Are my HCT and hemoglobin levels 'low' or still ok?

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Ciel.
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#1
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HCT is 37.8%, hemoglobin - 11.8 (male)
They are marked as too low. Surprisingly my iron levels are now A LOT higher than they used to be, almost exceeding the max 'healthy' range - guess taking all the supplements finally paid off (they used to be way too low).
But yeah, with the hct and hemoglobin levels - should I be concerned? Probably not, since they are not extremely low? What do you guys think? I really don't feel like seeing a doctor...
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi, young man,

If these figures are accurate and not distorted by over-hydration or other factors, then yes, they are a little low - the reference values for most UK hospitals would be a lower limit of 42% for haematocrit and 13-17 mg/100ml for Hb.

Do you get tired more easily than before? Any other symptoms? No nose bleeds, or bruises with minor injury OR blood in stool OR elsewhere?

Although the haematocrit does give a rough indication, it includes white cells, too, so is not precise. Better indicators are:

Total RBC count: should be more than 4.5 X 10^6 per mm^3 for male.

MCH (Mean Corpuscular Hb) which will give info about cause of anaemia, as will MCV (mean corpuscular volume) - these are likely to be low in iron deficiency anaemia (one e.g.): hypochromic microcytic anaemia.

A large MCV might indicate Vitamin B12 OR folate deficiency (macrocytic anaemia).

Your Hb is only slightly low so eat well (balanced diet with lots of green veg and fruits) and perhaps take a simple supplement with B12 and folate to cover macrocytic anaemia.

If you are getting symptoms or start getting any OR if a further blood test in about 3 months shows little or no improvement, get your doc to investigate further.

M (former medical student)
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Ciel.
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#3
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(Original post by macpatelgh)
Hi, young man,

If these figures are accurate and not distorted by over-hydration or other factors, then yes, they are a little low - the reference values for most UK hospitals would be a lower limit of 42% for haematocrit and 13-17 mg/100ml for Hb.

Do you get tired more easily than before? Any other symptoms? No nose bleeds, or bruises with minor injury OR blood in stool OR elsewhere?

Although the haematocrit does give a rough indication, it includes white cells, too, so is not precise. Better indicators are:

Total RBC count: should be more than 4.5 X 10^6 per mm^3 for male.

MCH (Mean Corpuscular Hb) which will give info about cause of anaemia, as will MCV (mean corpuscular volume) - these are likely to be low in iron deficiency anaemia (one e.g.): hypochromic microcytic anaemia.

A large MCV might indicate Vitamin B12 OR folate deficiency (macrocytic anaemia).

Your Hb is only slightly low so eat well (balanced diet with lots of green veg and fruits) and perhaps take a simple supplement with B12 and folate to cover macrocytic anaemia.

If you are getting symptoms or start getting any OR if a further blood test in about 3 months shows little or no improvement, get your doc to investigate further.

M (former medical student)
Thanks for response. Does this mean that you can still have iron deficiency anemia, despite your iron levels being good or am I misunderstanding something?
Well I've been feeling really unwell for a long time. Always tired etc. I expected the results to be A LOT worse than they are, to be honest. I thought they would explain things. But it seems like they are not too bad
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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(Original post by Ciel.)
Thanks for response. Does this mean that you can still have iron deficiency anemia, despite your iron levels being good or am I misunderstanding something?
Well I've been feeling really unwell for a long time. Always tired etc. I expected the results to be A LOT worse than they are, to be honest. I thought they would explain things. But it seems like they are not too bad
Yes correct - normal iron levels do not exclude hypochromic microcytic anaemia, which may not be a direct result of iron deficiency, but could be due to blood loss, or a defect in the blood-producing process (aplastic anaemia). etc.

Since you seem to be suffering a lot of tiredness and for some time, it is, as you correctly guessed, unlikely to be due to the anaemia [which is only mild]- I would visit your doc again (soon), and "put words into his#her mouth" suggesting that he/she needs to exclude other causes of your malaise (as it is known in medicine), particularly hypothyroidism (although this is much less common in young men) and diabetes mellitus (have TFTs [thyroid function tests] and glucose levels checked at the very least.

I would be interested to know how you get on - keep in touch.

Best wishes!
M
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Ciel.
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#5
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(Original post by macpatelgh)
Yes correct - normal iron levels do not exclude hypochromic microcytic anaemia, which may not be a direct result of iron deficiency, but could be due to blood loss, or a defect in the blood-producing process (aplastic anaemia). etc.

Since you seem to be suffering a lot of tiredness and for some time, it is, as you correctly guessed, unlikely to be due to the anaemia [which is only mild]- I would visit your doc again (soon), and "put words into his#her mouth" suggesting that he/she needs to exclude other causes of your malaise (as it is known in medicine), particularly hypothyroidism (although this is much less common in young men) and diabetes mellitus (have TFTs [thyroid function tests] and glIucose levels checked at the very least.

I would be interested to know how you get on - keep in touch.

Best wishes!
M
Ah I see thans for clearing that up for me. My blood was tested for hypothyroidism and diabetes too but the results are ok. It's crazy...
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