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Old 07-24-2009, 12:17 PM   #1
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low ferritin high saturation?????

I am a 50 year old women who experiences very heavy periods each month. Doc did an iron test and this is the results.

Iron, total 251 normal is 40-160mcg
TIBC 379 normal is 250-450mcg
Transferrin saturation 66 normal is 15-50%
Ferritin 14 normal is 10-232ng

Why is my ferritin so low and my saturation so high. She told me to stop taking my womens one a day vitamins because that could cause the high saturation. But my gynocologist told me to take it because it has some iron in it so I don't get anemic from all the heavy monthly periods. I know that hemacromatosis is high saturation but ALSO high ferritin which I don't have. What does all this mean please.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:01 PM   #2
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Re: low ferritin high saturation?????

chis--It appears that you are getting enough iron (as you know) according to your serum iron which is the iron in the blood at the time of testing. What you eat and supplements that you take change this number, so it is not really a good measure and not very telling about the iron for the most part. However in your case your numbers mean your getting a lot of iron.

Your Sat % shouldn't exceed 45% (from what I know) so that you don't overload.

A low ferritin means that you are using up your stores, I'm sure this is due to your heavy periods as you indicated. At least you know the cause which is a good thing.

So, regarding HH, you might want to have this DNA testing done if you can. You can see a GI doc or a Hematologist for this. I say this because YOU could have this and your periods are keeping it in check. There are other reasons besides this for iron overload as well. Usually, for women, HH shows up and doesn't become a problem until after menopause. The treatment for high iron is phlebotomy and you are doing this naturally through heavy cycles.

I'm not in any way saying that this is your particular problem, only that it should be checked and ruled out by your doctor. Or your doctor should give you an explaination as to why this is happening with your labs.

My husband has this disorder and my children are carriers, so I know a couple of things regarding iron overload and how it works. Hope this helps. FLFG
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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Re: low ferritin high saturation?????

Thank you for writing Flowergirl with this info. I found a site that had all different case scenerios regarding iron tests. It said that with the normal ferritin and high saturation you should get tested every two years to make sure the ferritin doesn't go up and up. Then if it does, get tested for the hemo gene. I'm just wondering if you can have this gene if you are not one of the nationalities who carry it. I know a friend of the family is Irish and he has hemo. I am all Hungarian. Well I will know soon enough if my ferritin starts going high because I just turned 51 and for the last two year I've been having my periods about every 23 days. Now it's passed 30 and I don't feel the usual PMS signs of it coming. So once I start skipping or stopping all at once for good I will get my iron check again to see if the ferritin is rising since I won't be bleeding the iron out. I'm still always wondering if my ferritin is too low being at 14 since I suffer from RLS. My doctor did say to come back after I stop the one a days and she'll check the again for the saturation and she also mentioned a liver scan. Like you said, the cause for the high sat could be from something other then hemo. What that may be I have no idea. I'll let you know how it all turns out.
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