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Stefarina 08-17-2007 07:23 AM

anemia and low ferritin levels
 
I have read the posts on here concerning ferritin levels. I have been anemic for over a year. A new doctor ordered the ferritin test. I ALWAYS request a copy of any medical tests to keep on file at home so I am knowledgable of the information. (I urge others to get and keep copies of ALL tests too)

My question is this... My hemoglobin level has come up a bit, 10.5 today and it was 9.8 at the beginning of May. [B]I have a ferritin level of 5.[/B] I know that ferritin is the level of iron stored in your body. Should I be alarmed that mine is a level 5????

My doctor is on vacation, but I got the numbers from my copy of the labs.

Any advise would be welcomed.
Thanks, Stefarina

ChristineVA 08-17-2007 10:06 AM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
[QUOTE=Stefarina;3160830]I have read the posts on here concerning ferritin levels. I have been anemic for over a year. A new doctor ordered the ferritin test. I ALWAYS request a copy of any medical tests to keep on file at home so I am knowledgable of the information. (I urge others to get and keep copies of ALL tests too)

My question is this... My hemoglobin level has come up a bit, 10.5 today and it was 9.8 at the beginning of May. [B]I have a ferritin level of 5.[/B] I know that ferritin is the level of iron stored in your body. Should I be alarmed that mine is a level 5????

My doctor is on vacation, but I got the numbers from my copy of the labs.

Any advise would be welcomed.
Thanks, Stefarina[/QUOTE]

Yes, 5 is low. That is what I was at before I started iron supplements. Fortunately, I did not get as anemic as you are but I may have gotten to that point and my hemoglobin was on a downward trend. Pretty much it means that you have no iron stores and you need to work on building them up. It also confirms that your anemia is due to iron deficiency and not something else.

lizzy76 08-17-2007 09:08 PM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
I would not be alarmed that your ferriten level is at 5. Anyone who is actually anemic (as in low hemoglobin) will have basically no ferriten. Well, that's the case for iron defincieny anemia at least. I'm sure your doctor was not alarmed and did not mention this to you because he was probably expecting you to have no ferriten, this is nothing unusaul at all for people who are anemic. Your ferriten will start to rise once your hemoglobin is in the normal range. Until then your ferriten (iron stores) will be low.

Ritah 08-18-2007 08:15 AM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
[QUOTE=Stefarina;3160830] [B]I have a ferritin level of 5.[/B] I know that ferritin is the level of iron stored in your body. Should I be alarmed that mine is a level 5????
Any advise would be welcomed.
Thanks, Stefarina[/QUOTE]
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][B][COLOR="Navy"]When my ferritin drops below 100 my Hematologist orders an IV iron infusion (Infed). We don't go by the other numbers. (Hemoglobin, iron sat etc.) She said that those other numbers can fluctuate daily.

My low ferritin is because I had a gastric bypass and don't absorb iron orally anymore. I receive an iron infusion every 6-8 months.
Before I had a diagnosis my ferritin dropped to 10. I was dizzy and exhausted. How are you feeling? You should definitely talk to a doctor.
[/COLOR][/B][/FONT]

glenni 09-06-2007 07:43 AM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
[QUOTE=Stefarina;3160830]I have read the posts on here concerning ferritin levels. I have been anemic for over a year. A new doctor ordered the ferritin test. I ALWAYS request a copy of any medical tests to keep on file at home so I am knowledgable of the information. (I urge others to get and keep copies of ALL tests too)

My question is this... My hemoglobin level has come up a bit, 10.5 today and it was 9.8 at the beginning of May. [B]I have a ferritin level of 5.[/B] I know that ferritin is the level of iron stored in your body. Should I be alarmed that mine is a level 5????

My doctor is on vacation, but I got the numbers from my copy of the labs.

Any advise would be welcomed.
Thanks, Stefarina[/QUOTE]
Why would you have a higher hemoglobin and lower ferritin and vice versa? Wouldn't one always be the higher/lower than the other?

ChristineVA 09-06-2007 07:49 AM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
[QUOTE=glenni;3195035]Why would you have a higher hemoglobin and lower ferritin and vice versa? Wouldn't one always be the higher/lower than the other?[/QUOTE]

No, that's not how it works. They aren't comparable in that manner.

notorious b 09-06-2007 09:15 AM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
[QUOTE=lizzy76;3162125]I would not be alarmed that your ferriten level is at 5. Anyone who is actually anemic (as in low hemoglobin) will have basically no ferriten. Well, that's the case for iron defincieny anemia at least. I'm sure your doctor was not alarmed and did not mention this to you because he was probably expecting you to have no ferriten, this is nothing unusaul at all for people who are anemic. Your ferriten will start to rise once your hemoglobin is in the normal range. Until then your ferriten (iron stores) will be low.[/QUOTE]

I guess my question would be - I have managed to get my hemoglobin into the normal range, low 12's, but my ferritin is still low, around 5. So if my hemoglobin is going up, why wouldn't my ferritin go up?

lemieux1973 09-06-2007 09:20 AM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
Ritah-
I was just diagnosed as anemic about 3 months ago. When I was younger I went through a small bout of it as well. This one actually was going for a really long time with no one trying to figure it out. My Ferritin Level was 2 with obvious low H and H! Along with low MVC, MCH, MCHC, and RDW-C. I have now been taking my iron 2 times a day for the last month and half. My ferritin level is now 10 but my Total iron is low at 34 (norm 65-165) and my % iron saturation is low at 10. So, I guess after I have had a diagnosis of endometriosis, chronic cysts on ovaries, hiatal hernia, gastritis, duodenitis, ilietis, internal hemorrhoids, proctitis, and polyps that were removed from my colon and one that needs to yet be removed from my cervix, all within the last month, I am feeling pretty frustrated. No one is 100% were if any, I am bleeding. Did you go through this as well? How long until you saw a hematlogist? I would think with were I am right now, that wouldn't be a bad idea for me as well. What are your thoughts??
D

ChristineVA 09-06-2007 11:17 AM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
[QUOTE=notorious b;3195183]I guess my question would be - I have managed to get my hemoglobin into the normal range, low 12's, but my ferritin is still low, around 5. So if my hemoglobin is going up, why wouldn't my ferritin go up?[/QUOTE]

There is a process to this.

Before you become anemic, your iron stores start to deplete. An example would be that, starting out, you had a hemoglobin of 14 and a ferritin of 70. Some disease process hits you (heavy periods, celiac disease, colon polyp) and you start bleeding. The first thing that happens is that the body starts pulling iron out of storage to keep the hemoglobin normal. So gradually, your ferritin drops from 70...72....65....40....30...all the way down to, say 10 or even lower. Then your hemoglobins starts to become affected because you no longer have storage and NOW your body has to deplete what is circulating in your blood. At this point, your hemoglobin, hematocrit, and RBCs will start to drop. The size of your blood cells will also start to shrink (MCV). Then, one day your doc tells you to take iron, or fix your bleeding, whatever. You do this. The FIRST think to get corrected will be your hemoglobin as you add iron into your bloodstream. Once your hemoglobin stabilizes, then the "extra" iron if there is enough will start going back in to storage and the ferritin will start to rise.

notorious b 09-06-2007 02:54 PM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
That makes sense Christine, thanks for the explanation. I'm still fairly new to this whole thing, so all I know right now is how incredibly tired I am. Just want to be normal again... sigh.

I am also trying to fix things quickly because I'm training for a marathon and the tiredness is starting to take it's toll on my ability to finish my training runs.

Audrey-B 09-06-2007 04:30 PM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
Don't know whether this information helps any, but going off the sheet of paper my specialist gave me, the reason he believes ferretin should be 125 - 150 is for optimal ATP. ATP basically supplies large amounts of energy to cells in your body for various biochemical processes. He states that our metabolic activity and liver detox are dependant on the ATP, which stands for "adenosine triphosphate".

So i guess that if our ferretin falls low, among the other things it makes happen within our bodies it also affects this ATP which wont supply enough energy to where it is supposed to, which leads to a sluggish liver and throws out our metabolism. No wonder we end up so tired and lack motivation.

kjrunner 09-06-2007 07:07 PM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
^
I have been looking for information about optimal ferritin with a cited reference. Otherwise, I'm told that is is 11, as stated by the lab values. I want to have the literature with me when I visit the doctor, so they do not dismiss it as "internet research" Does your sheet have a reference? <<I hope that is a legal question. I'm not asking for a link, but an author, journal, etc...I intend to retrieve the info

Audrey-B 09-06-2007 10:56 PM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
kjrunner - The Trichologist who i see about my hair issue, which we believe is as a result of very low ferretin levels over a number of years, uses Dr Hugh Rushton as his reference. You can look up Dr Rushton on the net. He is a doctor based in Harley Street in London and that is where the best doctors are supposed to be, or so i've heard.

The Trichologist i visit is called Tony Pearce and you can look him up on the net too. He has supplied some fairly good articles regarding iron levels, targets to reach, the affects it has on our body etc etc.

Here in Australia the pathology uses a range of 18 - 200 ug/L for ferretin. I'm not sure whether it's the same where you live as some things like B12 have a different range here compared to the USA, so when discussing figures it can get a bit confusing sometimes.

The way i look at this iron issue is the higher my ferretin levels have been the healthier i have felt and wasnt losing any hair. As my ferretin has declined over the years(fortunately no lower than 8) i have felt at rock bottom, depressed, worn out, tired, no motivation, lost half my hair and then on top of that ended up with a once healthy thyroid but now heading slowly to the danger side. This is why i dont understand gp's who tell their patients that a ferretin of 5 is ok.

I think today too many dr's check that you fall within a range and if you happen to be at the extreme bottom of that range they dont care, so long as fall within that range. That is not best practice. From what i know, depending on what your test is for, sometimes it's ok to be at the bottom of the range for some things, for other things you need to be in the middle while for other things it's healthier to be at the top of the range, just depends what you are being tested for.

I'm aware that we're all individual and we all may have varying reasons why our levels fell, but i still think dr's should take us seriously when we visit them and not simply say it's all ok or go take some pills and come back in 6mths. Sometimes i could cry when i read about people who have dr's who just dont care enough to make suggestions or try various types of things, when they must realise that the patient is suffering.

kjrunner 09-07-2007 06:15 PM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
Thank you!

I could have written what you said. My ferritin isn't even dangerously low anymore (31), however, I'm puzzled that it dropped from 47 AFTER I started taking iron again after a short hiatus. Either way, I am wanting a higher target due to being a runner. I have gone from running 50+ miles a week to barely running at all. I want to run again.

Audrey-B 09-07-2007 08:29 PM

Re: anemia and low ferritin levels
 
I felt i had to comment on your ferretin of 31. The highest i could get mine up to using supplements was 29 and that is not far from 31 at all. At 29 i was tired no matter how much sleep i got, looked unhealthy, wasnt motivated to do anything i didnt have to do, was constantly running late to work or "just" making it on time etc etc

I don't know what my levels are now (just got repeat blood test 2 days ago) but i feel like superwoman compared to how i felt prior to getting the iron injections. Your doctor might say 31 is ok, but your body is obviously struggling. There might be people out there who can function with a lower ferretin, but there are a lot who can't.

The main thing is not to focus solely on the ferretin. You need to eliminate other things, eg: Thyroid, as a lot of the symptoms for iron and thyroid are quite similar.

Are you aware that taking Lysine daily is also very beneficial as it helps transport the iron and increases the blood levels of ferretin. It's best taken on an empty stomach, about 20 mins prior to eating breakfast and dinner.


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