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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: Anemic, hypoglycemic,low CO2 who should I consult?

 PeppyCJ - Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:02 pm

Following surgery eight weeks ago to remove a lemon size mass (lipoma) from my upper arm my oncology MD told me that my pre-op blood work was abnormal and I should have my general MD look into it. My GP (in whom I have very little confidence in) did further blood work that showed the following abnormal results:
Glucose 53
CO2 19
Albumin/Globulin ratio 2.2 (Albumin4.8 Globulin2.2)
Hemoglobin 9.2
Hematocrit 29.2
MCV 59.4
MCH 18.8
MCHC 31.6
RDW 18.0
Ferritin 3
T-4, Free 1.8 (TSH 2.08)
She (my GP) faxed me the results and scribbled across it that I was anemic and should take iron pills and get rechecked in 3 months or so. I was alarmed at all the abnormal results but when I called to talk to her I was only allowed to speak to the nurse who told me that if I had further concerns I should speak with a dietician.
It is alarming to me that my blood work seems so off balance but I'm not sure if I am overreacting. I am a 43 yr old female in generally very good health. For a long time I have felt exhausted and have to will myself through each day, I also have experienced short waves of dizziness for about a year but I attributed it to a very high stress level in my life (primary caregiver to 14 yr old son with severe disablities and medically fragile + 2 other "healthy" kids). The only other thing I've noticed is that although I've always been an active and petite person (5'2" and 118 lbs), I have been gaining weight that I can't control with moderate changes in diet and exercise (I don't do either to the extreme). I assumed that it was age but now I'm not so sure. A few weks ago was the first time that I was unable to keep up with my family while hiking in the mountains. Now if I climb more than 2 flights of stairs or walk uphill I am seriously short of breath but recover quickly on resting. I have always had a balanced diet and don't feel that there is a simple dietary reason for all of this. I am a non-smoker and non-drinker.
I feel that I should have this looked into but by what type of physician. Does anyone have any insight into what this might be or what may be causing all of these results? What does all of this mean?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:31 am

User avatar Hi PeppyCJ,
Anemia, regardless of the causative factor may cause symptoms of shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, paleness of skin, etc. The red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to all areas of the body and when there are to few, symptoms arise. When evaluating for iron deficiency anemia, red blood cells are smaller and more pale than normal. Additional blood tests to identify iron deficiency anemia would include a measurement of ferritin. Although lab values vary depending on the lab used your ferritin level is low and would indicate iron deficiency. I would suggest an evaluation by a Hematologist to identify this to be the only causative factor for anemia and an Endocrinologist for the abnormalities in glucose, weight gain etc.

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