My neurologist ran a ferritin level on me. The lab said a normal range was from 6 to 132. The doctor said my levels were fine at 16.9 but that seems low to me. Can anyone comment on this level? Should I try taking iron?
Iron deficiency has been been blamed for RLS but I'm puzzled by your numbers. Normal Ferritin scores range from 20-220 with 10-20 being considered "low" but not "deficient" until the level plunges below 10. Are you sure it was your Ferritin that was measured? There are other tests for iron but the Ferritin is generally considered the "gold standard." It measures the amount of iron in your blood which relfects total body iron stores. Once your Ferritin goes below 10 your body generally does not have enough iron to continutally replenish your blood supply and you can become anemic. Even if you have a low Ferritin score you may be able to maintain this level and hence your blood supply. (I only know all this 'cause I've been severely iron deficient for years and am often anemic as a result.) Definitely ask your doctor about taking iron supplements. They are cheap and over the counter. However, too much iron in the blood also causes health issues so it's important to keep track.
My hubby has the mother of all cases of RLS and he does indeed have low iron BUT he also suffers from Chrons Disease which causes other malabsorption issues so he takes a lot of supplements. They do help but nothing so far has cured his RLS.
I'm sure the test was for Ferritin levels. The nurse at the neurologists read the report from the Hospital where I had the test. It said that anything below 6 was anemic and anything under 37 could be deficient. She was concerned that mine fell in the "deficient range" and said she would have the neurologist look at the results. The neurologist said that 16.9 was fine. I thought this was odd since the report indicated it COULD be deficient. I thought since the level seemed a little low, it might be worth while trying to supplement with iron to treat the restless leg instead of Requip.
About 6 months ago my regular GP ran some blood tests and was concerned about the iron level and had me go back for a ferritin test. That test came back at 25. I'm concerned that it is lower this time. I read on the internet that daily use of Prevacid can cause an iron deficiency because there isn't enough acid in the stomach to absorb iron. I take 30 mg. every day and not sure that I can go without it. I'm worried that the levels will continue to drop.
Prevacid or any of the proton pump inhibitors can interfere with iron absorption. Taking iron supplements can help--your doctor will advise you on how much you should be taking. Ferritin is not static. The level can rise and fall as your body uses it to replace your blood supply, address inflammation, during pregnancy and nursing, etc. A Ferritin level below 6 does not automatically indicate anemia. I know because I rarely score above a 4! I've been under the care of a hematologist for 4 years now due to my reoccurring Iron Deficiency Anemia. I'm given IV iron when I become anemic as my body does not absorb iron well. If you're a young woman still having regular menstrual cycles that can drain your body's iron supply. A vegetarian lifestyle not carefully balanced can also aggravate iron deficiency. Also many health conditions can lead to actual and/or functional iron deficiency that can then lead to anemia.
Unfortunately this may or may not have anything to do with your RLS.