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Hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis patient w/unexplained labs?

06/12/2007

Question:

I am a hemochromatosis patient, that just received my latest lab results, and i am greatly concerned about the recommended treatment from my hemotologist.result

lab results (June-07): HGB - 14.9 IRON 247 TOTAL IRON BINDING CAPACITY "unable to calculate as the unbound iron binding capacity is below the detection limit" % SATURATION "unable to calculate as the unbound iron binding capacity is below the detection limit" FERRITIN - 27

lab results: (march -07) IRON - 98 TIBC - 223 % SATURATION - 44 FERRITIN - 16

lab results (feb -07) IRON - 169 TIBC - 253 % SATURATION - 67 FERRITIN - 22

based on my june results my current hemotologist has recommended that i do two phlebotomies scheduled two weeks apart. my concern is that i am female, an avid 1/2 marathoner, and a vegetarian. could these results be indicative of another underlying condition?

your response would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

With respect to your laboratory results, it would appear that your ferritin is running between 16 and 27 with rather high iron saturation indices.  Without knowing the details of where the labs were obtained, I really can't make any further comments on them.

I can tell you that we recommend inpatients with hemochromatosis to maintain a ferritin between 20 and 50 ng/dl. While the ideal ferritin level may vary somewhat from center to center, we feel that this range of ferritin levels as a goal for patients is reasonable in that it minimizes any side effects from symptoms of iron deficiency and allows us to intervene before the ferritin becomes significantly elevated, thus placing the patient at risk for problems related to iron overload.

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