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Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: Question about anemia, numbers make no sense to me


 herege - Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:49 am

I was in the hospital with kidney stones last week, and was told that I am anemic. My hemoglobin was 10, hematacrit 30, and my TIBC was also elevated. These numbers seem marginal to me, but the doctor was going to keep me in the hospital any extra day amd was considering a blood transfusion.
The number that is totally out of whack was % iron saturation, which doc said normal is between 25-50. mine was at 4% Is there something that can cause all the other numbers to be basically borderline, where this number is so off?
i have been tired lately, and pale, cold, occasional dizziness, etc, but do not have a history of anemia. I had contributed feeling sluggish to changing my work schedule to third shift and the accompanying sleep deprivation that has come with that, as I am up with my children during the daytime on the days my dh has to work. My periods are regular (every 28 days), not very heavy compared to the days before I had children, and last an avg of 4-5 days. I am worried about this situation, and would appreciate any input you can give me.
I am 28yo, 4'11", 95 pounds. BP is 105/68. Thanks for the help. Herege
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:50 pm

User avatar Dear herege,

The diagnosis of anemia is primarily made by the finding of low the hemoglobin level, RBC number, and the hematocrit. However, for the identification of the cause, many other parameters should be investigated.

The average volume (MCV) of the red blood cells is used to classify types of anemia and is the first step by which the causes of anemia are approached. The normal MCV is in the range of (82-98) fl; values above and below this range indicate macrocytic and microcytic anemia, respectively.

The reticulocyte count (N:40,000-100,000 /muL of blood) is very important to determine the need for bone marrow examination; normal or elevated reticulocytic counts indicate adequate Bone marrow function and extrinsic cause for the anemia.

The hematocrit is almost about three times the measured hemoglobin value.

The microcytic anemia are usually due to deficient hemoglobin synthesis in cases of iron deficiency anemia and the anemia of chronic disease.

In iron deficiency anemia which represents the most common form of anemia, serum iron, iron-binding capacity, and ferritin; in addition to examination of the peripheral blood smear should be measured.

Low serum iron or iron saturation are commonly seen in:
Inadequate iron intake.
Condition of chronic blood loss such as:
GI bleeding from ulcers, colon polyps, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, etc.


I advise you to follow up with your doctor and to complete your workup to find out the underlying cause.

Best regards,

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