Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Anemia begone!

Since February is a short month, this will be a short post with a quick but important update on me. As you may recall, in early 2016 I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, which led to a series of tests to rule out internal bleeding as the cause. After having my entire GI tract cleansed, inspected, and photographed from one end to the other and finding no abnormalities, I was referred to a hematologist who had me start taking iron supplements in September. That seemed to turn things around as you can clearly see in the chart below:

I took the iron supplements from the middle of September through the end of December of 2016, which brought my hemoglobin up from 13.3 to 15.3. More importantly, my ferritin level increased over this same time period from 5 to 28. I was curious to see what would happen after I stopped taking the iron supplements, and I received the good news at my annual physical exam on February 24 that my hemoglobin went up to 15.9, which was normal for me before I started donating blood in 2013. The really good news is that my ferritin increased to 41.7 (normal ferritin level is approximately 24 to 336 ng/mL), indicating my body is able to store iron in sufficient quantities again. All the other numbers related to the red blood cells were within the normal range except one, which was barely outside the normal range.

I think it is safe to say the anemia scare is over and appears to have been caused by donating blood more frequently than my body could handle, although the frequency was within the guidelines of the donation center. Lesson learned there. And my kidney function is fine, so I can consider myself asymptomatic for another year. 

=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of January 31, 2017:

Total posts: 174 (1 in January)

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