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Hi everyone. I would really appreciate some help understanding my anemia blood test results which I now have a copy of for once.

I have been diagnosed anemic every time I have had a blood test in the past, not sure if I'm anemic now or Iron deficient?

My new Doctor knows it's been going on for a pretty long time so is trying to find the underlying cause of my iron deficiency (blood hormone levels - these came out fine & an ultrasound I have yet to go through). I go to a walk in clinic, I can't find a family doctor & feel very rushed there therefore can't ask all the questions I would like to which is frustrating. Waiting to find out what the cause is but think it may all point to my diet.

I know it is not as bad right now as it has been in the past but I still feel awful, I wish I could get on with the iron tablets but they make me feel ill and I've heard the injections are not much better & the doc doesn't seem keen on it (lots of side effects) which is a shame because I thought I should try this method. I'm 38, am a strict vegetarian but not Vegan (I do eat cheese and milk, no eggs), I try to eat everything else as iron rich as possible.

The flagged part of my results read:

MCH 27.1 - Low (27.5-33.5)
RDW 14.6 - High (11.5-14.5)
Iron 8 - Low (10-33)
Iron Saturation - Low 0.12 (0.20-0.55)

The other results seem to fall within normal range, my Hemoglobin is 120 - (120-150) the lower end of the normal range it seems. I asked for a copy of the results to I could understand them better - is this iron deficiency or a type of Anemia? Thanks in advance!
Re: messages from Christine & Flowergirl. Thank you for taking the time to help me understand, I do appreciate it.

I should ask for a Ferritin test do you think? I don't know why he didn't give me that test. What about B12, for a full overview should I ask for a test that includes that...I would be interested to see what my level is.

Here are the full results from my test:

WBC: 5.7 (4.0-10.0)
RBC: 4.42 (3.80-4.80)
Hemoglobin: 120 Low end (120-150)
Hematocrit: 0.39 ((0.35-0.43)
MCV: 87 (82-89)
MCH: 27.1 Low (27.5-33.5)
MCHC: 312 (305-365)
RDW: 14.6 High (11.5-14.5)
Platelet Count: 375 (150-400)
Iron: 8 Low (10-33)
Iron Saturation: 0.12 Low (0.20-0.55)

I also have differential counts which seem to be in normal range and my TIBC is 65 (37-72), Glucose 3.8 (3.3-11.0) and TSH (thyroid function) 1.4 (0.38-5.5). Just thought I'd give you an idea of my full test but not sure if it sheds any more light.
Actually, you can feel pretty bad at your levels. It would be good to know the ferritin. Optimally, your hemoglobin (or hematocrit--I can't remember which one) should be in the upper 13 range; closer to 14. When mine got to its lowest point, 11.7, I felt like death warmed over. I had tachycardia whenver I tried to do anything, shortness of breath, I had no motivation, I was depressed, and I had fairly severe exercise intolerance. I could only walk briskly for about 15 minutes. Then I would be exhausted for DAYS---I'm not kidding. This was with a count of 11.7. My doctors thought it was depression or cardiact related because my numbers were barely in the anemic range. I then found out my ferritin was at 5. They were a little stunned but still surprised since I wasn't truly anemic.

I have been on iron for two years now and I feel SO much better. My ferritin is at least in the 30s now and my other number is always closer to 14. I have been exercising consistently and am now jogging. Something I couldn't even dream of doing when I was at 11.7. So, don't dismiss your numbers. You really need that ferritin.
Hi, it's been a while since I last wrote. Finally I had another blood test which was far more comprehensive this time (on the good advice of Christine and others) once I could find a good doctor. Apparently my levels have got worse since last time & now I am anemic not iron deficient. I have been so careful with my diet (I'm vegetarian) but to no avail. I also have Planter Fasciitis which has now affected my whole body (pain up my legs and back, lasted a few months now) I've been receiving physio and just not recovering. The physiotherapist says my body is incapable of healing right now due to my anemia & mineral deficiencies. I had a numb hand for over a week - wondering if this is linked to anemia??

My results:

Folate Serum/RBC - 30 nmol/L (5 and up)
Serum Iron - 6 umol/L (10-33) - Lower than last time
Total Iron binding capacity - (50-90) - 66 umol/L
Iron Saturation (.2-.55) 0.09 - Lower than last time
White Blood Cell Count (4-10) - 5.2
Red Blood Cell count (3.8-4.8) - 4.28
Hemoglobin (120-150) - 119 - Lower than last time
Hematocrit (.35-.43) - 0.37 - 0.37
MCV (82-98) - 87fl
MCH (27.5-33.5) - 27.8
MCHC (320-360) - 320 g/L
Red Cell Diameter Width (11.5-14.5) - 14.7 (slightly higher than last time)
Platelet count etc are all similar to last time, my vitamin B12 is 173 (150-650) - normal so that's great.
Serum Ferritin (which I didn't get tested for last time) 7 ug/L (10-160) Low

I've been told to take two iron tablets a day and return in a month for more blood tests (a week and a half to go yet). I'm taking just one Ferrous Gluconate (300 mg) a day as this gives me stomach pain enough!(this is what I used to be on) The Physio has suggested liquid iron which I want to try and I'm thinking of doing the same as Christine who helped me earlier in this thread. I keep hoping my stomach will get used to the iron but so far it isn't! - so will probably take the lesser dose/ and or liquid iron (even though doc suggested against it - because she said it was too low in iron - thing is my body finds it very difficult to deal with!).

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