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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Hypochromia and microcytosis

07/05/2007

Question:

Hello. I am 26 years old. i am 5`3" and weigh 100 pounds. i recently got my blood tested. the report says that i have Hypochromia and Microcytosis. what are these two things? the report also suggestes Serum Ferritin. What is this? I suffer a lot of pain before i begin my periods. Sometimes pain and slight inflammation at the vagina begins almost a week before i have my periods. my periods only last for 2-3 days with very less spotting for anothe 5 days, and the bleeding is rather brown. there are a lot of clots as well. around five years back my periods used to last almost 5-6 days with spotting for another 2 days and there used to be no pain. i also get tired very easily.

Answer:

The most common diagnosis is deficiency of iron leading to decreased size of red blood cells (microcytosis) and decreased amount of hemoglobin in red cells (hypochromic). The ferritin measures the amount of iron in the body and is low in deficiency of iron.  Treatment should be with iron.

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Response by:

Eric H Kraut, MD Eric H Kraut, MD
Professor of Hematology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University