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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?
[QUOTE=violette1954;3481015]
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.
[/B]

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]
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:)
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.:)
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?
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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