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  • Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

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    Old 07-28-2008, 10:44 AM   #1
    nervousgal
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    Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    My doctor claims that I have "severe iron deficiency anemia," but the gastroenterologist he sent me to was not concerned. My doctor put me on iron supplements, but I am not having a transfusion or iron shots. Here are the "abnormal" numbers. Wondered how far out of the normal range / serious they are:
    Ferritin -- 3
    Hemoglobin -- 10.1
    Hematocrit -- 0.30
    MCV -- 76
    MCH -- 25
    RDW -- 16.1
    Everything else is perfect. Also, not sure what the last three tests mean.
    Any help would be AWESOME!
    Many, MANY thanks!

     
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    Old 07-28-2008, 10:55 AM   #2
    tooyoungtobeill
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    Re: Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    Your ferritin is rather low and your hemoglobin isn't great. I imagine you're feeling rather tired, no?

    Are you responding to the iron pills?

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 11:45 AM   #3
    nervousgal
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    Re: Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    I've honestly been okay. I've had days where I'm a little lethargic, and my mother says I've been pale, but I've been functioning normally, by and large. I teach music and drama to kindergarteners, play tennis, swim, and haven't had to cancel anything due to feeling ill.
    The iron pills do seem to be helping, I have more colour in my lips and cheeks, and am eating loads of iron-rich food -- had smoked oysters for lunch today, steak and kidney pie for dinner last night -- that sort of thing.

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 12:34 PM   #4
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    Re: Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    Hi nervousgal.

    You could be feeling okay with anemia. My own fatigue set in so gradually I didn't notice, but the day came when I asked too much of my body (walking up 7 flights in a parking garage) and I had a sudden attack of tachycardia and had to call an ambulance.

    I won't say I felt as good as you do, but I certainly didn't think anything I felt was abnormal. I thought it was just me. Now that my blood levels have normalized, I have something to compare it to, and I can't believe how much better I feel now.

    I had anemia for many years but it wasn't until I got into my 40s that I had noticeable issues. My youthful energy compensated for the heavy periods that were bleeding me out every month.

    Anyway, it's a great thing that you feel okay.

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 03:06 PM   #5
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    Re: Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    The strange thing is that my levels were fine when I had my blood tested in November, so I have no clue what's causing it. I'm just trying to heal myself, and do what the doctor tells me and hope I can have surgery next week!

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 07:48 PM   #6
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    Re: Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    nervousgal--Don't be too freaked out about IDA. It's just a hurdle that you have to get through.

    I had a ferritin of 2 and a 8.5 Hgb and I was considered Moderately anemic NOT severe. Severe is when you need a blood transfusion. Severe anemia which is a grade 3, is not until you have a 7-7.9 and under. You are very borderline at moderate/mildly anemic, so don't worry too much.

    However, regarding the ferritin stores, a 3 Ferritin is considered that you do not have any iron remaining. When your Hgb is raised through supplements and diet the over flow of iron will start to store eventually, and you will then have iron and be within normal range. My Hematologist told me that anything under a 10 (this is my bottom range) means no iron remaining in the bone marrow. Although you will be on the charts the ferritin needs to be raised to a healthy level, remember that on your journey to wellness.

    As far as having surgery at a 10.1 Hgb, I'm not sure if that will be a problem for you because I don't know what the cut off is. I had an endometrial ablation procedure to stop the heavy periods with a Hgb of 10.9 and was told that I was a high risk for a couple of reasons Hgb being one of them.
    Good luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 08:02 PM   #7
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    Re: Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    Thanks, flowergirl. Do you think there's ANY chance that my levels will have moved up in the past six days, taking the max iron supplement and eating red meat twice a day? My pre-op is tomorrow. I'm hoping I'll be okay -- removal of a bone spur / rhinoplasty isn't exactly invasive, not much bleeding at all. Just panicking slightly, because if I can't get this done next week, I don't know when I'll have another opportunity to book off work (I'm a singer....)

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 08:21 PM   #8
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    Re: Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    nervousgal--Gosh, not anything to speak of I wouldn't think. When I was first DX'ed my ferritin went up 1 point within days of iron, but then it did a big fat NOTHING! My Hgb was even worse the second iron supplement time around. It's just so different for everyone. Maybe you will get lucky, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. I will keep my finger crossed for you though. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 02:22 PM   #9
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    Re: Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    Good news! My surgeon is not concerned about my hemoglobin levels for a rhinoplasty, so I'm going in next Wednesday! He did do more blood tests -- here's hoping my levels have gone up!

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 04:40 PM   #10
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    Re: Got some numbers, need help deciphering, please...

    Great news nervousgal! Good luck on your surgery and your blood tests.

     
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