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Old 04-08-2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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StephieK HB User
How do you Prevent Low Ferretin & Low Iron Saturation?

I originally went to see my doctor about low energy, irritability, some weight gain and sleepness bordering on exhaustion and depression. Turns out I had low Vit D (19) and low Ferritin (7). I went on Vit D supplements and Slow FE and after 6 weeks got my Vit D up to 48 (good level) and Ferritin to only 15. I know it takes a while to get iron levels back up, but what concerns me is the drop in the Iron Saturation Level from 34% to 20%.

My doctor suggested taking provera for heavy periods, but honestly I've always had heavy periods and really don't want to take the provera because I already have some winter weight gain that I am trying to get rid of and don't want to add to it by taking the provera (one of the common side effects). I also think I have SAD, but can't get my doctor to take me too seriously about that (she just suggested going outside everyday for an hour which is tough to do with 3 little kids at home and drink more caffeine). After doing a lot of reading I began light therapy and have noticed improvement in my mood and energy levels already. I don't want to negate all that by taking provera as she prescribed which may make me feel like I am going through PMS for 10 days instead of just a couple.

Anyway, after doing a little reading last night I discovered things about low iron that I didn't realize.
"If both saturation and ferritin are extremely low, you must discover why. Low iron is a signal that iron is being used by cancer cells or is feeding bacteria, or usually it means there is chronic daily blood loss. The bleeding could be from an ulcer or tumor, etc. The source must be found."

So, a couple of questions:
1) Does anyone have any opinion or insight on a decreased iron saturation level?
2) Has anyone tried provera for heavy periods with positive results?
3) Has anyone tried something else for heavy periods that worked well?
4) Has anyone gone through testing to get a definite answer to the low iron levels? Or is it just assumed that a female with low iron is due to heavy periods?

 
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:49 AM   #2
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nikki888 HB User
Re: How do you Prevent Low Ferretin & Low Iron Saturation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephieK View Post
"If both saturation and ferritin are extremely low, you must discover why. Low iron is a signal that iron is being used by cancer cells or is feeding bacteria, or usually it means there is chronic daily blood loss. The bleeding could be from an ulcer or tumor, etc. The source must be found."

So, a couple of questions:
1) Does anyone have any opinion or insight on a decreased iron saturation level?
2) Has anyone tried provera for heavy periods with positive results?
3) Has anyone tried something else for heavy periods that worked well?
4) Has anyone gone through testing to get a definite answer to the low iron levels? Or is it just assumed that a female with low iron is due to heavy periods?
Well, I must say that first bit sounds quite scary! I have been struggling with low saturation and ferritin for almost a year now, and my doctor is not worried about it AT ALL. As well, after taking iron for over 6 weeks, my ferritin level did not raise at all and is still close to 0. I developed my anemia and low ferritin after a very bad infection, so I am surprised that I was never told this.

To answer your fourth question, my doctor said that testing to find the source of my low iron levels was not necessary, and told me it is extremely common in women because of heavy periods (which I do not have at all). In addition, when I tried to press the issue, it was suggested that I see a psychologist, so I have not been back even though I am so tired and weak I can barely get through the day.

To attempt to answer your second and third questions; I don't know a lot about Provera, but most birth control pills can shorten the duration of your period substantially and don't really cause weight gain (even though others will try to tell you that they do)!

Good luck!

 
Old 04-08-2008, 11:20 AM   #3
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sfish2257 HB User
Re: How do you Prevent Low Ferretin & Low Iron Saturation?

It sounds like you were not taking enough iron. You probably need a prescription strength. I'm taking Conison Caps, its a supplement that has b12 as well as iron. My doc said if I took over the counter it would take years to raise my ferritin. From what I'm reading on here even with the strong iron it can take several months. My Vit. D was low too. Does anyone know why there seems to be a correlation to vit. D and iron? I'm not taking any other supplenment but maybe I'll find a vit. D.

 
Old 04-08-2008, 11:32 AM   #4
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StephieK HB User
Re: How do you Prevent Low Ferretin & Low Iron Saturation?

Thanks for the mention of the Conison Caps. I've made an appointment with my OBGYN for next week to talk about all this, so I'll mention that to her. Is there a link between B12 and Iron? I have seen quite a few posts about B12, but don't know a ton about it.

As far as Vitamin D, definitely get that level up. Vitamin D is now linked to heart disease, cancers and all sorts of things. According to my husband's doctor they just recently figured out how to test for Vitamin D, which is why it seems to be popping up so much. Basically it is caused by lack of sunlight. Food doesn't contain enough D to sustain the needed level, so supplements are necessary. You can get them over the counter or ask for a prescription to get a megadose. Now that my level is back up I'm on a prescription for a once a month Vitamin D pill.

 
Old 04-08-2008, 07:15 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: GA
Posts: 52
Stefarina HB User
Re: How do you Prevent Low Ferretin & Low Iron Saturation?

I am taking Chromagen Forte and seem to be having good results, at least the numbers are increasing, even if slow.

The Chromagen Forte contains B & C vitamins in the one tablet along with the iron. Apparently iron absorbs better with vitamin C. I'm happy I have it all in one pill.

Good luck to you, and keep us posted how you are doing!
Stefarina

 
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