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I haven't been officialy diagnosed with anemia but was told I am iron deficient and I'm confused about my care right at the moment.

Long story short: tried to give blood July 3 but was denied because my iron levels were too low. Saw my PCP on July 23 for a 6 month follow-up and told him. He ordered some bloodwork. I called the office and his assistant called me back and said:

"you have some abnormal levels that indicate an iron deficiency and he is faxing a copy of the tests to your GI Doc. When I asked why she said since you are not having any vaginal bleeding perhaps you have a GI bleed or a malabsorption problem."

Today I received my copy of the tests in the mail

My test results and normal ranges according to the report:

Iron = 25 (L) (35 - 170)
TIBC = 469 (H) (250-450)
Transferrin Saturation = 5 (L) (20-55)
MCV = 77(L) (80-100)
MCH = 25 (L) (27-33)
Ferritin - 5 (5 - 148)
Hemoglobin = 11.1 (11.0-15.0)
Hematocrit = 35.6 (34.0-46.0)
Red Blood Cells = 4.59 (4.40 - 5.60)
Folic Acid = 24 (>3.4)
B12 = 857 (>200)

Obviously I have 5 definitely abnormal levels but 3 of the others that are "normal" are right on the border of normal which I wouldn't think is so great


I called the GI doc. She was not in but the nurse that called me back told me she was surprised the PCP didn't order a stool sample test himself and just sent me to the GI. She agreed that my numbers were problematic and sent a note to the Doc asking what she wanted to do. Since her last day in the office ( vacation until 9/2) is next Tuesday she double-booked me an appointment at 2:40 until she gets an answer form the GI doc.

Does this sound logical to you? What should I be having done? I just had an upper endoscopy in March which didn't show any bleeding or ulcer.

Thanks in advance if you have any advice.
suzieq14--Welcome to the Anemia boards! I would say that your doctor is right on target. Especially if you don't have vaginal bleeding. That is the most common cause of iron deficiency/anemia. The next thing is to R/O internal bleeding through the GI doc and malabsorption syndromes just as your nurse/doctor said.

Your iron stores are not yet exhausted being borderline. However, they are low. Your MCV shows that your blood cells are smaller in size, microcytic. Anemia is the end stage of the iron stores, ferritin. You are considered clinically anemic when one of the three Hgb, Hct or RBC fall below range. If you are NOT anemic, you are very close and very well may be by now.

Your B vitamins are at very healthy levels. Your doctor has ran the correct tests and IS following the proper procedure. She also checked your B vitamins and not all docs do that when they should. Sounds like a good doctor IMO.

Now you have to find the reason WHY you are low and supplement iron. Do you donate blood on a regular schedule? Regular donations can cause the ferritin to deplete stores leading to anemia. Also when there is no blood loss it points toward probable malabsorption. Looks like you caught it in time and that is a good thing! Keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL:)





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