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  • Anemic! That explains a lot...

    Cholesterol fine, triglycerides fine, RBC fine, HCT low normal, HgB/MCV/MCH all low, RDW high.

    At the start of the year, I was experiencing worse and worse twitchy legs at night. I *hated* the fact that I seemed to be developing a condition that I only knew about through drug adverts! So that's what initially prompted me to get my lifestyle sorted out--more exercise, less junk. From Jan to July, I lost 12lbs. Switched to primal at the end of July, and lost 13 more, and with significantly less exercise. Twitchy legs are better but not gone entirely, and my pulse rate is high. I suspect I'm less anemic than I was...so my body was awfully wise to seek out a lifestyle that involves eating lots of iron-rich meat!

    It was my dermatologist who drew the blood, so he wants me to go to my PCP for follow up. I'm going to wait a couple of months. I've bought some Floradix, and along with the meat (and adding more liver) I'll see where I am then. Don't like going to my PCP because we always get in an argument about mammograms!

    Any other recommendations for getting the iron levels up?
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

  • #2
    Originally posted by lizch View Post
    RBC fine, HCT low normal, HgB/MCV/MCH all low, RDW high.
    What was your actual Hgb/HCT ? There's "I have heavy periods and didn't use to eat much meat" mildly low, then there's "Wow something out of the ordinary like chronic GI blood loss is causing her anemia" markedly low.

    Originally posted by lizch View Post
    Any other recommendations for getting the iron levels up?
    OTC iron supplementation; 65-80 mg once or twice daily as tolerated.
    Never eat anything bigger than your own head.

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    • #3
      I suspect it's the heavy periods scenario, though I'm also a little suspicious of the 18 months I was on minocycline.

      Here's the CBC:
      WBC 3.7 th/mm3
      RBC 4.91 mil/mm3
      Hgb 11.3 g/db
      Hct 34.8 %
      MCV 71 IU (not sure about the units there, the fax is blurry...the normal range is 81-100)
      MCHC 32.4%
      RDW 20.7%
      Platelet count 276 bil/L

      (Triglycerides 48, by the way...doesn't seem like the butter, cream, and bacon are soaking into my bloodstream
      Liz.

      Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
      Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

      Comment


      • #4
        That's mildly anemic but not horribly anemic. Assuming you have no other unusual symptoms requiring immediate attention (abdominal pain, coughing up blood, vomiting blood, chest pain, shortness of breath, racing heart, blood from rectum or black stool come to mind) you may want to start OTC supplementation of iron and see your physician soon for retesting. Mild anemia can definitely cause restless legs.

        I wouldn't dodge the doc just because she/he and you don't agree about mammograms. It is a two way relationship; the anemia problem being addressed shouldn't be contingent on you two agreeing on every medical screening test. If you dread it that much maybe its time for a different doctor.
        Never eat anything bigger than your own head.

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        • #5
          I wish I could find a doc I could go see for ONE issue, the issue of my choosing. If I go in to have my iron levels checked, I don't want to discuss my boobs. Similarly, if I go in to discuss my boobs, I don't want them to take my blood pressure (I track it at home--don't need anyone else to do it).

          I just think that kind of doctor simply doesn't exist
          Liz.

          Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
          Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

          Comment


          • #6
            There are also different types of anemia. I don't have my facts on hand but you could do some looking into B-12 deficiency. I struggle with restless legs as well and a few months ago started supplementing B-12. It seems to help. When I stopped taking my vits, I definitely noticed the RLS creeping back.

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            • #7
              Thanks fyrespryte. The Floradix has 15mcg B12 (250% RDA) in the daily 20ml they recommend (and I think I'll be taking double that, since I'm trying to raise iron levels not just maintain them). How much B12 do you take?
              Liz.

              Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
              Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

              Comment


              • #8
                You probably already know this, but those numbers are consistent with iron deficiency - far and away the most common cause of a microcytic (low MCV) anemia. An anemia from B12 deficiency would result in a macrocytosis (MCV>100). And you're right, heavy menses is the most common culprit in a young woman.

                And as an added bonus the restless legs should go away if you decide to start the iron supplements.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  liver is a better source of zinc than iron. but it's still a great thing to add every other week or so.

                  It'd be interesting to see ferritin as well should you happen to have another blood draw any time soon

                  My preferred supplement for rapidly repleting iron stores is Hema-Plex by Nature's Plus. It contains Albion Lab's Ferrochel - an amino acid chelate form of iron that is totally non-constipating (in contrast to the ferrous forms, even Slow Fe is notoriously problematic) and all of the other components of RBC formation.

                  Unlike other iron supplements, Ferrochel's absorption isn't impaired by calcium.

                  I've seen numbers come up faster with this (and similarly formulated supps) than any other forms. And we're talking about low low numbers in women who've had severe post-partum hemmorhages. Seems to work about twice as fast as most other things we've worked with.

                  Best,
                  Katherine



                  iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Katherine. I'm giving Floradix a try first because I work at a freestanding birth center and get employee pricing on it, and it's what the midwives prefer for PPH and anemia in pregnancy. But if that doesn't work in the next 6 weeks or so, I'll switch to your recommendation.

                    Yes, I'll go to my PCP in about 6 weeks and ask for another blood draw. I'll request the ferritin be added.
                    Liz.

                    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Let the midwives know that Hema-Plex works better than Floradix

                      Ooh! And since you'll be back in for another draw, 25(OH)D would be a good addition. Hopefully they use LabCorp, but if they use Quest, the 25(OH)D result should be divided by 1.3 as Quest still does not appear to be norming their results.



                      iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order

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                      • #12
                        I did the 25(OH)D (through LabCorp) as part of the original. The dermatologist asked me if I wanted anything else testing while I was getting blood drawn, and I've always been curious about my vit D levels. Amazingly, he had NEVER ordered a vitamin D test before--had to look up how to do it! And he's in the profession telling everyone to slather on sunscreen!

                        Anyway, my level was 45--not too bad. That's after some recent supplementation (1000mg-2000mg daily) plus a summer spent partially in places sunnier that Seattle, and intentionally getting non-burning sun exposure. I'm sure it would be far worse by February without supplementation. So I'll keep up with the daily pills.
                        Liz.

                        Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                        Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

                        Comment

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