I have BTM too... I'm 17 and today was our school blood drive. You can donate blood with minor but not major. They went to check my iron levels and they were so low, the machine wouldn't read them. To donate they must be at atleast 12.5, but it only reads as low as 7.0. So my levels were lower than that. :/ I am ALWAYS cold. Even in the summer. I lose my tan that i work on all summer in a matter of weeks, and if I get to cold, my lips turn a ghastly blueish purple color. I take iron pills whey morning, but obviously they arnt doing much good. Just wanted to share my experience!
emilyann13 emilyann13
22-25, F
4 Responses Apr 23, 2013

Of course the iron pills are not doing you much good because YOU ARE NOT IRON DEFICIENT when you have beta thalassemia minor. Next time your clinician wants to prescribe you iron pills, insist on an iron test (there are four kinds) before accepting the prescription. When you have too much iron, your stools are going to come out darker, black.

I doubt very much they checked your iron level, as our iron level must be in the range of 50 - 212 ug/dL. Most likely, the machine (probably an ELT-12) was only doing a CBC, which reads your red blood cells count, your white blood cells count, your hemoglobin, calculates your mean corpuscular value; but DOES NOT read your iron level. What it read was your hemoglobin level. Hemoglobin is a molecule in the RBC that carries oxygen and contains iron. The machine needs whole blood in order to do the CBC while the iron test only needs the blood serum.

I have alpha Thalasemia the doctors told me thalasemia it self is harmless
But if ever I was to get married and have children my partner is to be examined for thalasemia to see
Cause two parrents with the gene would be dangerous for the children ,
(Curently my nephew is being tested )

What I usually do is eat allot steak,
Things containing garlic , drink like 2XL cans of Red Bull a day
Take extra Vitamins,

Other than that there is not much we could do

Iron pills are not recommended with BTM as they actually weigh down the immature red blood cells our bodies produce and can make them clump up in our joints and create arthritis-type symptoms. Dehydration can create the same symptoms. We generally are able to get all the iron we need from food. Our tiny cells are simply not able to carry more than that. Not eating too many iron-rich foods is also important, such as: red meat and dark green leafy veg (spinach and kale) which many of us crave.
A relationship with a Hematologist to help with advice and the occasional check-up is important. You might want to look into it.