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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
          
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Blood Test Results
May 8, 2003

Test results for a 58 year old woman: RBC 3.55 Hemoglobin 11.3 Hematocrit 32.4. Should I be concerned? My doc recommends a colonoscopy but I am hesitant. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

This is an HIV information website. Are you HIV-positive? What are your CD4-cell counts, viral load, medications, and symptoms? Potential causes of anemia in the setting of HIV disease include:

1. HIV itself anemia of chronic disease 2. Medication side effects -- particularly AZT 3. Opportunistic infections TB, MAC, parvovirus B19 4. Opportunistic malignancies 5. Blood loss

Ill elaborate on these and other potential causes when you respond back with further details. If, on the other hand, you are not HIV-positive (as I suspect), then I would agree with your doctor. Blood loss through the gastrointestinal tract is one of the most common causes for anemia in folks over 50. The current guidelines suggest a baseline sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy for all folks over 50!

Welcome to the golden years. Now bend over!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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