Blood testing for hemaglobin

Not sure if this helps the conversation but I was feeling over-trained in late June this year and was feeling anemic. I just happened to get a blood test done at the same time. My hemoglobin was down to 129 from 141 normally, my hematocrit was 0.387 from a regular 0.42 and my red blood cell count was 4.26 versus 4.61 normally. I’ve done little intensity since July and am starting to feel normal again. Have just had another blood test and should get the results shortly. Dr. ordered a stool test to see if I was bleeding in the intestines, negative. I’ve been taking B12 and an iron supplement since July. I’d say all the low values were a result of under-recovering.

The forum is so very important for our understanding and growth plus support. You open up a dynamic of science in fatigue and CBC to the equation.
NOW I’m gonna to look into that for myself.
Anybody read (Faster after 50); I prolly should now.

every country and MD is different of course. some considerations, nonetheless:

  • if you’re symptom free, what are you going to do about a non-normal test result? others have mentioned the false-positive due to increased plasma volume in athletes, but it’s just one of the sources of false test results. are you willing to undergo further testing, continue seeing your doctor about it, or start (empirical) treatment?
  • consider also that unless you have symptoms of anemia, are female in menstruating age, ~50 plus male, specific diet or have some medical condition, the chances that you may find slightly abberant test results without a clinical meaning may significantly outweigh the chance that you are actually sick (=having a low pre-testing probability for disease)
  • in light of the many factors that probably affect your racing, do you think that a lower or higher hemoglobin would give you any information to evaluate your performance, considering the impact of all other factors?

FYI, there is some data on iron deficiency without anemia, which can also give symptoms. but this is really again a case of pre-test probability, unless you have symptoms or specific conditions like above the likelihood that this causes any problem is very much debatable. some people may opt for test treatments.

I think it’s very easy to test but much more difficult to consider what to do with it afterwards.

To echo the above, I just showed some of this thread to my personal * haematologist and asked her what advice she’d give.

The long and the short of her answer was that unless you have an experienced sports doctor reading and reviewing your blood tests then you’re almost certainly wasting your time. She also mentioned a whole load of complicated stuff that would affect Hb and hematocrit testing and it gave me a headache.

I suspect if you’re going to try altitude training then your power meter will be the thing that tells you if it works.

*on account of being married to me