directly into your bloodstream so they don't depend on your digestive track to absorb them. Same with the sublingual B12 tablets - they dissolve under your tongue and go directly to the bloodstream - although not all of it gets dissolved.

I do the tablets and the shots, just to make sure my B12 levels stay up. I take the multi_B complex vitamin as well, just covering all my bases.

It does take a long time to get built back up, and it's easy to get lax, but try to stay with it until your numbers normalize and stay there.

Best,
Jill

 
Old 04-17-2007, 09:09 AM   #12
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

HI Everyone,
I just came from the dr. and he said defineatly he is going to treat both the
b12 and the iron separately. I told him the nurse indicated that I would just need b12 injections, so I wanted to find out for sure. I did get a copy of the labs, and my numbers are extremely low, the infusion is scheduled for Friday (only because that is the soonest I could get scheduled). Here they are for a reference point for some of you:
Iron, Total 9
Total Iron Binding 480
Iron Saturation 2
Ferritin <1
Folate-serum 16.2
Vitamin B12 226
Hcb 8.7

Our lab uses the range of 211-911 as the normal range for the b12. Dr. thinks people need to be up over 400 to feel better, so is willing to work on getting me there.

I am sooo exausted today, even the DR. commented on how pale I was. I feel like finally there may be some light at the end of the dark tunnel. He did stress that this is going to take a long time to correct, making it very clear not to expect immediate results. But as long as I know I am working on getting my life back, I already feel better emotionally.
Thanks again everyone for all of your replies and encouragement, it is so nice to talk to people that understand. Even my family does not get it, I mean to them I "look" ok, so just get up, and get with on with it already. (This comes mostly from the kids) my husband is more understanding, but glad things are going to get better.

 
Old 04-17-2007, 06:09 PM   #13
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Barb,
Wow. Yes, you are in definite need of treatment. Those numbers are low!

Thank goodness you have a good dr. Knowing you need to be over 400 for B12 means he's up on the latest research. They just changed those guidelines - used to be 200 was ok. Most people report that under 300 they experience bad symptoms.

It's good that he set your expectations as well. Just hang in there and keep with the vitamins, etc.

TAke care,
Jill

 
Old 04-17-2007, 06:33 PM   #14
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Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Barb - Your doctor is correct you are in for a long haul. My numbers were 337 and dropped from there. I understand exactly how horrible you feel but hang in there because it does get better. I am 9 1/2 months into b12 injections and finally starting to get back to normal, not quite 100&#37; but a great improvement none the less.

The best advise I can give you is hang in there and always remember on those day's you feel really good DONT go gung ho because you will pay dearly the next few days. Slow and steady wins this race.

Good luck to you.

 
Old 04-17-2007, 10:57 PM   #15
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CoyoteBound HB User
Re: Can you be both B12 and Iron deficient?

Barb,

A lot of the posters has already answered your question but I wanted to tell you that I went to the Doctor months ago and that was exactly what I was told I had. I was told that I was anemic and my B12 was low so they started me off on B12 shots that day. I take a shot once a month. I also take a Iron pill twice a day. After I started the B12 shots, I can finally tell now that I am starting to feel some what better now.

Good Luck!
Jan

 
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