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    Old 05-16-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
    Runnergirl1's Avatar
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    Runnergirl1 HB User
    New here...question on numbers

    Hi there

    Need some help in determining what the deal is

    Little background: 1 month ago dx with Celiac disease. Just had blood work done and have the follwoing results:

    Iron, Total: 22 L
    % Saturation: 5 L
    Potassium: 5.5 H
    Calcium 8.5 L
    Ferritin: 3 L

    Among other things. I can't find out how LOW that is for the iron anywhere online. So, I came here

    Can someone help? Primary doctor --saw some substitute doc and he spoke almost no English. I am waiting for my GI doctor to call me back.

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    Old 05-16-2008, 01:08 PM   #2
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    Re: New here...question on numbers

    I can't comment on the calcium and the potassium.

    The important number here is the ferritin, which is your iron storage. You are pretty much depleted. Since you didn't provide an CBC numbers, I can't say whether you are anemic. But you are definitely VERY iron deficient.

    Old 05-16-2008, 05:54 PM   #3
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    Re: New here...question on numbers

    Do you have any symptoms to go along with low #'s. Let me know.

    Old 05-16-2008, 06:56 PM   #4
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    Re: New here...question on numbers

    Runnergirl1--The Iron Stats tell very little really about how much iron is in your body. It tells more about how much iron is circulating in your blood stream at the time of testing. The supplements that you take and food that you eat all change this number. These values however, are a one tool that is used to diagnose Iron Deficiency Anemia. The ferritin is the amount of iron that is stored for later use when needed and is much more accurate. Anything under a 10 ferritin is considered not really having any iron at all. My range for Ferritin is 13-150 and this also varies from lab to lab. My ferritin was 3 and is now 43 so that number takes a very long time to rebuild. My Sat % was 6 and Serum Iron was 34 when I was first diagnosed, but I had already started on iron when this blood count was taken so maybe it was up a little at that time. Now over a year later my Sat% is 15 and Serum Iron is 66. Just to give you an idea of how those numbers change although it doesn't make a hoot. You should also have your B-12 and Folate tested too if you haven't already. FLFLOWERGIRL

    Old 05-16-2008, 09:22 PM   #5
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    Re: New here...question on numbers


    some basic norms(expect there to be some interlab variation)
    Fe: 50 to 170 g/dL for women
    % sat: 20-50%
    ferritin: 15-200 ng/mL for women

    realize that ferritin a surrogate for total body iron stores, not a direct measure of total body stores(serum iron is not a great measure for total body iron .. much of your iron trapped in your liver/spleen/bone marrow can not be directly measured .. the gold standard for determining iron stores for red blood cell synthesis is a bone marrow biospy with prussian blue staining for iron) ... ferritin is an iron-storage protein that the body synthesizes because in reality free iron is actually toxic to cells ... so to prevent iron toxicity the body regulates level of ferritin synthesis to accomodate various levels of iron .. when you total body iron is high ferritin tends to be high and if total iron body is low, ferritin tends to be low, as a side note, iron deficient patients tend to have ferritin less than 10-12 ... ferritin can be confusing in the setting of inflammation, as it is an acute phase reactant, and can be elevated even in the setting of an iron deficiency anemia ... so if you had an infection in the setting of iron deficiency anemia you could still be iron deficient even with a super high ferritin, even not that acute malnourishment can lead to elevated ferritin levels

    in your case you have a good reason for iron deficiency anemia as you have celiac dx and iron malabsorption is not uncommon as iron is absorbed in the duodenum(1st segment of small intestine) and the upper part of the jejunum(2nd segment of small intestine), you should also have your folic acid level checked as that is also commonly malabsorbed in celiac and so is B12 but to a lesser extent ... but you being a women and if your still menstruating is also a risk for iron deficiency anemia

    in terms of your other labs, your calcium being low(normal approx 9-10.5 mg/dL) is difficult to interpret without an albumin level ... just so you know a percentage of your calcium is carried on a blood protein called albumin, so if your albumin is low then your total calcium is lowered ... in the case of celiac, there is very likely a degree of hypoalbuminemia(low albumin, usually related to nutritional deficiency) ... so I would either need to know your albumin level or you ionized calcium level(a measure of calcium unaffected by albumin level variation) ... other factors like vit D, magnesium levels, etc affect calcium levels but you may actually be normal

    in terms of your potassium, it is high, but I would need to know if your blood sample was hemolyzed(meaning your red blood cells for that specific sample, were found to be broken open -- this is a common phenomenon which happens with sample draws -- and also so you know your electrolytes like calcium/potassium/etc are drawn into a different tube than your CBC), celiac'rs are often hypokalemic(low potassium) ... but if your sample was not hemolyzed and thus not thought to be a relative lab error than you should have a repeat potassium checked relatively soon as hyperkalemia(high potassium) is a risk factor for sudden cardiac death secondary to arrhythmia(it causes peaked T waves and then QRS prolongation transition to sinusoidal EKG's and then usually cardiac arrest) ... as for the causes of high potassium, there are many such as meds, renal failure, etc

    hope this helps and best of luck

    Old 05-17-2008, 05:50 PM   #6
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    Re: New here...question on numbers

    Originally Posted by kw123 View Post
    Do you have any symptoms to go along with low #'s. Let me know.
    Ok, symptoms.....

    my heart palpitates for no reason and quite often. I am rather short of breath all the time, I have horrible headaches all in my forehead only. I bruise like there is no tomorrow. My hair is thinning. I had been experiencing some numbness and weakness in my hands but the numbness pretty much corrected itself when I stopped the gluten. I also have a really kind of short temper-ish situation...very emotional and out of control which is SO not me. My husband just keeps commenting that I am "not acting like myself" --but not really sure if that counts for any "symptom" just something that is NOT me. I am always in control. Always cool and collected.

    Feeling really bummed about this.

    white blood cell count 5.2
    Red blood cell count 4.20
    Hemoglobin says 10.3 L
    Hematocrit 31.8 L
    MVC 75.6 L
    HCH 24.5 L
    HCHC 32.4
    RDW 18.7 H
    Platelet Count 437 H

    by the way, thanks so much to all of you for responding to me.

    There were some other things but I am not sure what you all refer to with the CBC.

    Old 05-17-2008, 08:00 PM   #7
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    Re: New here...question on numbers

    was your b12 checked? I have all your symptoms. I tested positive for celiacs with a blood test and negative with colonoscopy biopsy. How were you DX? I swear I have gluten issues, but since my biopsy negative Dr. said I can eat gluten. What is your thought? should I pursue it more. I did test positive for h. pylori so I guess that was final for my Dr. for all my symptoms.Here are my symptoms:
    joint and muscle pain
    sun sensitive
    hair loss
    bruising easily
    heart palps
    headache in front too. weird

    Anyway I am sure I could think of more. My ferritin was 12 but not anemic yet. I still feel terrible. Hope we all get better

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