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  • Low Ferritin - Male - Should I supplement?

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    Old 06-10-2016, 02:18 PM   #1
    dan1487
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    Question Low Ferritin - Male - Should I supplement?

    Hi,

    I'm a 28 year old "healthy" male, at 145 lbs and 5' 6" height. My physical activity level is very light; I work a desk job. My current ferritin is at 14, and I'm wondering if this should be cause for concern+supplementation.

    There is no family history of hemochromatosis or any sort of iron or blood-related problems that I know of.

    2 years ago, I went on a stint of donating blood every 2 months, until I stopped once their "fingerprik blood test" implied that my hemoglobin was too low to allow me to donate. I also started feeling pretty weak and fatigued. At that point, I went to the doc and had my ferritin tested, and it came in pretty low around 14. I started supplementing with ferrous sulfate tablets, and it made my ferritin move up just a few points, to about 18, and at this same time I tested Hemoglobin to 14.9/Hematocrit to 45.5, RBC at 5.58 x10E6/uL (results also say this is a bit High), but MVC was low at 78 fL and MCH low at 25.5 pg , and RDW high at 15.8 %. My iron Serum was at 170 ug/dL at this point, so and the ferrous sulfate tablets also made me feel dizzy, so I thought that they are not good for me.

    I then bought ferrous carbonyl pills (with Folic Acid, Zinc and Vitamin B12) instead, and took those for a weeks. These pills seems to be WAY more effective than the sulfate, because after a few weeks my ferritin levels flew up to a 71. This was 7 months ago. Since that reading, I stopped taking the pills immediately, because I thought that was a good level for ferritin. Fast forward to now, and my ferritin is now a 14 again (dropped a lot!). But the hemoglobin is a bit higher at 16.1, Hematocrit at 48.4, RBC of 5.97 (a bit High once again), and the other metrics also fell back into normal ranges, at MVC of 81, MHC of 27, RDW at 13.3%. Also, I feel healthy and normal at this point.

    So the now-low ferritin of 14 makes me think that I need to supplement with some iron to bring this back up to a more normal range of 20 (or most online articles even say 50-80 for an adult male is better), but I'm afraid with my hemoglobin and RBC being high, that this might do more damage than good? Wouldn't supplementation make those values just go even higher? I'm thinking that the best way to go forward is maybe to keep it natural and just eat lots of red meats and steak and iron-rich foods instead of taking supplements. But I'm not sure if I am technically iron-deficiency anemic, and I should be taking supplements instead. What do you recommend from here?

    Also, why did my ferritin drop back down so quickly after I stopped supplementation? I thought that ferritin was a type of "store" in the body, which stuck around on a long-term basis.

    Last edited by dan1487; 06-11-2016 at 10:46 AM.

     
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