Asking GP for iron panel test

Has anyone asked their GP to do an iron panel test after low ferritin result? If so, were they happy to do it?

A little while ago I asked my GP to do a few blood tests, ferritin, folate, B12 and magnesium. I have been feeling exhausted and thought it might help me discover why. He did them but I could see that he didn't really see the point. The ferritin came back as 16 ug/L (lab range 10-291). I posted about those results in a previous post. My question now is, would it be useful to have the iron panel done? I thought it could help determine the cause of the deficiency e.g. anemia of chronic disease or iron deficiency anemia or iron overload. Also, my GP has has a full blood count done on two occasions. My MCH was just below range in one case and just above range in the other. Does anyone have experience of this? Is the MCH relevant to cases of iron deficiency? I would be very grateful if anyone has any thoughts on this.

6 Replies

  • What was your B12 result? If that too was low, you might be looking at a gut absorption problem, for example gluten sensitivity.

  • My serum B12 was 951ng/L (lab range 211-911). GP checked it again two months later and it was 676ng/L. I am thinking of having the active B12 test done as I have never supplemented B vitamins. Do you think the active B12 test would be a good idea? I have recently discovered that high serum B12 can be caused by antibodies to intrinsic factor, SIBO or methylation issues.

  • MCH is reduced in cases of iron deficiency. Though the fact your ferritin levels are low is enough for action to be taken.

    You don't need an iron panel to do this. In fact the CCG/healthboard would view it as a waste of money even if your GP had a clue on why to do one as unfortunately you have a GP who doesn't know about ferritin levels.

    I suggest you either go back to the GP and ask for iron supplements or self supplement.

    Hopefully I will remember to post a link later on why your GP should just treat you with iron supplements.

    I've been though your older posts and it doesn't seem that anyone has explicitly said you need iron supplements.

  • This is the link you need to attract your GP's attention to if you aren't self supplementing -

  • Thanks bluebug and thanks Jazzw for your replies. I went to see a new GP in the surgery just recently and she said I was absolutely too low on iron and needed supplementing. The previous GP had said the results were "good"! The new GP is also re-doing all tests and some extra ones. She says she wants to refer me to someone once she gets the results through. I'm hoping finally I will get the help I need.

  • Thanks bluebug for looking up that link for me. It was very interesting and useful.

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