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    Old 01-25-2007, 01:51 PM   #1
    fjones1
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    Ferretin Level?

    Is a ferretin level of 23 considered low? My hemotologist's office says the normal range is 10-232. Should it be higher for me to feel better? I know everyone is different. I was first diagnosed with anemia in July of 2006. My ferretin was 4 and the doctor said it was severe. She put me on iron supplements, and now it''s at level 23 in January of 2007. the problem is that I feel much worse with ferretin of 23 than I did at level 4. I'm dizzy all the time and I have no energy. I can't walk long distances withoug getting very dizzy and tired. My hair has been falling out like crazy. I shiver a lot, can't tolerate cold. I do have heavy periods that are caused by high blood pressure medicine. No fibroids have been found. My periods weren't heavy before I started taking the medicine. Can a ferretin of 23 make you feel this bad? It's on the low end of normal, but still normal. But I get the feeling that it should be considerably higher. All my other tests are negative, and my hemoglobin is 14, which is normal. My hemotologist says I'm not anemic anymore and to just leave it, though I'm feeling really bad. I'm not sure what else it could be. another hemotologist says I should do the IV iron to bring it up some, but that seems like a drastic step, but he's very insistant about it. I don't know who to listen to. I'm going to have my bloodwork checked after my next period, but they're are so irregular so it's hard to schedule. Should I listen to my main hemotologist and just leave it at 23 and feel bad? Thanks for the advice.

     
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    Old 01-25-2007, 05:43 PM   #2
    Homegurl
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    Yes, that is too low. You might need to have your thyroid checked also. I think the ideal ferritin level is at least around 70.

     
    Old 01-25-2007, 05:49 PM   #3
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    23 is within the norm; however, my doctor said they like it near 70. I don't understand why 70 is what they want, yet 20 is within norms - doesn't make sense. The Cleveland Clinic lab norms are 10-150.

    Last edited by littlebunnyfoo; 01-25-2007 at 05:50 PM.

     
    Old 01-25-2007, 09:14 PM   #4
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    Ferritin level of 20 is still very low. While your hgb is great and being at 14 not anemic, you can still have the symptoms of anemia from a ferritin of 20. My hematologist would love me to be at least 50, but 70 is when you will start felling better and get your hair to grow. I have been getting IV iron for two years now and finally seems to have hit 70. If you ferritin is very low, it will take months or years on pills. For me it has taken two years to get to 70.
    I still find that I have to take a nap everyday, but I am no where close to the tiredness I was two years ago. Get the IV iron, it is much quicker.

     
    Old 01-26-2007, 08:38 AM   #5
    Kezzalou
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    Hi

    My Ferritin is now 30, I have been told this is in a normal range but I feel anything but normal! It was level 12 when diagnosed June 06, I've been taking Ferrous Sulphate 3 times a day but it has not increased that much.

    My haemaglobin is also 14, my doctor is confused why I have symptoms. I too feel tired, sometimes when I am walking around I feel weak and shakey. My hair has become really thin, including my eyebrows. I suffer from dizziness and shake with cold sometimes too.

    I think it is gonna take me years to get to a level of 70 !!

     
    Old 01-28-2007, 02:00 AM   #6
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kezzalou View Post
    Hi

    My Ferritin is now 30, I have been told this is in a normal range but I feel anything but normal! It was level 12 when diagnosed June 06, I've been taking Ferrous Sulphate 3 times a day but it has not increased that much.

    My haemaglobin is also 14, my doctor is confused why I have symptoms. I too feel tired, sometimes when I am walking around I feel weak and shakey. My hair has become really thin, including my eyebrows. I suffer from dizziness and shake with cold sometimes too.

    I think it is gonna take me years to get to a level of 70 !!

     
    Old 01-28-2007, 02:14 AM   #7
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    hi my ferretin levels are 19,hemoglobin 13,and like you i feel very tired,i cant walk far,befor i have to sit down,even the thought of doing something makes me feel ill ,my hair has been falling out,for over a year,some times i feel i cant go on,i have fibroids ,doc put me on iron tabs,but i feel so ill after my periods , doc has said about me trying the marina coil,but my hoarmoans are all over the place as it is im 47, so i think im in perimenno as well

     
    Old 01-29-2007, 07:03 AM   #8
    fjones1
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    Thanks for all of the information. This has helped me a lot. I've noticed that a lot of other people on this board have a similar problem with ferretin levels. Their numbers are in the normal range, then their doctors tell them they are 'cured', but they feel awful because they are in the low end of normal. I wonder why more specialist in hematology don't suggest that the ferretin levels should be higher, even when all other bloodwork is good. I think my hematologist said something about my level getting up to 50 when I was first diagnosed in July, and it was at 4, but now she's saying 23 is fine and just leave it. This anemia is a hard thing to deal with. I had been taking Spatone liquid iron for a while, after trying the Slow FE, which I stopped becuase of the side effects and it wasn't making much of a difference. I tried several irons, even a prescription that I had to ask for because the doctor didn't suggest anything in particular, just said 'take some iron'. For a while the Spatone seemed to be working and I was feeling a lot better for a few weeks. Then all of a sudden I started feeling really bad. The ferretin levels are going up with the iron, so I think that's why the doctor says to just keep taking it. But I don't know how long it will take to get to 70. I'm also seeing an OBGYN to find out what to do about heavy periods, so I hope that helps some too.

     
    Old 01-29-2007, 07:11 AM   #9
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fjones1 View Post
    This anemia is a hard thing to deal with. I had been taking Spatone liquid iron for a while, after trying the Slow FE, which I stopped becuase of the side effects and it wasn't making much of a difference. I tried several irons, even a prescription that I had to ask for because the doctor didn't suggest anything in particular, just said 'take some iron'. For a while the Spatone seemed to be working and I was feeling a lot better for a few weeks. Then all of a sudden I started feeling really bad. The ferretin levels are going up with the iron, so I think that's why the doctor says to just keep taking it. But I don't know how long it will take to get to 70. I'm also seeing an OBGYN to find out what to do about heavy periods, so I hope that helps some too.

    I am also taking the Spatone Iron because it is the only thing I can tolerate. I never did get a baseline on my Ferritin. I just knew that I had become mildly anemic. After taking Spatone for 6 weeks, the anemia corrected itself, but my Ferritin was only at 5. I've just been told to keep taking "whatever" and to come back in March or April. In the meantime, I will be having a full gastro check (colon and stomach) to make sure there is no bleeding. My periods are heavy for about 2 days. In my mind, it's not enough to cause anemia but who knows?

     
    Old 01-29-2007, 04:40 PM   #10
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    I get IV iron every week and have been since Sept. My Ferritin was down to 3 and after 3 months of iron my hgb came up to 12 but my ferritin was still veyr low. My hematologist wants me to continue with the IV because he says it's absorbed much more quickly. I also take the iron pills. I'm perimenopausal too and like the rest of you my periods are all over the place. It is only heavy for 2 days but my hematologist told me that if it's very heavy it still can deplete your iron. He's all over me to go to the GYN but my tests there are always fine. It can definitely be frustrating.

     
    Old 01-30-2007, 12:46 PM   #11
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    Thanks for all of the advice. In the last few days I've been to several doctors for tests to see if there was any specific cause for my symptons. I've seen my cardiologist, OBGYN, hematologist. I've had a pap smean, chest exray and pelvic exam, cat scan. None of the doctors can find anything seriously wrong, except for the low iron level. One of the hematologists I talked to says that's too low and that's why I'm having these symptoms, so I am leaning towards the iron. I fear it will take years to get to level 70 ferretin, though I do absorb oral iron. I see a lot of other people on this board have had a lot of these different tests too. I sympathize with them. I am leaning toward the IV iron. The specialist who recommends it says that 23 ferretin is too low to function on, though the first one said it was fine. They use dextran and venofer and give you a test dose first to see how you react. But I don't think I can go on feeling crappy for a year or more until I get the ferretin level up orally. I've missed too much work already. I have a question. If you get the IV done during your period, would that have any effect on the absorbtion of the iron?

     
    Old 01-30-2007, 04:37 PM   #12
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fjones1 View Post
    The specialist who recommends it says that 23 ferretin is too low to function on, though the first one said it was fine.
    Wow, if a ferritin of 23 is "too low to function on" then I'm in big trouble. Mine was a "5" last time it was measured. Now, I will admit that I don't feel as well as I used to and probably don't keep up with my friends as well, but i still raise two kids, commute, work full time, cook dinner every night, shop etc. Honestly, I would be THRILLED with a ferritin level of 23.

    I also think everyone's ferritin levels are individual. Women's ferritin levels are historically and notoriously lower than the average male or post-menopausal woman. I'm not sure I'd be doing IV with a ferritin of 23.

     
    Old 01-30-2007, 08:10 PM   #13
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    You say you don't feel as well as you used to? My ferretin level was 4 when I was first diagnosed several months ago, and I could function then but it was difficult. Now it is so much more difficult, because I am really feeling the anemia symptoms. I think that is what the doctor is going by, how I actually feel. I know some people do fine at this level, but I am not one of them. I do know that many doctors like the ferretin level to be a lot higher, somewhere around 70, though some say 100, I guess it depends on the scale they measure it by. I do have heavy periods and it took a while to get it past four after a period. I am still leaning towards the IV iron, depending on how my other tests come back. So far the only thing the doctor's find out of place is the iron. I'm still undecided about the IV iron, because it seems like a drastic step. I don't know if anyone who's had it felt better afterward.

     
    Old 01-30-2007, 08:24 PM   #14
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    Re: Ferretin Level?

    fjones,I would definitely go for the IV iron if I were you. My ferritin was 3 in Sept. and I've been getting the IV iron every week since then. I just had it today and they redrew all of my iron studies again so we shall see.He tells me it takes a long time when you have severe iron deficiency(which I did) to correct it. I feel SOO much better than I did last summer. I get IV Venofer. My hematologist prefers this because the iron dextran apparently has a higher incidence of allergic reactions and side effects. It also takes alot longer to infuse-an hour or 2 I think. The Venofer goes in over a half hour and I haven't had any side effects at all. Check with your hematologist but I can tell you that even though it's a pain to have to go to the hospital every week the IV iron has made a big difference for me. Best of luck!

     
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