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Old 10-29-2008, 03:50 PM   #1
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will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14? The rest of my blood numbers came back good (4.3 for RBC and 6.3 for WBC and 13.1 HGB). I have headaches, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails, dizziness, lack of concentration, off balance, and pain in my neck. My Dr. wants me to see a neurologist because she says it is not iron def.. I don't agree. Is 14 low for ferritin? I see a big range and have seen different information. Help!

 
Old 10-29-2008, 05:22 PM   #2
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Brendaratzloff--You will not show symptoms of anemia (because you are not anemic yet according to your labs), but you may show symptoms of a low ferritin. Many doctor's do not believe that there are symptoms associated with a low ferritin. IMO, there are symptoms. This is very controversial subject matter. You will have to form your own opinion on this one from your own experience.

A ferritin of 14 is very low at the bottom of the range. When you hit bottom or below range you are then considered to have no iron left remaining according to my Hematologist. My GI doc said, when the ferritin runs out then you start to pull iron from the organs, not a good thing. Your ferritin should be ~at least~ 50 to feel well, with 70-90 and up being optimal. Your Hgb should be 14'ish to be considered optimal, you could be a little higher. Have you had an iron panel? An iron panel is another form of iron study, with ferritin being the best telling of iron stores.

I also had terrible neck pain (took Xanax for this 6 months) what a waste of time and money, but I now know there is nothing wrong with my neck, LOL! I can't prove that it was related to my anemia or low ferritin but several people here have reported that symptom without a B-12 deficiency being present. It did finally go away as the ferritin went higher.

I do believe whenever there are symptoms present that they should be ruled out by a specialist. That is the only way to truly know. Good luck to you. Keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:34 PM   #3
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLFLOWERGIRL View Post
Brendaratzloff--You will not show symptoms of anemia (because you are not anemic yet according to your labs), but you may show symptoms of a low ferritin. Many doctor's do not believe that there are symptoms associated with a low ferritin. IMO, there are symptoms. This is very controversial subject matter. You will have to form your own opinion on this one from your own experience.

A ferritin of 14 is very low at the bottom of the range. When you hit bottom or below range you are then considered to have no iron left remaining according to my Hematologist. My GI doc said, when the ferritin runs out then you start to pull iron from the organs, not a good thing. Your ferritin should be ~at least~ 50 to feel well, with 70-90 and up being optimal. Your Hgb should be 14'ish to be considered optimal, you could be a little higher. Have you had an iron panel? An iron panel is another form of iron study, with ferritin being the best telling of iron stores.

I also had terrible neck pain (took Xanax for this 6 months) what a waste of time and money, but I now know there is nothing wrong with my neck, LOL! I can't prove that it was related to my anemia or low ferritin but several people here have reported that symptom without a B-12 deficiency being present. It did finally go away as the ferritin went higher.

I do believe whenever there are symptoms present that they should be ruled out by a specialist. That is the only way to truly know. Good luck to you. Keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 10-29-2008, 06:38 PM   #4
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

thank you so much for your imput. How did you treat your low ferritin? I am just starting supplements including B12, iron, CO Q10, and Omega 3. How long will it take for me to start to feel better? I am so low energy, and I've also been experiencing some pain in my gums/teeth. Went to the dentist today and he said everything looks good. Go figure. Anyway, any other advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks!! Brenda

 
Old 10-30-2008, 12:07 PM   #5
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Brendaratzloff-- It is interesting reading your symptoms because I was anemic, although my hemoglobin level is now 13--my ferritin was a 5, although that went up to 26, but I have the same symptoms you do, dizziness, loss of balance at times, brain fog, neck pain on the right side of my neck that makes me feel horrible, hmmm.. I am wondering if this does not come from the low ferritin level. They say a low level is not good, especially a 5, but no one has told me my symptoms are coming from this!!!

 
Old 10-30-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Ashleymichele23 and Brendaratzloff--I also had (have some remaining) all those same symptoms with a low ferritin, but if you were to ask doctors, I'm sure that they would say no, it's NOT related. I never had any of them before anemia, very interesting. My Hematologist also said, that my hair loss was not from a low ferritin!! I don't believe that at all. I hardly have any loss now that my ferritin is raised a little more, and the little shedding that is left may be a result of my thyroid or thyroid meds. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 10-30-2008, 05:23 PM   #7
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Thanks Flowergirl--- I can also say, before I became anemic and had a ferritin level of 5 I never felt this awful. I have felt better since my ferritin has went up to 28, but still not 100%. The worst thing for me is once in awhile I get very dizzy and it is very scarey for me when this happens. I still get tired at times, have the brain fog and off balance feeling, but I too attribute all of these symptoms to the low ferritin. I feel there are too many people on these boards with our symptoms to think otherwise. According to my doctor low ferritin can make you feel really bad, but that is about all they say to you. The neck pain is another thing I never had and about 8 months ago. So, as you say too, I think these are all attributed to anemia and low ferritin.. Any suggestions for the dizziness.. Has anyone taken any medications for it?

 
Old 10-30-2008, 07:43 PM   #8
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Ashleymichele23--They don't tell you because I don't think that they know the answers. My GYN said, she wasn't aware that there were symptoms with a low ferritin, like I was crazy. I reassured her there were for me!

Have you had vertigo ruled out as a cause for your dizziness. Have you tried the meds that they use for this condition, that may be worth a try and I think it's OTC. Mine just went away so I forgot about it. It is very scary all of these symptoms. It does get better. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 10-31-2008, 01:40 AM   #9
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Hi Flowergirl--
I have not actually been diagnosed with Vertigo but I am seeing the Dr. today to see if they can give me any medicines. I have always had this symptom over the years on and off so I am wondering if it is my ears. I know what you mean, sometimes Drs. just give you that crazy look when you ask them questions because they do not know the answer. I have to tell you, If I was 30 years younger I would have went into the medical profession knowing what I know now.

 
Old 11-02-2008, 04:23 PM   #10
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

hello. ashleymichele i wanted to ask you if you found out anything at the dr. about your vertigo.
i have a ferritin of 4 and have been on iron therapy for a little over a month and don't see much improvement.
i am also having the vertigo and have been seeing an ENT to try to figure out if it's a separate inner ear problem or just part of the low ferritin.
i have a stiff neck also and pressure in my ears. sometimes i think the stiff neck is from me holding my head still all the time because whenever i seem to move it up and down or side to side i get the vertigo feeling. i also have that awful brain fog.
it would be so great if someone could just tell all of us that YES this is from low ferritin but i guess there's not going to be a definitive answer. i hope your doctor figures something out about your vertigo.
oh and as far as medicines - i've tried meclizine for the vertigo and i didn't find it helped . . . and it made me every more drowsy. go figure.

 
Old 11-03-2008, 02:33 PM   #11
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

I too developed those symptoms only with anemia and a ferritin of 5. Once my Hgb crept above the normal level my doctor declared me "cured" and wanted me to discontinue my supplemental iron and just take a multi with iron. She did not believe my continued symptoms were the result of low ferritin, but she did offer me Zanax for them....lol (sort of). For that and other things she said and did that I found alarming I switched doctors. I saw an internist who came highly recommended by some of my other doctors about three months ago. It was for a yearly physical, not specifically for my iron and continued symptoms., but in reviewing my test results from this past year, he immediately said that "I want to see your ferritin at a minimum of 30" and so restarted me on PolyIron 150 with a ferritin recheck in 6 months. I think I'm gradually regaining my energy and sense of well being or else my body is adjusting to a low level of ferritin.

 
Old 11-03-2008, 03:30 PM   #12
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Hi mmmalis-

I just went to the Dr. and had my levels checked again for anemia and ferritin so I am waiting for that to come back. I talked to the dr. about the vertigo and she said she thought it was non positional vertigo, but I am not sure if I buy that. She gave me meclizine too and I have taken it a few times and it seems to help but makes you very, very tired. It seems like there are too many people with anemia and low ferritin complaining of dizziness and vertigo so I am thinking that just may have something to do with it. I too have horrible neck pain, loss of balance at times and brain fog, again, it seems too coincidental that many people have all of these symptoms with low ferritin. My ferritin was a 5 and when I had blood work done about 6 weeks ago it went up to almost 28 so I am waiting now, 6 weeks later to get my results back to see if it went any higher. I think they say it should be at least 60. Does your dizziness come on quickly out of the blue sometimes, that is how mine works. I can be fine one minute, then it just hits me and it is a very scary feeling. Have you had your levels checked again too.

 
Old 11-05-2008, 06:54 AM   #13
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Hi everyone,

I have had dizziness and balance problems for nearly 4 years now resulting in a lot of time off work. I have been through the ENT route and done all the VRT etc to try and help myself recover from this awful thing.

Thanks to meeting someone by chance who had the same dizziness/balance problems and who is now cured, I went to have my ferritin levels checked. They came back as a 10.

Thing is, I eat a really good diet but have only done this since I became ill. Before that I ate total rubbish - ready meals and no fruit or veg. So I am wondering if I actually had a lower ferritin level at that time which is why I was so ill back then. So there you go, here I am, another person with low ferritin levels who has dizziness off and on and balance problems. So there has to be something in this. For years I have been told it is my ears but have never been given a definite diagnosis. I was told that I must have Vestibular Neuronitis because my balance was affected but there was really nothing to back that up.

I have started taking a course of liquid iron and take 3 teaspoons a day at the minute. This is 21mg of iron plus it has other stuff in it. Would I be able to take any more than this - I am terrified to overdose on the stuff. I was prescribed ferrous sulfate tablets by the GP but don't like to take these as they cause me stomach problems. Ashleymichelle - have you noticed a difference with your dizziness now your levels are rising? And, I can also be fine one minute and spinning the next, it is so horrible and scary isn't it?

Also, what would you describe this 'brain fog' as? I have weird sensations in my head a lot of the time. I wouldn't describe it as dizziness but it is quite worrying.

Thanks.

Mac2

Last edited by Mac2; 11-05-2008 at 06:55 AM.

 
Old 11-05-2008, 07:19 AM   #14
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

I just came back from a follow up with my Dr. and have convinced her that this is a ferritin problem not a neurological one. I took in research from the internet and also these posting from the Health Boards. She was surprised that so many of us are all dealing with these symptoms and all have one thing in common...low ferritin. I am taking 3 iron pills a day, with food or my stomach will be upset. My neck pain is almost gone but I am still experiencing all my other symptoms including dizziness, brain fog and numbness and tingling in hands and feet. I will be going back into the Dr. to get my ferritin checked in about 2 months. I feel like figuring out what this is has been half of the battle and now I am hopefully on the road to recovery. I have changed my eating to include iron rich food and a ton more vitamin C for absorbtion. I am encouraging anyone with all of our symptoms to have their ferritin checked because it is real possibility that ferritin is the cause. Thanks for everyone who has written on this topic since I originally posted the question about ferritin, I feel like I am not alone and I am not losing my mind!

 
Old 11-05-2008, 07:34 AM   #15
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Re: will I show symptoms of anemia with a ferritin level of 14?

Mac2--I can tell you that as my ferritin has gone up to 41 last time checked that these symptoms have resolved. You probably have gone for years like this with a low ferritin. Also, a low dose of elemental iron as low as you are taking will not replete your iron stores anytime soon. It is way too low. I took 300 then 150 elemental iron daily and remain on this amount 2 years later. You might want to use a script iron that is higher in iron and less other ingredients such as fillers and easy on the GI tract. I take a Poly iron that can be taken on an empty stomach without problems. Vitamin C and B-12 are also added if necessary and that is good, but the OTC have other stuff that you don't need and you have to take more of it. Good luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
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