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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: Anemia

 paradox - Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:52 am

I'm a 20 years old female. I had anemia when I was four months old, and then again when I was 7 and was given iron supplements both times. Since then my blood count was good and I have even donated blood three times last time was in May and my blood count was 12.6, few weeks after that I started feeling tired and fainted once. I got checked last week and here are my results:

Blood test:
Hb: 9.6
Hct: 31.1%
WBC: 6160 cell/mm3
Lymphocyte: 42
Neutrophil: 48.3
Monocyte: 8
Eosinophil: 1.5
Basophil: 0.2

Abnormal RBC morphology, may be normal varient.
Hypochromia: few, Ovalocytosis: Few, Anisocytosis: few. (my mom had the same rbc morphology)
Normal Palelet count

renal function test: Creatanine: 0.38
Minimal white blood cells in urine (3-5)

The doctor prescribed ferli-6 (iron) and a laxative.

The general doctor said I should see a hermatologist,
 Marceline F, RN - Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:16 am

User avatar Dear Paradox,
I am interested in knowing how long it was between the blood donations, and if you were still taking iron supplementation through your lifespan since the bout of anemia at age 7. If you were donating say every other month for the three donations, and we know the average life span of a red blood cell is 4months (120 days), then your supply of RBCs may have been dwindling all along and you did not know. Each unit of blood represents about 1 Gram/deciliter. If your value dropped from 12.6 to 9.6 - that would be 3 units of blood - just about what I presume you donated. Your body may have reached 12.6 over a long period of time, and donating may have depleted the stores faster than it could be replaced. You may wish to consider if staying on a regimen of iron supplements may be in your best interest.
A hematologist is a specialist in blood disorders. Such a clinician may be very helpful to you in determining if you have an iron deficiency anemia, or something else. It may be well worth your while to follow your doctor's recommendation to see a hematologist, That way you can be best prepared to protect yourself.
 paradox - Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:15 pm

Thanks for replying.

I only used the iron supplement for a few months. I have donated blood three times in the past four years with at least one year between each donation. Another thing I should have mentioned is that I have not been having heavy menstrual bleeding but rather less than the usual. I just got worried because one of my doctors said that my WBC are small (or something about the blood test) and that it might be a sign of thalassemia or such a disease.

I thought I would go on using the iron supplement and then go see a doctor in three months.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:27 pm

User avatar Are you able to provide the rest of your CBC results? (The MCV and RDW in particular).

A diagnosis of thalassemia would be supported by a low MCV and a low (or low normal) RDW. Iron deficiency would be more likely to have a low MCV and a high RDW.

Before starting iron supplements I would recommend that you have your iron levels tested. If you are repeatedly becoming iron deficient there may be an issue with your iron absorption or you simply are not taking enough iron in your diet to meet your needs. Menstrual bleeding is usually a small amount of blood but can be a significant issue when iron levels are already borderline. (Iron is largely lost through bleeding.)

Best wishes.

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