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sahaira 11-02-2006 03:03 PM

For the people who know ferritin
 
Hi all -

I was reading the ferritin posts and I have a quick question. I get confused about whether or not low ferritn causes symptoms other than hair loss. My doc says no - as long as my hgb and what not are good then the ferritin does not matter. My ferritin is any where from 3 -7 at the most. They all say its ok but I never feel good and I have anxiety/panic problems. As I said, all other iron tests are normal except for my iron store ( I am hypothyroid too as well though). I see people have transfusions - is that because your hemoglobin is low or for just low ferritin? I am SO confused!!!! :dizzy: Oh yea and I have constant dizziness/ear ringing that they say has nothing to do with the low ferritin, I am not sure though??

If you have read this - thank you!

debratheartist 11-03-2006 05:38 PM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
i don't know but i tended toward low thyroid too even tough i am testing normal low right now. all my tests are normal except ferritin and i have severe hair loss.

but i also have ringing/constant tone!! mu hearing seems to be getting worse and worse and i have dizziness at times too! i tend toward anxiety but it comes out like overthinking and an exaggerated startle response like my body is on fight or flight mode even when i am mentally and emotionally feeling fine.

i would love to know!!!

Merimac 11-03-2006 06:14 PM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
[QUOTE=sahaira]Hi all -

I was reading the ferritin posts and I have a quick question. I get confused about whether or not low ferritn causes symptoms other than hair loss. My doc says no - as long as my hgb and what not are good then the ferritin does not matter. My ferritin is any where from 3 -7 at the most. They all say its ok but I never feel good and I have anxiety/panic problems. As I said, all other iron tests are normal except for my iron store ( I am hypothyroid too as well though). I see people have transfusions - is that because your hemoglobin is low or for just low ferritin? I am SO confused!!!! :dizzy: Oh yea and I have constant dizziness/ear ringing that they say has nothing to do with the low ferritin, I am not sure though??

If you have read this - thank you![/QUOTE]
Ferritin is a protein molecule that iron is stored in for future use. If the ferritin is low, it indicates that there is no iron available beyond what is being taken in and used from daily diet. IF the diet is good, then there is usually no problem. If you have a menstrual problem or other bleeding problem, you may have a lowered hemoglobin count which may or may not cause symptoms. Ringing of the ears can be caused by anything from a sinus infection to drinking too much caffeine. Some people take a lot of pain medications and can not avoid ringing ears. That is called Tinnitus and is sometimes just an aging problem and sometimes is caused by diabetes or other neurological problems. I have even read that ringing ears can be caused by too much arsenic in drinking water etc. The main thing to understand is that Ferritin does not cause symptoms one way or the other. It is just a measurement of the body's ability to use or store iron, without having to do a bone marrow test, to find out if any disease process has been detected. By itself, ferritin level mean nothing.

KathyIL 11-03-2006 06:36 PM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
I too, have been having trouble with ferritin. My results were coming at 12 or 13 for several months.

I am finally getting it up after taking Vitron C daily. My last result was around 25.

My doctor was ordering monthly tests because he was worried about full blown anemia and was just about to order a thyroid test when the ferritin started rising. He now thinks it is due to heavy menstrual periods and wants me to repeat the test in 3 months. I am 45 and things are starting to change, if you know what I mean.

I also get panic attacks and shortness of breath. They have improved with the rise in ferritin, though.

To be honest, if I had followed his instructions to take 2 tablets from the start, I would have been better off earlier. I still only take one a day. I am on other meds for spine issues and you should not take other medications within 2 hours of the iron supplement as it can mess them up. This causes me to not take as much iron as I probably should.

I hope this helps.

sahaira 11-07-2006 11:11 AM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
Yea the whole iron thing is really confusing! Its good to know that the ferritin level doesnt effect the way you acutally feel... Its weird to see that we suffer from anxiety and panic. I developed panic disorder 2 years ago and thats when they found that I was anemic ALONG with having low ferritin.As it got better, so did I- a little- but I never brought up my ferritin level and am still having dizziness/anxiety etc... Has anyone had good luck with Ferrous Sulphate pills?? Even Slow FE really hurts my stomach...

Thank you for all the replies everyone!

sahaira 11-07-2006 04:42 PM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
[QUOTE=sahaira]Yea the whole iron thing is really confusing! Its good to know that the ferritin level doesnt effect the way you acutally feel... Its weird to see that we suffer from anxiety and panic. I developed panic disorder 2 years ago and thats when they found that I was anemic ALONG with having low ferritin.As it got better, so did I- a little- but I never brought up my ferritin level and am still having dizziness/anxiety etc... Has anyone had good luck with Ferrous Sulphate pills?? Even Slow FE really hurts my stomach...

Thank you for all the replies everyone![/QUOTE]


***** Just got my test results! My ferritin is a four! Geesh :)******

CINDERELLA 11-12-2006 05:23 PM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
Earlier this year my hair started to fall out and I went to the doctor. My ferritin level was 19 should be between 20-160 (in nz) my usual level is around 26-29. I went on iron pills and it stopped falling out after 2 months, my level is now 31 and I stopped the iron pills, but have gone back on them as I have not had any hair regrowth and hear it need s to be 70 to trigger regrowth.

I did not have any other symptoms. I have also had anxiety since Dec 03 I dont know if there is a connection as my level only went down this year.

I get ringing in the ears, buzzing, heart racing, sweating etc but it is all anxiety related.

Hope this helps

winsome chick 02-19-2007 04:34 PM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
This is my first time to reply. I also had a very low ferritin level. It was down to a 3. My causes was from blood donations, every 53 days. I was unable to donate as my Hbg. was under 125, so had it double checked. The ferritin level was then checked. THe Dr. stated that she had never seen it that low on anyone and still be walking around. I take oral iron gluconate 300mgm daily, with Vit.C, for better absorption, on an empty stomach. The ferritin level slowly rose, but can still feel really drained, especially if I overexert. It takes me a day or two to recover. My question is, with the stored iron so low, and not sure for how long a time,that it was low, how does this affect the organs (liver) and does it affect the blood cells, decreasing the flow of O2.winsome chick

Audrey-B 02-23-2007 12:16 AM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
I have had hair thinning due to too much shedding for a number of years and never realised it had anything to do with iron. Finally i went to see a trichologist (hair/scalp specialist) as last april my iron was a 6 and my ferritin was 8. Apparently there is a new range for ferritin and it is now 35 (or there abouts) - 300. The trichologist said that now for normal hair growth without the excessive shedding you need to be 80 and above due to the new range and he wants to see my at 150.

He has put me on some very strong iron powder and it contains some other ingredients. This i take twice a day after meals, while 20 min's before those two meals i have to take a complex amino acid tablet. He is giving me 3months and then i have to get a blood test and if they find my levels have not climbed sufficiently then they will look into what could be stopping iron absorbtion by my body. There can be two reasons for this 1. gluten intolerance, 2. insufficient enzymes for digestion of food, which in turn affects stomach and liver.

One thing he did mention is that people who are anaemic for a long length of time can run the risk of damaging their thyroid. This is why blood tests for your iron/ferretin levels should always include a full test of your thyroid too, not just one of those general thyroid test most gp's get pathology to do.

He also said that it will take between 3 - 6 months to start seeing results, but that hair loss due to low iron levels is reversible. He didn't mention any other side effects of low iron apart from the thyroid issue.

I wish i had known about iron affecting hair lost years ago as my gp should have picked up on it from low levels 6 - 7 years ago, but he conveniently said all was fine, when even then i was scraping the bottom of the barrel when it came to iron/ferretin. Then i went to see a dermatologist who said there was nothing wrong with my hair. Times like this you truly realise how valuable the internet is along with healthboards like these. If you are worried about your hair loss and you know it's from low iron, then do something about it as it wont go away and the hair will keep shedding and shedding. The sooner you take action the sooner your are likely to get your hair back.

neebee 04-03-2007 03:56 AM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
I never knew hair loss was connected to low Ferritin levels! I have been losing my hair for the past year, and have just been told my Ferritin level is 2 so am now on 670gms iron per day. My doctor thinks it will take about 6 months to get the levels back up. My haemoglobin is also low. I feel very tired too but this has been for the past 5 years or so which also commenced with an early menopause for which I use Serenity natural progesterone cream. In fact I couldn't survive without it....I would be so very tired. Without the cream I feel like a 66 year old instead of a 44 year old. Within days of starting it this cream helped me with breast discomfort, irritibility, feeling sad for no reason, falling asleep all the time and it keeps me rational. However I still have bad aches and pains in my joints so take anti-inflammatories too. I am due to have my Ferritin levels checked in a month so hopefully things will be better then.

getbetter 04-04-2007 03:02 AM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
oh now i'm even more confused... if Ferretin means nothing how come I have to have iron injections? My hg levels are fine, my doc said ferretin was 16 last year and now it's at 12 (am pregnant). after six months of daily iron tablets, doc says iron levels are still low... but what this means is my Ferretin is still low? Why the need for weekly iron shots if ferretin causes no symptoms?

fjones1 04-04-2007 08:04 AM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
I'm confused about this also. My doctor wants me to get an infusion becuase my ferritin dropped to 10 from 23 in the last month, even while taking iron supplements (Spatone and Slow FE Ferrous Sulphate) He wants to find out the cause of my low iron but still thinks I need an infusion. My saturation is also low. I'm supposed to have a pelvic ultrasound, then do the colon exam later on. Has anybody with normal hemaglobin had the infusions? I know the blood transfusions are only for people with hemaglobin in the single digits, or under 10, right?

mbbasketball 04-04-2007 09:15 AM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
[QUOTE=fjones1;2901411]I'm confused about this also. My doctor wants me to get an infusion becuase my ferritin dropped to 10 from 23 in the last month, even while taking iron supplements (Spatone and Slow FE Ferrous Sulphate) He wants to find out the cause of my low iron but still thinks I need an infusion. My saturation is also low. I'm supposed to have a pelvic ultrasound, then do the colon exam later on. Has anybody with normal hemaglobin had the infusions? I know the blood transfusions are only for people with hemaglobin in the single digits, or under 10, right?[/QUOTE]

I am going for yet another iron infusion this week. My hgb has been normal for the last two previous infusions, but my ferritin keeps dropping. I was told to stay healthy, I need to have my ferritin level to be 50, and that is coming from my hematologist. I can tell the difference when I am running low. My ice pica comes back and feeling tired, muscle aches and headaches. You can have all kinds of problems with iron defieciency. Transfusion are for people who's hemablogin falls under 7according to my gp. If don't stay on top of your ferritin levels and it keeps going down, you will begin to have lower hgb thus resulting in anemia.

alwayshotroddin 04-04-2007 09:45 AM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
I have been reading your posts on this topic. Does anyone know how long you can have low ferritin levels before your hemoglobin levels start to drop? I first found out my ferritin level was at 11.6 in January and since then it's dropped to 4.0 as of last week (this is also while I'm taking iron supplements). My iron saturation level is also low. Just curious to know what might happen next if my ferretin levels don't start to go up?

Merimac 04-04-2007 11:38 AM

Re: For the people who know ferritin
 
[QUOTE=alwayshotroddin;2901635]I have been reading your posts on this topic. Does anyone know how long you can have low ferritin levels before your hemoglobin levels start to drop? I first found out my ferritin level was at 11.6 in January and since then it's dropped to 4.0 as of last week (this is also while I'm taking iron supplements). My iron saturation level is also low. Just curious to know what might happen next if my ferretin levels don't start to go up?[/QUOTE]
For those asking about ferritin levels and iron. The ferritin level measures how good your body is at extracting iron from food or supplements you are taking. If you are a vegetarian who eats no eggs, cheese or other dairy products, your source of iron is a plant source such as beets, etc. There is iron in vegetables, primarily root vegetables, potatoes etc. It is not heme iron, but it is iron. Then meats: beef, pork, chicken are the primary sources of heme iron, with eggs being a good source if you eat the yolk, that of course is an issue with some health considerations.
Either way you get iron, the body uses what it needs for daily functioning and stores the rest in a storage area for drawing on if you get food deprived. If you are nutrition deprived, you will lose your hair, primarily a protein loss issue, you finger nails will become brittle, break easily or will get streaks, you may get mouth sores easily. All of those symptoms are from not enough available iron. Ferritin again without any other information about your nutritional status means nothing. Usually, people will seek medical attention while they still have a little ferritin left because of other problems and symptoms. Thyroid problems can be silent too. Depression for any reason can make the body stressed out and not respond to available nutrition. It is not caused by what you think, the depression causes the way you may feel and your appetite may become picky or non-nutritious just at the time you need the food the most. I hope that will help you to understand. Some people can have a low hemaglobin and low ferritin and feel awful, some can have a normal hemaglobin and a low ferritin level and never know it. Some can have a low hemaglobin, be short of breath, and think they have a virus and they have been gradually dropping in iron all along and never connected it together.
Some people are always different than other people so that is what medical practice is all about, there are no definite answers except the one you believe.


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