I am a 45 year old female. In the last 6-8 months I have experienced following symptoms: cessation of periods, tinnitus, heart palpitations, anxiety, parasthesias, joint swelling in my hands and changes in my hair texture. I have had no prior health problems.
In the last few weeks, I’ve learned I have 2 copies of the H63D gene (which makes me positive for the hemochromatosis) and that hemochromatosis probably explains at least some of these symptoms.
At some point shortly before hemochromatosis diagnosis, my endocrinologist tested my B12 levels which were in the low normal range. My iron levels, however were elevated (my serum iron (195) and iron saturation (78%) were above the normal range, although my ferritin was Normal (66).
I began taking b12 supplements and my GP ordered genetic testing for hemochromatosis based on my iron tests.
After the gene test came back positive I had my first appt with a hematologist who administered a B12 shot (bc of the low B12) and recommended phlebotomy (venesection) to reduce my iron levels. She administered another iron test that day (after the B12) which came back all normal.
I feel Much better after the first phlebotomy and I am interested in having another done soon.
I am concerned that the iron levels have created a problem with my pituitary gland which caused the problems with my periods. Some of my reading shows that this specific mutation places me at risk for neurodegenative disorders and I have 3 grandparents who had strokes, one of whom had Alzheimer’s. Since the pituitary is in my brain, and I’ve had skin problems on my head, I’m worried.
I am also concerned that the low b12 is related to the Hemochromatosis and that the b12 shot I had before my iron tests on the same day interfered with the lab results.
Does anyone know whether the supplements or the B12 shot could mask the iron or ferritin levels shown on the blood tests or vice versa? Also, does anyone know whether high iron makes it more difficult to absorb b12. Because of the parasthesias in my hands (also sometimes legs and feet) I also want to rule out pernicious anemia
Thanks in advance.