Question: Any advice what else to take? I have very low ferritin (level 7 and it’s supposed to be at 16 on the low end) I take Floradix (40 ml a day) , ferrous sulfate(65mg daily) , vitamin C(2000 mg daily) My ferritin will not budge and I feel awful everyday and I’m trying to push through it but everyday I get up I don’t feel like working because I have to constantly take breaks because I get so run down. Any suggestions will help. They told me they wanted to check my ferritin in February and then they want me to see hematology but I don’t not think I can wait that long Here are my latest labs in November
As you may know: iron enters the blood through food, then the body stores part of the iron in the form of ferritin. Thus Ferritin is the iron stock that the body keep it to compensate for the lack of free iron that runs in our blood, therefore when the stock decreases, it is obvious to say that the blood enters a state of anemia, and the lack of iron-stock is considered one of the precursors to iron deficiency, and therefore anemia. Although most laboratories set the minimum normal level for iron stocks to be 7, in fact, the body becomes actually anaemic when the iron stock is less than 30, which requires immediate treatment.
In order for us to know what is the most appropriate and fastest treatment for iron stores, we must know the correct diagnosis that indicates the causes of iron deficiency, including:
First: There may not be enough iron in the food you eat, and this lacking has been prolonged in your meals for a long time until it affected your iron stores and made them almost empty.
Second: There may be a deficiency in the normal number of red blood cells in the blood, knowing that the red blood cells are the containers that contains the hemoglobin compound, which consists mainly of iron and proteins.
Third: There may be something that depletes the iron resources and makes the iron stores exhausted, which pushes the body to consume more iron, and thus the ferritin continues to be broken down to convert it into free iron that it uses in the manufacture of blood cells, and therefore the much breakdown of ferritin makes it decrease sharply, especially if there is nothing to compensate for that because the bleeding continues.
Examples of blood loss: Bleeding from the reproductive organs of women (the uterus and ovaries), bleeding from the intestines and the digestive system in general, and cancerous tumors of course are not far from being suspected.
Fourth: The red blood cells may be normal, and there is no bleeding that throws iron out of the body, and yet the body is unable to benefit from iron, as happens in diseases of the absorption, and therefore the iron regulation system in the body tries to compensate for the false iron deficiency by breaking down more of iron, and therefore a deficiency appears in the iron stores, although free iron is very normal.
Fifth: There may be a deficiency in the protein that transports iron to all cells of the body, which is called “transferrin.” Therefore, when the body does not find iron, it rushes to break down more ferritin stored in the liver, thinking that will compensate for the lack of iron that it does not find.
It is interesting: the ferritin in your lab results decreases first before the free iron itself in the blood and before there is a deficiency in hemoglobin, and this indicates that there is a disorder in the storage or breakdown of iron, and from the results we can discern the actual presence of iron, but the percentage of iron saturation is very low, and therefore it is not an increase in cracking to the stores of iron, but there is probably a weakness in the inputs of iron to the body or an increase in the repelling of iron from the body, such as what happens to women who suffer from severe bleeding during abnormal prolonged menstruation.
Therefore, you have low iron stores with no anemia.
What corrects the level of ferritin in the blood quickly?
Eating iron-rich, such as red meat, along with taking iron pills daily, may restore the iron storage to its correct position within three weeks, but there are shortcuts, and faster ways, including: injecting iron by using an intravenous solution may raise iron in the blood faster, of course, with taking tablets Iron and vitamins that contribute to benefit more from iron supplements and thus quickly restoring iron stores, which will rapidly raise ferritin.
Yes, platelets could be elevated secondary to low iron and low hemoglobin levels (the medical term is iron deficiency anemia, abbreviated IDA) but the too much amount of platelets isn’t due to a disease in platelets itself but as a complication of IDA, please continue reading to understand that…
Low iron in the blood does not directly affect the platelets level in the blood, that’s because the platelets don’t need iron to proliferate in the bone marrow but the RBCs need the iron in the differentiation step, therefore the RBCs decrease if the iron is low but the platelets increase if the iron is low. got it?
Why the bone marrow may not work normally so it makes too many platelets and low RBC?
Insufficient iron in the blood will slow down the hematopoiesis “the process of making the blood cells in the bone marrow”, and results in low RBC and Hemoglobin, thus the bone marrow tissue produce too much platelets in the account of red cells, therefore, uncontrolled number of Platelets in CBC test. How to read CBC test?
So what is the reason behind the increasing production of platelets in the blood even though the iron amount needed to make cells is scarce?
Because the type of cells from which platelets and red blood cells originate are one, which is “the myeloid”, if the production of red blood cells decreases, all the production capacity will be directed to the second type, which is platelets, as in the picture below shows that both red blood cells and platelets originate from the same cell of origin which interpret why they are produced in that relative way.
in the image, notice that red line arrows, demonstrate that myeloid cell divides into red cells and platelets’ mother then it divided into platelets fragments.
What Causes High Platelets Count in Iron Deficiency Anemia?
The commonest reason for thrombocytosis subsided after Iron Deficiency Anemia is the low iron diet, or your may have inflammation in the stomach or intestines that block them from absorbing the digested iron-rich-food, chronic kidney disease is one example too, irregular menstrual bleeding and pregnancy are of conditions that consume plenty of iron thus the blood cells lack of iron and lead to IDA, therefore the platelets count is increased and appear as “platelets high” in the lab report.
If the Iron stores in the liver deplete due to current or ongoing inflammation, the free iron in the blood will dramatically decreased and also become unavailable for blood cell’s making. Ferritin blood test is recommended in such cases.
Can iron supplements cause high platelets?
No, the opposite is true. To explain that you may know that the scientific fact is the low iron will elevate the platelets level in the blood, on the contrary, adding iron to the blood by using the drugs that enhance the blood level of iron surely will adjust the iron to the normal level and also will induce blood platelets to return to their normal level and even it’s possible to make the platelet level decline and become less than the normal level as well, and thus a transient thrombocytopenia “low platelets” occurs after iron supplementations.
What is the Platelets level in the iron deficiency Anemia?
Platelets count is the blood test may go as high as 900,000 if you are severely anemic of iron deficiency, the reasons is that lack of iron will redirect the bone marrow to produce plenty of platelets while RBC production is reduced, that’s medically called “iron–deficient erythropoiesis” and induce “megakaryopoiesis”. However, as the IDA progresses the bone marrow may produce plenty of platelets that appear higher than normal range in the blood test but the resultant platelets may be larger than normal size and showed enhanced aggregation which means the elevated platelets in the IDA do not necessarily doing their normal required function.
What does it mean by platelets with enhanced aggregation?
The main function of platelets is to adhere to make a plug formation whenever a vessel injured which called “the platelets aggregation function” or “platelets reactivity”, but if the platelets increase in count, they will consequently increase in adhering potential leading to “enhanced aggregation” which may increase the risk of arterial thrombosis (blood clot risk) or other cardiovascular diseases.
Can I have IDA and my platelets be normal and not elevated?
Yes, it can be happening to have mild decreased iron levels and Anemia that don’t impact the platelets level too much, it means your platelets count still inside the normal limits in the blood test results during the Anemia that is due to insufficient iron in the blood. Suggested reason is the large reference range of normal platelets levels “140-400” which allow the blood to interact normally without being an issue on the platelets count at the end, thus unless iron reduction goes worse, platelets will not exceed the maximum normal number in a healthy person.
Another reason is the false results of platelets count, yes, it can be happen that your count is normal in real while the lab reports it as high, possibly because unexpected error in sampling or instruments or unexperienced technicians.
However, the red blood cells in iron deficiency anemia is smaller than than the normal size thus the automounting machines may falsely count the small red cell as platelet because the platelets are smaller than red cell, therefore the blood count test reveal elevated count of platelets while it’s normal indeed.
Incorrect blood sampling may lead to hemolysis of red blood cells which impact on the final count of RBCs and PLT, thus CBC reveals incorrect platelets count which indeed fragmentation of shed red cell, also, formation of small clots in the sample can be a reason to lower platelets than the actual count.
How do you know the platelets count is correct? if the “AGG” flag is on the platelets number then it’s indication of sampling or instrumental errors and must repeat the platelets blood test.
Symptoms of High Platelets in patients with Iron Deficiency Anemia
How do you feel if your platelets count is elevated with anemia of low iron?
Because the high platelets level (thrombocytosis) is a second effect of low iron, it’s rare to complain from thrombocytosis symptoms, instead you may feel the symptoms of the Iron deficiency anemia which may include:
Extremely exhausted, tired and feeling Weakness.
Headache, low concentration, dizziness or lightheadedness.
Pale and dry skin, Cold hands and feet.
Chest pain and heart palpitations (fast heartbeat or shortness of breath).
Some rare complications such as Brittle nails, soreness of your tongue.
Increased risk for infections
Examples of blood test results following the elevated platelets and IDA
Besides the low iron, anemia, and the platelets high count also the IDA impact on the other blood test results as shown below:
Low iron “about 10, normal range 40–100 “
Low Ferritin (iron stores blood test) ” less than 90, normal range 10–200″
Low Hemoglobin level “less than 11.0, normal range is 11–18”
High or Normal TIBC “greater or equal to 450, normal range 240–450 mcg/dL)
That is the diagnostic pattern of blood test results that is characteristic to the IDA and high platelets, however if you complain from another ailment, your lab results will probably impact as well. That was the examples of negative effects of low iron levels on other lab tests.
Explaining the lab report codes near of the platelets count such as:
Low iron means followed by high count of platelets in the CBC test can indicate abnormal platelets production due to insufficient iron which impacts on manufacturing of red blood cells in bone marrow, just that benign increase which usually resolve and stabilize on its own just after the resolution of low iron and low hemoglobin.
But, high platelets count (thrombocytosis) with low hemoglobin and low iron (IDA) doesn’t mean cancer, malignancy, or other serious diseases unless other investigations and scanning report that.
How does iron help in the production of platelets?
Most anemia (50%) in all the world is IDA; while the rest (50%) of anemia reasons are infectious and inflammatory diseases (especially malaria), blood loss from parasitic infections, and other nutrient deficiencies (vitamin A, riboflavin, folic acid, and vitamin B12). The possible reason for IDA in children is the iron deficiency that often coexists with lead intoxication, to understand that you may know that the competition of several other heavy metals may share the iron intestinal absorption pathway. e.g. lead, manganese, cobalt, and zinc. This interaction may produce serious medical complications in children
Can low iron level affect your platelets count?
Definitely yes, because most patients with iron deficiency anemia will have normal or increased blood platelet counts to the extreme degree (alot of platelets in the bloodstream without a necessity), some platelet counts may go higher than 1,000 × 109/L at the time of late diagnosis.
If you have IDA, which high or low platelets will occur?
Thrombocytosis (high count of platelets test) is the most common complication of low iron, nevertheless, thrombocytopenia in association with iron deficiency is relatively rare.
The factors that lead to platelets elevation if you have anemia of iron deficiency
Low Iron and Low transferrin saturation results are of reasons behind too much blood platelets in the test results. Transferrin saturation to be normal must be between 35.5% and 44.9% for women and 38.3% to 48.6% for men. Low iron and transferrin levels means that there is insufficient iron in the blood and the protein bind to and transferring the iron has too many places that is empty and need iron molecules to bind to it.
Is the level of platelets in the blood directly or inversely proportional to the level of iron deficiency anemia in the blood?
Platelets level in the blood is inversely proportional to the ID anemia, that’s because low iron will prevent the red blood cells from being produced in sufficient numbers while induce the bone marrow to make too much unwanted platelets, therefore, the more severe and hypo-chronic (prolonged reduction) anemia has higher platelet count
Why do Inflammation causes Iron deficiency anemia and elevated platelets?
Inflammation considered as an obstacle to the complete absorption of iron, also the IL-6 and other inflammatory proteins increase in reaction to inflammatory process which works like a concern for the body’s systems, thus the body works to stop inflammation instead of carrying out the vital processes required for its growth and prosperity, and also inflammation causes the body to divert all its resources to the process of stopping the cause of inflammation, which reduces the resources needed for the body maintenance and growth. Hence the reasons that make iron reduces in the blood, thus iron will not reach the bone marrow tissue to form red blood cells, so anemia (IDA) will occur, and as a result, the platelets will increase in the FBC test (Thrombocytosis), which may harm the body instead of benefiting it.
How does iron deficiency affect hematopoiesis and elevate platelets?
Why do you get elevated platelets count (thrombocytosis) with iron deficiency?
Looking at the picture that explains the sequence of blood formation from the beginning inside the bone marrow tissue (above), it turns out that:
There’s the first step which called “haematopoietic transition of the endothelial” where the iron has no concern with it, thus the blood cells continue through this stage to grow and differentiate into two main types, the “Lymphoid” which is the precursor of lymphocytes that fight viruses, and the second type “Myeloid” which the progenitor for production of most of other cells including the Platelets and RBCs.
Second step is where the “Myeloid” subdivided into many cells, one of them is the red blood cells “Erythrocyte” that consume huge amount of “iron” to synthesize the protein “Heme” in the hemoglobin molecule, Hemoglobin is the reddish fluid fills the red blood cell and consists of many iron atoms, iron inside the hemoglobin plays important role in binding to other nutrients and oxygen to transport them to the other tissues.
Therefore, if there’s no iron is available in the bone marrow, the RBCs only is what will stop or reduce proliferating, next consequence is that the bone marrow will produce other cells in the “Myeloid” that don’t need iron in the production process, therefore the bone marrow abnormally producing plenty of unneeded platelets, and alot of Neutrophils, Basophils, Eosinophils, and Monocytes.
Also, the cloned RBCs when the blood lacks the iron will be smaller in size (Anisocytosis) which means less effective in carrying oxygen and will live shorter which induce bone marrow to harry up to compensate, thus a test called reticulocyte count will be a good indicator of bone marrow compensation.
What’s reticulocyte count stands for? And what does high retics indicate?
The word reticulocyte stands for “the blood cell that looks a netlike under microscope” and abbreviated “Retic count” in the laboratory, the reticulocyte is an immature cell that preceding the adult red blood cell, Retic count test reporting what’s the percentage of the retics cells in the whole red blood cells count in the blood sample, the more retics cell the more immature production of blood cells from bone marrow which is considered a good indicator that there’s a reasons rushes the bone marrow to release abundance of RBCs even they still immature, of course this can lead to a miss.
Thus, severe IDA can lead to high retics percentage in the red blood cells which draws the doctor’s attention that the patient needs a fresh blood transfusion instead of his deficient-blood, which has become sick and full of immature blood cells.
What’s ansiocytosis and poikilocytosis?
They’re medical terms for abnormal morphology (size and shape) of blood cells, usually used to describe that there are more than one definite size and shape of red blood cells in the blood.
Well, is high white blood cells (WBCs) and too much Platelets because of IDA or inflammation?
Increased Granulocytes count and platelets count in the presence of low hemoglobin (in case of iron def. anemia) may thought it is because of a current inflammatory response (inflammation) but the actual reason may be the Anemia of iron deficiency.
In general, it’s of natural surviving response, when the blood doesn’t have enough normal blood cells it compensates by releasing too much blood cells into the blood stream, but why the platelets increased during anemia due to imbalance in bone marrow.
I am pregnant has iron deficiency anemia and my lab tests show platelets high, wat does this mean?
It’s very common to find low hemoglobin and low iron results (IDA) during the pregnancy months, as well as the decrease in calcium, vitamin B12, folate, and other minerals and vitamins, the typical reason is that the fetus body consume huge amount of nutrients to build and grow, the vast withdrawing of iron especially in the late months of pregnancy usually causes reactive or secondary thrombocytosis (platelets count above the normal limit without a platelets illness), but you shouldn’t be concerned because the increased platelets level (may go up to 900,000 while the normal is up to 450,000) will not hurt the baby and can be reversible but the pregnant woman must follow-up regularly to avoid any unexpected complications, that’s it.
Should I worry about elevated platelets if I have Iron deficiency Anemia?
When should I worry about platelets high count following low iron anemia?
Priority is the treatment of iron deficiency anemia at first which is usually simple then platelets count will turn back normal within few days even in its own without specific medicine for thrombocytosis.
Elevated platelets if followed the low iron anemia isn’t a concern if there’s no other disease and may resolved in a matter of days but with regular treatment and following the doctor’s instruction well.
It is possible that your lab results show elevated platelets count but you don’t have anemia or low iron, that’s is common because there’re many other reasons to increase the blood platelets in absence of IDA and anemia, in this post we tried to explain the causes of thrombocytosis following IDA from many different angles, if you didn’t find what you are looking for please just register account, post new question to get instant response and follow to learn more.
Many blood count tests today write the RDW as a part of the CBC test results, as below picture:
This screenshot of a RDW value in a CBC report shows:
RDW: is a shortcode of the medical term “Red-blood-cell Distribution Width”, RDW represents the degree of variation of the sizes of red blood cells inside human blood, the normal range of RDW is 11.5% up to 14.5%,
The thalassemia trait doesn’t elevate RDW and still be normal, that why the normal RDW doesn’t exclude anemia.
High RDW appears when you have anemia due to iron deficiency, medically (a type of microcytic hypochromic anemia).
The “L” letter beside the RDW value: means “low” as usually represented in the medical reports, Low RDW than the reference limits is medically insignificant because of inaccurate blood cell automatic counting or due to sampling errors or other hidden unattended errors in the procedures, thus why many clinicians don’t rely on RDW values.
The reference range for RDW readings (11.5 – 14.5): doesn’t mean it is normal when your RDW lye inside this range, rather the RDW values within the reference range mean either normal size variation without anemia or means anemia with single size RBCs (i.e. thalassemia).
Does low RDW a valid indicator in diagnosis of anemia?
Should you worry when RDW level is low?
When your RDW value is below the limits, you shouldn’t worry because any tiny error in the testing procedures can result in such a falsely low result and can’t indicate a disease or a medical issue, and it’s beneficial to know that Low RDW value doesn’t necessarily mean that red blood cells are all in the small size, but the normal RDW is a more significant indicator of single size RBCs.
A blood test done a few weeks ago shows anemia. Ferritin ct. 18, Hemoglobin ct. 11.2, Iron ct. 302. From all I’ve been able to attain, my Iron is way too high and Hemoglobin and ferritin too low. In most cases, the Iron level seems to parallel the others, but mine doesn’t. Could you explain? Thanks.