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Low iron and UK Class 1 medical

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Low iron and UK Class 1 medical

Old 22nd Aug 2023, 16:49
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Low iron and UK Class 1 medical

My AME is taking a while to get back to me and wondering what this means for meÖ

I had my class 1 medical issued 2 weeks ago, with a low hemocrit (11.5, right above the limit of no fly luckily), and having to get further tests after this.

tested full bloods last week at my GP, hemocrit up to 13.8 (so thatís fine), but my iron levels are very low. Serum ferritin level 11ng/ml. Will this possibly void my medical until itís sorted, could it be a limitation, or could it continue as being valid whilst I chase further GP testing etc?

Never had any medical issue, 24 years old and healthy. Any advice or insight would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 27th Aug 2023, 17:42
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So it seems the first result was a lab or venesection error. I dont know what you were told, but as the normal heamatocrit is 40 and under 15 is dead, I suspect you were given your haemoglobin in pre 2010 units. We have moved the decimal point so your haemoglobin is now 138 - this is not just pedantic but important to avoid confusion in future

Your iron is used to make haemoglobin. The analogy is petrol making your car go. If you only have a little petrol the car works perfectly...until you run out. A low iron is usually not that interesting until and unless it results in a low haemoglobin - below 120 I would start to get interested, and 120 is our lower limit for undertaking major surgery.

Low iron can cause brittle nails and hair but has to be very low. Normally low iron causes no symptoms especially in men. Your GP may want to check why your iron is low and we would consider:

not enough going in ie diet
and
too much going out ie chronic bleeding

The bottom line is if your haemoglobin is OK, you feel OK and no reason is found you are fit to fly and not worry. I would check annually

Some people might give you iron but iron tablets are poorly absorbed and cause gastrointestinal issues. We can easily give intravenous iron but only do so for symptomatic patients or before big operations



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Old 28th Aug 2023, 16:17
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Wow, thank you so much for such a detailed response. Like I said, Iíve never had any issues before so no idea how this works. I have a GP call soon, Iím assuming theyíll just recommend eating iron and/ or supplements like you mentioned, but nothing seems crazy out of the ordinary so my medical should be fine whilst Iím changing my diet etc? When you say Ďno reason is foundí, meaning after further tests, or no reason found right now so it should be fine?

thank you again

Originally Posted by Radgirl
So it seems the first result was a lab or venesection error. I dont know what you were told, but as the normal heamatocrit is 40 and under 15 is dead, I suspect you were given your haemoglobin in pre 2010 units. We have moved the decimal point so your haemoglobin is now 138 - this is not just pedantic but important to avoid confusion in future

Your iron is used to make haemoglobin. The analogy is petrol making your car go. If you only have a little petrol the car works perfectly...until you run out. A low iron is usually not that interesting until and unless it results in a low haemoglobin - below 120 I would start to get interested, and 120 is our lower limit for undertaking major surgery.

Low iron can cause brittle nails and hair but has to be very low. Normally low iron causes no symptoms especially in men. Your GP may want to check why your iron is low and we would consider:

not enough going in ie diet
and
too much going out ie chronic bleeding

The bottom line is if your haemoglobin is OK, you feel OK and no reason is found you are fit to fly and not worry. I would check annually

Some people might give you iron but iron tablets are poorly absorbed and cause gastrointestinal issues. We can easily give intravenous iron but only do so for symptomatic patients or before big operations
Ben Turner is offline  

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