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Old 01-16-08, 03:29 PM   #1
Marc7200
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Exercise Induced Anemia

Over last summer I had a physical and the CBC showed I was slightly anemic. I have researched anemia on the net and learned that exercise can be a contributing factor.

I am 38 years old and used to weigh 268 lbs in August 2005 and am now at 185 lbs. I cut red meat, saturated fat, and sugars out of my diet, eat lots of fruits and vegetables and ride my bike at least 17 miles a day.

I had two CBCs before this one and the level of hemoglobin has been decreasing since I started my diet and exercise routine. I have had three CBCs since last summer and the levels have been consistent.

I do not have any symptoms of anemia and I had a colonoscopy and there was no internal bleeding contributing to the condition.

Has anyone here experienced anything like this?
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Old 01-16-08, 04:52 PM   #2
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What type of anemia did you have?
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Old 01-16-08, 05:45 PM   #3
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Actually ... the opposite. My iron levels are on the high side of normal, but so far my body has been able to keep them from going too high.

You might consider adding some red meat back into your diet. I'm not a fan of red meat myself, and I certainly wouldn't go overboard with it, but it does have iron in it.

Have you talked to your Dr about the situation? It might be as simple as adding an iron supplement to your diet ... or perhaps it is a symptom of something else, and you may require further testing. If I were you, I'd sit down and have a chat with my Dr, and be very up front about your current diet and exercise routines.

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Old 01-16-08, 06:12 PM   #4
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Have your B Complex levels checked. My hemocrit dropped and the culprit was low B1, B6 and B12 levels.
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Old 01-16-08, 07:00 PM   #5
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My Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, and RBC are all just below the normal threshold. The Doctor does not seem to be too concerned with it and he has me taking an iron supplement and wants to do another CBC in three months.
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Old 01-24-08, 12:20 AM   #6
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Been there, maybe!

I experienced a hematocrit on the low end of normal a couple of years ago, despite taking B12, folate and allowing some extra red meat, but I otherwise had normal iron and hemoglobin levels. All other factors for occult blood loss aside, my M.D. could only offer that I might have been experiencing micro-trauma to my feet from all of the riding that I was doing. This was implausible to me, so I did a little research.

Taking stock of my life, I noticed that at the time I was tested I had been riding hard in the first hot weather of the year around here and I was not always so well hydrated. There is a phenomenon, " dilutional sports pseudoanemia", which might explain why some of us trend lower. It has to do with reduced blood plasma volume while exercising related to fluid losses with sweating and then later rehydration, which then increases plasma volume. Exercising and dehydrated, I probably had by hemoconcentration an increased hematocrit. Later, rehydrated, I probably had by hemodilution a reduced hematocrit.

Did I ever catch up and make more RBC's to raise my resting hematocrit? I never checked. However I have since made certain to prehydrate with a liter of fluids before I go off to do anything and I strive to stay on top of my on-bike hydration. In doing this, I have noticed that my resting heart rate seems generally lower and my overall endurance has improved, though I have no follow up labs to offer.

I would say that if your Hct is out of the normal range, then you should have it checked out with your M.D. Self-medicating with iron is not a good idea for men without medical supervision. Otherwise, if your Hct is on the low side, I would think about recent sweat loss and maybe reconsider how you hydrate with your exercise.
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Old 01-26-08, 11:23 PM   #7
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The dilutional pseudoanemia seems a little sketch to me. The only way rehydrating would cause this on a CBC is if you just got rehydrated and then immediately drew some blood and checked it. It seems to me that if you actually did get dehydrated enough to cause hemoconcentration, if you immediately drank enough to actually overhydrate and dilute out your blood, the compensatory mech. of your body would handle that pretty quick and your Hct would go back to normal before you would get to a Dr. and have it checked. The Hct "normal" levels are not for 100% of people. Granted, they do fit almost all people, you may just not normally be in that range all the time. Unless it is actually affecting your day to day life and exercise routine or keeps dropping lower and lower, I don't see it being a significant problem. Obviously, keep checking it to be sure though.
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