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  • Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

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    Old 12-31-2007, 01:49 PM   #1
    littlebunnyfoo
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    Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    As some of you know, I have been struggling to get my ferritin up. In the last 2 years it's been the lowest at 8 and highest at 38.

    My latest results show my ferritin to be 103!!! Up from 19 in September. I am not sure I believe it. That is a really big jump especially since I've been struggling to raise it. I've been taking ferrous sulphate 1x per day with 500 mg of Vitamin C and L-Lysine for absorption.

    THIS IS WHERE I'M CONFUSED...

    My serum iron was 21 (flagged as low) and my TIBC was 200 (flagged as low). I have been on the iron regime for 3 months and stopped the iron supplements for 7 days before my blood work.

    Other numbers seemed like they might be lowering into anemia again, but thought I might ask you experts here...

    RBC 4.2 (4.2-5.4 M/uL)

    Hemoglobin 12.6 (12.0-16.0 g/dL)

    Hematocrit 38.2 (37-47%)

    MCH 30
    MCHC 33

    Transferrin Saturat 11 (11-46%)


    Why is my serum iron so low, but ferritin so high?? In September, my iron was 48 and my ferritin was 19.

    Can someone offer any words of wisdom?

     
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    Old 12-31-2007, 04:23 PM   #2
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    I agree that this seems odd.

    The *only* thing that I know of that can falsely raise ferritin is if you have an inflammatory process going on. Any kind of autoimmune disease (lupus, arthritis--something along those lines). If you have any disease like that it makes the ferritin useless because these diseases, for some reason or another, raise the ferritin.

    So, here are the possibilities:

    1. You are borderline anemic and with low iron; however, you have an inflammatory process going on now that is artificially raising your ferritin.

    2. The lab made a mistake on your ferritin.

    3. You have some other type of deficiency that is making your CBC numbers low (B12 maybe).

    These are the only possibilities I can come up with.

     
    Old 12-31-2007, 04:24 PM   #3
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    Oh, and I meant to add that in iron deficiency anemia, I think the TIBC should be high normal to above normal. The fact that the TIBC is low kind of points to anemia caused by a chronic disease.

     
    Old 12-31-2007, 08:02 PM   #4
    littlebunnyfoo
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    Christine,

    What about low serum iron, normal tibc, low transferrin saturation and low ferritin? Would that point to chronic disease too? Those are how my numbers usually look.

    I'm really confused by the low tibc and higher ferritin - wondering if my adding vitamin c and l-lysine affected those numbers...as well as I had just gotten done with a heavy period.

     
    Old 01-01-2008, 04:17 AM   #5
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    I remember last year when I was researching my iron, there was some website I stumbled up that gave the possible reasons for exactly what your asking; i.e., if you had low iron, low sat, low transferrin, etc, it was one thing and on and on it went with the different scenarios. What I remember from that was that in iron deficiency anemia, the TIBC is always high normal to high. If an anemia was caused by a chronic disease, it would sort of look like iron deficiency anemia, yet when you did an iron panel the TIBC would be low normal to low and the ferritin would be normal or high. The confounding part was that you could truly have iron deficiency anemia but the other inflammation would be masking it by raising the ferritin.

    You might just try to sit back for a few weeks and have the entire tests redone just to be sure. It's hard to say what the supplements might effect. I know that ever since I've been taking iron, my iron results are looking good; however, my MCH is now always high. I think it is due to the supplementation loading up my cells with "weight" which is what that test measures.

     
    Old 01-01-2008, 09:32 AM   #6
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    Hey Christine - thanks for all the info...another question...

    I'm taking iron supplements and that has kept me out of the anemia diagnosis for 2 years now. If I stop my supplements, my iron and ferritin go down and I would assume I would drop back down into anemia territory. Can anemia of chronic disease affect iron like that? I looked at all of my past lab work and my TIBC has always been normal (around 300 with norms being 200-400) while iron, ferritin and transferrin saturation were always low.

    Just wondering if my doctors could have been missing something...


    Thanks so much for your input.

    Last edited by littlebunnyfoo; 01-01-2008 at 10:10 AM.

     
    Old 01-01-2008, 01:45 PM   #7
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    Anemia from chronic disease usually has to do with the "chronic disease" either destroying red blood cells or hampering their production. It doesn't really affect iron at all.

    Your past blood work truly just seems to point to IDA even though the TIBC was normal. My TIBC never got above normal but was around 370 (using the same scale as yours). My doctor told me that if the anemia goes on long enough that the TIBC would continue to go higher.

    It seems like this last blood test of yours was just a bit of an anomoly with the high ferritin but lower CBC numbers (and lower TIBC). I think it's worth repeating in a few weeks just to make sure there's been no lab error.

     
    Old 01-01-2008, 02:48 PM   #8
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    Thanks Christine - you have a wealth of knowledge in this area!!

     
    Old 01-05-2008, 01:07 AM   #9
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    Hi littlebunnyfoo Well i dont have answers to your question but had been wondering over the past month or so how you had been doing as i hadn't seen you around the board.

    I would tend to agree with Christine on having a repeat blood test. Your doctor didn't comment on the unusually high ferretin? Sometimes i dont think a lot of doctors look too closely. They simply give you a copy of your result and file one at the surgery and that's that. That's what my previous gp used to do.

    How are you feeling otherwise? Have you noticed any changes? You would think if the ferretin was actually that high that you would notice a change in your hair shedding and would have lots of energy.

     
    Old 01-11-2008, 06:31 AM   #10
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    Well, the doc thinks the iron serum and tibc was messed up because I had my lab work done on day 5 of my period.

    On another note, my hair is still shedding, but not as much lately. Please, oh please, let this continue.

     
    Old 01-13-2008, 11:30 PM   #11
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    Re: Latest Lab Results - confused more than ever...

    I guess you can always have another blood test, but the fact that your hair isn't shedding as much could be an indicator that things are improving. I've not heard about tests possibly getting messed up by having them during your period. That's definitely new to me. The only thing my doctor has specified is to have the blood tests as close to 8am as possible. Not sure why that is, must be a reason for it though. Then again, he doesnt just test my ferretin, but a number of other things so could be something to do with something other than ferretin.

    About this time of year (summer here) my hair has normally shed by the fistfull, but once i comb my hair after washing it there is noticably less hair in the comb and once i have dried it i only see a few hairs in the bathtub (i dry my hair over the bathtub and this shows up just how much hair has fallen out, normally my white tub is covered with hair, but not so now). I'm also praying for this to continue. I think it's been like this for approximately 4 weeks now. It's scary, each time i think it's simply a phase and it will go back to falling out in abnormal amounts.

     
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