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[QUOTE=ElleDi;2963864]My doctor (the old one) says that my hemoglobin is normal. According to the test results, it is. I guess he thinks that because my hemoglobin is normal, I'm not anemic. Ok, fair enough. But he is very casual about my low ferritin levels (which was 9). I'm going to a new doctor and want to sound informed about this. What's the difference?

If your hemoglobin, hematocrit, and RBCs are all within normal range, you are not anemic. Usually, if the three of those are below normal you have some type of anemia, could be iron, B12, or folate.

Ferritin is a protein that is tied to the amount of iron stores in your body. You can be iron deficient yet not be anemic (this is where I am now and my ferritin is 5). Prior to iron supplementation, I was anemic. Anemia is the "end stage" or last phase of iron depletion. Depending on the cause, iron depletion can happen rapidly (big bleeding tumor) or it can happen slowly over years (small bleeding polyp or heavy monthly cycles). After your iron is depleted long enough, the anemia starts.

Many doctors in the U.S. only care about what the CBC says (hemoglobin, hematocrit, RBCs). If they are normal, the doctor thinks everything is okay and doesn't do more. Many doctors do not feel that an iron deficiency without anemia is cause for concern. Some doctors do.

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