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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
          
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does low iron = anemia?
Feb 15, 2004

I'm a bit confused. I had blood work done 2 weeks ago and my doc said my blood was low in iron. Does that mean I have anemia, or is that term reserved for extremely low iron? I had unprotected sex about 3 weeks ago and had symptoms of persistent dry coughs, fatigue, and a high fever 10 days after the exposure. I know these symptoms match those of ARS. Is anemia/low-iron linked to primary infection.? Please help!!!!!!!!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You've got a few things confused here. "Low iron" means your blood test shows you are low in that mineral. Iron is a critical component of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells. Consequently, if you are low in iron, you can eventually develop "iron-deficiency anemia." There are, however, many other causes of anemia. Chances are your doctor recommended changes in your diet and/or iron supplements to treat your condition. Anemia means you have too few red blood cells. It's most easily diagnosed with a blood test called the hemoglobin level. The lower limit of the normal range for men is 14 g/dl. For women, it's 12 g/dL.

Next, unprotected sex puts you at risk for STD's, including HIV. Your physician can screen you for common STD's. For a definitive HIV test you'll have to wait for at least three months. Good luck with your tests. Try not to worry excessively. Symptoms do not equal disease. Check out the Safe Sex/HIV Prevention Forum for additional information.

Dr. Bob


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