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Old 06-09-2008, 08:40 AM   #1
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Low Iron Saturation (aka Low Transferrin Saturation)

Does anyone else have only low iron saturation (aka low transferrin saturation)?

It is the only value I have out of range. Mine is 11% (range 15-50%).

My serum iron is 43 (range 28 - 170).
TIBC (transferrin) is in the high end of normal (a year ago it was above normal.)
Ferritin is in the low end of normal.

So everything seems to fit the classic iron deficiency pattern, but not quite out of range, except for the iron saturation being too low.

My doc said I was definitely anemic (not based on lung pain, weakness, or excess bleeding complaints, just based on blood work findings.)

I was supposed to take 3 iron sulfate pills/day (325 mg each) starting a year ago, after the doctor found low iron saturation and low B-12; plus started B-12 shots every 2 weeks, then monthly, plus 5,000 mcg/day sublingual B-12. Now I'm too high on B-12 (it's at 1500 now, normal is to 900) so we're stopping the shots.

I tapered off the iron pills quickly because of constipation, then taking ~1/week until 6 months ago. But now the doc says I need to at least take 2/day, for a long time, to build up bone marrow iron stores.

Researching anemia symptoms on the web, and from helpful info on this board (thanks to all of you!!), symptoms that fit the anemia pattern that I have:

- exhaustion
- not feeling like walking or biking (I don't drive)
- falling off of my bike b/c too weak to balance it
- having to get off of my bike and walk it, after just riding a block (walk a block, ride a block)
- falling when walking, a few times in last couple of years
- exercise isn't rebuilding my strength
- lung pain for months, especially w/exertion
- shortness of breath w/exertion
- starting to walk to the bus, taking twice as long, because of lung pain and breathlessness, and missing the bus, many times
- lots of sleeping (by day, but awake all night - anyone else have that, pls?)
- repeated lung infections that would not go away (in bed for a month w/a chest cold, TWICE this semester)
- inability to concentrate AT ALL on reading and writing for school, especially technical stuff. Felt like a complete idiot this semester. Dept. chair also thought it was bizarre I couldn't get through his reading (2 draft chapters of his law book.)
- craving for a non-food (pica?): eating small bits of rubber! (Just a teensy amount a few times. I've stopped.)
- increased irritability
- snapping at people/losing it daily
- insomnia
- restless leg syndrome
- becoming a TV zombie (someone else on this board said she had this due to exhaustion and inability to concentrate on anything, just collapsing into a chair and vegetating infront of the TV: same here!)
- aches and pains increasing for years
- heavy menstrual bleeding almost daily for almost 2 years (I'm in mid-40s)

The worst are: being awake all night, sleeping during the day, exhaustion!!!!!!!, even with 8 hrs' sleep, and not being able to do school reading and writing, practically at all: can't concentrate, can't remember the sentence I just read. Confusion.

Does anyone else just have low iron saturation, please?
If so, would you tell me your symptoms?

Thanks,
plant

P.S. Anyone want a TV?

 
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:47 AM   #2
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Re: Does anyone have Low Iron Saturation (aka Low Transferrin Saturation)

Does anyone else have this, please?

Or similar symptoms?

If so, I'd like to know your story.

Thanks,
plant

 
Old 06-12-2008, 07:53 AM   #3
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Re: Does anyone have Low Iron Saturation (aka Low Transferrin Saturation)

plant--Yes, your values do fit the typical IDA profile as do your symptoms. I think (and this is just a logical guess) that the rest of your numbers are not showing so low or so high because perhaps this has not been going on long enough to reflect a different value. Some of us go on for many, many years to get to lower places. Do take the recommended amount of iron and if it is not tolerated well try another that may work better for you. Good luck to you and keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 06-14-2008, 04:05 AM   #4
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Re: Low Iron Saturation (aka Low Transferrin Saturation)

ferrous fumarate is better tollorated that FeSO4

if the constipation was an issue, take a regular dose of Sennokot at bedtime, or ask the doc about iron injections

be sure to take a daily multivitamin with iron

 
Old 06-14-2008, 10:48 AM   #5
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Re: Low Iron Saturation (aka Low Transferrin Saturation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiejono View Post
ferrous fumarate is better tollorated that FeSO4

if the constipation was an issue, take a regular dose of Sennokot at bedtime, or ask the doc about iron injections

be sure to take a daily multivitamin with iron


Thank you very much, Aussiejono and Flowergirl!

I have been taking the full dose of iron now for a week (FES04) 325 mg tabs 3x/day and it's working out now, thanks to some advice on this board to eat bran cereal daily. But I'm writing this down for future reference. Also taking a multi. This board is very helpful - can't thank you all enough. So much more helpful info on here than other web sites about anemia.

-plant

 
Old 06-28-2008, 09:23 PM   #6
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Re: Low Iron Saturation (aka Low Transferrin Saturation)

I read this same thing about the transferrin being high with iron deficiency.

These are what my labs look like as of June 18

Total iron 36 (40-175) Low (dropped from 51 in April)
TIBC 389 (250-450) Normal (427 in April)
Transferrin Saturation 9 (15-50) Low (dropped from 12 in April)
RBC 4.36 (3.80-5.10) Normal (About the same as in April)
Hemoglobin 11.7 (11.7-15.5) Normal (Was 11.6 in April)
Hematocrit 35.2 (35-45) Normal (Was 34.5 in April)
RDW 18.1 (11.0-15.0) High (Was 17.1 in April)
Ferritin 10 (10-154) "Normal" (Was 5 in April)

I thought Transferrin Saturation was supposed to be high with iron deficiency, but my doctor says that this is what I have.

Also...Why does RDW keep getting higher?

I'm going to try liquid iron because I don't tolerate iron pills well at all (They actually give me diarrhea).

Last edited by Missa21; 06-28-2008 at 09:23 PM.

 
Old 06-28-2008, 10:21 PM   #7
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Re: Low Iron Saturation (aka Low Transferrin Saturation)

Hi Missa,
Thank you for posting. It's helpful to have a chance to correspons with someone else with low iron saturation and see your labs - though I'm sorry you're having this. May I ask how you are feeling overall, what your symptoms are, and how your symptoms compare or contrast with mine?

According to this site,

[url]http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec11/ch130/ch130b.html[/url]

elevated RDW is a symptom of iron deficiency. It has a useful table of lab results for different types of anemias, and description of labs for stages of anemia.

Also, would you please keep us posted re: how the liquid iron works out?

Thanks and best wishes,
plant

 
Old 06-29-2008, 09:17 AM   #8
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Re: Low Iron Saturation (aka Low Transferrin Saturation)

Plant

In general, I feel good. I am tired though. I have a terrible time waking up in the morning (no matter how long I've slept). When I get sick, I get really sick sometimes being bedridden for up to a week. Mostly I feel unmotivated. I don't want to do anything (maybe I'm lazy, maybe my body is conserving energy).

I have some other issues, GI mostly, including IBS and acid reflux. I take nexium for the reflux which could be affecting my iron absorption. My doctor is very good and watches my blood often. He liked the way the last labs looked compared to the previous ones (which I think that even though my H&H were better, my iron stuff sucked).

I will post when I know about the liquid iron.

Missa

 
Old 07-01-2008, 05:25 AM   #9
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Re: Low Iron Saturation (aka Low Transferrin Saturation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missa21 View Post
Plant

In general, I feel good. I am tired though. I have a terrible time waking up in the morning (no matter how long I've slept). When I get sick, I get really sick sometimes being bedridden for up to a week. Mostly I feel unmotivated. I don't want to do anything (maybe I'm lazy, maybe my body is conserving energy).

I will post when I know about the liquid iron.

Missa

Thanks, Missa. Very helpful to learn.

I'm experiencing similar tiredness. Exhausted, afraid to ride my bike b/c I'm close to falling off - and did, ~8 months ago. I don't drive, so I need to bike, in addition to walking to buses, for transportation.

I am bedridden a lot, too. The week after finals, in May, I spent in bed for a week, wondering what was wrong. This last Friday I spent all day in bed, and almost all of Saturday. Messes up sleep. Sometimes, though lying down, it doesn't feel restful enough. I had two severe chest colds spring semester. For each, I was in bed a month. Two months of school lost. Afterward, I still had lung pain, and missed more school, unable to walk to the bus, or from the bus to class. Then after my doc told me 3 weeks ago I was still anemic, I read that anemia can cause lung pain (from lack of O2) and also difficulty recovering from infections (e.g. my lung infections hanging on for a month each time.) So it was the anemia, not just colds and low immunity.

I'm sorry you're going through this, and hope the things you are doing have you feeling better asap.

Thanks for your help. It's nice to know I'm not the only one with this staying in bed a lot!

-plant

 
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