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What causes tingling sensation in fingers, forehead and foggy head with low iron?

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Posted on Mon, 23 May 2016
Question: my daughter 27 living overseas with her army husband has tingling fingers, tingling forehead and today feels foggy started Thursday...earliest appointment is March 29...a little tingling legs...she has low iron last two times she attempted to donate blood.
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (32 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Possible neuropathy due to nutritional deficiencies

Detailed Answer:
Many thanks for writing your concerns to our attention on this network. A young woman of 27 shouldn't really be having tingling sensations as you describe, however, if she is suffering from anemia, living in a foreign country, potentially not eating well, and has low iron as part of her history then, one of the first things I would check in her would be Vitamin B12 levels. When these fall to below 350 and especially if they fall below 250 many people start reporting exactly these sorts of symptoms INCLUDING fogginess. The reason is that Vitamin B12 is a cofactor in the production of good myelin nerve sheaths which are critical to the normal functioning of nerves in the body. The symptoms she has may be the beginning reflection of this nutritional deficiency. Also, B12 is an important cofactor in the function of the brain which is the biggest conglomerate of nerves we have in the body. So obviously, if B12 deficiency affects the nerves running down her arms and legs to give her tingly sensations...imagine what would happen to the BIG COMPUTER in that box we call our heads when B12's not in good supply there....all sorts of things can go wrong...but mostly the beginning of it looks like fogginess, forgetfulness, confusion, disorientation, difficulty doing things she once did with ease. Somebody might just say that she's under a lot of stress, anxiety, being on a military base, hardships, etc. etc. and all of that may be true but she should definitely be checked out for B12 deficiency.

In addition to that I would include the following tests:

1. folate in serum
2. Free T4 in serum
3. TSH in serum
4. Vitamin D, D2, D3 in serum
5. Iron PANEL (to include ferritin, total iron binding capacity, total iron, ZINC)
6. peripheral blood smear (diagnosis of pernicious anemia even if B12 is negative)

There are other tests that could be obtained IF the B12 if below some threshold cutoffs. A comment on Zinc. This should ALWAYS be checked in anybody diagnosed with IRON DEFICIENCY because zinc must be present in sufficient quantities in the body in order for iron to be easily transported across the gut wall into the bloodstream. If there is not enough zinc present then, no matter you load the person with iron their anemia will almost never correct itself. This is a point that I often have to make....even with hematologists because it's just such a crazy little detail that very few people are aware of...we're just trained to see low iron levels and then, supplement with horse pills of iron which do more to bind someone up and make them uncomfortably constipated rather than fix any anemia.

Then, there's the issue of WHY is she deficient in anything I've listed to be tested for....IF in fact, she's deficient in something.

Get her to get the tests and let me know what the numbers are because there are several other things that have to be looked at before we can call it quits to be sure she doesn't relapse.

I hope this addresses your concerns and that you'll keep me in mind for future questions regarding these or other neurological/medical issues. If so, I'd appreciate your rating this interaction with a HIGH STAR SCORE and look forward to a few words of feedback. In addition, I'd appreciate your CLOSING THIS QUERY if you're satisfied with my response.

Write to me any time at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional comments, concerns, or to provide status updates if you'd like which I would love to receive from you to see just what has been discovered.

Many thanks for using this service to ask your questions. Be well.

This consult request has taken a total of 17 minutes of time to read, research, and respond.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Dariush Saghafi (5 minutes later)
Thank you...yes she will request these tests.

How do i access this report again?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (42 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi

Detailed Answer:
Wonderful.

I think that if the information is accurate as you've given it to me then, there's a very good chance that we're going to find something that's not right which can be directly addressed which will result in her improvement.

If we can't find anything in her laboratories to help us then, we will have a bit more searching to do. And I know where to go....I'm just hopeful that we'll find something at this level.

In order for us to reconnect in the future you will need to CLOSE THIS QUERY down and rate our interaction. Then, when your daughter gets the results of her tests if you can obtain her paperwork and convert everything into .pdf files you can upload them to me by going to my webpage:

www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi


Cheers and all the best to your daughter.

This consult request has taken a total of 25 minutes of time to read, research, and respond.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Dariush Saghafi

Neurologist

Practicing since :1988

Answered : 2473 Questions

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What causes tingling sensation in fingers, forehead and foggy head with low iron?

Brief Answer: Possible neuropathy due to nutritional deficiencies Detailed Answer: Many thanks for writing your concerns to our attention on this network. A young woman of 27 shouldn't really be having tingling sensations as you describe, however, if she is suffering from anemia, living in a foreign country, potentially not eating well, and has low iron as part of her history then, one of the first things I would check in her would be Vitamin B12 levels. When these fall to below 350 and especially if they fall below 250 many people start reporting exactly these sorts of symptoms INCLUDING fogginess. The reason is that Vitamin B12 is a cofactor in the production of good myelin nerve sheaths which are critical to the normal functioning of nerves in the body. The symptoms she has may be the beginning reflection of this nutritional deficiency. Also, B12 is an important cofactor in the function of the brain which is the biggest conglomerate of nerves we have in the body. So obviously, if B12 deficiency affects the nerves running down her arms and legs to give her tingly sensations...imagine what would happen to the BIG COMPUTER in that box we call our heads when B12's not in good supply there....all sorts of things can go wrong...but mostly the beginning of it looks like fogginess, forgetfulness, confusion, disorientation, difficulty doing things she once did with ease. Somebody might just say that she's under a lot of stress, anxiety, being on a military base, hardships, etc. etc. and all of that may be true but she should definitely be checked out for B12 deficiency. In addition to that I would include the following tests: 1. folate in serum 2. Free T4 in serum 3. TSH in serum 4. Vitamin D, D2, D3 in serum 5. Iron PANEL (to include ferritin, total iron binding capacity, total iron, ZINC) 6. peripheral blood smear (diagnosis of pernicious anemia even if B12 is negative) There are other tests that could be obtained IF the B12 if below some threshold cutoffs. A comment on Zinc. This should ALWAYS be checked in anybody diagnosed with IRON DEFICIENCY because zinc must be present in sufficient quantities in the body in order for iron to be easily transported across the gut wall into the bloodstream. If there is not enough zinc present then, no matter you load the person with iron their anemia will almost never correct itself. This is a point that I often have to make....even with hematologists because it's just such a crazy little detail that very few people are aware of...we're just trained to see low iron levels and then, supplement with horse pills of iron which do more to bind someone up and make them uncomfortably constipated rather than fix any anemia. Then, there's the issue of WHY is she deficient in anything I've listed to be tested for....IF in fact, she's deficient in something. Get her to get the tests and let me know what the numbers are because there are several other things that have to be looked at before we can call it quits to be sure she doesn't relapse. I hope this addresses your concerns and that you'll keep me in mind for future questions regarding these or other neurological/medical issues. If so, I'd appreciate your rating this interaction with a HIGH STAR SCORE and look forward to a few words of feedback. In addition, I'd appreciate your CLOSING THIS QUERY if you're satisfied with my response. Write to me any time at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional comments, concerns, or to provide status updates if you'd like which I would love to receive from you to see just what has been discovered. Many thanks for using this service to ask your questions. Be well. This consult request has taken a total of 17 minutes of time to read, research, and respond.