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  • Anemia Markers Worse In Spite of Better Iron Labs

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    Old 07-19-2018, 04:16 AM   #1
    skt77
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    Question Anemia Markers Worse In Spite of Better Iron Labs

    On May 31st, I had iron labs and CBC run. They showed iron deficiency and anemia. B12 and folate were also checked, and they were normal.

    Hemoglobin 9.9 (11.1 - 15.9)
    Hematocrit 32.0 (34.0 - 46.6)
    MCV 74 (79 - 97)
    MCH 22.9 (26.6 - 33.0)
    MCHC 30.9 (31.5 - 35.7)
    RDW 16.1 (12.3 - 15.4)

    All other CBC values were normal. Reticulocyte count was 0.6 (0.6 - 2.6). Here are my iron labs. Ferritin wasn't taken.

    TIBC 475 (250 - 450)
    UIBC 448 (131 - 425)
    Iron 27 (27 - 159)
    Iron Saturation 6 (15 - 55)

    On July 9th, I had a different doctor run iron and CBC labs again to see how things were progressing. Here are those results.

    Hemoglobin 9.8 (11.1 - 15.9)
    Hematocrit 31.9 (34.0 - 46.6)
    MCV 76 (79 - 97)
    MCH 23.4 (26.6 - 33.0)
    MCHC 30.7 (31.5 - 35.7)
    RDW 17.7 (12.3 - 15.4)

    All other CBC values were normal. Reticulocyte count wasn't taken. Vitamin B12 was normal. Here are my iron labs.

    TIBC 409 (250 - 450)
    UIBC 273 (131 - 425)
    Iron 136 (27 - 159)
    Iron Saturation 33 (15 - 55)
    Ferritin 19 (15 - 150)

    I find it interesting that in spite of better iron numbers, most of my anemia markers worsened slightly. My ferritin still seems low, so I'm wondering if the markers will improve once my ferritin gets higher. Have any of you gotten similar results? Did they improve with higher ferritin, or did your doctors start investigating other causes of anemia? Thanks for your help.

     
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    Old 07-19-2018, 08:28 AM   #2
    yayagirl
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    Re: Anemia Markers Worse In Spite of Better Iron Labs

    Dear skt77,

    You might do better with food sources of iron such as chicken and fish.

    Eat a variety of iron sources combined with vit C sources to get iron absorbed into the body.

    Vitamin C-rich foods increase the absorption of iron. Such as lemon juice on spinach salad or lemon with fish or shell-fish. We really do need to eat a balanced diet. I have never seen an iron pill combined with Vit. C, but that is what makes the iron go where it belongs in the body.
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    Old 07-19-2018, 04:30 PM   #3
    skt77
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    Re: Anemia Markers Worse In Spite of Better Iron Labs

    Thanks. I've been working hard on getting my diet balanced and really have to make sure I balance copper and zinc as well as vitamin E and iron. I just think it's strange that my anemia appears to be worse even though my iron labs are much better. I wonder if the lower ferritin might be the reason and am hoping over time as it raises that my anemia will improve too.

     
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    Old 07-19-2018, 05:36 PM   #4
    yayagirl
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    Re: Anemia Markers Worse In Spite of Better Iron Labs

    Your blood might not have healthy cells. You might not be taking the type of iron that your body can utilize. There are all sorts of issues that can happen that cannot necessarily be known by the patient.

    Please ask your doctor what all of this means and whether you need to continue what you are doing or need to be doing something different.
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    Old 07-19-2018, 06:10 PM   #5
    skt77
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    Re: Anemia Markers Worse In Spite of Better Iron Labs

    My next appointment with the hematologist is August 1st, and I plan to take my results with me to discuss them. Thanks again.

     
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    Old 07-22-2018, 06:30 AM   #6
    skt77
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    Re: Anemia Markers Worse In Spite of Better Iron Labs

    I ended up sending my May 31st labs to the doctor who took the labs on July 9th to get her thoughts. I wanted her to know that my anemia had actually gotten worse. Hopefully she will get back to me with something. I've also been doing some research, and my labs look like they could suggest sideroblastic anemia. However, none of the causes seemed relevant. There were some sites that said in some cases, the cause is unknown. Another thing is the extra iron I was taking. When I found out I was iron deficient and anemic from the May 31st labs, I started back on a multivitamin with iron. I had stopped taking one about a year and a half ago, the reasons for which I won't get into now. When I saw the hematologist for the first time on June 18th, she said that she didn't think a multivitamin would be enough. She didn't think that doubling up on my multivitamin to get more iron was a good idea because of the fat-soluble vitamins in it. This in spite of the fact I'd taken two multivitamin tablets a day in the past with no known issues. However, I've never been able to take iron tablets without issues. I've tried various forms, ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, and carbonyl iron. I was loathe to take iron supplements, but I thought I would try at a very low level at least for my hematologist's benefit. I decided to take 65 mg of ferrous sulfate with 100 IU of vitamin E twice a week. In less than a month, I started feeling terrible (just feeling bad in general, not just GI distress), and it was the weekend after the July 9th labs that I decided to stop taking the extra iron and vitamin E. I've felt better since that time. If it wasn't the iron/vitamin E combo, then I must have caught a bug or something. Anyway, I do wonder if that extra might have been too much somehow and caused my worsening anemia. Since my iron labs are normal and even on the low side for some of the markers and since many people take much more iron than that a day safely, I don't see the hematologist believing this. Right now, I'm just not sure and will just have to wait and see what my doctors say. If, however, there are others reading this that have experienced similar, I would love to hear from you!

     
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    Old 08-02-2018, 03:16 AM   #7
    skt77
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    Re: Anemia Markers Worse In Spite of Better Iron Labs

    The doctor was able to run a CBC and get the results in-house so he could share them with me during my appointment yesterday. Thankfully things are starting to look better. Unfortunately, he didn't have iron numbers, but the others were looking better.

    HGB: 11.2
    HCT: 36.8
    MCV: 80.2
    MCH: 24.4
    MCHC: 30.4
    RDW: 17.8

    I asked about the RDW value, but the doctor didn't seem concerned. I was so relieved! Either those low numbers on July 9th were a blip somehow, or the extra iron/vitamin E really caused things to be worse. I haven't taken the extra since July 11th. It's interesting that just a few days after that July 9th appointment, I began feeling worse but felt better after stopping the iron/vitamin E. The only extra iron I'm taking right now is what's in my multivitamin.

     
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