Post # 1
I’m not asking in place of a doctor’s advice, I’m in the process of being diagnosed, I’m just worried and impatient and googling shit I only partially understand. I had bloodtests done last week:
This is the bloodwork outside of range:
Hemoglobin, hematocrit, MCV & MCH all low.
Iron & Vit D low (these I pretty much understand)
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate is high
Hemoglobin A1C high
C Reactive protein high.
From the above figures, the two most significantly out of whack are the C Reactive Protein & the erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
bloodtests show post-menopausal (which is expected), B12 is fine, thyroid tests (several, as I take synthroid for hypothyroidism) were all good, cholesterol and insulin fasting good.
Background: reasonably fit and active, early 50s, non smoker. have had a persistent cough x several weeks (at first I thought it was just a stubborn cold but I have no other cold or flu symptoms), on inhalers for the first time in ages (mild seasonal asthma when younger) and I get tired, short of breath easily. Getting short of breath easily is really abnormal for me as I usually play sports and work out without sob, now I get sob out of nowhere even when not exerting. I get coughing fits bad enough it’s hard to catch my breath/ occasionally makes me throw up.
I got these results on Friday evening. I go on Tuesday for a chest x ray and abdominal/ pelvic & transvaginal ultrasound and then see my doctor again next Friday. But since I’m stressing about this and googling stuff in the meantime and not really understanding what I’m reading on google searches, I thought perhaps Bees with more medical knowledge than me might shed some light on what these results mean? Please don’t sugar coat it if it’s not good- lol and please don’t sugar coat it if I’m being silly and anxious over something that’s likely not too serious.
Post # 2
p.s. And I do know that the sensible thing to do would be to have the rest of my tests done and then wait and talk to my doctor, but I’m not in a sensible mood
Post # 3
crustyoldbee : Nothing official here but I would be a little concerned. Significant shortness of breath even at rest, with persistent cough and Crp and esr are elevated in infections. I would want the chest xray *today* to rule out pneumonia. Possibly even a Catscan to rule out pulmonary embolism (lung blood clot)or other lung issues. Elevated A1c says your blood sugar has been high over the last 3 months. Fasting blood sugar can be fine but a1c elevated tells the bigger story and could signal diabetes or prediabetes. Why in the world is the doctors office not scheduling a chest xray for weeks wtf!
Post # 4
Obviously you siad you’re not looking for real medical advice, but I feel compelled to state that I’m not in the healthcare profession, just do a lot of research on my own time. High C reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate can be indicative of inflamation and/or infection. Low hemoglobin, hematocrit, MCV, MCH, and iron and high RDW all point to anemia. Not really scary, you just may need to take iron supplements and adjust your diet. Iron supplements can be constipating, but otherwise it’s pretty easy to handle. Anemia makes you short of breath too. THe hemoglobin A1C measures your blood sugar levels over the past couple of months, so if it’s high your sugars have been elevated for a while. Depending on how high it is you’ll need to change your diet and possibly add meds if you are prediabetic. I am prediabetic thanks to PCOS, and my A1C is always a bit high. Good luck with your other tests.
Post # 6
My tests often look similar they make me take horrible iron sulphate tablets in huge amounts for years anemia. Edited to add I get the high reactive c too when my thyroid is out of whack. It can also sometimes signify arthritis and a whole bunch of things. Edited again to add I see you are hypothyroid like me too. Seriously our tests seem v similar. My dr says thyroid effects a1c too. I do a low carb diet to try combat it but I always have slightly raised a1c whatever I do. My dr doesn’t seem worried about me so hopefully you get good news too!
Post # 7
Okay so I used to perform and interpret these tests (ex biomedical scientist), without the actual values it’s impossible to say the severity or significance of the results, but you more than likely have iron deficiency anaemia (low Hb, low MCV, low MCH, low haematocrit and high RDW), inflammation (high ESR and CRP) and you’re either diabetic or pre diabetic (high HBA1c). Your eGFR should be >60 as that’s normal and a sign of a good kidney function. Other than that you cannot tell any more from these test results.
Post # 8
Thank you everyone for the help. I should have included the values first time around – I’ve put the normal range in brackets as Bees in different countries may use different measurements. These are Canadian measures.
hemoglobin 101 (range is 120-160 g/L)
hematocrit 0.32 (range is 0.35- 0.45 L/L)
MCV 73 (80-100 fL)
MCH 23.2 ( 27.5- 33 pg)
RDW 16.4 (11.5-14.5 %)
ESR 59 (2-30 mm/hr)
HA1C 6.2 (<5.5 %)
eGFR 74 (<59)
CRP 10.96 (<1.0 mg/L = low risk; <1.0-3.0 mg/L = moderate risk; <3.0 = high risk)
ferritin 4 (5-272 ug/ L)
the CRP seems to be the most off. The ferritin is only barely off but it’s such a huge range (which is a little bewildering, surely with such a big range, someone in the low double digits would still have questionable iron??)
and I forgot to mention but my white blood cell count is normal.
Post # 9
mrstodd2bee : I agree with you re the significant shortness of breath being worrying. I can’t blame the doctor though- sorry if I wasn’t clear on that but I only just seen him on Wednesday, I was the one who let it go for weeks because at first I thought it wasn’t too serious, something I would shake off. So that’s on me. If I don’t get answers on the chest x ray and U/S I’ll ask about a CT scan.
catmom17 : I think anemia is likely. My blood sugars have never been high before so this is new and surprising (I’ve been tested a few times, both with routine physicals and because 1 of my sisters is type 1)
sunburn : Aprpreciate that, thanks 🙂 I actually replied to pm’s first before checking this thread 🙂
faithjaney : We do seem to have a lot of similarities, thanks for sharing. I didn’t know thyroid could affect a1c but it seems to affect a lot of things so….
ariesscientist : thanks sorry I should have included them first time around.
Post # 10
A low hemoglobin is diagnostic of anemia, so you definitely are anemic. This could very likely be the cause of your shortness of breath. The important thing now is to determine WHY you are anemic— are you losing blood somehow, making red blood cells that aren’t functioning right, not making enough red blood cells, or is your body destroying the red blood cells somehow. That is the next step that your physician will be working to figure out, so you can take steps to fix whatever is making your hemoglobin levil low.
A high CRP is indicative of inflammation, and could point to an autoimmune cause.
Post # 11
You appear to be anemic, and your blood sugar has been mildly elevated over the last 3 months. The ESR and CRP indicate inflammation, but are nonspecific… this could be related to an infection or an autoimmune condition. More specific testing needs to be ordered.
The respiratory symptoms you describe sound a lot like pertussis (whooping cough). Although most of us were vaccinated as children, immunity wanes over time.
I hope you get some answers soon!
Post # 12
As a health care professional please please take advice given here with a grain of salt. I’m not giving you medical advice. If you are worried you can alway always call your doctor in the morning and they will call you back with results or have a nurse call you. All these values have to be taken in context with your age, your race, your other medical history, what screenings you have had, what meds you are on. It also depends in what your values were before and what they are now and how long it took them to change. Also these values depend on your lab reference ranges and just because something is low or high for your labs reference range does not mean that it is. Internet is not the best place for this. Your doctor might even want you to be seen earlier then your appointment if they feel it’s necessary. No one should be giving advice without context here. If you feel really short of breath there is also always the ED but taking medical advice from strangers who are prob copy/pasting stuff from google is not the right answer to this prob. No offense
Post # 13
It sounds like you have iron deficiency anemia which can be due to blood loss but you’re not in a scary range. The CRP is the most striking lab value but is so nonspecific.. it could be due to an active pneumonia you have now, or you may have an underlying inflammatory condition (ex- rheumatoid arthritis in which it would be chronically elevated). SOB could be from the anemia if it’s a sudden drop in your counts.. but probably not with the cough you describe. If you get worse I’d go to the emergency room for a cardiac workup/ chest X-ray and possibly CT scan, and repeat blood counts. Hope you’re feeling better!!!
Post # 14
crustyoldbee : I look at labs all day for patients and the CRP is definitely high. As others have said it’s indicative of an inflammatory process. Could be infection such as pneumonia, especially in light of your described cold symptoms and sudden shortness of breath. Can’t rule out PE (pulmonary embolism) but you got all the diagostic exams for those underway.
Did you travel anywhere in the last few weeks? Long car ride/flight? Or have trauma to any part of your body recently?
***I just noticed you said white blood cell count is normal. Now I’m really thinking PE. Go to the ER now and get a CT scan.
Post # 15
sparkosity : thanks, that makes a lot of sense- to look for what’s causing the anemia. I do have at least one autoimmune disease (thyroid)
shellbee9903 : my adult vaccines are up to date, but that’s a good point. Too many of us get our children vaccinated but forget to update our own.
ashleyroo : No offense taken at all, but I’m the one who said I’m just googling stuff on my own anyway (in addition to doctors and tests, not in place of), so I see this thread as other Bees just helpfully sharing their ideas, opinions, personal experiences, and in some cases medical knowledge from their fields, it’s all welcome.
saradiana32 : thanks- that’s one of the confusing things, for me at least, with the elevated CRP is that it’s not specific. So I’m thinking some of these tests may be to rule things out as well as hopefully diagnose.
hm2012 : No recent travel. A few Bees have mentioned PE so I’m going to call and see if I can get my cxr & U/S done today instead of tomorrow and ask them re CT scan as well (the building where I get bloodwork/ cxr & U/S done is right next door to the hosp)
Thanks everyone for all the advice 🙂