Iron Deficient but not Anemic?
My hematologist (who I see yearly for follow-up on a rare cancer-like blood disorder) noticed that my platelets have been low for some time and checked my iron levels back in October. When he checked them the first time, my iron was 80, TIBC 630, UIBC 550, and SAT% 13 (he didn't check my ferratin), but my hemoglobin and hematocrit were normal. Three weeks later, my iron was 26, TIBC 682, UIBC 656, SAT% 4, and ferratin 4 (but my HGB was still 14; HCT 43.1). He put me on iron supplements and since then my iron level and SAT% have gone up (157 and 30 respectively) and my TIBC has gone down (531), but my ferratin has stayed the same (ironically my HGB was 12.8 and HCT 38.3 - lower than pre-iron supplements).
The problem is... I have all of the symptoms of anemia. But I'm not anemic, just really iron deficient. I can't seem to find much information about that and I have no idea what is causing it or if it could be causing my symptoms (extreme fatigue, chronic pain, rapid heart rate, etc). I have an IUD so I have very little menstrual bleeding l and I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy but they didn't find any bleeding. My hematologist referred me to my GI doc and told me to take OTC iron for 6 months and come back to see him in a year. I'm really new to this, though, and don't know - are these iron levels enough off that I should be concerned and keep trying to find out what is causing them (and if so, HOW?)? Why am I iron deficient but not anemic? Can iron deficiency cause symptoms without anemia? Any thoughts/advice/help would be greatly appreciated!