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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Should I be concerned?


New here. Hopefully someone can help shed some light for me. A little bit of a background, I am 32 and had Gastric Bypass surgery in 2008. I've been feeling not so great so I went to a doctor and recently had blood tests done. Results say:

ferritin serum level is at a 3.

My hemoglobin is an 8.8

B12 is at a 288pg/ml

My Dr. Said there were "no significant abnormalities" but I just feel SO TIRED all the time, I've gotten chest pains occasionally, headaches just about everyday and numbness and tingling in my hands and legs/feet, shortness of breath and my heart feels like it's pounding almost out of my chest after I eat just about anything.

Should I be concerned!? Should I change doctors? I feel like he brushed everything I told him off, or am I just wondering for no reason? Thanks in advance for anyone's response.

10 Replies

suggest that you ask for a copy of the test results so you can see the units and ranges for the test - 3 looks very low for serum ferritin


Looking at my chart/ results it says Ferritin, Serum ng/ml 3. It indicates normal range between 15-150. But my Dr. Literally noted "no significant abnormalities" under the test results.


Was your serum iron in range? Ferritin is stored iron while serum iron is what is being used. If your serum iron was normal and you don't have indications of anemia in the rest of your bloodwork, that might be why the doctor didn't think much of the a low ferritin result.

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As Galixie says you really need to have the full context to interpret results - and even then the test may only point towards further areas for investigation, or may not throw up anything obvious.

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Hi LaBella

People who’ve undergone any gastric and/or intestinal surgery, including bariatric surgery for weight loss purposes (Gastric bypass) are at an elevated risk of developing a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Your 288pg/ml equates to 212.54 pmol/L.

Between 151 and 300pmol/L. This covers a range that might be described as the Total B12 “grey-zone” where the true status of the patient is uncertain.

The British Society for Haematology guidelines say on the Diagnosis of B12 and Folate Deficiency "In the presence of discordance between the test result and strong clinical features of deficiency, treatment should not be delayed to avoid neurological impairment".


Was your Folate included in the recent blood test?

I am not a medically trained person but I've had P.A. (a form of B12 deficiency) for more than 45 years.

I wish you well.


Thank you for your response. I am not sure if folate was tested but I'm actually seeing a Hematologist today ti discuss everything further. I'll update when my visit is complete.


I hope it goes well.

I'll bid you goodnight from the U.K. and look forward to seeing how you got on.

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Thanks everyone so much for your responses. I just saw a Hematologist today who was shocked the other Dr brushed me off so easily considering my symptoms and gastric bypass surgery. I am having Iron pumped intravenously and due to come back in a week for another round. I was Also prescribed 1000 mcgs of B12 sublingually first to see if it helps, then going back for more testing and then B12 injections if my levels don't improve to the doctors satisfaction. This doctor took the time to listen and I'm hoping the recommended treatments get me to feeling better soon. Thanks again so much for the information. I am definitely going to print some out and take it with me on my next appointment which is next week. 🙏❤🙂

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My 80 yr old step mother had that surgery 25 years ago. She's been taking vitamin s the whole time. And something to stay regular.


My daughter-in-law is due to have gastric bypass. Was told after this she will be on B12 for the rest of her life. Good luck


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