Let them eat steak...
May 11, 2012 3:28 PM   Subscribe

YANMD. Neutrophil, lymphocyte, ferritin & iron counts are "off." I can't Google this with my snowflake details. Asked my doc and she simply advised a multivitamin w/ iron. Should I get a second opinion? Snowflake details inside.

Iron count - 158, range is 35 - 160.
Total iron count - 413, range is 228 - 428
These I'm not so worried about, though they seem high.

Neutrophils count - 40, range is 41 - 81.
Lymphocytes - 48, range is 13 - 46.
Neutrophils auto count - 1.6, standard range is 2.1 - 7.7

I have a history of constant fatigue, energy levels being off, irregular cycle, basically symptoms of anemia or hypothyroidism. I asked my doc about this and she seems unconcerned (also ruled out anemia), but it's been happening for a long time and I've had trouble with attendance at work due to my low energy levels. I don't currently take an iron supplement. Also my TSH level was fine, and t4 was 1.1 with the range being .08 - 1.7 so that checked out too.

Should I get a second opinion? My concern is that the numbers show that I have lots of iron in my blood - but low ferritin indicates that I'm not absorbing it. I'm not sure why she'd suggest that I take more iron given these numbers. Have you had levels like this, what solved it for you?
posted by luciddream928 to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Having extra iron in the body triggers it to make more ferritin. Your iron would have to go significantly higher than the reference range before it was a problem (I track mine carefully because of my brother's hemochromatosis, so I've asked about this myself).

Did they check your B-vitamin levels? Your Vitamin D levels?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:47 PM on May 11, 2012

And reference ranges for things like iron are just that. An iron count of 258 and 328 and 358 and 408 are all equally good; it's not one of those things like blood sugar where there's a small optimal range.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:50 PM on May 11, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, Sidhedevil. Shouldn't my ferritin levels be higher since my iron numbers are high-ish? This is what I'm confused about. I don't think she checked D and B vitamins - I should ask about this. Thanks again!
posted by luciddream928 at 4:00 PM on May 11, 2012

Not sure about your labs specifically, but I've also experienced significant fatigue with normal thyroid and other labs. I just recently started B12 shots and feel like I've got my brain back. You may also want to get checked out for hypoglycemia and/or food allergies. Have you considered seeing a naturopathic doctor?
posted by bookrach at 5:04 PM on May 11, 2012

Best answer: This page has a pretty thorough overview. I would definitely talk with your doc about exploring absorption issues, including ruling out celiac disease.

Best of luck. My own experiences with navigating vitamin and mineral deficiencies have been super frustrating, because there's so little good and accessible info out there. Grrrr.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:09 PM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: pretty much what Sidhedevil said - get your B vitamin levels checked (B12 and folate).

are those neutrophil/lymphocyte counts from a CBC (complete blood count)? if so, if your MCV (maximum cell volume, er, I think) is a value to look at. if the number is abnormally large, that's an indicator for a b-vitamin deficiency anemia, but i would assume your doctor would tell you if it was wacky. however, something < 25%? of folks with b vitamin deficiency anemias have normal MCV....so go get your B12 and folate checked out.
posted by circle_b at 5:09 PM on May 11, 2012

Response by poster: OP here - Vitamin B & D levels weren't checked. @Sidhedevil - I've been through the wringer re: figuring out what my malabsorption issues were - ruled out celiac's and Chron's a few years ago & went gluten free, felt a lot better but the fatigue has been a problem on & off. Western docs couldn't figure it out but all signs pointed to celiac's so I demanded testing. Verrrrry true that there's little "good" info out there.

Circle_be - totally impressed with your technical knowledge! You must be a nurse or something?!
posted by luciddream928 at 6:29 PM on May 11, 2012

« Older How can I get a second job with Americorps?   |   What, if anything, can you tell me about these... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.