Been diagnosed severely anaemic when I've experienced no signs of anaemia?


Due to having severe acne for 12 years I was referred to a dermatologist to be put forward for roaccutane. As everybody knows, it's a very serious drug and has dangerous side effects. Because of this I'm having to have monthly blood tests, pregnancy tests. My first blood test established that I was severely anaemic and I've never been told before? My ferritin level came back as 3.9... I was on the verge of a blood transfusion and my dermatologist and doctor were shocked I wasn't experiencing lethargy etc. I've been prescribed ferrous fumarate (210mg) to take 3x daily. Does anybody know how long its going to take to get my iron levels back up to a reasonable level?

5 Replies

  • Get yourself some vit. C and take it together. Helps to absorb it better. 

    My haemaglobin goes up when on iron but my stores don't increase so when I stop iron tablets I get aneamic quickly.

    I think you might notice a difference when everything is heading back to normal. As for how long it will take? How long is a piece of string....

  • That's a very good answer! My HB was 97, not sure if that's good or bad to be honest! Thank you for the advice, I'll look into Vitamin C

  • If you're that seriously anaemic your doctor should be looking for a cause. Heavy periods? Digestive problems? You're either losing blood somehow or losing the nutrients through malabsorption - could be something like Coeliac Disease for example.

    Ironically, it would seem your acne may be caused by nutritional deficiencies - there's a good chance you might not need the roaccutane if they're identified and resolved...

  • Yes, I've been asked about periods etc and I've always suffered with heavy ones. I was on POP for a year or so but had to change to dianette before roaccutane which therefore induced periods again... My doctor and dermatologist didn't seem concerned about any other bleeding so unsure there. I've got blood tests now until finish the meds so I guess time will tell.

  • Hi, I was 4 and still working and running to and from nursery and then looking after a high energy 2 year old and trying to run a home...I didn't think I was any more fatigued than anyone else.  

    I took 3 ferrous sulphate a day and although I didn't feel any more energetic than before I was warm within a few weeks and my life ruining heavy periods became just life inconveniencing heavy periods within a few months.

    It has been up and down since then but 10 years on I now take 1 ferrous sulphate a day, 5 days out of 7. Now when it does drop I do get out of breath, a symptom I never noticed before I knew I might be anaemic.

    A friend who became very fatigued and dizzy was tested and treated for anaemia and began to feel much within a very short time so stopped taking the tablets and dipped again.

    Hope you this sorted out soon.

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