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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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To Treat, or Not To Treat....
Aug 18, 1998

In a female patient (hiv+ 8 years) who takes no meds and has the following stats, would recommend treatment for anemia, and if so, what therapy would you recommend?

Stats: T4: 20 VL: 300,000 Hemoglobin: 9.5 Hematocrit: 28 Serum Iron:22 Low white count, platelets normal

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hello Thanks for the concise stats. Based on this information, it appears as if you have an iron deficiency anemia. All of your markers for anemia are below normal levels. Iron deficiency is more common in females, and is usually caused by (1) insufficient iron in the diet; (2) impaired absorption; (3) increased iron requirements, and (4) loss of blood (even in small-unseen amounts). Determining the cause of the deficiency is as important as replacing the iron through supplementation. You mentioned that you are on no anti-HIV medications. This may be a personal choice of yours, but HIV disease progression can also cause anemia and neutropenia (low white blood count) as a result of bone marrow infiltration by HIV. Discuss the anemia with your physician. It definitely needs further evaluation and treatment, especially if it is affecting your energy level and quality of life. Good luck.


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