174 Physicians Online


Low Ferritin, High RDW and Platelets

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I am waiting for a referral to a hematologist and worried about my blood work. My ferritin has been low for months, now it is 8.4 and my platelet count was slightly elevated last month and up another 100 this month to 529. My RDW is 16.3 and my MCH is 26.8. Possible factors may be that I have had most of my pancreas and all of my spleen removed due to a cyst that was growing on those and my stomach. (I am four years sober). I am on medicaid and not a priority patient so would really like to know if there is something I can be doing to stay safe and healthy until I am seen by the specialist. I am also still menstruating and have incredibly heavy periods. Recent procedures show internal hemorrhoids and a slow emptying stomach. Also my stomach is basically open at the top but apparently not a pressing need for surgery. I will have a hysterectomy in the middle of August if this problem does not prohibit surgery. Thanks in advance for your time. Robin


The increased blood loss during menstruation is the underlying cause. The low ferritin levels indicate depletion of iron stores and the raised RDW reflects an increased variability in the size of  red blood cells in order to compensate for the loss of RBCs. The raised platelet count is usually associated with severe iron deficiency anemia. You may need iron supplements along with iron rich diet to make up for the deficiency. You may discuss with your gynecologist (if possible) for some medications to reduce or stop the heavy bleeding, who may also suggest a suitable iron supplement in your case (given your medical history to avoid any side effects like stomach upset, diarrhea or constipation etc.). You may include raisin, spinach, beans, figs, dates, prunes, broccoli, beet, other green leafy vegetables, cereals, meat, liver etc.


Sign In to join in the conversation.

You’re in good hands, meet ATD’s founding physicians.

Dr. Suneel Sharman

  • Board Certified GP
  • CMO ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Adjunct Professor at U Of T

Dr. Kunaal Jindal

  • Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
  • Director ATD Health Network Inc.
  • Fellowship Training Atlanta, GA

Related Answers:

I have a question. I received my blood work results yesterday. I was informed my platelets are slightly high 475. ran...

Baby 16 month old blood test results Hb A 58% , Hb S 35.5%. Is my baby ill? what form of thalasemia is or its sickle ...

Very low iron stores but normal hemoglobin? I'm tired more like exhausted all the time, shortness of breath, heart pr...


Chronic anemia of unknown origin (> 10 years) 34 y/o female Roux en y gastric bypass 7 years ago (no complicat...

What does PNH viability of 71% mean on a test of peripheral blood?

My period is really really heavy and thin.. not clotting at all, keep having headaches and i keep falling asleep.. bu...

Hello, Recently did blood tests and have all normal except the concentration of mean corpuscular hemoglobin (CHCM) I...

Sir, My son is 13 years old and he is a swimmer and practices swimming for total 3 hours daily ( 1.5 hour in mo...

Hello.I am a fourteen year old girl, for the past year, I have been suffering from iron deficiency anemia. I recently...