What does a CBC general test show? Is it possible to detect iron deficiency, and what do legs and vinaigrette have to do with it? Hair loss, fatigue and shortness of breath are reasons for examination.

As far back as I can remember, the general CBC blood test results almost always showed low haemoglobin. During pregnancy, the indicator dropped to 103-105 g/l. In such cases, the prescription is iron preparations and a well-balanced diet. On average, hemoglobin was 110-119. Not that critically low, but with the norm of 120-150 g/l, I would like to be at least in the middle of the norm. We often don’t go to the doctor or the laboratory until the rooster pecks.

For me, going to the CBC general practitioner for a referral for a complete count as part of free medicine is a feat. First, you need to ask for time off from work and take your place in line at the reception desk at 7 am (outside) since the outpatient Anaemia clinic opens at 7:30. The reception starts at 8 and is very leisurely. Then, with the received form, go back to the reception desk to get a stamp and on certain days (and for us, this is not every day), asking for time off from work again, come to give blood (let’s not forget about the line, yeah). For the result, go to the GP again according to the same scheme (((

This Anaemia option is not an option for me. Therefore, I decided to take tests in a paid laboratory. Everything is simple here. You only need to come once and without a referral. You can get the result the next day by e-mail or in your account on the laboratory website.

What brought me to the laboratory?

The first and most important thing is hair loss. Yes, they tend to fall out in certain quantities. BUT! Hair falls out constantly – when combing, washing, styling, even at night and during the day at work. And I don’t even touch my hair. The drain and the vacuum cleaner are clogged with hair. They are in all corners of the apartment and sometimes even get, oh, horror, into a plate.

Moreover, in some places, they fell out and stopped growing! So you’ll soon be bald. All this is accompanied by constant fatigue and apathy; I don’t want to do anything. That is when I wake up tired after 8 hours of sleep. It’s better during the day; I even make grandiose plans for what I’ll do in the evening.

I’m tired at work anyway. I barely have the strength to watch TV! However, evaluating only the haemoglobin level would only be partially correct. What is anaemia? Anaemia is a condition in which the level of haemoglobin in the blood decreases, and often, the red cells can no longer carry the required amount of oxygen to the body’s tissues.

The result shows that haemoglobin is at the lowest limit of the norm, but the number of red cells is low.

Again, it’s not critical, but a certain picture emerges when all the factors come together.

Another important indicator is hematocrit. Hematocrit is an indicator that determines the content of red cells (erythrocytes) in total volume. The hematocrit indicator determines the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. And again, practically, the lower limit of the norm is 35.9, with an acceptable level of 35-45.

Objectively, only the red cell count is reduced. However, the Anaemia symptoms are clearly expressed as increased weakness and fatigue, hair loss, and decreased memory and performance. Also, shortness of breath even with little physical activity. I started breathing heavily when I went to the 4th floor, but before that, I almost ran up with full bags.

The following symptoms of iron deficiency are also associated with beetroot and reddened urine after eating beets. And I thought that after a beetroot salad and vinaigrette, this was normal…

Restless legs syndrome is a common Anaemia symptom characterized by discomfort in the legs at rest that goes away with movement. I was stuck here because I couldn’t explain this state. If you’re lying or sitting and want to move your legs, they don’t hurt, but it’s impossible to be calm. The combination of all factors still points to a mild, I hope, degree of iron deficiency anaemia. Also, a ferritin test would be sufficient.

A balanced diet includes my favourite buckwheat, apples and pomegranates, liver and meat. And pills)))

Be healthy!


General Anaemia test – my most frequent procedure prescribed by the doctor + decoding of the main parameters

People utilize complete FBC (CBC) almost everywhere. This year, when I visited a general practitioner, she wrote me a referral for this procedure and a complete urine analysis. They are done quite quickly, but they usually provide good information.

What is the procedure?

The CBC doctor usually gives you a referral to take blood for analysis, to which the form with the study’s results will then be attached. The procedure must be done on an empty stomach. The last meal should be approximately 10-12 hours before taking it for a general analysis.

We have Anaemia blood tests in the morning – from 7.30 to 9.30. But they usually finish around 10 am since many people are in line to give. The last time, I waited for my turn for about an hour before I could finally get into the office. And with the thyroid hormone test, too)

It is now taken almost everywhere, only from a vein. They have long since stopped pricking the fingertips. Is it painful to give it from a vein? For me – no. However, much still depends on the doctor or nurse who takes the test. As they say, some have a “light hand”; everything goes well.

Before taking blood, the health worker asks you to work your fist to locate the vein on your elbow. After that, they will secure a tourniquet above the elbow, wipe the puncture site with an alcohol wipe, and pierce the skin with a needle that has a connection to a collection tube.

It is collected fairly quickly, after which a tightly folded napkin soaked in alcohol is applied to the puncture site and then secured with a special plaster. The arm should be kept bent at the elbow for about 5-10 minutes to stop the bleeding and prevent a bruise from forming.


The results are ready the next day.

In general, it is quite easy to understand the CBC results of a test. You need to know the abbreviations and normal readings. Any deviations to the right or left are a reason to check more thoroughly, but the doctor still sends you for further tests.

In principle, all my indicators, except for ESR, were within the normal range, but I noticed many were approaching the upper limit. This could be better, but so far, it is not critical. If some of the parameters were too far out of the norm, I would be more worried)

But I will deal with ESR further. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate could be increased for various reasons. It remains only to find out for what reason) As practice shows, this is much more difficult than simply getting the results of a general exam and comparing them with the norm

By the way, although I took an Anaemia blood exam much more often than any other, sometimes I had to go for more specific ones. For example, I asked for a blood test for cholesterol and glucose during a routine medical examination. But still, for me, the CBC remains the most popular one.


People do a complete Anaemia count (CBC) in cases of health complaints and before operations to determine any deviations. The analysis is simple but very useful; you should pay attention to it, especially when prescribed by a doctor.