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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

As some of you know I had some blood work done to check Nutritional levels due to severe peptic ulcer disease that the doctors just can't get to heal.

Anyway, I got my results back and I am hopeful someone can help me interpret the results.

*TIBC is normal at 414.
*UIBC is high at 379.
*Iron, Serum is 35.....right on the border line....range is 35-155.
*Iron Saturation is EXTREMELY LOW at 8%.

I have never had low iron in my life. Even with my pregnancy, after Gastric Bypass surgery and for 1 1/2 years now since my total Gastrectomy (total removal of stomach) I have never seen this in my blood work before.

I am reaching out to those of you who may be able to help me comprehend this. My Ferritin Serum is 14 yet a couple of months ago it was at 9.

Any thoughts please? For those of you who know Iron "Stuff", is it possibly that this could be from bleeding internally from ulcers?
 

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Hey Karol,

I'm sorry to hear about your continuing troubles... :(

I used to know my iron "stuff" a couple of years ago when my iron problems and anemia first appeared but since they've stabilized with periodic iron infusions I'm afraid I may have forgotten a lot of information.

Now, as far as the things I still remember go:

TIBC is what's known as Total Iron-Binding Capacity and this is a test that basically measures how well transferrin (transferrin is a protein) carries iron around in one's blood. Since yours is normal, I'm guessing transferrin carries the iron you have around in your blood ok. UIBS or Unsaturated Iron-Binding Capacity is, from what I remember, a test of transferrin saturation and this is sometimes used in lieu of TIBC or as a diagnostic test for certain disorders, such as hematochromosis (not saying that's what you have by the way just saying what I remember being told that test was for!), in which the body accumulates too much iron.

Iron Serum measures the levels of circulating iron in your blood, that is the iron that is bound to transferrin and is in the process of circulating in your blood. Serum Iron is a test that's used in the diagnosis of anemia of chronic disease, iron deficiency anemia, heamatochromosis, hemolytic anemia, anemia et cetera. It might be low because of many causes including chronic GI blood loss, heavy mestrual bleeding, low intake of dietary iron and poor absorption of dietary iron.

To the extent of my knowledge one can have low iron saturation (i.e. transferrin saturation) because of iron deficiency anemia or anemia of chronic disease. Your serum ferritin sounds low to me, but I don't know what your lab's range of normal for ferritin in female patients is as labs may have different normal ranges for some things. Do you get IV nutrients since your gastrectomy? Is iron included in your iv nutrition or are you able to absorb iron ok from your diet?

I have no idea whether your low iron may be related to your peptic ulcer disease or not, but I do know that women can get iron deficiency anemia fairly easily and that lupus can definitely play a part in someone getting anemia of chronic disease. I used to have severe iron-deficiency anemia that was non-responsive to oral iron tablets, in the absence of any malabsobsorption disorder, and I started receiving IV iron for this in 2005. The IV iron has completely stabilized it!

I think you should definitely discuss this in detail with your doctor as because of your gastrectomy, this is a highly technical question with a possibly complicated and multi-dimensional answer.

Here are some links I had since the start of my iron troubled days; I hope they are useful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serum_iron

http://www.sydpath.stvincents.com.au/tests/IronDeficiency.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haemochromatosis

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003488.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferritin

I hope you get to the bottom of this so that you can feel better very, very soon! :)

Sending loads of strengthening hugs your way :grouphug2: :grhug:

:flowery:

Zoi
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
WOW Zoi, a BIG THANKS for your response and helpful links provided to me.

I do not get IV Nutrition yet. I refuse unless my nutritional numbers plummet and I have to. I no longer menstruate so I know it can not be from that either.

I am guessing it is either not enough iron by diet or not able to absorb it through the lack of a stomach. If this were a internal bleed then I am sure my pain level would be much higher.

I will talk with the doctor about this on Monday. Just trying to get a heads up on why all of a sudden for the first time in my life my Iron has dropped so low.

My lab paperwork as I remember (don't have it in front of me right now) says that the normal range for Ferritin starts at 10.........my last blood work I was at 9 but now I am up to 14.

Your not the only one who has mentioned that at 14 they thought my Ferritin was low.

Big Hugs for your help here.:wink2::wink2::wink2:
 

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It's not always true that you will have a lot of pain if you are losing blood through some sort of GI bleeding problem. I've known a few people that were very anemic and had no pain but the blood loss was from their GI tract. A few of them had to stop taking low dose aspirin as that was the culprit causing stomach bleeding, and a few other were diagnosed with colon problems after colonoscopy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maia,

Thanks for taking time to reply. I am hopeful that this is a nutrition issue but again, it has been 1 1/2 years since my stomach removal and never dealt with low iron.

My girlfriend seems to think it is a GI bleed somewhere.

I will call my doctor tomorrow.

I am now curious about the Ferritin level too.
 
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