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low ferritin + normal iron = immune problems?

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Old 04-22-2007, 07:22 AM   #1
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Location: Kansas City, KS, USA
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ericj66104 HB User
low ferritin + normal iron = immune problems?

I just recently found out (by accident, actually) that I have low ferritin (serum count was 4 ng/mL). However, all other blood tests are normal: normal hemoglobin, hematocrit, iron, etc. I'm a 27-year-old male.

I'm sick. I guess I'm really just "under the weather." You know how your body tells you that you are coming down with a cold or flu? Sometimes a slight headache, sometimes a runny nose, sometimes a sore throat for a few hours, maybe a sore inside your nose or mouth, loss of mental clarity, and a general feeling of lousiness.

I've felt like that for at least 3-4 years, during which time I've caught every cold and flu (which has lingered and kept me sick for weeks each occurrance). And I got mumps last winter. That was fun.

I'm also excessively tired. I sleep a lot. Any strenuous physical activity wears me out very quickly. And when I exercise, my muscles and joints are sore for days.

I'm wondering if anyone else has impaired immunity coupled with very low ferritin, or any other thoughts as to what might be causing this?

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Old 04-22-2007, 08:05 AM   #2
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Ritah HB User
Post Re: low ferritin + normal iron = immune problems?

I have normal iron levels, except for the ferritin. My Hematologist treats it with IV Iron Infusions. It took me about two long, sickly, years to be properly diagnosed. My regular Doctor just looked at my Hemoglobin, and it has always looked normal.
I got to the point of sleeping 12-14 hours a day and still being tired, barely functioning. That's when I asked for the referral to Hematology.
Low ferritin needs to be treated.
I tried all kinds of oral iron, but my ferritin was too low to rebuild orally. I do feel like I pick up a lot of colds and infections when my ferritin is low.
Did your doctor suggest any treatment for your low ferritin?

Old 04-22-2007, 08:17 AM   #3
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 88
barbw HB User
Re: low ferritin + normal iron = immune problems?

I did a search on anemia, and the is a published study that proves that anemia affects the immunity of women age 60 and older. Now I know that you are a man! The study was only done on age 60 and older women, but I wonder if they studied everyone, they would find that it affects everyones immunity? Just a thought...

Last edited by moderator2; 04-22-2007 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Please do not post websites except as described in the posting rules section titled "How to share information".

Old 04-22-2007, 11:33 AM   #4
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Location: Northern VA
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ChristineVA HB UserChristineVA HB UserChristineVA HB User
Re: low ferritin + normal iron = immune problems?

Iron deficiency can make you more susceptible to colds and infections.

As a young man, you need to find out the cause of your low ferritin.

Most of us women can chalk it up to repeated, heavy menstruation. This it totally NOT normal for a male.

You need to find out if you are losing blood somewhere or if you are having a malabsorption problem (something like celiac disease). Autoimmune disorders can also destroy red blood cells (not sure though if that effects ferritin).

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