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  • What does this mean?

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    Old 09-12-2007, 11:37 AM   #1
    Love2Read
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    What does this mean?

    The Dr. told me I was anemic. She said that my iron level was 11. I have no idea what that means. Is it low? very low? or REALLY low?? I can't find a chart to show the severity of it. She didn't seem overly concerned, so I'm thinking it's not that bad, but I don't know.

    I meant to ask her, but we were going through so many things, that I forgot to go back to that. I'll ask her in a couple of weeks when I return for another visit, but for now I was hoping to get at least some answer.

    Thanks!

     
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    Old 09-12-2007, 02:13 PM   #2
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    Re: What does this mean?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Love2Read View Post
    The Dr. told me I was anemic. She said that my iron level was 11. I have no idea what that means. Is it low? very low? or REALLY low?? I can't find a chart to show the severity of it. She didn't seem overly concerned, so I'm thinking it's not that bad, but I don't know.

    I meant to ask her, but we were going through so many things, that I forgot to go back to that. I'll ask her in a couple of weeks when I return for another visit, but for now I was hoping to get at least some answer.

    Thanks!

    I'm only guessing that it was your hemoglobin that was at 11 (they don't usually perform distinct iron tests until they know you have anemia). The bottom end of the "normal" range for women is to have a hemoglobin of "12". If you are at 11 that is anemic but not terribly so.

    Your next step is to prove that it is for sure due to iron deficiency. Lack of B12 could also give you the same results. There are other things your doctor looks at to make sure that iron is the problem.

    At this point, your doctor should run some additional tests to find the status of your iron stores (ferritin test) and should probably due a B12 test at a minimum.

     
    Old 09-12-2007, 04:42 PM   #3
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    Re: What does this mean?

    I just wanted to second what Christine said.
    Get your ferritin ( iron store) level tested- this will be done with a blood test.
    Get your b-12 tested.
    On the net read about anemia. If you have anemia it is serious and you should do something about. I didn't have anemia , but low ferritin. When your iron stores go you are on your way to anemia. So I had to rebuild iron stores , this took some time. Also doc want to rule out other causes of low ferritin like internal upper or lower gi bleeding.
    And as Christine said some anemia may be b-12 related. I don't know anything about that because it wasn't relevant to my situation. I just saw it in passing when I read about iron deficiency anemia.
    Good luck on this. Read about anemia so you know what to ask the doc for.

     
    Old 09-13-2007, 11:48 AM   #4
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    Re: What does this mean?

    Thanks for your responses. I went to a Dr. and had a colonoscopy the other day and that came back fine, so next I have to go for an upper GI. That's scheduled for Oct. 4th. If that comes back fine, she said it's most likely gyn related and I'll have to go see my gyno.

    I'm trying to eat lots of green veggies and am trying to get more iron in my diet (I'm a vegetarian).

    I just didn't know what those numbers meant at all.

    Thank you!

     
    Old 09-14-2007, 01:13 AM   #5
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    Re: What does this mean?

    If they do not find a specific cause then i would more than likely think it could be due to your diet as a vegetarian. Also being a female and having monthly cycles wouldn't help either, especially if your cycles are on the heavier side.

    Certain fruits and vegetables do have iron, but not as sufficient an amount as meat and particularly red meat. When combining the vegetables with the meat and then either eating fruit high in vitamin C or drinking juice the iron is more readily absorbed. Someone i work with is mostly a vegetarian and so is her mother and one of her sisters and they are looking at a lifetime on iron supplements. I don't know whether this is due to the type of vegetarian diet they have or not. Some countries where it is cultural to be vegetarian seem to survive quite well with no ill health, but then their vegetarian diet is full of legumes and other things which the western world doesnt eat much of or any of so maybe that is the answer and you will have to look into vegetarian forms of food which would have enough iron and protein in it. Having said that, i work with an Indian guy who said that he and his son get iron injections approx every 5yrs and his wife and daughter are constantly on iron supplements.

    Are you also aware that combining certain foods and beverages can hinder the iron absorbtion? If you have eaten a meal high in iron the worst thing you could do is have a drink containing caffeine with your meal or straight after. Even drinking a glass of milk can kill off up to 60% of the iron you have just consumed in your meal. You can look this up on the net and it will give you lists of foods not to include during your main meals and lists of foods which are good to combine together for maximum iron absorbtion.

    A number of people on this board have done well with an iron supplement plus adding meat to their diet, while other people who already eat meat and take a supplement cant seem to get their levels up, so it goes both ways.

    Lysine is another good supplement to take as it helps transport iron throughout the body and it also increases the blood levels of ferretin.

     
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