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Old 07-04-2011, 06:03 AM   #1
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Ferritin level 6

Good morning everybody,
I had a blood test a few weeks ago and my Ferritin level was at 6. Everything else was normal including my hemoglobin which was a 141 (Range 115-165). I have been taking heme iron and really increased how much iron I am getting in my diet by eating more red meat and vegetables. I don't feel any improvement at all, to be honest I feel worse than I did. I can't seem to find the energy to even get out of bed. I go for another blood test in about a month. Is there anything else I should be doing to get my iron levels up? And is it normal to feel so awful with a low ferritin but normal hemoglobin?
Thanks.

Last edited by acilim; 07-04-2011 at 01:16 PM.

 
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:55 AM   #2
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Re: Ferritin level 6

Hi Acilim, I can only talk from my own experiences but please have other tests done to rule out any other causes which may be making you tired. Ideally thyroid and antibody checks. I have chronic low Ferritin but am not 100% sure this is accounting for all my symptoms. I have a weak positive ANA but have had further antibody tests done for a range of autoimmune diseases and nothing so far. With best wishes. Clare x

 
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:51 AM   #3
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Re: Ferritin level 6

Thank you for the reply Clare,
My doctor checked my TSH it was 1.34, so I'm guessing that is okay. I have had very long, heavy periods which I think is why my ferritin dropped so low. I just feel so sapped of energy.
What is an ANA?
Good luck to you and I hope you start feeling better soon.

 
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:40 AM   #4
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Re: Ferritin level 6

Yes, my periods are heavy so I think this is the likely culprit for me. ANA is Antinuclear Antibody test (I had to check that myself!). It covers a wide spectrum of autoimmune diseases. If a weak positive or positive ANA comes back after testing, further testing is carried out to look for specific antibodies related to connective tissue diseases. Rheumatologists are the people to see in relation to ANA testing. You will be referred by your doctor if you need to see one. I was told that my thyroid level was normal but I think I just had the TSH tested and not the free T3 and T4. If the TSH is within 'normal range' doctors will be reluctant to test further (free T3 and T4). I share symptoms of low thyroid but also Lupus (the Rheumatologist did look further into Lupus but at this stage there is no evidence in relation to results at this stage).

There have been numerous people on this board who suffer from joint/muscle/bone pain, fatigue, hair loss, coldness, etc. Whether this is related to iron stores (Ferritin) and/or additional diseases is anyone's guess. Sorry to be so vague. Clare x

 
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:03 AM   #5
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Re: Ferritin level 6

I have all those symptoms that you list, and it is so confusing for me because I often wonder if it is a thyroid issue or an iron issue. The doctor believes that my hormones are out of balance, but he didn't include any tests besides the TSH on my last blood work. He has referred me to a gynecologist I guess to figure out why my periods have been so horrible. My last period lasted for over a month, so I'm hoping they will just do a hysterectomy and maybe solve some of my issues. I'm just getting frustrated with my whole body. I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about. It is hard not to know what is going on inside of you and how to make it better again.
Thanks again for your help.

 
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:46 AM   #6
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Re: Ferritin level 6

Yes, it sounds like your doctor is sending you to the right place. Take care and let me know how things go for you. Best wishes. Clare x

 
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:10 PM   #7
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Re: Ferritin level 6

Thanks for sharing and you do good think to get iron supplement as in women hemoglobin is always low due to regular period so must suggest you should take folic acid regular and green vegetable like spinach,carrot,fruit like apricot, nuts also.

 
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:37 AM   #8
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Re: Ferritin level 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by acilim View Post
Good morning everybody,
I had a blood test a few weeks ago and my Ferritin level was at 6. Everything else was normal including my hemoglobin which was a 141 (Range 115-165). I have been taking heme iron and really increased how much iron I am getting in my diet by eating more red meat and vegetables. I don't feel any improvement at all, to be honest I feel worse than I did. I can't seem to find the energy to even get out of bed. I go for another blood test in about a month. Is there anything else I should be doing to get my iron levels up? And is it normal to feel so awful with a low ferritin but normal hemoglobin?
Thanks.

yes it is normal to feel like that. my ferritin was also at 6 (2.5 months ago), hemoglobin 12.1 and I felt crap. after starting iron supplementing, 3 weeks later I started to feel normal. a couple more weeks later: symptoms gone. I think you may have to wait a few weeks to expect improvement, you don't say exactly when you started taking it and also how much you are taking.


OTOH, I liked the heme iron idea but then I saw how expensive it was and then I read about how good the absorption rate of ferrous sulfate is with enough vitamin C (the vitamin C needs to be at least 6 times the weight of elemental iron). it is comparable to heme iron. just have to take it on empty stomach for best results. so I went for the cheaper option, a load of ferrous sulfate elixir mixed with a lot of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). twice a day on empty stomach. result? I had a ferritin of 96, 2.5 months later (just got the result today). hemoglobin up by 1.2 too (13.3).


now of course if you have side effects from this kind of supplement, then you may want to try chelated iron (ferrochel). that one is really gentle on the stomach, I took some of that myself, just to make sure that one of the two versions of iron would work. and I never felt any side effects with ferrochel (not a lot of side effects with the ferrous sulfate either, but NOTHING at all with ferrochel).


PS: well, I'm actually so surprised that ferritin came out to 96 that I'm going to recheck this. I did take my usual morning dose of iron before the test so I don't know about that.. does someone know if that can affect the ferritin result??

 
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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Re: Ferritin level 6

Thanks for the info hmm82. I am glad to hear that you are feeling so much better and that your ferritin levels have come up so much. I will try what you did and hopefully will have the same results! Take care of yourself.

 
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:35 PM   #10
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Re: Ferritin level 6

I hope you are getting answers from the gynecologist. In May I had a ferritin level of 3. But my hemoglobin was a 6 on a scale that should range from 12-16. My heavy periods were the culprit. I had a very large fibroid cyst (small cantaloupe size) in my uterus, so I had a hysterectomy on June 6th. I just had a 7 week post op appointment.

My levels started rising only 10 days after being on farrous sulfate 3x/day with vitamin C (hemoglobin was up to almost 8). I only had one more test done just before my surgery (which would have been after about 4 weeks on the iron) and oh gosh, I know I was blown away, but I can't remember for sure, I think my hemoglobin had gone up to 12? Ferritin, I'd have to dig out my paperwork but I know it DID go up, I was very happy - I was ELATED actually that it went up so fast.

I had to go off of it just before and for 2 weeks after my surgery because your bowels don't work too well after major abdominal surgery, and iron will constipate you, so when I went back on he said to start out with one a day and only up it if I felt I needed it. I did feel like I needed the second one, some symptoms were returning (fatigue in the afternoon and the restless legs and tossing and turning at night). After just a few days on 2/day I'm better again and sleeping soundly again.

Hope you're figuring it out and that it's helping...

 
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:46 AM   #11
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Re: Ferritin level 6

Hi I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better. I hope the surgery went well for you. My mother had two fibroids like yours, I think hers were grapefruit sized, and she said that once she had her hysterectomy it was like she received a new body. She felt fantastic. I hope you will have the same success.
My appointment with the gyno isn't for a while, Canadian healthcare moves very slowly. I went back to see my GP because I have not improved at all and he is sending me for more tests to figure out what is going on. I have hypothyroid symptoms, but I think those symptoms also fit with other illnesses. He doesn't think the low ferritin is causing all the symptoms, but he is doing all he can to figure out what it is. I did more bloodwork today so it will be interesting to see if my iron and B12 have come up at all since starting. Take care and thank you for sharing your story.

 
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