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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Advice before testing for serum Folate


Am due to have a test for Folate, should I take special precaution before doing so?

Am on B12 injections (3 times/week), take iron fumarate 322mg, 2 tablets/day, Thorne Basic B complex - 1 tablet/day or if not taking that I take 1 tablet folic acid.

My iron levels keep on dropping although I have increased my iron tablets. GP and consultant keep saying I am not anaemic because my ferritin and haemoglobin levels are o and therefore an iron infusion is not the answer! , BUT they seem unable to explain why my iron levels keep dropping off. Am worried as it makes me feel very weak and unable to look after myself in every day tasks, like cooking, cleaning, tidying, etc. and totally unable to do any gardening which I used to enjoy so much.

The last result for iron was 3 (range 8.8 to 27).

My ferritin and haemoglobin levels are high, higher than they have been for a while. Sorry do not have the exact results with me at the moment as I am away from home, recuperating fron a total knee replacement operation, so am in respite care in a care home.

I hope someone will be able to give me any idea of what to do.I am so fed up feeling so unwell, this has been happening for 3 years now and no help from useless medical professionals. I can't go on much longer like this.

Thank you for any sensible suggestion.

Wishing yhou all a happy new year and good or better health.

PS: have an appointment with an haematologist on Tuesday 9 January, but doubt this will be helpful... Wait and see.

2 Replies

not clear if you mean folate or iron.

Folate is a vitamin - B9, that is not really stored in the body - so the levels in blood are very responsive to your diet/how much you are able to absorb from your food. Some recommend not eating before the test.

Most of your post is about iron though.


Thank you for reply. I needed to know whether I should stop taking any vitamins before testing for serum folate.

The GP told me it was not a good idea to retest for serum iron this time because I am on iron replacement and that I should stop taking iron tablets 48 hours before test.Yet no GP had told me this before when I had numerous iron tests while on iron replacement. Incompetence again!

Am going for tests tomorrow morning so that haematologist can see results when I see her on Tuesday next week. Was not sure whether folate could play a role in iron absorption/assimilation or not. Indeed the iron is the problem and am not sure which consultant would be best to help resolve the problem... I thought an haematologist could help... but wonder. However this problem needs to be resolved as cannot carry on like that. Recovering well from knee replacement operation, just feeling weak as I have done for so long. Need to be able to function better. Thanks again.


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