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Having low iron level in body. Diabetic, in good health. Reason for being anemic?

I was just called by my internist s nurse to tell me that my last iron studies indeed show that I am anemic. The study showed my iron level at 38 ( normal 50-170) and my iron saturation at 8.3% ( normal 20-40%). I am a 64 year old female, diabetic, in good health, exercise every day, thin. Any thoughts as to why I am now anemic Thank you!
Asked On : Sat, 7 Jul 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  53
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
hello and welcome to healthcare magic, I appreciate that you are concerned about your results.
Anemia is basically a decrease in red cell mass in the body, these red cells are responsible for carrying the oxygen to different parts of your body. The causes of anemia can basically be divided into three : (1) red cells are not produced enough (2) red cells are being loss from bleeding (3) red cells are being broken down.
Blood tests to check for anemia would check the blood count or haemoglobin, check the size of the cell and check the iron level and saturation of iron,additional tests are also done . Normally when the blood tests show a low level of iron the person is thought to have IRON deficiency anemia, however low levels of iron can also be found if the anemia is caused by chronic ( long lasting) inflammation. Other types of anemia may usually show no changes in iron levels or some cases an increase.
So the most likely causes of anemia where the iron is low would be iron deficiency anemia and anemia of chronic inflammation ( in anemia of chronic inflammation the iron saturation would also be decreased). Iron deficiency anemia has different causes and the exact cause would require further investigation by your doctor ( he would assess your diet to see if get sufficient iron, check for bleeding from different parts of your body by doing investigations).
Anemia of chronic inflammation would also require tests to be done by your doctor to determine the exact cause.
Your next step should be a visit to your doctor to allow him to take a history and perform an examination and conduct investigations which may include further blood tests and in some cases stool tests.
I hope this is helpful to you and I hope you can find conclusive answers at your doctor
Answered: Sat, 7 Jul 2012
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