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Low WBC and Ferritin Way Up!

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by Mij, May 8, 2015.

  1. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    I received some lab reports today and I'm a little surprised. I've had low ferritin levels for the last 20yrs, and if I take iron everyday I can keep my levels up to at least 25-30. So today my levels are at 98!! My ferritin has never been over 35. I haven't been taking that much iron either, so I"m shocked. I'm menopausal but I can't understand how not having a period for 1.5yrs would raise my ferritin levels that high.

    My TSH has gone up a little to almost 3. My GP won't test free T3 so I'm not going to even waste my energy asking her.

    My WBC has gone down to 2.9 and now my doctor is a little concerned. I've been fighting a ridiculous viral infection since the last two months, vertigo, red inflammed throat, painful neck/shoulders, exhausting muscles fatigue and weakness. I think I may have had mono? Could this raise ferritin as well?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
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  2. Oredogg

    Oredogg

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    Oregon
    It's never simple, is it?

    The short answer is yes. Ferritin, along with being a helpful surrogate marker of iron status, is also an acute phase reactant. That is, it often can increase with acute/subacute infection. If your baseline ferritin is low, and you are clearing a concurrent infection, the net effect could very well result in a ferritin level within "normal" reference range. In this sort of situation, it can be more helpful to look at the value of transferrin saturation index. A saturation less than 20% is usually indicative of iron deficiency anemia.

    As for your low WBC cell, it might help to know the differential and/or absolute counts of the different WBC components. With many viral infections, in the acute setting, there can be a transient neutropenia (short term decease in the neutrophil component). At least in adults, neutrophils represent the majority of the WBC, so I would not be too surprised that the overall WBC dropped in an acute viral infection. Though obviously I don't know all the details, and your doctor does, so follow his/her advice. That said, it might be worthwhile to repeat the CBC and iron studies in, say a month or two after (hopefully) virus infection calms down, and see if they resolve. The trend will be more telling. All the best!
     
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