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  • What's the difference between a ferritin test and a CBC?

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    Old 01-12-2008, 04:39 PM   #1
    Starfish564
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    Question What's the difference between a ferritin test and a CBC?

    I've noticed alot of people on this board posting about getting their ferritin levels checked. This is a test to check for anemia isn't it? I've had several CBC's that have been normal (although I don't know if I trust a doctor telling me something is "normal" anymore ) and I had been under the impression that they checked for anemia. So should I still request a ferritin test? Is there a reason you all do this? I'm very interested to know. Thanks!

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    Old 01-12-2008, 06:57 PM   #2
    GCC
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    Re: What's the difference between a ferritin test and a CBC?

    CBS will NOT tell you what your ferritin level is.

    Ferritin = iron stores.


    ************CBC usually includes:***************
    hemoglobin
    hematocrit
    red blood count
    white blood count
    MCV- size of the red blood cells
    and some other things...


    But it does NOT include iron stores (ferritin).
    You can have a perfectly normal CBS & have a low ferritin (with low iron symptoms) all at the same time.

    Bottom line...get your ferritin level tested. Most doctors never test ferritin, so you may have to insist that they test yours. ANd keep in mind that most labs will call as low as 10 "normal". You need optinal ferritin of between 70 - 90.
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    Old 01-13-2008, 07:21 AM   #3
    Starfish564
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    Re: What's the difference between a ferritin test and a CBC?

    Thank you so much GCC That explained it perfectly. I was not aware that it is possible to have low iron stores even with a normal CBC. I learn so much from these boards. I'll ask my dr. to order a ferritin test along with my next thyroid panel. Thanks again.

    Starfish

     
    Old 01-13-2008, 07:29 AM   #4
    GCC
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    Re: What's the difference between a ferritin test and a CBC?

    You're welcome. I was stunned when I saw that I had low iron stores (a ferritin of 15) . I always thought if my hemoblobin was good, I had plenty of iron!

    Turns out...that is just not always the case! I probably struggled for years with that low ferritin level!

    After you have a ferritin level done, keep in mind that the lab report will call as low as 10 "normal", that is way too low!
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