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Hematologist Appt.
Jun 13, 2012
Just an FYI for folks, thought it was interesting.
Here's my history.

Went into see my regular doc due to fatigue and dizziness (mostly dizziness, since I have three kids I thought the fatigue was somewhat normal). I figured my blood pressure was low.

Ran blood tests. Did a blood pressure test- took readings with me standing, sitting, lying down.

Nurse called to tell me my Ferritin levels were low and I need an iron supplement.

I asked to have labs sent and what the Ferritin number was. It was a 3.

I either missed the part where she told me how much iron to take or she didn't tell me...

Month later, still not feeling great. Want clarification about lab results and to actually see the results (they were never sent to me). Make appointment with Doc.

Find out I was supposed to be taking a prescription or anemia therapeutic amount of iron, I was just taking a regular supplement... Also the lab results came back later with some "giant" platelets. So since I was still feeling dizzy and I had some giant platelets she referred me to hematologist.

Hematology appointment, interesting things I learned!

Every has their own "normal". Without a baseline we don't know what mine is. My Hematocit level was 36 which is within the normal range. But what he told me is that if MY normal is more around 42 and now my level is 36 I would be feeling really lousy. Good to know! Since I was not actually "Anemic". Just low Ferritin or iron stores I was feeling a bit crazy for feeling so wiped out and dizzy!

The other thing he told me was to take more iron! He told me to take the pill my doctor told me to take but take it 3 times a day! He basically told me to take as much as my stomach could tolerate. I was being a little cautious because I thought you could actually take too much iron. He said no, that your body would just not absorb it and you will have GI symptoms when you take too much. I increased to twice a day of the Feosol and I'm still pooping regularly.... so I'm going to try 3 X today!

He also did a really nice job explaining how little iron your body absorbs each time and that depending on how MY body absorbs... which we don't really know at this point... it could take 6 months to a year to get my Ferritin back up. But that the more iron I took during the day, the better chance I had of getting it up faster. He said one pill would be more in the year range! Since I have an upcoming bike trip planned I'm motivated to get things up as fast as possible.

He also felt like the giant platelets were related to the iron deficiency. And it was no big deal and nothing to worry about. He said I'm probably trying to make new platelets because of my low levels and the new ones can be giant. So that made me feel better. (I should add thought that this was without other symptoms, I'm not having any other symptoms than fatigue and dizziness).

He also seemed to think that the reason my levels dropped were due to sort of a perfect storm of events: Increased exercise, dropped weight due to dieting, menstruated and then donated blood on the tail end of that... all these things together led to my iron stores dropping so low. Stupid now that I look back, donating blood right after menstruating!

Any way, it was good to see a Hematologist! I feel a lot more enlightened now.

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