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Re: Mild anemia
May 15, 2005
I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia in late March. I had gone to give blood and was turned down because my hematocrit was 34( has to be at least 38).
I went to my doctor who had more bloodwork done....hematorcrit was 32
( two days after bloodmobile test) and hemoglobin was 10.2.


I did the hemocult stool test....neg.
More clinic bloodwork a week after the other showed my hemoglobin was at 11....after being on iron pills for that period. My ferritin level ( iron stores in body) was 6. Dr. said I needed colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy to check for bleeding and polyps. They do that if iron deficiency anemia has an unknown etiology.
I am 51 and pre menopausal yet. I had been on ibuprofen off and on over the last 9 months for pain, from a breast biopsy, car accident where I was rear ended at a stop and carpel tunnel surgery. I also had given blood in Nov and january.
I've lost 20 pounds( because of ibuprofen mainly) since Sept 04 and am exercising at least 3 days a week as well as having some strenous exercise with my farm chores. ( I read on a website that women that exercise at least 3 hours a week need more iron)
I had a really heavy period at the end of Dec and a uterine biopsy in early Jan., which is recorded on my medical record sheet. I didnt' think I needed the GI tests, but did them anyway. Neg. for bleeding and anything else there....but I did get a nasty sore throat and cold 5 days later which lasted almost a month....antibiotics were needed. Do they interfere with iron absorption? Surgeon asked if I ate red meat....I do. I don't drink alcohol.

Looking back, symptoms were fatigue ( I thought I had gotten out of shape the month of Feb. because of carpel tunnel recovery and not doing farm chores...like I can get that out of shape that fast.
I had shortness of breath on exertion and sometimes just walking.
I had restless leg syndrome at night and if I was sitting and reading or watching tv. I had dark circles under my eyes.....but my face still had pink areas on cheeks, so I wasn't really pale. Nail beds were light or sometimes bluish...I thought it was because of the cold.
I go back for blood tests May 31 to see if iron pills are bringing levels up enough.

I've had a heck of a time trying to limit eating of certain foods that might inhibit absorption of iron. Calcium for one. I get calcium ...milk and yoghurt in morning a few hours ahead of taking iron pills with orange juice and water.
I've limited coffee to zero on some days...have only one cup on others...and I love coffee. I have always eaten spinach, nuts, peas and beans, oysters, raisins, red meat, chicken, seafood and eggs and whole grain breads..all of which are supposed to have iron in them. I cook a lot in an iron skillet. I'm trying to eat a fruit when eating things like spinach and beans and peas.
I take the other iron pill half hour before bed.

I still feel somewhat out of breath when exerting, but not like before. Restless leg syndrome is gone.
Re: Mild anemia
May 15, 2005
I guess for me, the doctor thought the ferritin was way too low....like body stores were being depleted...even though hemoglobin was coming up and not too far from low normal. Hematocrit was 32.8 ( had been 32.4)
I've read on some websites that 10 to 106 or something like that is normal for ferritin...another had something like 15-125 for normal levels. One website said that getting below 35 was throwing a flag up as far as anemia setting in, while another said it was more like 15 range.

I really like( not) the testing protocols where you can't eat the things that have iron in them...like not eating red meat or raw veggies and greens before and during stool hemoccult test( 6 day time frame total) and then turn around and not be able to eat much and then use laxatives before GI series....sure didn't get much iron absorbed during that 10 day time frame. :(

My doctor says I should be getting around 1200- 1500 mg of calcium a day now ( 'someone of your age.....") So I don't know if the coffee( used to have 4 cups a day), calcium and exercise has inhibited absorption too much?
She told me not to give blood for awhile and then probably only once or twice a year.





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