Latest iron test results - a bit weird!

Hi everyone

I've just had my latest iron results back and would be grateful of any feedback as they seem quite weird compared to the last ones I had done. I recently passed out (not done that for many, many years!) and I've noticed I'm getting very wobbly if I haven't eaten but apart from that I'm doing ok.

I'm currently taking 2 x 27mg chelated bluebonnet iron per day along with 2.5 grains thyroid S and 6 phosphate tablets for hypophosphataemia

March 2015

Iron 15.3 (6.6 - 26.0)

TIBC 101 (41 - 77)

Transferrin saturation 15 (20 - 55)

Ferritin 142 (13 - 150)

November 2014 (on the same dose of meds as above March tests)

Iron 21.6 (6.6 - 26.0)

TIBC 79 (41 - 77)

Transferrin saturation 27 (20 - 55)

Ferritin 116 (13 - 150)

My GP says to stay on the same dose of iron - any thoughts please?

9 Replies

  • Take a look at the chart at the bottom of this page :

    Edit : Read the whole page. And the whole site itself is worth a look too.

    Does it help?

    I'm sure it is possible to have more than one kind of anaemia going on at the same time, but I wouldn't like to make any predictions which things apply to you.

    Bear in mind that any kind of inflammation or infection will encourage your body to store iron in ferritin, to reduce the ability of bugs/bacteria/viruses to reproduce.

    Have you ever had CRP or ESR measured? They are both measures of inflammation in the body. Have you had a recent full blood count done? If yes, how was your haemoglobin, haematocrit and red blood cell count? What about B12 and folate? All these things are helpful when determining whether or not people are anaemic, and if they are what kind(s) of anaemia they have.

  • Wow, thank you for that Humanbean, I'd not seen that chart before.

    Latest results I have from January 2015

    Hameoglobin 142 g/L (115 - 165)

    Haemotocrit 0.418 L/L (0.37 - 0.47)

    RBC 4.93 x10^12/L (3.9 - 5.6x10^12/L)

    And these were tested January 2014, before I started taking iron. Not tested since!

    B12 880 (180 - 914)

    Folate 5.9 (>3)

    CRP and ESR not tested

    I was told it was iron deficient anaemia - I had no idea there were so many types!

    Thanks again :)

  • Please bear in mind I'm a total amateur at this, so don't give what I say much weight...

    The fact that your transferrin saturation is now below the range, and TIBC is above the range suggests you might have iron deficiency anaemia.

    The fact that your serum iron has dropped and your ferritin has risen (and is now high in range) makes me think you might have some inflammation.

    Your haemoglobin, haematocrit and RBC were at good levels when last tested, so they aren't a concern. The fact that these are good suggests that any anaemia is unlikely to be severe.

    Your B12 was good, but I don't know how long blood results stay valid. Your folate was ok(ish) but could be a bit better - but again the result is rather old.

    The fact that you've passed out recently is unlikely to be caused by anaemia on the basis of the results you've given. Blood sugar problems, perhaps? I'm out of my depth on this so can't help.

    I actually wonder if something is causing inflammation to increase. Do you eat gluten-free? Do you have gut problems? Do you have a poor diet? You don't have to answer - I'm just mentioning things for you to consider.

    In your shoes I'd be wary of continuing with iron supplementation because you are in danger of going over the range for ferritin. If inflammation is increasing for some reason then more and more of your iron will be shoved into ferritin. And if it gets too high then iron can start getting deposited in places where it shouldn't be.

    Has your GP suggested re-testing your iron at any time?

    When I was severely anaemic I would notice feeling worse, more fatigued, very tired, within 24 - 48 hour of coming off iron. Perhaps you could try giving it a break and just see how you feel. I'm wondering if the iron is actually causing gut inflammation - a catch-22 situation!

  • I'm a total amateur too but you have really helped me understand all this, thank you!

    I'm not gluten free, my celiac test was negative. My diet is very good but the phosphate has caused some tummy upsets recently (I won't go into detail on that one...!)

    I've just come back from Australia and I felt amazingly well over there I guess due to all that amazing vitamin D. Now I'm back to the cold and wet all my aches and pains are back with a vengeance, I'm very breathless again and my arms are feeling quite weak. I wish I could afford to move out there!

    Thanks again for your advice, I'll speak to my GP again :)

  • I was tested for celiac disease during an endoscopy a few years ago and it came back negative too. However, some people have something known as "non-celiac gluten sensitivity". There is lots of info on the web about it. A lot of doctors don't take it seriously though, so like so many other things you are left to experiment/put up with it by yourself.

    I dug my heels in and resisted going gluten-free until early this year because of my negative celiac test - I really didn't want to give up so many of my favourite foods. However, having bitten the bullet at long last, I can say it has made me feel a lot better and I wish I'd done it ages ago. My brain fog has almost completely vanished, I'm much less depressed, and I haven't got a hair-trigger temper any more. I'm even sleeping a bit better too, although this effect is erratic. My metabolism seems to have speeded up, and my basal body temperature has risen.

    You should seriously consider giving it a trial for 6 - 8 weeks. You would have to be absolutely ruthless in eliminating gluten though - it isn't possible to be "almost" gluten-free. If it has no impact on how you feel you can always go back to eating gluten after your experiment.

    Just in case it is relevant, I should also point out that I've started taking better quality B vitamins this year, than I've ever taken before - methylcobalamin from Jarrow and a methylated B Complex from Thorne Reasearch. I started these about a month ago and they could also be contributing to my improved health, rather than it all being because of going gluten-free.

  • Mishka, can I ask what your TIBC is measured in?

  • Hi Neeta-K it's umol/L :)

  • Thanks. Same measurement as mine. Sorry if it's a bit off topic. My TIBC was 48 and that's normal in your range. But the range here for TIBC is 54-80. So here it's low, but when I had them done in a different area my TIBC was 47, lower, but in range. Blood test ranges are different everywhere and I'm not sure I believe the usual excuse of the blood test is done differently!

    Anyway back to iron, have you read this?

  • I didn't realise ranges could be different for iron bloods, that's very interesting! Thanks for the link, I'll have a read :)

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