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  • Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

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    Old 03-24-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
    girlcat
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    Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

    I have had a low RBC for about 20 years. My doctors never saw fit to enlighten me about this until I changed doctors 2 years ago, and they wanted to see past lab reports.
    I have also been suffering with hairloss for this entire time, as well.

    I was sent to a hematologist for very low WBC(2.5), and upon further investigation I was found to have macrocytic anemia.
    There appears to be no reason for this macrocytic anemia. My B-12 and folate levels are fine, and I drink very little alcohol(macrocytic anemia is common in alcoholics).

    I guess my main concern here is my ferritin level, and hair loss, since the macrocytic anemia seems to be a mystery.

    I have been supplementing with iron(54 mg iron glycinate daily---dose and type of iron chosen by me), and my ferritin and RBC will not budge.
    Intestinal bleeding has been ruled out, and I had endomatrial ablation done in January of 2009.
    I have asked if I should increase my iron dosage and I was told NO, since my ferritin was in 'normal' range. My doctors are not interested in raising my ferritin, or getting my RBC into normal range, since HCT and HGB are normal.

    Can I safely increase my iron dose to get my counts up? I am confused about all the different types of iron, and if they are equal to each other.

    Am I missing something here? Should I insist that we work on building up my ferritin, or just accept that my doctor doesn't think it is a big deal?
    I would LOVE for my hair to stop falling out.

    My latest labs:

    WBC 3.5 (range 4.0-11.00)
    RBC 3.5 (range 4.2-6.3)
    HCT 12.3 (range 12.0-16.0)
    HCT 36.1 (range 35-45)
    MCV 101 (range 80-100)
    MCH 34.5 (range 26-32)

    Ferritin 28
    Iron 76
    B12 1000
    folate 20.00

     
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    Old 03-24-2010, 05:35 PM   #2
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    Re: Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

    Increasing your iron wont hurt, and might be just what you need. Give it three months at the new dose and then get retested.

    Taking a vitamin c tablet along with your iron tablet can boost the adsorbsion of iron by the body.
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    Old 03-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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    Re: Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

    Thank you!
    How much would you recommend increasing it by? The bottle I have says to take one 28 mg pill a day. I currently take two. How much do you think I safely increase this by?
    I guess my doc is worried about iron overload, but I seriously doubt this could happen since my levels are low in spite of the dose I am currently on.

     
    Old 03-24-2010, 06:51 PM   #4
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    Re: Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

    Well, 100mg per day is a common enough dose in aneamia, so 4 of your pils a day wouldnt be unreasonable.

    You can get tablets with a higher iron content (vitacost sells a ferrochel with about 50mg of iron per pill, so you'd only need 2 a day, 300 pills for $12)

    Sundown Perfect Iron is another good one.

    A daily multivitamin is always a good idea.

    Make sure you keep your doctor informed as to what you're doing, incase there is some reason you shouldnt be doing it!
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    Last edited by jonnstar; 03-24-2010 at 10:36 PM.

     
    Old 03-24-2010, 07:06 PM   #5
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    Re: Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

    Thank you!

     
    Old 03-25-2010, 03:35 AM   #6
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    Re: Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

    I am in the same boat as you, not knowing why my MCV and MCH is so low. But ferritin level while within normal range is too low. That could be your problem with your hair. My hematologist says for health hair a ferritin level of 70 is the goal. You can do some search about hair and ferritin levels.
    I don't drink so that is not a problem. Also my b12 and folate is high normal too.
    If you are still getting your period, you are always loosing some ferritn every month. I don't get them anymore, yeah menopause.
    Also have your thyroid check(TSH) high TSH can also cause hair lose.
    If you or anyone know the cause of High MCV and MCH, please post.

     
    Old 10-04-2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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    Re: Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

    How are things going for you now?
    I also have macrocytic anemia with iron deficiency (as shown by low ferritin), and we can't figure out why.

     
    Old 10-04-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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    Re: Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

    I was able to raise my ferritin to 70 by taking iron bisglycinate 150-200mg a day along with vitamin C to increase absorption.
    I am now on a maintenance dose of iron 75mg a day.

    My last blood draw:
    Ferritin 70
    Iron 100
    % saturation 35
    TIBC 293

    That all looks great, but:

    RBC 3.71 low
    HGB 12.9 borderline
    HCT 36 low
    MCV 95.8 normal(this is a big improvement)
    MCH 34.7 high
    MCHC 36.2 high
    RDW 11.5 low
    platelets 242

    WBC 6.3

    My WBC is now in normal range for the first time in years; this is attributed to a cortisol supplement I have been taking for adrenal fatigue.

    I am still baffled by the low RBC, etc in light of my good iron levels. So I am still macrocytic, but the MCV has come down from 102 to 95. Maybe the rest of my levels will follow suit in time? It seems to be a very unusual problem. I am guessing there may be some bone marrow suppression involved here and a bone barrow biopsy could give a clearer picture, but I declined the procedure.

    What other health problems are you having, if any?

     
    Old 10-04-2011, 06:36 PM   #9
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    Re: Macrocytic anemia, low ferritin, hair loss---help.

    I am still having a lot of hair loss, but it is due to low thyroid levels.
    AS far as iron levels go, my last iron profile looked like this:

    Iron 100
    Ferritin 70
    %saturation 35
    TIBC 293

    That all looks great, but----
    WBC 6.3
    RBC 3.71 low
    HGB 12.9 borderline
    HCT 36 low
    MCV 95.8 normal (this is a big improvement from 102)
    MCH 34.7 high
    MCHC 36.2 high
    RDW 11.5 low

    For the first time in years my WBC is actually in normal range. This is attributed to the cortisol supplement I am taking for adrenal fatigue.
    I still have macrocytic anemia, even though my iron panel was very good!
    The MCV has improved, and I'm hoping this is the beginning of a trend and the rest of my labs will normalize, but who knows? I just don't get how I can have low RBC with good iron and ferritin levels.
    I suspect it has to do with bone marrow suppression and a bone marrow biopsy could give a clearer picture, but I declined the procedure.
    I was able to raise my ferritin, iron and saturation by taking iron bisglycinate 150-200mg daily, along with a vitamin C supplement. Also I treated my Leaky Gut, and took Betaine HCl for digestion. It took a solid year to bump up my levels, now I take a maintenance dose of 75mg iron bisglycinate.

    The macrocytic anemia remains a mystery.
    What other types of health problems do you have? Maybe there is a common denominator. For instance, I have severe environmental allergies which tells me my immune system is out of whack; maybe that is why my bone marrow might be suppressed.

     
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