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  • How to read iron results?

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    Old 10-31-2007, 12:00 PM   #1
    auxano
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    How to read iron results?

    I am going for my test today. I think my Dr is only testing for Iron stores. Apparently my last test was 11 and normal is 20-200. She said she'd like me about 35.

    What is the difference between levels and stores?
    If you have low stores is that what makes you feel so bad>?

    What should I be asking for and looking for?

    Thanks

     
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    Old 10-31-2007, 01:03 PM   #2
    ChristineVA
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    Re: How to read iron results?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by auxano View Post
    I am going for my test today. I think my Dr is only testing for Iron stores. Apparently my last test was 11 and normal is 20-200. She said she'd like me about 35.

    What is the difference between levels and stores?
    If you have low stores is that what makes you feel so bad>?

    What should I be asking for and looking for?

    Thanks

    Sounds like she is checking your ferritin levels which is perfect. There are other iron tests but these measure the amount of iron circulating in your bloodstream. They are not so reliable. The ferritin is really the best indicator of your iron status. The only other thing you *might* want is to have a CBC done to see if you are anemic. You *could* be anemic--everyone is different. I did not become anemic until my ferritin went down to about 5. At 11 or higher, you should not have a problem with anemia but you might. Yes, low iron stores will make you feel bad. There is a lot of disagreement in the medical community about this. If you are in the "normal" range some doctors just forget about you. Reading here and other places, I believe the optimal ferritin level is about 70.

     
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    Old 10-31-2007, 11:47 PM   #3
    vegemite
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    Re: How to read iron results?

    My ferritin is 7. And I feel awful. My symptoms are;

    - fatigue (the worst!)
    - occassional lightheadness
    - anxiety (I though triggered by the fatigue)
    - brittle, flaking fingernails
    - hairloss (when I wash my hair comes out in strands).

    My bloods have me borderline anemic, but my doctor places more importance on my ferritin because once that's right, everything else comes good (according to him).

    So, yes, low ferritin can make you feel bad, tired, crap. Hope that helps.

     
    Old 11-02-2007, 07:51 PM   #4
    Audrey-B
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    Re: How to read iron results?

    Some doctors dont care what your level is so long as you fall within the range on your blood test report eg: between 20 - 200, while other doctors believe 70+ is the best. There are a lot of people who will complain of varying side effects even when ferretin reaches the 20's. I was still tired and worn out when my levels were 29, but nowhere near to being as exhausted as when i was at 8. I'm not sure at which level hair loss corrects itself as it's supposedly 70, but someone recently mentioned the figure of 40 on this board. I do know when i was roughly at 40 i wasnt experiencing the type of hair shedding which has been occuring over the last 6yrs, but then again, it can be a combination of things, including thyroid.

    Sometimes it's not sufficient to only look at the ferretin level itself. A lot of people on this board have found out that they are low in B12, zinc and vitamin D and that long term low iron can result in throwing out your thyroid levels too. I recently found out that my iodine was very low and that that also could be affecting my thyroid and it could be a combination of low ferretin and borderline hypothyroidism which was causing my increased hair shedding.

    Some doctors are quite knowledgable in what to test, while other doctors will simply test one or two things and refuse to test anything else you may request just b/c they believe it's not required. Even with thyroid testing some will do a simply TSH test, but exclude the T3 and T4.

     
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