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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Iron deficiency anemia

03/23/2007

Question:

I have RA so I am on alot of medications. My doctor thought that I had anemia of chronic desease. The size of my red blood cells were getting smaller and my anemia getting worse so was my RA. So I tried taking iron pills to see if they would help. My ferrtin levels were normal. I took the iron for two months and my hemiglobin and sed rate were normal. First time in 2 years. How can I have iron def. anemia with a regular ferritin levels?

Answer:

First the improvement in anemia could have a relationship to treatment of your RA.  But if it was not treated differently, patients can have increased ferritin due to inflammation, and this would mask iron deficiency.

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Response by:

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