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  • symtpoms of low ferritin vs. low hgb

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    Old 04-21-2004, 11:32 AM   #1
    robyncamp
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    Cool symtpoms of low ferritin vs. low hgb

    Hi, I'm new here and am so glad that I have found this board! I have recently been diagnosed with very low ferritin (7) and just had my first IV iron treatment last week, with another one tomorrow. I also have a condition called hypopituitarism which means that all (or most) of my hormones are very, very low and I am on meds for that.....my question is this: despite my hgb levels being normal (for the most part), could low ferritin alone cause symptoms of constant fatigue, cold hands and feet, mental fog, low energy? The problem for me is that my low hormone levels create the same or similar symptoms and my docs aren't sure what deficiencies are causing which symptoms (I am on thyroid meds and growth hormone injections and am in the process of having a bunch of other hormone leves tested as well....).

    Thanks for any help you might be able to provide!
    ~Robyn
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    Old 04-21-2004, 01:34 PM   #2
    KritterKeeper
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    Re: symtpoms of low ferritin vs. low hgb

    I'd answer a big "YES" but my hematologist would say no. I've been iron deficient for a looooooong time and often (though not always anemic.) My Ferritin generally measures 3 or 4! I've been through several cycles of IV iron but for some reason can't hang onto that either!! According to my doc
    unless you are actually anemic as a result of the iron deficiency (or whatever else) you should not experience any symptoms. I've not found that to be the case. I'm often fatigued and it really affects my aerobic capacity at the gym. Plenty of times I've had to pause the treadmill to catch my breath. My hands are always freezing and I wear a granny sweater even in August! I chalk up the mental fog to having three kids and a house full of other critters!!
    K.K.
    Hey did you by any chance go to college in W.Va? I knew someone with your ID name, spelled the same way.

     
    Old 04-21-2004, 03:14 PM   #3
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    Re: symtpoms of low ferritin vs. low hgb

    Hi K.K.....
    Thanks for the response...gives me hope that these iv iron treatments will help, if the low ferritin is indeed giving me these annoying symptoms....I have four kids, so I know what you mean about not knowing if it's your health or all the kids that keep you so low on energy!

    And no, I didn't go to school W. VA - I'm a Los Angeles area native, and attended graduated from a school in Southern Oregon.....
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    Old 04-21-2004, 05:29 PM   #4
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    Re: symtpoms of low ferritin vs. low hgb

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robyncamp
    Hi, I'm new here and am so glad that I have found this board! I have recently been diagnosed with very low ferritin (7) and just had my first IV iron treatment last week, with another one tomorrow. I also have a condition called hypopituitarism which means that all (or most) of my hormones are very, very low and I am on meds for that.....my question is this: despite my hgb levels being normal (for the most part), could low ferritin alone cause symptoms of constant fatigue, cold hands and feet, mental fog, low energy? The problem for me is that my low hormone levels create the same or similar symptoms and my docs aren't sure what deficiencies are causing which symptoms (I am on thyroid meds and growth hormone injections and am in the process of having a bunch of other hormone leves tested as well....).

    Thanks for any help you might be able to provide!
    ~Robyn
    I also have a low ferritin that runs around 4. My hemoglobin runs around 11-12 depending on the day of the week. I am post-menopausal. The bottom line truth as I know it to be is that if you are not menstruating, and your ferritin is low, you probably do not notice it, but if your body is having to work over time to keep your hemoglobin up to normal, then that would definitely be a source of fatigue. I do not have fatigue that is noticeable with my routine day, but if I add on something that I am not used to doing, like an extra work day or unusual exercise like moving furniture, I notice it. Because my body maintains a sense of normalcy at the average levels my performance requires. Sort of like these new car computers that set according to your driving style.
    So, I would guess that if you have small children to take care of and are still having periods, you are experiencing lower hemoglobin from time to time than is measured in one lab test. Your ferritin level definitely needs a boost.

     
    Old 04-23-2004, 05:48 AM   #5
    etstanddie
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    Re: symtpoms of low ferritin vs. low hgb

    I too am getting weekly Iron via IV's and my hemoglobin and hematocrit are normal. Add shortness of breath with exertion to the mix and the symptoms fit me to a "T".

     
    Old 04-23-2004, 07:52 AM   #6
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    Red face Re: symtpoms of low ferritin vs. low hgb

    Marimac (and Robyn and Est) do you know WHY you're so low in iron and at times anemic? I addressed it to M as her situation sounds a lot like mine. I'm not menopausal but I no longer have my periods thanks to continuous birth control pills. Oddly my ferritin continued it's downward plunge anyway! I did tell the dr's that my periods were no big deal. But exactly what is a big deal??? I saw my GI dr. yesterday and he's as puzzled as ever. My hematologist has NO idea what's going on as EVERY test has come back negative!! I'm thankful for that but frustrated at the same time. I eat really well, exercise, don't smoke, drink or do drugs (I'm hideously boring!) I have no known health issues. I hated the IV iron and even though it would help temporarily I couldn't seem to store that kind either! The highest my Ferritin ever got from all the infusions was a 70 and it would disappear within 2 months back to a 3 or 4. Maybe this is just normal for me? I'd sure like a bit more get up and go 'cause mine got up and went a long time ago!!!

     
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