Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Kidding right?

Hi all.

I saw a gastro surgeon doctor today, I asked if I could be anaemic based on my bloods done in January and the fact I have been so unwell.

Despite my Red Cell Count being low, MCV being high, MCH Being in higher range, B12 showing as in 400s for first time in 10 years and Folate being very low, he said it is medicaly impossible for me to be medicaly anaemic as when he looked in my eye, it was red and not pale!

Anybody else had an old school doctor state this to them? Why bother putting me through a blood test if it is as simple as looking in my red eye?

Is there any truth to his statement?

Thanks all.

4 Replies

The human body is an amazing organism. It excels at self-preservation. The body recognizes the importance of functioning organs and, when there are fewer than the optimal number of blood cells available, the body adapts by reducing circulation to the extremities in order to keep the major organs supplied. Skin is one organ that is not on the top of the priority list when the body is low on blood cells. Of course this is intended to be a temporary fix until more blood cells are generated, but it is probably the reason why your quack of a doctor thought that your eyes were not pale enough to indicate anemia.

If your lab results are showing anemia and you are having symptoms of anemia, then the assessment that you must be fine based on the visual appearance of your eyes is faulty.


Thank you for your reply Galicia.

I spoke with my GP in January as my Ferritin levels are also high at 200 (range 13-150) so she asked me to take folic acid daily to see if my low folate which is only 2.5 rises.

The logic being, if my folate raises I have an infection, if it does not I have a kidney problem. In the meantime though my symptoms are getting worse and I feel really unwell. Asking at the gastro clinic was to see if I should start some form of treatment as I can not wait another month for bloods via gp. Now it seems, none of them remember the basics of how our bodies work.

I will request the rest be done sooner otherwise I am going to end up at A&E.

Quack is right, haha.


If your folate is low, you will have trouble using the B12 that is circulating in your blood.

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It's all so confusing, I will read up about that thank you.


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