Patient: I need help understanding my iron lab results. I am a 36 year old woman who has been experiencing iron deficiency symptoms for about a year now. I am extremely tired and have tingling in my feet all the time. I have recently also started having leg tremorsAbout 8 months ago my doctor told me I was slightly anemic and to take iron supplements and that should stop my symptoms. I have been taking iron and a multivitamin every day and my symptoms are getting worse. I went back to my doctor to have more blood work done. My results state my iron is low at 22 and iron saturation is at 6%. All other blood work is normal. Dr said I am no longer anemic but still iron deficient so keep taking supplements. Am I wrong to think that I should be feeling better and my iron levels should be higher after 8 months of supplements?
Doctor: Hello.Welcome to Ask The Doctor.I understand your concern. If your iron levels are low, the most important concern here is evaluation of the cause of this severe anemia. You should get evaluated. Taking iron supplements is not the solution for anemia. If cause is not found, then anemia would be recurrent.So, see, if you are passing any blood in stools due to hemorrhoids. Or if you have excessive bleeding during your periods. Check if you are passing any worms in stools.I would recommend you to get Stool for occult blood, Upper GI Endoscopy done. This is required as a lot many times, there are ulcers in stomach, which cause bleeding that is usually not visible and you continue to loose blood in stools causing anemia. The cause needs to be treated so that the anemia doesn’t reoccur again.Share my opinion with your doctor and get investigated.I hope it helps.Stay Healthy