It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Anemia Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-11-2009, 01:05 AM   #1
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 241
robinhy HB User
ferritin questions

Hey, need some help here. I'm not anemic but I do have problems with my ferritin levels. Let me explain. I have a thyroid problem but cannot tolerate thyroid meds. I also have crohn's disease which includes inflammation, infection and near constant intestinal bleeding. My ferritin has tested low several times, 10 or lower, but within a short amount of time of taking iron pills my ferritin jumps to a high normal (I always thought raising ferritn levels was a slow process). Other times my ferritin is high or high normal yet my iron is too low. Its my understanding that inflammation and infection can give a false high ferritin level. Right? How high can a false reading go? What does it mean when my iron is too low yet ferritin is high - is this a false high? Doctors seems to ignore my ferritin - if its too low they don't care and if my ferritin is good yet my iron is too low they ignore this too.

Right now I have a lot of symptoms but I cannot be sure if its from my thyroid or low ferritin: extreme hair loss, mood swings, hot flashes, irritable, slurred speech, arms feel numb sometimes, stiff fingers in the morning, restless sleep. I've stopped taking my thyroid meds, yet again, because this seems to only make things worse. Technically, I'm subclinical so without thyroid meds my normal hormone levels are within range just on the low side, not optimal.

Can someone attempt to explain the relationship with ferritin, iron, thyroid and inflammation?

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 11-12-2009, 06:29 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
FLFLOWERGIRL's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: FL
Posts: 2,383
FLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB UserFLFLOWERGIRL HB User
Re: ferritin questions

robinhy--Welcome to the boards! I will try to answer your questions.

Ferritin is an iron storage protein that the body synthesizes, FREE iron can be toxic to our organs. To prevent iron toxicity the body regulates the level of ferritin (synthesis) to accommodate different levels of iron. Ferritin is stored in the bone marrow and organs. Ferritin is used (called on) when the need for iron intake increases to build the Hgb so that you do not become anemic. When the iron stores are depleted, iron is then pulled from the organs, this is a more dangerous stage.

When your total body iron is high ferritin is usually high, when total iron body is low, ferritin tends to be low as well. ~Iron deficient people~ tend to have a ferritin less than 10 whatever the bottom of your range is. My Hematologist says under 10, there is no iron remaining.

Ferritin can also be confusing in the presence of inflammation as you mentioned, because it is an ~acute phase reactant~, and can also be elevated in the presence of an iron deficiency anemia. For example, i.e., if you have an infection with iron deficiency anemia you can be iron deficient with a very high ferritin.

The end stage of the ferritin stores is IDA iron deficiency anemia. So until the iron stored are used up you will not become anemic. Anemia MAY not show until your ferritin is 5 or below around this range anyway. It is different for each person.

Yes, inflammation/infection can give a false ferritin level. This reading would be different for each person I have not read a certain level anywhere. I know it is elevated in different settings so who knows how high it can go. My husband had a 3,000. ferritin for a different reason. So typically ferritin will rise depending on the cause. You can also seek further testing regarding inflammation to see how high it is elevated in your body. A simple blood test CRP and SED rate will give you these answers. Perhaps you have also had this testing as well. But it will show inflammation.

With that being said, the Iron study gives the amount of iron in circulation in the body at the time of blood testing. For example from what you eat, supplements, a total iron intake, the iron serum reflect this. So, if you have recently eaten iron rich foods, like steak, or taken iron supplements it will show in the iron serum. If you took iron and had a blood test it could skew the results.

Doctors rely on the ferritin for sure!!!! If it is not high over range they don't care, if it is too low but within range they don't care too much either. And....if it is a little low below range but you are not anemic yet, they still don't care too much. It is up to you unfortunately to know what is happening. I know my Hematologist said, anything under ten and over one thousand he is concerned, because that is when you to store too much iron and overload. And...under the 10 mark you become anemic.

Ferritin is more telling of the stored iron in the body and can be falsely elevated. Iron studies tell about the iron in circulation in the bloodstream. Excess iron that is not used is then stored. So, if you are not taking in enough iron you will be using stored iron. If there is blood loss there is iron loss. This will deplete your stores over a period of time. Any blood loss = iron loss. Malabsorption also results in iron loss and other nutrients.

Have you had your B-12 tested? It can cause several of the symptoms that you mention, as can iron and thyroid. And could possibly be a result of Crohn's disease.

Thyroid can also cause heavy periods and less stomach acid resulting in less iron absorption. Many people that are Hypo-T also have a low ferritin it is very common.

Symptoms of Thyroid, Anemia and low ferritin can be very much alike. It is hard to tell what is happening you have to reply on blood tests for this and how well you respond to therapy. When you have multiple problems it is best to work on one at a time and rule out each possible thing that is happening. It can be a daunting task but it does work. I would start by taking the right amount of iron that is needed and do whatever it is that your doctor recommends regarding your thyroid. You can be in range and have a great deal of problems. If you require meds then try to take them. I know it can be hard. You can have more problems in the end if you do not supplement thyroid hormone if it is needed.

Hope that helped a little. Take care and keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL
__________________
Best of luck to you! FLFLOWERGIRL
*****************
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Moderate Anemia (resolved) Low Ferritin-- Work in progress! Hiatal Hernia--GERD
Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 11-12-2009 at 06:34 PM.

 
Old 08-29-2010, 12:31 PM   #3
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10
aframe HB User
Re: ferritin questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLFLOWERGIRL View Post
robinhy--Welcome to the boards! I will try to answer your questions.

Ferritin is an iron storage protein that the body synthesizes, FREE iron can be toxic to our organs. To prevent iron toxicity the body regulates the level of ferritin (synthesis) to accommodate different levels of iron. Ferritin is stored in the bone marrow and organs. Ferritin is used (called on) when the need for iron intake increases to build the Hgb so that you do not become anemic. When the iron stores are depleted, iron is then pulled from the organs, this is a more dangerous stage.

When your total body iron is high ferritin is usually high, when total iron body is low, ferritin tends to be low as well. ~Iron deficient people~ tend to have a ferritin less than 10 whatever the bottom of your range is. My Hematologist says under 10, there is no iron remaining.

Ferritin can also be confusing in the presence of inflammation as you mentioned, because it is an ~acute phase reactant~, and can also be elevated in the presence of an iron deficiency anemia. For example, i.e., if you have an infection with iron deficiency anemia you can be iron deficient with a very high ferritin.

The end stage of the ferritin stores is IDA iron deficiency anemia. So until the iron stored are used up you will not become anemic. Anemia MAY not show until your ferritin is 5 or below around this range anyway. It is different for each person.

Yes, inflammation/infection can give a false ferritin level. This reading would be different for each person I have not read a certain level anywhere. I know it is elevated in different settings so who knows how high it can go. My husband had a 3,000. ferritin for a different reason. So typically ferritin will rise depending on the cause. You can also seek further testing regarding inflammation to see how high it is elevated in your body. A simple blood test CRP and SED rate will give you these answers. Perhaps you have also had this testing as well. But it will show inflammation.

With that being said, the Iron study gives the amount of iron in circulation in the body at the time of blood testing. For example from what you eat, supplements, a total iron intake, the iron serum reflect this. So, if you have recently eaten iron rich foods, like steak, or taken iron supplements it will show in the iron serum. If you took iron and had a blood test it could skew the results.

Doctors rely on the ferritin for sure!!!! If it is not high over range they don't care, if it is too low but within range they don't care too much either. And....if it is a little low below range but you are not anemic yet, they still don't care too much. It is up to you unfortunately to know what is happening. I know my Hematologist said, anything under ten and over one thousand he is concerned, because that is when you to store too much iron and overload. And...under the 10 mark you become anemic.

Ferritin is more telling of the stored iron in the body and can be falsely elevated. Iron studies tell about the iron in circulation in the bloodstream. Excess iron that is not used is then stored. So, if you are not taking in enough iron you will be using stored iron. If there is blood loss there is iron loss. This will deplete your stores over a period of time. Any blood loss = iron loss. Malabsorption also results in iron loss and other nutrients.

Have you had your B-12 tested? It can cause several of the symptoms that you mention, as can iron and thyroid. And could possibly be a result of Crohn's disease.

Thyroid can also cause heavy periods and less stomach acid resulting in less iron absorption. Many people that are Hypo-T also have a low ferritin it is very common.

Symptoms of Thyroid, Anemia and low ferritin can be very much alike. It is hard to tell what is happening you have to reply on blood tests for this and how well you respond to therapy. When you have multiple problems it is best to work on one at a time and rule out each possible thing that is happening. It can be a daunting task but it does work. I would start by taking the right amount of iron that is needed and do whatever it is that your doctor recommends regarding your thyroid. You can be in range and have a great deal of problems. If you require meds then try to take them. I know it can be hard. You can have more problems in the end if you do not supplement thyroid hormone if it is needed.

Hope that helped a little. Take care and keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL
I know it has been awhile since this was posted but very helpful. My ferritin level is less than one (My md said it was undetectable) but my cbc was normal. I feel terrible. I see an endocrinologist tomorrow and a hemotologist Friday. My tsh was normal but didn't do any free testing. A random blood sample cortisol level was low. Hoping I find out some answers soon. Thanks for your explaination.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Low Iron & Ferritin - what to do??? Numpy Anemia 74 11-02-2011 06:02 AM
Questions about Hashimotos and ferritin levels jaguarevo Thyroid Disorders 2 07-01-2010 09:20 AM
ferritin low, iron and B12 high, other labs off robine27 Anemia 21 03-01-2009 06:11 AM
Ferritin Level of 2 !!! Tina72 Anemia 5 12-16-2007 08:24 AM
More understanding of my results. I need advice re low ferritin. vegemite Anemia 3 10-24-2007 02:19 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Benadryl
Folic
Nexium
Potassium
Prednisone
  Prenatal
Prilosec Procrit
Synthroid
Tylenol




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



Heatherx5 (48), jonnstar (29), ladybud (16), FLFLOWERGIRL (12), ChristineVA (8), peace4health (7), japlopper (7), palmtreegirl (6), worrywort (4), Lady50 (4)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1011), Apollo123 (909), Titchou (856), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (761), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:26 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!