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Hello, I hope someone can advise me

I recently had some blood work done, since feeling pressure near the area of my liver and burning pain through my shoulder and neck and horribly restless legs at night. The Doctor finally recommended the blood work. I believe they tested for ferritin levels, iron binding capacity and haemoglobin. The Doc calmly told me that my iron level was a "bit" low...4. Cough. From what I understand it should have been 12-15!
Looking back I realize I have had "all" the classic symtoms of anemia for several months now, yet he claimed I was "not" anemic, explaining that my low iron level was more or less sudden. My haemoglobin was around 126.
He recommended my taking an an iron supplement... that's it, nothing more, no questions, no other suggestions. I have visited this same Doctor many times with various aches and pains during the last couple of years. I have been having shortness of breath, aching muscles and joints after aerobics (which I had to stop doing 'cause it was more painful than anything else) restless legs, tinnitis, problems with concentration and memory and lightheadedness and so on, and now itchy, itchy skin everywhere. Thank-goodness I still have my hair.
Shouldn't he have been a little worried for me? Perhaps asked questions about my eating habits, if my periods were heavy etc.?
I know I don't eat properly. I asked him if he thought I could be bleeding internally and he said no. My stools have been a normal colour, not too dark or light.

An iron level of 4 sounds pretty serious doesn't it? Then why does my Doctor seem so unconcerned?

Just so I can understand this, the Ferritin level is the amount of iron stored in your body. Is that right?
Your iron level measures the amount of iron in the liquid part of your blood.
Is "iron binding capacity" the ability of iron to bind with red blood cells to carry oxygen?
My iron binding capacity (transferrin levels) is 74 is that good or bad?
An iron level of 4 sounds pretty serious doesn't it? Then why does my Doctor seem so unconcerned?

Just so I can understand this, the Ferritin level is the amount of iron stored in your body. Is that right?
[B]Yes, the iron stores should be above 10 to be in range. 50-70-100 for health. I say that because doctors each give different numbers. My Hematologist said anything over 10 and under 1000???? I think to feel well (without symptoms) it would be at least 50 as someone else on this board recommended to me.[/B]

Your iron level measures the amount of iron in the liquid part of your blood.
[B]This is Serum iron that measures the amount of iron that is in the blood system circulating at the time of the test.

Is "iron binding capacity" the ability of iron to bind with red blood cells to carry oxygen?
[B]TIBC is the (Total Iron Binding Capacity) which measures the total amount of iron that transferrin (a protein) can bind to. This shows if there is too little or too much iron in the blood.[/B]

My iron binding capacity (transferrin levels) is 74 is that good or bad?
[B]I'm not sure of that answer. My doctor does not go by these numbers. He goes by the CBC and Ferritin. The Ferritin give a much more accurate reading of the iron stores. FLFLOWERGIRL:)[/B]
Thanks Flowergirl for responding.. I've read many of your replies to people. I tend to be such a worry wart. It would be nice if somewhere on the web there was a comparative chart for Canadian, US, UK measurements, as yet I haven't found one.
I understand why the Doc said i was not anemic. My iron levels would have to be at 0 to have full blown anemia, is that right?
No, your ferritin does not need to be at 0 to get anemia. Mine was at 5 when I became anemic.

Yesterday, my best friend just got the results of her tests. She had been feeling "off" for awhile. Her symptoms were so much like mine that I urged her to go in and get bloodwork. She does not have anemia but her ferritin is at 3. I can't wait until she gets her labwork because I am betting that her hematocrit and hemoglobin are probably VERY close to the lower limits.
violette54--Hi, thanks for reading my babble!

I have no idea about the different ranges. Maybe someone from Canada can answer that for you. I think that they have before.

I don't know what number (your ferritin/iron stores would be) for you to be anemic. It seems that everyone is at a different number when this happens. For me I was a 2 Ferritin with a 8.5 Hgb, this number should be 12 and up to be within range and non anemic. Ask your doctor what the number is for you to be considered anemic. So, you can see from my numbers this went on for a long time before I caught on to what was happening to me, hence the lowered Hemoglobin which is now 14.1 it has almost doubled. The end stage of the fallen iron stores is IDA iron deficiency anemia.

At first the Hgb in the (CBC) complete blood count has to try to keep up by pulling from the ferritin stores and the Hgb slowly lowers and the body adjusts to this and you usually don't feel it until the anemia sets in. When it happens from an acute blood loss it is much more profound. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
Does Beta Thalassemia run in your family? Maybe you are a carrier. I know that doctors say there are NO Symptoms, but, then again, many of them do not have it. People go for most of there lives with symptoms that dr.s can't explain, and find out in their mid-late 40s that they have BTM or 'the trait'. Many times the family members who pass it on do not know that they were even carriers. It's not a disorder that sticks to one type of people. (migration and inner-cultural marrages) You just have to ask to get THAT test. Doctors seem to tell themselves that if you look white/black then there is no reason to suspect that a person may have. It's passed on through genes. The only thing that sees color is human eyes. If just 1 parent is a carrier and 1 parent is normal, than the child has a 50% chance of have the trait (being a carrier). That child does not have a chance of being born with the disease. Like sickle cell. I don't know, I think it may be worth looking into.
Chicken22 ...Thanks for the suggestion. I will do a search on it. I don't know if any member of my family has had Beta Thalessemia or if they have ever been tested.
I work for a dermatologist and he often dictates in his letters that itchy skin can be a sign of iron deficiency. So it's probably not psychosomatic.
violette- I sure hope you are still posting. I have a Ferritin of 12 and have all the symptoms you have. What have you found out? I am still searching for answers and your story sounds just like mine.:)
Hi, everyone,
I know that this may sound like a silly question, but how do you find out if you are anemic and b12 deficient? I have been sick for 14 months now. I have alot of the symptoms that you all list. I have actually switched family doctors because I feel like we are getting no where with this. But I also have intermittent high calcium. Does anyone have that too, in addition to the b12 deficiency and anemia?
My new doctor mentioned the other day that it was possible that I had a b12 deficiency and was anemic by my symptoms, but she never ordered any blood tests, so I am not sure what to order if I do from an independent lab.
thanks for your help,
Ask your Dr. for a ferritin and b12 test blood test. Make sure to get the lab results. Alot of times Dr's will say you are normal even though you are low normal. You can still have terrible symptoms in the low range. My calcium was fine. look it up on the computer. You will find alot of info. good luck. What are your symptoms?
Thanks for the info. I have muscle spasms, weird nervous system feeling all over the body, right hip pain, muscle twitching, vision distortions, some diarrhea and constipation, ankle pain, spine pain, some headaches, just to name a few.
My doctor mentioned it as a possiblity the other day but then did not test me for it. I also have intermittent high calcium too, so I am not sure what is coming from what.

I also have cold hands and feet at times.

Do you have symptoms like these?

i am anemic but all the things you just mentioned tie in with my fibromyalgia not my anemia have they done any tests on you? like mri or a neuro exam? it sounds like something else is going on im glad you got a new dr
mmee- I had muscle and joint pain
hip and back aches
bloodshot eyes
itching body
brain fog
cold hand and feet
sun hurts eyes
vision feels foggy like i have to blink to clear it
severe anxiety..... I could go on and on but these are my scary symptoms. I started repliva and b12 shots and feel a lil better but not much. My research says a low ferritin and b12 can make you feel terrible and I do believe it. I am not anemic but feel like I am. I had h. pylori and it did me in. I am trying to recoup now. good luck. Let me know how you are. kw
mmee- Do you get eyes sensitivity to light? This has been really bad for me. I had a bad day today. I felt nauseated and lightheaded. My feet were also very sweaty. Never had that symptom before. I stopped taking my b12 because my Dr. said since I was at 1200 I could stop. I wonder if this is making me feel worse. What does the Dr. think is wrong with you? Keep me up to date.
I have all of those symptoms too. Do you ever get palpitations or do you have a heart arrythmia or anything like that?
Well, I have been all over for the past 14 1/2 months to doctors. I just recently have developed vomiting and diarrhea and then intermittent constipation. I have had 3 high calcium levels in about 1 1/2 months, so I am looking into that. Have you ever had your calcium and parathyroid hormone checked? I know that that can cause alot of these same symptoms too. I have been posting on a board for parathyroid too called Please Help! Anyone with a parathyroid condition or symptoms. You may want to check that board too, because your symptoms sound alot like those on that board as well as mine.
I am hoping so bad that I can find an answer to all of this. It has been a nightmare. My doctor mentioned the other day that I may be anemic and have a b12 deficiency but then never tested me.-uhuh So, I don't know.
Check out that board on here, if you get a chance, and see if you match any of those symptoms on there too.
I hope that you can be feeling better soon. Has long has this been going on for you? Mine has been 14 1/2 months.
My doctor mentioned the other day that I may be anemic and have a b12 deficiency but then never tested me.-uhuh So, I don't know.

[B]Go back or call in and ask for a CBC, B-12 and Folate and Ferritin test. If he is thinking something along those lines, you should follow through even if he has not. You may thank yourself for it! FLFLOWERGIRL:)[/B]
mmee- I have not heard from you for awhile. Do you have anything new to report? We had similar symptoms and we were both waiting for more info. I go today to Dr. Let me know. kw
Hi, I basically just still have the intermittent high calcium. I am going to the endo on June 10th. I also had some thyroid testing done by another physician and I will find out about that on June 5th.
How are you doing? Have you found out anything more?
mmee- I am having more tests done by rheumy and gastrologists. Nothing confirmed yet. I am going to look into parathyroid. If I find out anything I will let you know for sure. It may give you something to research. I have started to see an acupunturist and I think it has helped my joint pain. Weird. My calcium was fine. What does high calcium mean? keep in touch. kw
It's crazy that there are doctors out there who tell their patients they're ok when their serum ferritin comes back at the lower levels. Anyone who's serum ferritin is below 70ng/dl MUST take iron supplements. Your body will divert iron away from your hair and nails and skin if your serum ferritin is below 70ng/dl. You will not receive the entire benefit of any physical fitness when your iron is below that. Any women who experiences even slightly heavy periods will be in serious trouble below that level. I'm sorry but any doctor out there who tells you anything different is not well educated enough.

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