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Low iron serum levels ausing anaemia - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Excellent Posted in: Blood Disorders
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 40 Questions
I am a generally healthy 40 yr old female. I had a benign tumor in my cerebellum that caused some damage. It was removed. I have had sleep apnea symptoms ever since. A few years after the surgery, I developed anemia. I have never been told what kind of anemia. Both my ferritin and my iron serum levels are very low (below normal ranges). I have been taking iron citrate supplements for two years with very little measurable improvement in my anemia. In fact, my iron serum levels are dropping. My question is: can sleep apnea, esp. central sleep apnea, cause anemia? Also, what other tests should I do to determine how to heal my anemia? I have been exhausted for years since my anemia started. I want to get rid of it. What could be causing this anemia? I am scheduled for a sleep study test next week.
Thank-you for your time.
Doctor :   Hi
User :   Hello.
Doctor :   Let me read the query.
Doctor :   Sleep apnea is not one among the causes of anaemia.
Doctor :   Low serum ferritin levels indicate that you are probably suffering from iron deficiency anaemia.
Doctor :   Anaemia is classified based on the cause / the morphology of the red blood cells.
Doctor :   Blood peripheral smear test revealing microcytic hypochromic blood cell with low serum ferrritin levels is the classical picture of iron deficiency anaemia.
Doctor :   This condition is in no way related to sleep apnea.
Doctor :   Have you followed?
User :   Why aren't the iron supp's improving my serum and ferritin levels? My B 12 levels are mid-range, so I seem to be okay there. I am feeling frustrated that it is not improving---it has been such a long time. I also get nauseated and throw up fairly often (sometimes once a day). I used to write it off as GERD, but I don't have heartburn or any other GERD symptoms. I just get nauseated after I eat. I really feel concerned. I am an intelligent and educated person. I feel like there has to be more that can be done. Any ideas?
User :   The nauseated feeling does not happen every time that I eat. only sometimes.
User :   My GP just seems like she is happy to just keep me on the iron supp's, even though they are apparently not working. I am beginning to question her decisions and opinions.
Doctor :   Chronic iron deficiency anemia can occur due to nutritional deficiencies or due to bleeding from any source.
Doctor :   this needs evaluation.
Doctor :   Generally the cause of anemia is diagnosed based on set of test, that includes blood counts, peripheral smear, coomb's test, serum electrophoresis techniques and few other tests.
Doctor :   Without the reports of these test, its hard to predict the type of anemia and the cause of anemia.
Doctor :   Occasionally, there could be more than one cause of anemia.
Doctor :   And correction of all the factors are necessary to normalize the blood hemoglobin and ferrtin levels.
User :   What type of doctor would you seek out for this evaluation and these tests you mentioned? What nutritional deficiencies? I am a health and wellness counselor, myself. I am a really healthy eater. I exercise, meditate, etc. My BMI is in the lower range of normal. I have never heard of some of these tests---I find it so frustrating that my doctor would not have done them yet....
Doctor :   Hence you need evaluation for an hematologist who will guide you through these tests and help you in obtaining solution
Doctor :   I am sorry, if you have mistaken me, when I said nutritional deficiency.
Doctor :   I was just referring to one of the causes of iron deficiency.
Doctor :   Only these tests and evaluation can predict the cause and thereby its treatmetn.
Doctor :   Hope it is clear to you.
User :   I understand. I will seek out a hematologist. I truly want to get to the bottom of it so that i can have my energy levels back to normal. Thank-you so much for your time.
Doctor :   It was my pleasure.
Doctor :   Thanks fro consulting me.
Doctor :   Bye for now.
User :   You have truly helped me. Bye.
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