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Done with blood test. Feeling weak, numbness in toes and legs feeling heavy. Should I be worried about the report?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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Another question for the doctor to answer ........My blood test showed that my blood count was at 31 about 10 days ago. I took another test on Thursday of last week and was inform that it was 33.1. Is there something I need to worry about. My legs feel a little weak and their is some numbness in my toes and my legs feel a little heavy. Is there some type of over the counter medicine I can take to improve my blood count and the circulation in my legs. Looking forward to reply. XXXXXXX
Posted Tue, 27 Aug 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Prasad 1 hour later

I think you need to be specific in the type of test performed here. Routine hemogram (blood count) has various components - hemoglobin, red blood count, MCV, MCH, PCV, hematocrit and so on. Since the normal values of many of these components are almost the same, it would be better if you can specify the test that is done. Even better is if you can upload the reports here using the site's uploader.

Numbness and mild weakness of limbs can be associated symptom of anemia. Besides that, both over the counter as well as specific treatment, if you can provide me with the necessary details and reports.

Looking forward to hear from you...

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Done with blood test. Feeling weak, numbness in toes and legs feeling heavy. Should I be worried about the report? 11 hours later
What do you mean? vitamin b 12 deficiency needs to be excluded. Can you help me with an over the counter drug to help build my red blood count. The doctors here have all the reports and I am unable to get them. Just need a little help!!!!
What would suggest? XXXXXXX
What about vitamin C. Would it help? Forget to asked this.
Answered by Dr. Prasad 13 hours later

I apologize for the late reply. I am also sorry if I was not very clear in my first reply. Let me try today.

1. Red blood counts that are tested as part of blood hemogram is usually measured in cells per cubicmillilitre. The normal reference ranges are between 4 to 5.5 million cells/cubic millimeter.
However as per your information, the counts on two occasion are 31 and 33 respectively. Other components of hemogram such as hematocrit, MCH and MCHC are recorded in terms of percentage; here the various reference limits are between 35 to 50%. Hence I wished to seek clarity by reviewing the report document.

2. If what you are referring are not red blood counts, but the other components of hemogram, then I see you are doing well now.

3. If they are indeed red blood counts, then yes, the values are indeed low and you need help. In such case I would treat this condition as follows:
1. Start you on iron capsule. It is available over the counter as ferrous sulfate capsules in most countries. A single capsule a day for couple of months will suffice. Watch out - this can induce gastritis. Therefore take them after food. Do not take phytates - coffee, tea, whole grains and milk before taking the pill. 2. As vitamin C supplement improve the potentials of iron capsules, 500mg of vitamin C a day can be added.
3. In addition to those two, vitamin B12 and folic acid - combination supplements would be added. I am sure, these too are over the counter. Check with your pharmacist.
4. I would encourage you to eat iron XXXXXXX supplements - red meat, liver, millets, cereals and grains, spinach are few dietary products to be included.
5. Lastly, I would review the counts a couple of months later; if they continue to be low, I would proceed to evaluate you further to understand the exact cause of low red blood count.

As far as numbness and tingling sensation is concerned, I would insist on evaluating you now before starting over the counter drug. Serum Vitamin B12 assay, Serum TSH level, Vitamin D level apart from Serum calcium levels are the first set of tests recommended. Your primary care provider will know about these tests.

I hope this information is detailed and helpful. Write back for clarifications.

Best Regards
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