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Hi all-
I am new to this message board.

I'm trying to figure out what could be wrong with me! I wanted to post my symptoms and a few of my lab results and see if anyone can relate to this.

I am a 41 year old female and for the past few months I have been suffering from severe anxiety and depression. A severe panic attack ( I almost fainted in the grocery store) sent me to the ER where they discovered I was anemic. I was told by my PCP to take Slow Fe iron supplements 2 times a day which I have been faithfully. I just had additional blood work done yesterday and I was able to view my results online this morning. (gotta love that 1 thing about Kaiser) Now mind you I have not talked to my PCP about this, but I am a hypochondriac and always jump to the worst case scenario. I will be in contact with her tomorrow. My CBC counts are as follows:

WBC COUNT 7.8 Normal range: 3.5-12.5 K/uL
RED BLOOD CELLS COUNT 4.72 Normal range: 3.60-5.70 M/uL
HGB 12.4 Normal range 11.5-15.0 g/dL
HEMATOCRIT 39.1 Normal range 34.0-46.0 %
MCV 83 Normal range 80-100 fL
RDW, RBC 18.5 Normal range 11.9-14.3 %
PLATELETS COUNT 216 Normal range 140-400 K/uL

What does the RDW mean? That was the only thing that was out of range. When I try to research it, it always mentions Pernicious Anemia as a possible cause. Should I ask for some other types of tests? Could I be low on B-12 indicating Pernicious Anemia?

I started feeling bad around the beginning of this year. I started having severe days and weeks of persistant anxiety which has lead to severe depression. I worry endlessly about my health. I have been seeing a therapist and have tried a few anti-depressants which only send me in a downward spiral. I am not on any anti-depressants as I feel they make me worse. I do take an occasional xanax, but have found that lately I am needing to take more just to "get through the day". My physical symptoms are muscle aches (muscle enzyme test came back normal). My mid back has hurt for 3 months now, Dr says probably due to depression, anxiety, and poor posture. I get muscle aches that travel around my body and dissapear within a few days. For a few weeks on and off I have had slight pins and needles feelings in my hands, legs and feet, they never last long, only a few minutes. Thrusday I woke up with a numb spot on the top of my left foot between my big toe and second toe. This comes and goes as well. Occasionally I have a shaky hand when I reach for something, Dr. says "it's just your nerves" I have very heavy periods which Dr. says is probably causing my anemia. A rectal smear in the ER revealed there was no bleeding from that end...LOL I was never really told what "type" of anemia I have, just to take the iron pills so I assumed it was an iron deficiency. I also get horrible heart palpitaions. However 4 EKG's since February all show a normal heart. (see, 1 EKG wasn't enough for this hyprochodriac) A 24 hour holter monitor back in 2006 showed the same. It seems my Dr. wants to blame all of my problems on my anxiety and is really pushing my to ask the Psychiatrist to try me on some other types of meds for anxiety and drepression. What if my anxiety and depression are from something actually wrong with me and not "all in my head" I feel like I'm going crazy and want some answers. Does anyone have any suggestions what I should ask the Dr. for next in the way of tests? I'm really not in a very good place right now, I have type 2 diabetes as well and all of these other symptoms are making it hard for me to concentrate on caring for myself the way I need to. I am a mother and a wife and I work full time but everyday is a struggle and I feel like I'm falling aprat. Thanks for listening, I appreciate any replies.

Beth
Beth--Welcome to the Anemia Board! :wave:

Sorry that you are having such a difficult time with things. According to your labs you are no longer considered anemic, so you have made some really positive progress in that department.

You didn't mention your ferritin (iron stores,) so I presume that you have also had this test in the past. Anemia is the end stage of ferritin stores, and if you were anemic, then you most likely also had a very low ferritin count as well. Ferritin can be responsible for anxiety, depression, fatigue and hair loss to mention a few. Many doctors' say that there are no symptoms with a low ferritin, but the jury is out on this one it's about 50/50 :dizzy:. If you have always had issues with anxiety in the past, then I would say that it is probably a separate issue from anemia/ferritin for you, but at the same time know that some of these symptoms may be brought on by or amplified by low a ferritin/anemia.

Whenever there is anemia present one should always have B-12 and folate levels checked. When there is *concomitant* iron deficiency anemia it can skew the results (MCV) appearing to be a normal value. Consequently, B12 levels should always be checked in anemic patients, whether MCV is normal or not. If you have not had this test, you may want to ask for it just to rule out such a deficiency. Many times this can go undetected if not checked.

Hang in there....you will feel a bit better as your numbers rise but it does take a long time so try to be patient. Take care and do keep us posted. FLFG
Ashleymichele23--Glad to hear that your iron levels are better. A low B-12 can indeed make you feel just as bad as a low iron/ferritin. It takes time to correct this and when your numbers come up again, you should be feeling better, if this is the problem. It just takes time. It's nothing that happens over night. Take care. FLFG:)





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