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[QUOTE=Florida6;3964898]I had a blood test done that I ordered online because I suspect I have iron defiency anemia (I have heavy periods and I'm a vegetarian who eats close to no cheese or eggs). I realize now what a stupid plan this was because I'm not sure what to do with the results. I'm just tired of my doctor assuming I'm tired because I have four kids! And I just feel off. Anyway, here are the results:
Ferretin 7 (Low) Range 10-291
Iron Saturation 13 (Low) Range 15-55
TIBC 416 Range 250-450
UIBC 360 Range 150-375
Iron, Serum 56 Range 35-155

I realize the firsts tests are low but are they very low? In other words, can I wait a week or two to make an appointment?
How is Ferretin low and Iron Serum normal? I don't understand.
Can Ferretin levels vary by the time of the month? This test was done just after my period.

Thank you for any input.[/QUOTE]

[COLOR="Blue"]Florida6--Welcome to the boards!

No, I would NOT say you are stupid at all on the contrary, quite the opposite. now that you have this knowledge you should see your PCP.

To answer your questions, some people don't become anemic until they are at a 5 ferritin. That doesn't mean this would be the case for you, I am just sharing here. I wouldn't wait for an appointment, I would go on ahead and make one. Severe and moderate anemia are typically a result of no ferritin or 1-3 or so perhaps. Anemia is the final stage of the ferritin (stored iron in the bone marrow and organs) stores. You do need a CBC, B-12, Folate ran. I believe that the serum iron lowers after the ferritin, I think this is how it works. If this is simple iron deficiency you will need to be on iron supplements to build the ferritin store up high, not just "within range" because when you get there often docs will say all is fine, and often it results in a cycle. People end up here all the time because they discontinued iron supplements way to soon. It can take up to a year to replete the stores. Regular blood loss is often the cause of a lowered ferritin. Keep us posted. FLFG

Hi Florida6 - what the others said is correct. I just wanted to add something regarding your diet. I'm not sure whether when not eating meat, dairy and eggs you replace the nutrients from these food groups by other things? Often the replacement foods are not of an equally high nutritional content. A lot of vegetarians and even non-vegetarians have the issues you are experiencing. Often a slight change in diet can do a world of good. If you can't possibly eat meat, dairy or eggs and your current situation is solely diet related then i'd supplements will be with you for life.

A girl at my work couldn't eat red meat. She simply didn't like it. When she got married her husband was a meat eater and he expected meat for dinner and in particular red meat. She now likes it, but only when it's in a stir fry or in a casserol type meal so that there is some form of flavouring surrounding the meat. Her iron is going up on it's own since she's changed her diet.

It's your choice, nobody will force you to eat meat, but in addition to your ferritin and B12, you also need to check your Vit D levels as Vit D is in meat, eggs and dairy. If you wish to stay vegetarian, it might benefit talking to a nutritionist or finding a site online to offer assistance so you are sure to be getting the most out of your foods.

As for doctors, they will blame whatever is easiest and so it's obvious your doctor pointed the finger at the 4 children. Of course kids can be wearing, but even more so when you have depleted energy due to being low in things.

Hope you start feeling better soon :)

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