Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blood Test Results

My doctor's office called today with the results of my most recent blood work. Last Friday, I did another one hour glucose tolerance test to see how I am handling sugar, and a hematocrit blood test to determine if I have anemia. I did fine with my glucose tolerance test, but I failed the test for anemia. Ironically, I was more concerned about failing the glucose tolerance test.

Anemia in pregnancy is common and it is most often caused by an iron deficiency in the diet. Some women are anemic before they even get pregnant. I did pass my preliminary test for anemia with my initial round of pregnancy blood testing in my first trimester. But pregnant women need more iron. Iron helps the body make new blood cells to carry the oxygen and nutrients to the baby during pregnancy. By the end of pregnancy, I will have twice as much blood in my body than when I began the pregnancy. So there is a whole lot of blood cell making going on right now.

I have read on the internet that between 24 - 32 weeks of pregnancy is not a good time to test for iron deficiency, even though most providers do test between 28-34 weeks. I am in my 29th week. The pregnant body, at this point in gestation, has just been through a large surge in blood volume and it does take awhile for all the levels to balance out. I will be asking to be tested again after 34 weeks to see if I still show up anemic.

Meanwhile, I have been instructed to get more iron intake. There is some in the prenatal vitamin I already take, but I bought more iron supplements today. I got a recommendation of a new dosage to take twice daily from my OB/GYN's office.

Michael said he will take me out to dinner this weekend for some red meat.

Being low in iron can cause fatigue, more than the normal fatigue in pregnancy. So maybe I haven't just been drained from the stress of work.

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