Possible iron anemia

Hello everyone

My mum is 48 years old and she just did a blood test as she was feeling very tired, couldnt sleep properly and lost significant weight and doesnt have a appetite.

The results came back showing low hemoglobin and the gp said that it could be an iron anemia or internal bleeding. However the gp decided to give her iron pills and said to wait one month to see if it improves. Im not particularly happy with it as gp should have done more tests. The gp said if the result improves than its fine if not then we will run more tests. Has anyone been through a similar situation?


11 Replies

  • Hi Bia1292 I'm not (as your Mum's doctor is) medically qualified but I think you may be over worrying at the moment that your Mum might have Pernicious Anaemia - hence your coming to this community - instead of what the doctor has diagnosed as possible "iron anaemia".

    Unfortunately the word anaemia in Pernicious Anaemia is a misnomer as I think you can have P.A, without being anaemic.

    See how your Mum gets on with the iron pills and if there is no improvement after a month, hopefully her doctor will investigate with further tests.

    I hope your Mum gets to feel better soon.

  • A link about iron deficiency anaemia


    There is a section about "Investigations" which lists the tests a doctor can do with someone who has anaemia.


    I am not a medic just a person who has struggled to get a diagnosis.

  • There is a protocol that anyone over a certain age (not sure exactly but maybe 40 or 45 .... Probably varies around rage country) who presents with iron deficiency anaemia should be sent for colonoscopy and gastroscopy. I only know this because this happened to me in 2011. Even though it was logical the anaemia was a result of very heavy periods my GP was adamant that other things should be ruled out


  • She is 48 years old and still has a period every month but lighter than normal. She has been dieting for 2-3 months but she lost a good 6 kg. all she was eating was toast and butter and activia.

    Thats why i was thinking more tests should be done but gp said to wait one month and see if it improves. Im worried for her not to have something more serious. Also two years ago her iron was low again but now is lower than it was two years ago.


  • You can check the bloodresults for MCV, iron, ferritin, folate and B12, if tested. They will tell you (in most cases) which one caused the anaemia. If it is due to low iron, then it is normal to give iron and wait to see if anaemia resolves and go from there.

  • She is waiting for the results for b12 and ferritin. But on her blood tests results hemoglobin, haematocrit, mcv, mch was low. Red blood distribution width was high and mchc, platelet count and rbc count was normal. So i dnt know what that means but gp put her on iron pills and said to do the blood test in one month to see if it was improved if not gp will run more tests. But i was thinking what if its something more serious and we shouldnt wait...

  • Low MCV/MCH and high RDW point to iron deficiency so that fits. In other causes of anaemia the RDW is often normal. In B12 deficiency (and folate) MCV would be high. But combined with iron deficiency MCV would on average look normal (or even low) because its just a calculation. What the GP suggest is normal practice in this case. The ferritin (and B12) should be in by now (well, tomorrow), and will probably confirm the iron deficiency.

  • Yes gp decided to wait for one month and recheck. But from what ive read online it says that iu start menapause if you do get iron anemia its usually from internal bleeding. My mum like i said still gets her period but lighter. But shes been dieting aswell for 3 months and she lost weight and feels week now.

  • Don't believe everything you read on the internet ;) But just ask her to call and ask the ferritin, and you can confirm.

  • Hi Bia1292 Can you not persuade your Mum to eat more healthily? - e.g.

    Red meat.





    Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach.

    Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots.

    Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas.

  • Yes she is trying to eat properly now to see if she will still lose weight. But my question is can you have iron anemia without having any internal bleeding that caused it? And is it ok to wait for a month to see if symptoms improve and if not to do other tests?

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