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Thalassemia Patients and Friends and thalpal Ā© A. Battaglia 2019

55336 Posts in 5914 Topics by 6219 Members
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Author Topic: Interpreting Iron Study results for Beta Thal Minor  (Read 2641 times)
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« on: March 12, 2019, 12:01:20 AM »

Hi, 18 female here with B Thal Minor mother, so I also carry this trait as well.  Below are my recent Iron results, not sure what to make of it.  TIBC are high indicating low iron, but then iron serum is high normal range.  I can discount low ferritin, but the divergence is TIBC and Fe Serum values is a little confusing - any insights would be great, thanks in advance:

WBC 9.2 [4.0 - 11.0 k/mm3]
RBC 6.06 H [3.70 - 5.40 m/mm3]
Hemoglobin 11.1 L [11.5 - 16.0 g/dL]
Hematocrit 37.7 [35.0 - 48.0 %]
MCV 62.2 L [78.0 - 100.0 fL]
MCH 18.3 L [27.0 - 34.0 pg]
MCHC 29.4 L [31.0 - 37.0 g/dL]

Platelet Count 333 [130 - 450 k/mm3]
RDW(sd) 38.4 [38.0 - 49.0 fL]
RDW(cv) 19.4 H [11.0 - 15.0 %]

Iron and TIBC
Iron 127* [34 - 162 ug/dL]
TIBC 470 H [250 - 400 ug/dL]
% Saturation 27 [15 - 50 %]
Ferritin 11 [9 - 162 ng/mL]

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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 11:54:27 AM »

I am not an expert, but I suspect your numbers are high because your ferritin is low?   Do you see a hematologist? 
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 12:34:37 AM »

TIBC is inversely related to Serum Iron ( at least in general as I understand) and in my case this inverse relationship seems to be broken (or so appears to me).  I am trying to understand if I am low iron (based on the high TIBC numbers) or enough (perhaps even high iron) based on the serum iron results.

High TIBC values suggest low iron
Andy Battaglia
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 07:11:53 PM »

It really doesn't make sense. RDW is high, and TIBC is high, both indicative of low iron. TIBC shows that your body is trying to absorb more iron, even though your serum iron is more than solid. I seldom see serum iron that high reported by thal minors, unless they have been supplementing with iron for some time. Your Hb is actually solid for a thal minor. I would suggest caution as far as taking iron supplements.
Is there any previous blood work that you've had that you could use for comparison?


All we are saying is give thals a chance.
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2019, 01:35:33 AM »

Thanks Andy - no unfortunately I have no previous record of CBC or Iron studies.

The Thyroid folks mention this divergence in TIBC (H) and serum Iron (H) have been reported by carriers of MTHFR mutations.  This is an area I am looking into.

I do take Berberine (alternative to Metformin) to lower fasting insulins and that has been working great to control teenage acne.  My fasting insulin has dropped from 22 to 7 and acne is now under control.  I mention this as literature points to Metformin and Berberine both to be iron chelators.  Not sure if this playing any roles here.

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