Thyroid UK
82,904 members97,944 posts

Comprehensive anemia profile? Does one exist?

I'd like to have a CBC, serum iron level, TIBC, ferritin, reticulocyte count, folates and B12 analysed. I can't find a private test offering all these components in a single test. The only test I've found offering all these components at a competitive price is Personal Labs in America

11 Replies

Can you not get any of this done via your GP? A CBC is usually their front-line test.

Blue Horizon offer an anaemia profile, but this particular one involves going to London for the blood draw:


No, he doesn't think I'm anemic and won't pursue this, it's not even worth asking, although I've had 'low' red blood cell count in the past 'low/normal' haemoglobin level and symptoms of anemia. A CBC won't provide enough information and definately won't tell you anything about iron stores, whether your anemia is due to problem manufacturing red blood cells (reticulocyte count), nutritional deficiencies, etc.

I've had tests with Blue Horizons in the past, but they don't offer such a comprehensive all-in-one anemia test. I haven't found such a test being offered by Genova Diagnostics either.


This is the logic I'm following...


Well, it's possible to be iron deficient or low on B12/folate without being anaemic. I was emphatically not anaemic, but very iron deficient and also quite low on B12. If you have both at the same time, then one will mask the other and the effects sort of cancel out. So I wouldn't push the anaemia angle, as it's just not necessary.

I had ferritin and serum B12/folate done to investigate "tired all the time" (as they call it) and these tests are often done in that situation. I think that ferritin is a front line test to investigate tiredness in adults, and if the tiredness doesn't resolve, it's reasonable to look at B12/folate too - or ask for it.

Did you follow the link? It should bring up the Blue Horizons anaemia profile, which says:

"Includes, FBC + 5 part diff, ESR, Iro0n, TIBC, Ferritin, B12 Active, Folate3 (RBC)."


I had a iron level of 12.5 umol/L and transferrin sat of 23%, MCV, MCH, MCHC were normal however. I have had a 'low' red blood cell count in the past and that count indicate manufacturing problems or blood loss, hence the need for a reticulocyte count test. If you follow the link you can see it's pointless to pursue the ferritin/B12/folate angle without knowledge of reticulocyte count.

That Blue Horizons test doesn't offer a reticulocyte count which I think is essential for anemia screening.


They do offer such a test separately:

I wouldn't say it's "pointless" to pursue B12/folate/ferritin on their own though.

(Reposted to make the link work).


If they offered the reticulocyte count together in the anemia profile test then I'd buy it, I don't think the single reticulocyte test alone warrants such a price tag - how is the test any different to for example the ferritin test which is £15?

The reason i'm pursuing the reticulocyte test is because it can indicate anemia caused by red cell destruction e.g. bleeding/kidney damage (raised reticulocyte count)/insufficient EPO (red cell creation signalling hormone/lowered reticulocyte count)/HGH deficiency (pituitary/hypothamalus problems)/bone marrow problems.


I understand why you're interested in the test, but don't know enough about it to know in practice how useful the result would be to you. I was just trying to be helpful by pointing out that you can buy the test if you really wanted to, but I agree, it is quite a lot of money.


Thanks I understand, but I don't want to cut any anemia corners by neglecting reticulocyte counts. I've had low RBCs in the past and want to find out the cause which requires more than just iron, ferritin and CBCs. My GP didn't even comment on the low RBC so i'm going to have to pursue this myself. I've already had to pay for lots of private tests and it's really expensive for me.


Wow $68 here for a full anemia profile (including reticulocyte count) I wish we had a provider like that in the UK. C'mon Big Pharma, do the right thing.


Hi AnthonyMs

Hope you don't mind me awakening your post. I have found myself in a similar situation to you - low blood cell count (pretty much all my blood cells, not just red) and I'm looking for a full anemia screen - did you find one that had everything you were looking for or could you recommend any tests?



You may also like...