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    Old 12-21-2004, 06:08 AM   #1
    Tintin2
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    ferritin levels

    I was just reading older threads and noticed someone posting about his ferritin levels being so low they couldn't be registered anymore and therefore it just read 'less than 5'.

    On my lab results, it also says 'less than 5' for ferritin levels. I'd always presumed that maybe my levels were 4 or something, maybe lower. Now I do wonder why there's no exact number given. Is it true that it's simply because it's so low they couldn't give an exact number?

     
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    Old 12-21-2004, 07:27 AM   #2
    KritterKeeper
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    Re: ferritin levels

    I think it depends upon the lab doing the testing. I've gotten actual values less than 5 before. I often earn a 3. I doubt any of these numbers are written in stone. Any blood counts are subject ot variations but generally give a good idea of what may be going on. Ferritin levels below 10 indicate that your body no longer carries enough iron in storage to adequately replenish your blood supply. This can lead to anemia if not addressed and corrected. Taking iron supplements will usually do the trick providing there is no disease process responsible.

     
    Old 12-22-2004, 07:38 PM   #3
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    Re: ferritin levels

    I had posted earlier about my ferritin level being "less than 5." This was in September and the last ferritin level taken had been in January, and was 1.0. My friend works at the lab where the test was done (in fact she draws my blood in her house before work and just takes the vials with her along with dr request for lab work; very convenient!!!!) She said that my ferritin level had obviously gone "below 1.0" and was now undetectable. I just took her word for it since she has been a lab tech for over 20 yrs. I still have not had an iron infusion as my gastro is concerned about me having a severe reaction. Personally, I would like not to feel zombified on a 24/7 basis due to absolutely zero energy.

     
    Old 12-27-2004, 01:07 PM   #4
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    Re: ferritin levels

    For the last year my ferritin levels haven't been above 5 mostly 1 or below and it comes back with an actual number on mine so I am not sure about the reading saying that it is less than 5 probably like the other poster said it depends on the lab.

     
    Old 12-29-2004, 11:53 AM   #5
    KritterKeeper
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    Talking Re: ferritin levels

    There's little difference between ferritin levels of 1, 3 or 5. Ferritin is simply an indicator of a potential problem and a low value in and of itself should not cause symptoms. What causes problems is if you develop anemia as a result of prolonged periods of iron deficiency. I'm ALWAYS iron deficient BUT I'm not always anemic. There is a HUGE difference between iron deficiency anemia and iron deficiency. Many, many women are iron deficient usually as a result of their monthly cycles which can be draining (literally!) BUT, if you can continue to absorb enough iron thru your diet or supplements suggested by your doctor most of the time anemia can be avoided. Hope this info helps. There are generally a limited number of health issues that cause iron deficiency anemia and they are usually easy to pinpoint. I went thru all the tests and my problem seems to stem from a lack of proper absorption. I used to get IV iron to help with this but due to delevloping violent allergies to the drugs used this is no longer an option for me. I find that if I'm diligent about my diet and lead a healthy lifestyle (plenty of sleep, exercise, etc) I can usually keep my Hgl and Hct levels within range.

     
    Old 12-29-2004, 12:15 PM   #6
    NOTSONUTSO
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    Re: ferritin levels

    Great information!
    I never had problems with anemia until I developed connective-tissue disease. Even then, my levels were not that low (hematocrit, hemoglobin, ferritin, etc.) Then, over a period of about a year I became severely anemic. But the time the cause was detected, my hemoglobin was in the "5's." Hematocrit was 19. Turns out I had developed abdominal "bleeding angiodysplasias," which is "leaky, tangled blood vessels." I've had 3 blood transfusion since then, but my counts always start to drop again albeit gradually. (this condition is chronic). Iron pills did not help at all. My last lab work showed HGB at 9.8 and HCT at 31. I guess I will have "annual" blood transfusion some time next year. It is frustrating, but I know it could be worse.

     
    Old 01-04-2005, 08:19 PM   #7
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    Re: ferritin levels

    Wow, there seems to be so many reasons behind anemia. I have never heard of your diagnosis, notsonutso. That has to be hard. I went off my iron pills today per my dr's request. I had to go into the office with severe stabbing, upper left abdominal pain, and he said sometimes iron can do that. But we are going to do a catscan just in case (did I spell that right,lol). But with that he is also doing more blood work, so I am curious how my iron level is now that I have been taking the supplement for about a month.
    Good to hear everyone's experiences!

     
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