Thanks for writing to the forum!
Red blood cells can be of small size if due to some reason they are not formed properly as in sickle cell, thalassemia etc. Anemia will not be present unless a particular number of cells are destroyed. Also those with thalassemia trait do not have any apparent anemia. Electrophoresis of the hemoglobin should be carried out to know the cause.
Hope this helps. I think you should discuss these possibilities with your doctor. A comprehensive investigation is required keeping all the points in mind. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Hi, i need your help, my friend was told she had anemia and was given iron pils. she had been taking them and nothing changed she has been feeling relly tired and with bad head aches. She saw a diffrent doctor and he said she has small red blood cells and a low count of them. He asked for her to run more test. Can that be any kind of serious diseas? thank you
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
No, this need not be something serious, but definitely something that should be tested for. To assess a patient’s iron status, measurements of iron, TIBC (total iron binding capacity) and measurement of ferritin are performed. Transferrin is a substance that transports iron in the plasma. If the saturation is below 20%, the amount of iron carried by transferrin is decreased. In this situation it is also expected that the absolute serum iron will be low. Normally in iron deficiency, iron is low, TIBC is high, percent saturation is low and ferritin is low. The iron can be low due to poor diet or due to inability of gut to absorb iron as seen in malabsorption syndromes, IBS etc.
You should get your stool examined for occult or hidden blood to know if there is bleeding from the gut—minor one due to ulcers or inflammatory bowel conditions. Also your friend would need to get a pheripheral blood smear done to know the RBC count, structure and whether there is cytopenia (general decrease in cell count). The renal function and liver function needs to be checked as also electrophoresis of hemoglobin to know whether there is thalasemia trait or sickle cell anemia.
There is a chance that everything is normal and the diet is poor in iron.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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