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Hemochromatosis

Low Ferrition Level

10/26/2009

Question:

Im at a loss!!! I am a 33 yr old female I have had Secondary Polycythemia since 1997. Problem is no one has found the cause for my over production of Red cells. Recently I had some disturbing numbers come back from my Test that was ran on 10/16/09. They are as follows: WBC 6.4 Hct 50.3 MCV 81.6 Platelets 100,088 Hgb 16.1 Iron Syrum 36 TIBC 423 Iron Sat. 9% Ferritin 5

My Iron is extremely low, however if I take Iron it rockets up my red cell counts and as you can see I`m already at 50.3 for my HCT. Someone mentioned I may have "iron avidity" is this the case and if so what should I do? My Drs just monitor my counts and said they wanted me to take iron but I know this is a bad idea. I stopped smoking 5 days ago and have smoked since I was 17. I am hoping this is the answer! Any information you can give will be greatly appreciated. 

Answer:

If you truly have Secondary Polycythemia, that means there is a cause.  Smoking is always a very important possible cause.  It is certainly important to quit smoking, and you should have your lungs checked through a pulmonary specialist. You might want to get a second opinion from another doctor regarding what the cause of the Secondary Polycythemia is. 

In general, blood donations for Secondary Polycythemia don't work (and it's called into question what the diagnosis is).  In your case, you are iron deficient and still polycythemic, so it's probably due to underlying lung disease; however, without seeing you, I can't be sure. 

For more information:

Go to the Hemochromatosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mark   Wurster, MD Mark Wurster, MD
Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University