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JuneB1 08-13-2008 06:47 PM

What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?
First, I have a great physician but something is falling through the cracks when it is coming to communication with my anemia. I do have panic attacks and I feel he is trying to do rule outs so not to upset me. I am getting upset from the unknown.

I do have a thyroid disease. For the last three months, I have had my blood work done. For the last two weeks, I have more blood work completed.

My Ferritin level is (2). My Hemoglobin is 9, my hematocrit is 29. My MCV is 78 with my MCH at 24. My red blood cell count is (3) and my white blood cell count is (3). My RDW is high at (15.4). After taking iron medication, my thyroid is now becoming high.

With these levels, can anyone aid me by telling me what could be occuring?

I had gastric bypass five years ago almost. I have maintained weight loss but recently have been retaining water although I take lasex. I am exhausted but try to keep on the go. I do eat well and eat green vegetables, etc. but my body will not absorb the iron.

Thanks for any suggestions as to what could be the issue.

peace4 08-14-2008 01:18 AM

Re: What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?
--I think you have severe anemia. Your Ferritin is too low, but don't be afraid for that. Mine was nearly 2 in mid April, but i had it up to 9,5 in a matter of 2 months. This is still very low, so i continue taking my iron supplement.

Hematocrit at 21 requires blood transfusion. I think you should take quick steps to stop it from decreasing, and to help your body increase all your mentioned levels.

Have you stopped taking iron? If so, I believe you do need to get back to it. I was/am taking Floradix tablets, which is plant-base and it has other elements which help iron absorption. Anyway, I hope you'll find the iron that fits you best.

Your MCV & Hemoglobin are also low. I do believe you need to do something as soon as possible. I don't want to scare you, there are people with worse results, and you're not on the edge.

I hope you'll get much more information from others here. Don't fear, please, just act.

ChristineVA 08-14-2008 03:40 AM

Re: What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?
You have anemia due to your gastric bypass surgery. It's a shame they don't educate more patients to expect this. I feel like there have been a good number of people (gastric bypass patients) that pop in here and seem surprised to have anemia.

You need to see a bariatric specialist or a gastroenterologist to figure out how to deal with the anemia caused by your surgery. The protocol is different becuase you cannot absorb from your stomach so the supplements probably don't help much.

You may need iron infusions.

No wonder you are having panic attacks. The anemia will cause this.

FLFLOWERGIRL 08-14-2008 07:24 AM

Re: What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?
Yes, you have what is considered ~Moderate~ Anemia due to your GB. Have you had your b-12 and Folate tested? Many people also end up here and are not on B-12 shots either. You can have a deficiency in both which is quite common leading to anemia for 2 different reasons. You have a storage of iron (ferritin) and B-12 both, but it can take 2-5 years to run out. Many people get along well for years after BP and then when there is a problem and they don't understand why. It is a complete malabsorption or impaired absorption the whole time happening, since the time of SX. When you run out of iron as Christine said, you will see a Hematologist to receive IV iron therapy to fill the iron stores and B-12 shots. If you are still in contact with your Bariatric doc you should call them. It can take weeks to see a Hematologist so I would call someone ASAP. My doctor told me that when your Hgb falls below 7, this is when you need a blood transfusion. I had a 2 ferritin and 8.5 hgb last year. You will be fine but you have to get iron and B-12. Panic is very typical of anemia, most of us have had this. Keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL:)

flowergirl2day 08-14-2008 02:15 PM

Re: What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?
[QUOTE]you have what is considered ~Moderate~ Anemia due to your GB. [/QUOTE]


How astounding that they should think of these numbers in terms of being "MODERATE".

What is classified as "SEVERE" anemia? Zeros across the board??????:confused: I don't know about these treatment guidelines sometimes....Often, they don't make any sense at all! IMO


FLFLOWERGIRL 08-14-2008 04:50 PM

Re: What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?
flowergirl--It is astounding to say the least. I was in the doctor's office (crying) because I was so sick. I said, "I am severely anemic with a 8.5 hgb and 2 ferritin!" I didn't even know that anemia was classed in grades??? Who knew? I was just having panic. Doc said, "First of all you are NOT severely anemic." My first doc that found the anemia called me at home, my Endo, to say that I had a 2 ferritin but it is not an emergency. Shortly after that experience I was told of the Grades of Anemia. I felt like I surely died. Severe/serious anemia is classed as a grade 3, is below 8 Hgb. Then is life threatening, we won't go there. However, I think that in different cases that it can become life threatening and severe depending on other processes going on at the same time. The scale is unbelievable to me! FLFLOWERGIRL:)

flowergirl2day 08-15-2008 08:40 AM

Re: What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?
How are you doing now? Are your numbers OK? I think mine are sort of lowish but no one has discussed anything with me. Could be because there are more pressing issues to think about. I don't have all the numbers, just some. What do you (and other posters) think of these numbers? ferritin 6 (20-300), cobalamin (B12) 336 (150-600), hematocrit 0.35 (range 0.35-0.45), WCB of 6.0 (4.0-11.0), RBC 4.13(3.80-5.20), hemoglobin 122 (115-155), MCV 84 (82-98) RDW 12.4 (11.0-15.0). The other ones are borderline. Even if the values are metric and different from the ones you guys are used to seeing, you can pretty well tell how they compare to the so called "normal" ranges in brackets. Maybe my numbers are not as low and scary as I thought initially. I know they could be much worse.

FLFLOWERGIRL 08-15-2008 03:08 PM

Re: What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?

Your Ferritin is below range at 6. My Hematologist told me that when it is below range it means there is no iron left in storage. Ferritin is stored in the bone marrow and organs. My GI doc said, when the ferritin runs out that you begin to pull iron from the organs. I am unclear on how this process works or what happens when. This is just what I was told. There are 3 stages of ID--you are here, Stage 2 of iron deficiency is; 2.) iron stores are exhausted w/no anemia.

Your Hct is borderline and Hgb is low normal I would say. These numbers will pop back up when you begin supplements. You are not anemic at this point, which is good. Your MVC looks to be low normal as well.

As far as the B-12 goes you are normal of course, but I would build this up to the top of the range. Your right, things could be a lot worse. The only number that would concern me now is the Ferritin. FLFLOWERGIRL:)

flowergirl2day 08-15-2008 10:45 PM

Re: What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?
Thank you for your analysis of the labs, Flflowergirl. Your help is much appreciated. I hope you are well on your way to a recovery from an iron deficiency. Thanks for sharing your insights and expertise.


FLFLOWERGIRL 08-16-2008 08:17 AM

Re: What happens when you have a low Ferritin Blood Count?
flowergirl--I am at the 1 1/2 year mark with a 41 ferritin. Not all that great. My Hgb is 14.4 and I am sooooo happy for that!

I hope you have better success with your low ferritin. I will probably be here when that happens.

FG--Do you think that we can talk about FLOWERS on the Anemia board and relate it to anemia? That sounds like more fun. FLFLOWERGIRL:)

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