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Old 05-28-2004, 07:41 AM   #1
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SueQ HB User
Does low RBC mean anemia?

Hi all, newbie here.
I was told by an endocrinologist that I am a little anemic due to the fact that my RBC was 3.99 (scale 4.5-5.1), and RDW was 13.6 (scale 11.5 - 13.4). However, they found nothing wrong with iron, B12 or folate (which were all very good in range) so they dropped the issue. However, when I got copies of labs I saw that Ferritin was only 11 on a scale of normal being 10-299!

Asked my PCP about it and he said, no you are NOT anemic! Anemic means that your hemoglobin is low and yours isn't (it was at low end of normal but not below). He said RBC doesn't mean anything!

From what I've read the very definition of anemia is "low red blood cells". Am I crazy or is my doc?

Can someone explain this, and should I be upping my iron level due to the ferritin being low?

Thanks for any input!
SueQ

 
Old 05-28-2004, 04:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Marimac HB UserMarimac HB User
Re: Does low RBC mean anemia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SueQ
Hi all, newbie here.
I was told by an endocrinologist that I am a little anemic due to the fact that my RBC was 3.99 (scale 4.5-5.1), and RDW was 13.6 (scale 11.5 - 13.4). However, they found nothing wrong with iron, B12 or folate (which were all very good in range) so they dropped the issue. However, when I got copies of labs I saw that Ferritin was only 11 on a scale of normal being 10-299!

Asked my PCP about it and he said, no you are NOT anemic! Anemic means that your hemoglobin is low and yours isn't (it was at low end of normal but not below). He said RBC doesn't mean anything!

From what I've read the very definition of anemia is "low red blood cells". Am I crazy or is my doc?

Can someone explain this, and should I be upping my iron level due to the ferritin being low?

Thanks for any input!
SueQ
Both doctors are saying what is correct. The ferritin level is ok. It is stored iron. That means you have an adequate supply and you really don't want to mess with that. When the stores get high that is another disease you do not want. The Red Blood Cell count is by itself no indicator of anemia. The Hemaglobin is the official designator of how much functional iron you have in your system. The Red Blood Cell Width(is how many cells can they count in one blood drop and how far apart they are from each other indicates the ability of the red blood cells to transport oxygen adequately. Although your numbers are not great, they are in range which is all you need to be healthy.

 
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