I’m not positive on the answer to that but I can tell you when I was first diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia I asked the doctor if he also looked at my B12 to see if there was a problem with it. He said, no, when your ferritin is low, under a microscope your blood cells are smaller than normal. When you have B12 deficiency your blood cells are larger than normal. Therefore, he told me there would be no reason to check my B12 since my cells were very small.
I have since switched doctors and my new doctor wanted to check my B12. She said that you can have both deficiencies at the same time and sometimes it is masked by ‘other labs’ being in the normal range (not sure if she was talking about WBC or RBC or what). She did check my B12, it was unusually high.
So there you have it, two different opinions by two different doctors. I know that didn’t give you an answer but you can always ask your doctor to check your B12 levels. My doctor still checks my B12 at the same time she checks my ferritin. Keep us posted.
Yep, you can have more than 2, actually. I have three. B12 deficiency, iron deficiency and hemolytic anemia.
When my B12 goes low and my iron is low, my MCV (size of RBC) are normal. - around 96 or so.
When iron is good, and B12 is low, my MCV is high, like 112-120.
When my hemolytic anemia is acting up, my RBC count goes low.
Folic acid deficiency also makes your RBC's larger.
So it never hurts to get your B12 and folate tested. Also, after you start getting B12 shots you need to recheck your iron and folic acid levels, because sometimes that goes low once your body starts getting enough B12.
I just called and my MCV in April was 74.4, with an ideal range of 80-100. Most of the symptoms I've gotten, I have gotten since then, though. I fall asleep at my desk without caffeine. I'm confused easily, I have tummy problems that I can't seem to fix by eating differently, and just the other general anemia symptoms.
While I am NOT looking forward to the thought of B12 shots, I do like the idea of being awake.
Last edited by teresamichele; 08-30-2010 at 07:20 AM.
Hi Japlopper, I have a question. My husband was diagnosed with low iron also with hemolytic anemia. They tested him for PNH using flow cytometry, but the results came back negative. Does your hemolytic anemia cause low iron? If so, what type of hemolytic anemia do you have?
I have auto-immune hemolytic anemia, not the PHN kind. I also have ITP - which is the same thing, only for platelets. What happens is my immune system goes nuts some times and starts eating either: my platelets, or my red blood cells. My hemolytic anemia is harder to deal with than the ITP, because it affects my energy.
When the anemia is active, my hema explained that basically it's like your system is exploding the red blood cells, so you lose iron and B12, because the cells are shattered and can't carry the B12 or the iron the way they should. That's why you can get jaundiced - those cell fragments don't get completely cleaned up by the liver and you get yellow skin and red cells in your urine. It's not pretty when it's at its worst.
I have to be a fanatic about taking iron and getting the B12 shots, folic acid, because if I lapse, even a few days, I start to feel very, very bad.