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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: Would I be considered anemic?

 evfc - Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:42 am

My ferritin level was recently tested and it was 10ug/L. The normal range provided by the lab was 10 ug/L-280 ug/L but everything I read on the internet says anything below 12 ug/L for females is considered anemia. My RBCs, hematorcrit and hemoglobin are elevated but not enough to concern my doctor. I have been feeling exhausted and am trying to find answers. Any help you can provide would be appreciated!

Thank you!
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:08 am

User avatar Hello,

The diagnosis of anemia is primarily made by the finding of low the hemoglobin level (in grams per deciliter), RBC number, and the hematocrit (in percent).

Normal Hb level in women:12–16 g/dL or 7.4–9.9 mmol/L. Thus by definition you are not anemic.

Ferritin is iron binding protein and represents iron stored in the body Ferritin is found in the liver, spleen, skeletal muscles, bone marrow and at low level in the blood.

Normal ferittin level in Female: 12-150 ng/ml
Low ferritin level are commonly seen in:

Condition of chronic blood loss such as:
Irregular menstrual bleeding.
Inadequate iron intake.
GI bleeding from ulcers, colon polyps, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, etc.

In non anemic iron deficiency state (similar to yours), impaired exercise performance is reported by many, while tissue oxygenation and cardiac performance were not affected.
This may explain why you have symptoms similar to that of anemia.

Although guidelines for the treatment of iron deficiency is based on the associated anemia rather than the absolute iron depletion.

Many studies have been done to examine the effect of iron depletion on physical performance and whether iron supplementation will improve the situation or not.

Indeed numerous trials concluded that iron supplementation in such cases offers better performance in individuals with iron deficiency.

This should be considered under the observation of a hematologist to avoid any undesired complication.

Hope this information is useful.
Best regards.

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