T Nation

Blood Donation, Low Ferritin. Help Needed

That is od your RBC is high but HCT is normal since HCT is the volume of RBC to the liquid.
I will just guess it was a lab error. They error a lot more than we think. How is your blood pressure? That is how I know my HCT is getting too high.

Wow lots of questions I’ll try to answer.
On my last blood test my HCT was 51 and my ferritin was 109 my T dose/protocol was 80mg/wk T cyp. 800IU HCG and no AI needed.
However the HCT was coming down on its own since the HCT before that was 52.7 so only reducing the T cyp from 150 to 80 and not donating was lowering my HCT. Seeing that my doc allowed me to increase my T cyp dose to 120 and in 2 months I will do a mini blood test to peak at where things are at. I will probably do a test before the doc wants one because my goal is Free T top of the range and not over. So I will do a peak TT blood test at week 6 to make sure I do not go over.

On your question about if to donate and do iron supplements. IMO it does not work for very long.
Just dropping your dose will allow your HCT to drop on its own. At lease mine did.
Please note I’m no doctor here I don’t even play one on the internet so I am only telling you what has worked for me and giving you my opinion.

If your Free T is 55 and that is not a lab error I will agree with you that is the cause of your HCT issues. Low SHGB guys can get way with very low T doses. My SHGB moves around a bit from 22-29 and I felt great on 80mg/wk I did 40 on Monday and 40 on Thursday and had no ups or downs. I also did not notice any drop in my gym performance.

Ahh, Thank you so much. I really need to Thank you.
I would love to be in touch with you. I was all at sea before getting responces from you. I appreciate yoy for this. My Dr. Is not very educated about such issues and i have no other option except to carry on with him just for the sake of my T injections. Rest i am all doing on my own and thats the story for the last one year or so. Please.be in touch with me. Whenever i would get stuck, i will.annoy you as i just did :slight_smile:
My RBC is 5.55 and the maximum is 5.55. So its not over yet but borderline. But that will go above and effect my HCT which is at 46 right now. So i am reducing my T dosage from 17 to 10 EOD. I am hoping for relief in symptoms.

By hook or by crook i cant afford to drop TRT !!!

Were you on Iron supplementatipn during this phase, if yes for how long and at what dosage.

Ahh, Thank you so much. I really need to Thank you.
I would love to be in touch with you. I was all at sea before getting responces from you. I appreciate yoy for this. My Dr. Is not very educated about such issues and i have no other option except to carry on with him just for the sake of my T injections. Rest i am all doing on my own and thats the story for the last one year or so. Please.be in touch with me. Whenever i would get stuck, i will.annoy you as i just did :slight_smile:
My RBC is 5.55 and the maximum is 5.55. So its not over yet but borderline. But that will go above and effect my HCT which is at 46 right now. So i am reducing my T dosage from 17 to 10 EOD. I am hoping for relief in symptoms.

By hook or by crook i cant afford to drop TRT !!!

This has been a very helpful read because I’ve been struggling w fatigue and yawning during workouts. My ferritin was at 9 (nine) a month ago. My primary doc said no big deal because it will come back on its own quickly since I’m on T therapy. Sounds like I need to supplement or get an IV.

Other stats: 120mg cyp per week, 1000iu HCG, TT 851, free T 19.7, SHGB 34, E2 19, RBC 4.84, HCT 44.1, HGB 14.2.

2 months earlier, My HGB was at 16.4, HCT 51, BP 10 points elevated, so my primary doc suggested donating blood a few times over a 4-6 week period. After the first 2 times donating I felt really good but I must have overdone it bc now I’m tired and have a persistent headache.

Any help getting to a good place would be appreciated.

You will make more new red blood cells very fast on TRT that is what HCT measures but new blood cells don’t seem to have any ferritin in them for some reason. That is why we crash our ferritin from blood donations when our HCT is to high.
The only fix I have been able to come up with, thru my own experiments over the last 3 years , is drop the T dose until your Free T is at the top of the range but never over even on peak T days not just trough days and supplement iron just long enough that your ferritin gets back in range knowing the iron supplements will raise your HCT also so its a balancing act. I’t been a real bitch getting it balanced but it can be done.

At what point do you start to feel a significant difference? Right now I can’t finish a workout without yawning and afterward I feel like garbage instead of better like normal.

To add to my challenges, I’ve been taking my temps for thyroid and I’m consistently 96.6 and 96.7. It’s really discouraging to have my T and E2 in the right place but feel like trash.

I don’t think yawning is a symptom of low ferritin.

As your body heats up during exercise, your brain combats the warmth by triggering a yawn.
But your brain may also prompt a yawn because the exercises are diverting a large amount of blood to your working muscles and it wants to reclaim some of that blood flow.

Yawning vs grasping for air from crashed ferritin is different.

I’m not in the camp that believes morning body temp checks for thyroid issues give you very good results. Thermometers these days seem to have a lot of error in their readings. Nothing replaces a full thyroid panel and even then I like to see two several months apart before asking the doc for drugs. LabCorp errors has jacked my protocol more than once causing me months of setbacks.

@hrdlvn
Any blood thinners you can recommend other than Aspirin? I am taking Gingko Biloba.

Update, i have dropped my dosage. Previously 17 mg EOD, now 10 mg EOD. Free test dropped from 53 to 28. RBC is 5.5, HCT 46, Ferratin 64. Platllets on the high end of normal.

Do you think that i would be able to balance things at this particular stage without going for donation.

Again Thanks a Million. I would be at sea if you had not rescued me just in time.

I always thought Omega-3 fish oil (I take 3000-4000mg/day) did a great job of thinning your blood plus it helps HDL and will cut your triglycerides is half plus many other good things.

Your number look great I thing you did it. Good Job.
With an HCT of 46 you don’t want to donate. Also your ferritin is over 50 that is great news.

Slowly bump your T dose up a very small amount after each blood test until your Free T is at the top of the range. That will be the most T you can run without bad side effects.
I don’t use trough anymore I use peak T day because I cannot let my Free T go above range. The trough day is useless info to me.

A blood donation does not drop your ferriting 30 points. More like 10. I just donated 488 ml and mine dropped 10 points only.

My Mother has had low iron and ferritin her entire life, and just had surgery for cancer and is currently undergoing chemo and radiation. Low ferritin virtually ensure that yo are anemic or borderline anemic and nothing else. I re-assert that your doctor is a moron, BTW.

Excessive yawning is a symptom of low calcium, not sure about other things.

I’m not picking a side or making any arguments here, but I just thought I’d share today’s experience…

I get my phlebotomies done at a cancer care hospital. The doctor I see there is not my TRT doc (though he was referred to by my TRT doc). This doc is a blood specialist (hematologist), and does his own separate monitoring of my blood through his own in-house labs as he schedules my phlebotomies.

Today we discussed my various levels and I brought up my low ferritin. I also asked about iron and the possibility of anemia. He said he directly tested my iron and it is indeed low, but he isn’t worried about that. He said that for most people, if they had low ferritin and iron, they would also likely have low RBC and hematocrit, and for them, that and anemia IS a problem. But he said, for you guys on TRT, you have such a strong blood biulding mechanism in place, you don’t need all that iron to “build blood”. And by “build blood” he meant getting strong RBC and hematocrit levels.

I asked if I can take an iron supplement anyways, and he said that would be working against myself. Iron is for building blood, and I’m there for phlebotomies because TRT is already so powerful at building blood. Adding iron would only raise my RBC and hematocrit further and faster.

STOP DOING PHLEBOTOMY

I had optimal hemoglobin and RBC and abnormally low iron and ferritin, MCV and MCH were also bottomed out which is microcytic anemia. The mass and size of my hemoglobin was small carrying less oxygen to my tissues.

All but one of my doctors missed the severe iron deficiency. Optimal ferritin (>70) is needed for optimal thyroid function.

Be very careful trusting doctors blindly.

@dbossa,

I’ve seen that video posted before, but I think there’s a plot hole in his theory. People high in the Andes have high hematocrit and hemoglobin, yes, but they are living at altitude with thin oxygen…it’s an adaptive requirement. That doesn’t mean that it’s safe for people living at sea level to have to same hematocrit levels as people living in the Andes. Further, the average person in the Andes has hematocrit of 54%…that’s not crazy high. I’ve had mine that high. But without phlebotomies, it would have continued to get higher. I don’t see how Dr. Rouzier’s simple observation and follow-up hypothesis makes it safe to have unlimited blood count numbers.

2 Likes

@systemlord,

Thanks for the head’s up. Luckily, so far my MCV, MCH, MCHC, and platelet count are in in the mid-range.

You know there are just some youtube video’s that just need to go away because they are total BS and this is one of them.
For those suggesting don’t donate blood how do you respond to your TRT doc when he says “you let your HCT go over 52% I will pull your script”?
An if you say find another doc my responce is FU I trust my TRT completely. The so called doc in this video are clowns in my book. I would never let them treat me.

Living at High Altitude

I’ve seen posts saying that people live long lives at high altitude and are perfectly fine. Apparently there are studies showing otherwise.