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Author Topic: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin  (Read 433 times)

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Offline ImObsessed

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I just had my physical and my Ferritin and Iron were low.
My Ferritin came back at 8.7 Normal is 22 to 32
Iron came back at 31. Normal is 41 to 180  Last time my Iron was 60

Everything else was normal. 

RBC 5.57
HCT 42.5 (interesting because my HCT was high last year at 55)
WBC 9.0
Hemoglobin 14.1

Doctor is referring me to an hematologist.
What are your thoughts?

Does this point to a serious problem?
Doc asked about colonoscopy. I had one exactly 1 year ago along with an upper endoscopy. All was normal.

Could a colon cancer have developed causing blood loss in the last year?

I have been donating blood every 3 months, Im hoping its from the blood donations. But when I had this checked 6 weeks ago my results were a little better. I haven't donated blog in 2 months so I would think they should be gradually improving not worsening.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2013, 08:03:53 PM »
I went through something similiar a few years back.  Had my ferritin checked and it was a 3...everything else was normal.  I went to a GI and did the colonoscopy...all fine except for some diverticulosis.  My primary doctor wanted me to go to a hematologist - I flatly refused and changed doctors.  I have been taking 325 of iron daily and my last bloodwork in July had my ferritin at 75.  Being female, we chalked the low ferritin up to years of heavy menstrual cycles. 

If you've been giving blood every three months, it sounds like this could be the reason for sure for your low ferritin levels. 

Are there other reasons why your doctor is referring you to a hematologist?
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Offline ImObsessed

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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2013, 08:50:18 PM »
I went through something similiar a few years back.  Had my ferritin checked and it was a 3...everything else was normal.  I went to a GI and did the colonoscopy...all fine except for some diverticulosis.  My primary doctor wanted me to go to a hematologist - I flatly refused and changed doctors.  I have been taking 325 of iron daily and my last bloodwork in July had my ferritin at 75.  Being female, we chalked the low ferritin up to years of heavy menstrual cycles. 

If you've been giving blood every three months, it sounds like this could be the reason for sure for your low ferritin levels. 

Are there other reasons why your doctor is referring you to a hematologist?

No other reasons. My Ferritin and my iron is low. The MCV is very slightly low. But the Hemoglobin is normal. Because the hemoglobin is normal I am not considered anemic, but still the iron is low. So the doctor said he is not sure why the iron would be low and not the hemoglobin so he said to to go to the hematologist.
When I told him I had the colonoscopy one year ago along with the upper endoscopy he said then thats likely not the cause. I could go to my gastro and do a fecal occult test just to make sure there is no bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract. But the doc said usually bleeding there would also cause the hemoglobin to drop.

Blood disorders make me very nervous!

Yes the frequent donations are a big indicator here. But I would think the labs should be improving not declining since my last donation. I read it takes about 120 days for the red blood cells to regenerate.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2013, 09:57:28 PM »
The iron is probably low because your body is doing a good job producing new red blood cells after your multiple donations, hence the normal hemoglobin, but the iron RESERVES in your body are being taxed by this production.  And if these reserves aren't adequately replaced with more dietary iron then it makes sense that it's low. Much more likely than colon cancer, especially w a negative colonoscopy just a year ago. Read up on good sources of dietary iron and start eating a few of those regularly. A glass of orange juice w an iron rich meal will boost the iron absorption I your body
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Offline ImObsessed

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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2013, 10:13:34 PM »
The iron is probably low because your body is doing a good job producing new red blood cells after your multiple donations, hence the normal hemoglobin, but the iron RESERVES in your body are being taxed by this production.  And if these reserves aren't adequately replaced with more dietary iron then it makes sense that it's low. Much more likely than colon cancer, especially w a negative colonoscopy just a year ago. Read up on good sources of dietary iron and start eating a few of those regularly. A glass of orange juice w an iron rich meal will boost the iron absorption I your body

I like that answer!
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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 02:29:57 PM »
If you take an iron supplement, always take it with vitamin C...boosts the absorption.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Offline ImObsessed

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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 09:12:30 PM »
Tomorrow I'm going to my gastro. I'm sure he will send me hold with a fecal occult test. I might as well rule that out.
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Offline dancer67

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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2013, 09:30:43 AM »
I see that you are a male.

I am female and have anemia, and was reffered to a hematologist.

First, let me explain that your iron levels mean nothing. You could have an iron count of 60 one minute, get another blood draw a minute later and it could be 40. They fluctuate minute by minute. So that is not a good indicator of anything. Only when combone with other things.

I see they tested you for Ferritin. But did they also test you for TIBC(Total Iron Bonding Capacity) and Iron Saturation? These two tests, combined with Ferritin and a CBC with diff's gives the broader picture.

My ferritin was an 8. But mine was caused by my periods. My ferritin still runs low, but the rest of my numbers are fine.

The biggest thing is. How do you FEEL? If you are extrmemly tired, pale, etc.....then I would follow up on this.

I would NOT take iron because you are a man, and do not bleed once a month. You could overdose on it. Only take iroon if prescribed by a Dr.

If you are donating blood, that is a lot of blood you are donating.Even just one time.

 That could be a very good reason. Ferritin levels take MONTHS to regulate.

If your RDW-CV is good and your MCV is at least 85, HGB seems great,HCT is good and your RBC is excellent(I wish I had those numbers), I would not base my fears on Ferritin alone. And certainly not by iron alone.

It is true, that when your ferritin becomes very low, it starts drawing from your Hemoglobin. But everybody is different.

I would see the hematologist. They know exactly what blood tests to run. I wouldn't even worry about this. My heme Dr told me that because not everyone get their Ferritin tested, people have no idea they are even low. And most people's Ferritin levels are lower then they think.

And, for some people, 8 is normal. Like me. I am lucky I get up to 35.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 09:51:25 AM »
If you are donating blood every 3 months then that will ABSOLUTELY bring down your iron/ferritin levels.

I have hemochromotosis which is a genetic disorder which causes my body to store excess iron in the organs rather than dispose of it via the body's normal waste product.  Left untreated it eventually causes heart/kidney/liver problems/death because the organs become filled up with the excess iron that your body wont get rid of.

The treatment for hemochromotosis is simply to have them draw a pint of blood - I only have to go twice a year - some people have to go much more often.  The point being, your donation of blood will have a definite impact on the iron/ferritin levels.

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Offline kazoo

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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2013, 02:00:36 PM »
My husband also is at risk for hemochromotosis (he has genes for it, a brother with it, and his iron tests always ran toward the high end of normal), so he started donating blood just about as often as they will let him (about once every 2 months) and his ferritin dropped like a stone, to below 'normal'.  This is due to frequent blood donations.

I don't think you have a problem.
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Offline ImObsessed

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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 09:37:51 PM »
I see that you are a male.

I am female and have anemia, and was reffered to a hematologist.

First, let me explain that your iron levels mean nothing. You could have an iron count of 60 one minute, get another blood draw a minute later and it could be 40. They fluctuate minute by minute. So that is not a good indicator of anything. Only when combone with other things.

I see they tested you for Ferritin. But did they also test you for TIBC(Total Iron Bonding Capacity) and Iron Saturation? These two tests, combined with Ferritin and a CBC with diff's gives the broader picture.

My ferritin was an 8. But mine was caused by my periods. My ferritin still runs low, but the rest of my numbers are fine.

The biggest thing is. How do you FEEL? If you are extrmemly tired, pale, etc.....then I would follow up on this.

I would NOT take iron because you are a man, and do not bleed once a month. You could overdose on it. Only take iroon if prescribed by a Dr.

If you are donating blood, that is a lot of blood you are donating.Even just one time.

 That could be a very good reason. Ferritin levels take MONTHS to regulate.

If your RDW-CV is good and your MCV is at least 85, HGB seems great,HCT is good and your RBC is excellent(I wish I had those numbers), I would not base my fears on Ferritin alone. And certainly not by iron alone.

It is true, that when your ferritin becomes very low, it starts drawing from your Hemoglobin. But everybody is different.

I would see the hematologist. They know exactly what blood tests to run. I wouldn't even worry about this. My heme Dr told me that because not everyone get their Ferritin tested, people have no idea they are even low. And most people's Ferritin levels are lower then they think.

And, for some people, 8 is normal. Like me. I am lucky I get up to 35.

Dancer actually my MCV is 78.5 so just very slightly low. I am seeing the hematologist Thursday.
I went to the Gastro last week. He said that since I just had the colonoscopy and upper endoscopy 1 year ago its very unlikely Im bleeding. He said see what the hematologist says, bit if the the numbers don't gradually improves in a few months he can reinvestigate. Frankly I was surprised he didn't just do a fecal occult test to be safe.
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Offline NytViolet

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Re: Is this simple ANEMIA or INTERNAL BLEEDING ? Low Iron - Low Ferritin
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2013, 10:35:19 PM »
I went through the same thing a few months ago, low ferretin.  The body is always in flux, and you can have low iron one week, and the next week its fine.  They scared the poo outta me and three months later all was normal.  I'm 49 and rarely menstruate, so it wasn't from that...perhaps I was not eating healthy or was run down.  II'm sure you'll be fine.  Half the folks iI know have had the same DX at some point.  Be well!
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God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

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