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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
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Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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can someone, preferably in chat mode, explain to me the difference

Resolved Question:

can someone, preferably in chat mode, explain to me the difference between iron and hemoglobin. I had a full blood test 18 months ago with everything normal- since then i have given blood and every time i go give blood, the hemoglobin is lower(started out as 15.6 and the last time is was 12.5- the lowest it can be to give blood) It has been 3 months since i have given blood and am considering going today, but fear my hemoglobin to be low...what should i do. I am a a college student that has monthly normal 5 day periods and take multi viatmins with 18mg of iron
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Sorry but the chat mode is disabled for the moment. How often do you donate blood?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i usually donate as often as I can- i have donated 6 times in the last year and a half

November 2010 15.6 hg
January 2011 14.5 hg
April 2011 14.1 hg
June 2011 13.5 hg

there was a blood donation try in august and hemoglobin was too low-12.1

September 2011 12.8hg
October 2011 12.5hg

So 3 months and a 1/2 months since i last donated
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
OK. Obviously your hemoglobin is dropping and it wouldn't seem that it's from your periods. An anemia panel that measures ferritin, iron stores, and % iron saturations as well as B 12 levels and a peripheral smear to see if the red cells are smaller or larger than normal can detect iron deficiency anemia as well as B 12 deficiency. If it's low iron you need upper and lower endoscopy to see if there's occult bleeding in the GI tract from gastritis, a peptic ulcer, colon polyps or cancer, etc. There could be an problem with iron absorption too.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
you dont think this is related to donating blood?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
Possibly, but the drop seems a bit more than I would expect with just donation. Easy enough to check by checking after two or three months have passed since your last donation.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
yes, so do you recommend i try to give- it has been 3 1/2 months
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 4 years ago.
I'd rather see you go to your doctor and have a CBC and an anemia screen--more specific that what the blood bank would run.
Dr. Chip and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i will get a blood test, but for now I was able to donate today with a hemoglobin of 14.1-good!

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