RETIC – Iron – B12 Connection

Maintain Blood Iron Levels/StoresMaintain B12 Levels

Many CAD’s may be unaware of the need for Iron and B12.   Even though they may have even been prescribed these supplements by a doctor?  You might not understand why, if it wasn’t explained?

Worse… this may be totally overlooked until a Hgb crisis comes along?

There are two components of Iron testing that should be done, and known, for ongoing monitoring.
Iron Blood Levels
Iron “Stores”
The tests go by various names based on the lab you use.

Click this link for more detail on:   IRON “LEVELS” verses IRON “STORES”.

Note: Iron helps Bone Marrow make Hemoglobin (Hgb).  The body can store some amount of iron in the Red Blood Cell protein (Ferritin).

When there is not enough iron in the diet to compensate for what your body consumes.  The body uses what is stored in your Ferritin to make Hgb.

Folic Acid OTC tablets are often prescribed
Iron (Ferrous Sulfate) OTC tablets are often prescribed

Vitamin C also helps your body absorb Iron.  So C becomes important too.  Even more so if you test low for Vitamin C.

You may not be aware of these connections?  Often critical for a CAD.  Your doctor may not have gotten to this point either?  Especially if your Hgb hasn’t slipped into the abnormal range yet?

Yes you can have CAD, yet have a normal Hgb.

Maintaining proper Iron,  “Iron Stores”, as well as B12.  Requires periodic testing, possible diet changes, supplements, or injections.  All must be monitored and done under the supervision of your doctor.  All CAD’s are different.

To be clear.  Don’t just start taking a handful of vitamins or supplements without supervision, or knowing your test levels.   Don’t follow the lead of another CAD that may be sharing their supplements and personal dosing.  Their requirements, or secondary issues, may be totally different than what you require.

We can’t control what some people post on social media.  Be aware such posts are irresponsible, and not wise to follow.   We discourage such posts.  Get your info from your doctor!

Dosing yourself with excessive Iron, can lead to its own set of health problems.

While diet changes certainly can go a long way in maintaining Iron and B12.  Many CAD’s will need help in the form of supplements or injections, as indicated. Especially if a CAD attempts living life as a normal person, then getting cool/cold temperature exposures that trigger excessive hemolysis.  Such exposures are unwise.

B12 OTC tablets are often prescribed and useful in warmer months/Low Hemolysis periods.
B12 Injections
are often prescribed in colder months/high Hemolysis periods.

The part that is hard to comprehend, are the difficulties that some medical professionals seem to have.  Connecting this CAD issue, to negative health issues you may be experiencing.  Especially in some of the early stages, low levels of sensitivity stages, or when your Hgb may be in the standard normal range.

Some patients in early stages may not be aware of anything occurring within their body.  Though low levels of hemolysis most likely is taking place and perhaps all the time, in the background.

Once you start showing signs of anemia, it may finally get the attention of a doctor that might otherwise have never realized something was truly happening to you.  Or didn’t investigate complaints you may have been trying to communicate when you just “didn’t feel right”.

Hemolysis (Destruction of Red Blood Cells) occurs at an excessive rate in a CAD.   It is normal for Red Blood Cells to live their normal life and die off, then be processed out of the body.

CAD’s have elevate Hemolysis occurring due to antibodies in their blood, attacking their own  Red Blood Cells, when exposed to cold (Agglutination).  This destruction occurs above and beyond (in excess of) normal healthy Red Blood Cell die off.

The body attempts to compensate and maintain Hgb levels via it’s own Retic function (Retic: Creation of new Red Blood Cells via the Bone Marrow).

If your CAD triggered hemolysis combined with normal Red Cell die off,  does not out pace the Retic function ability.  Hgb levels may remain normal.  Even though CAD triggered hemolysis, at a low level, may be occurring.  Of course if your Retic function (Blood Test) was checked in this time frame. Test results would most likely come back “high normal”, or “high”.  Sadly the Retic test is not a test that is routinely run.

Those with proper nutrition and health, and normal Retic Rate happening, normal Red Cell die off, a person journeys along just fine.  The bone marrow function continues at a normal rate.  Using normal intakes of Iron and B12 that is stored from normal foods and diet.  Iron and B12 is the fuel for the Retic process.  Everything stays in balance.  Regulated by the body.

CADs experiencing ramped up Retic rates attempting to compensate for Hgb loss, due to hemolysis.  Are perhaps waging an unseen and unknown battle inside their body.   The elevated Retic Rate can consume more than normal quantities of Iron and B12.  More than diet alone can simply replenish.

Think of those two important ingredients (Iron & B12) as a storage tank of fuel, necessary to power an engine.  The engine starts running faster.  At first, as that storage starts being consumed faster than being filled with replacement fuel, all is well…the engine continues to run at an accelerated rate…. but the accelerated rate now starts to drain the tank of fuel.  There is still enough fuel to power the engine though.

As time goes on, and with Retic consuming Iron and B12 faster than normal.  One or both of these needed fuels, will eventually be consumed to levels that Retic may slow, or cease, and not keep up with hemolysis.  The engine will start failing to run properly. Retic can consume the ingredients needed to make new Hgb.

CADs that are exposed to the Cold too often, or too long, or some other influence such as a virus, may have hemolysis going on that outpaces the highest Retic rate possible.  So it is possible even with good levels of Iron and B12.. The Retic will not keep up with excessively high levels of Hemolysis causing a drop in Hgb.

Any, or all  of which, can lead to a sudden drop in Hgb to anemic levels, or critical low Hgb levels.  That can lead to requiring blood transfusions to work through a crisis.

Without specific and periodic testing, (you keep records of too!) and a knowledgeable Hematologist.  Confusion might surround around just which type of anemia is truly present?

Or what came first?  Or the true root of the immediate problem that really needs treated?