About 3 months ago I was feeling exhausted, dizzy, breathless, getting headaches, feeling anxious & my joints were achey. I had my doc test my ferritin as my Mom's tends to be very low and mine was 16. Doc put me on iron (ferrosequal) and 3 months later it went up to 41.
However, after being super busy & overwhelmed during the month of December for Xmas and having a heavy period I have started to have symptoms again. I have barely been able to do anything for 2 weeks. I could have slept all day & all night the first week after Xmas.
I am starting to wonder if there is more going on here. Could I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? For the past few years I am down for the count for about a month after Xmas. I also become extremely exhausted for days (even weeks) after exercise. I seem to go through cycles (for about 5 years now) How can I tell the difference between a ferritin problem and CFS?
There are many conditions that can cause the type of fatigue you are describing. Ferritin is stored iron and its being low while serum iron is normal is not likely to cause extreme fatigue but it would be wise to look into it. If your diet contains a reasonable amount of iron than you might want to look into whether you might have an absorption condition like Celiac or even just a Gluten sensitivity. Are any other vitamins or minerals from diet low? You should also check your thyroid. You should have your TSH, free T4 and free T3 checked. There are infectious causes for both CFS and just fatigue. If you have 4 or more of the CFS symptoms and its lasted more than 6 months, you could check if you are positive for HHV-6 and or EBV, the 2 Herpes viruses implicated in CFS. The list goes on and on. You need a good detective and open minded doctor. Most of the doctors I've encountered prefer to blow off fatigue so you need a good one. What are your full list of symptoms besides fatigue and how long have they lasted? I've done my own detective work with the help and hindrance of doctors. I'm down to either having a parasite called Blastocystis SP or viral CFS/ME due to HHV-6 and a few other possibilities but I have all the CFS symptoms plus the full set of GI also.
I know from experience low ferritin will also cause easy bruising, pica (ODD cravings), explained sores and horrible leg cramps. CFS is that school bus that parked itself on you and it won't pull off!
But, if you're experiencing more of this in the cooler months it could be seasonal depression (I use to get very exhausted in the later fall early winter).
Seriously, CFS is the worse of the 3. I've been suffering since my teens. I am now 41 and until 3 yrs ago I had it under control. I would listen to my body and REST when it told me. BUT NOW my CFS and headed to the degree of severe insomnia! I sleep at most 10 hours a week and that's if I use a strong sleep aid at a high dose.
Please take all these very seriously. As I have suffered for years and did have a stroke at the age of 38 because I thought I could beat them all and keep my health hidden from the world. See as many doctors as it takes to find a solution to your issues. It may be all or none but there is hope I promise.