Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Do I have iron deficiency anemia or a different one?

Do I have iron deficiency anemia or a different one?

Patient: 39 y/o female. Have had the following issues since 2007 at least: super-tired, dry skin, dry thin nails, dry hair and hair loss, blah mood, heart fluttering fast when I am sitting down sometimes, melasma on my cheeks that has now migrated down below my chin, and tiny little red blood color dots from my scalp down to my feet and everywhere in between(not groups or patches, just tiny random dots and I keep getting more and more). I am tired no matter how many hours I sleep. I am able to do less and walking to the bathroom leaves me breathless. My memory is getting worse. I’ve tried taking vitamins, eating more vegetables, exercising – nothing helps. I don’t have health insurance, I have no way to obtain it so I am limited to clinics that accept small cash payments. I found that I could order tests online and I just rec’d the results back today. It looks all blood-related, which I did not expect. Do my results appear to show iron deficiency anemia? Could my results be something else? Possibly Myelodysplastic syndrome, thalessemia, or Aplastic anemia? I was told by my DR in 1998 (or so) during a visit that I was severely anemic, something about iron, and that I should go to the hospital right away (for something – I don’t remember). She didn’t explain anything so I went home. I tried every iron supplement I could find and they all made me throw up. I forgot about it until 2007 when I started getting symptoms. I thought I had a hormone problem because I got melasma really bad, out of no where. I went to an Endo and she said I was fine. So, I once again forgot about it until now. I have less hair, more tiny red dots, I’m super cold, and super tired.Glucose, Serum 84Uric Acid, Serum 2.5BUN 8Creatinine, Serum 0.81eGFR If NonAfricn Am 92eGFR If Africn Am 106BUN/Creatinine Ratio 10Sodium, Serum 139Potassium, Serum 4.8Chloride, Serum 99Carbon Dioxide, Total 22Calcium, Serum 9.9Phosphorus, Serum 3.1Protein, Total, Serum 7.7Albumin, Serum 4.4Globulin, Total 3.3A/G Ratio 1.3Bilirubin, Total 0.2Alkaline Phosphatase, S 66LDH 149AST (SGOT) 30ALT (SGPT) 29GGT 12Iron, Serum 17Cholesterol, Total 178TSH 3.050Thyroxine (T4) 7.6T3 Uptake 23Free Thyroxine Index 1.7WBC 5.9RBC 4.22Hemoglobin 9.1Hematocrit 30.9MCV 73MCH 21.6MCHC 29.4RDW 18.0Platelets 331Neutrophils 56Lymphs 27Monocytes 12Eos 4Basos 1Neutrophils (Absolute) 3.3Lymphs (Absolute) 1.6Monocytes(Absolute) 0.7Eos (Absolute) 0.3Baso (Absolute) 0.0Immature Granulocytes 0 %Immature Grans (Abs) 0.0



Symptoms: Tiny red dots, dry skin hair and nails, heart fluttering, SUPER tired, blah mood



Doctor: Hello. Welcome to Ask The Doctor.These problems are because of Iron Deficiency anaemia only.But my concern is that w hat is the reason behind it.I would you to get work up done for Malabsorption Syndrome like Celiac disease.Get Anti TTG Antibody test done.Also get Iron studies, Vitamin B12 and Foliate assays and Thyroid Profile done.I hope it helps.Stay Healthy.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thank you so much for your reply! I appreciate it greatly!
I had an Antinuclear Antibodies Direct test done at the same time and it was Negative. I don’t know if that’s the same one you mentioned or not.
I tried taking B12 for my hair and nails for some time, but saw no results.
What additional tests do I need for a thyroid profile? The one I rec’d included my TSH,
Thyroxine (T4), T3 Uptake, & Free Thyroxine.
I found tests for Celiac, but they are too expensive and it says you have to eat at least 4 pieces of bread a day for weeks/months. I have learned to avoid bread products because they seem to stay in my stomach area for days and shortly after I eat it, I get these insanely itchy little blisters on my hands. It would be a nightmare for me.
Since around 2009, when I eat a sandwich or some pizza I get the little itchy blisters on my fingers, shortly after. It happened on the sides of my face and my ankles too. I thought it was poison ivy, but it keeps happening and mostly in the same areas. Nothing helps or makes it go away – I have to let it runs it’s course. Also, I stopped drinking milk many years ago because it caused me so many problems. I recently tried rice milk and it gave me horrible stomach pain and gas. It said it was GMO free and lactose free so I thought it would be okay.


Ask The Doctor
    Ask The Doctor
Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

Book Appointment