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talbet0729 01-04-2008 03:07 PM

Symptomatic with Ferritin of 15?

I had my ferritin tested and it was 15. My hematocrit and hemoglobin were in the middle of the normal range and everything else looked normal.

My question is...Could I be having any symptoms with a ferritin level of 15? I know everybody is different, but I'm just wondering what others experiences are.

I have had several health issues lately and I'm getting those under control, but I still have lingering symptoms and I am looking for the source of the problem.


ChristineVA 01-04-2008 04:28 PM

Re: Symptomatic with Ferritin of 15?
It is always possible to have symptoms. And you're correct in that everyone is different.

There haven't been any studies done on people in regard to this. There was one small study done with female athletes and low ferritin and there was a difference in their performance and oxygen levels. However, these women were really putting out effort and they were being measured by machines.

How this translates in the normal day-to-day functions of average women and their well-being, I just don't know.

The only real way to tell is for you to get your ferritin up (and you should do that with or without symptoms) and then you can come back and tell us.:D

I will say that I do feel better with a ferritin of 20 versus a ferritin of 5.

FLFLOWERGIRL 01-04-2008 04:42 PM

Re: Symptomatic with Ferritin of 15?
talbet0729--Your lingering symptoms ~could~ very well be due to a low Ferritin. Everyone experiences different symptoms with a low Ferritin. For me my symptoms started to go away after testing at a 20 Ferritin. As the months progress I only get better but I really had some crazy lingering symptoms myself. I think for me it was also the blood cells going back to normal size which took a long time after moderate anemia. Symptoms can be due to anything not necessarily a low Ferritin. I would raise the Ferritin level and see if those symptoms go away. Sometimes that is the only way to really find out what you are dealing with and it does take time to know the difference. If you post your symptoms maybe we can be of more help. Be well. FLFLOWERGIRL:)

Audrey-B 01-05-2008 12:59 AM

Re: Symptomatic with Ferritin of 15?
Most definitely there are symptoms from having low iron. I personally believe each person is an individual and will experience some of the same symptoms as well as varying symptoms from each other while our ferretin levels are low. The problem is, one person may not be able to cope with their symptoms if they were at 15 as you are, while another might cope better than you or not have as severe symptoms or as wide a range of symptoms.

As FLFLOWERGIRL stated, she felt her symptoms for the most part go away at 20 than when her ferretin was lower. I on the other hand felt unable to cope at 8 and only felt very slightly better at 20 and even 29. The highest mine has been so far is 35 and i felt so much better then. I have to have a new blood test in 3 weeks so will know my new ferretin level then. I'd say my ferretin has gone up as normally this time of year i'm losing unbelievable amounts of hair, but this is the first summer in 7 years that i have lost such a smaller daily amount compaired to before.

My doctor ended up testing a wide range of things, not simply ferretin. I ended up being severly low in vitamin D and iodine. I have been supplementing these and i feel as everything improves so does my general well being. Even my thyroid gets better with each blood test. It's worth not focusing on only the ferretin, but getting a thorough checkup to rule out that your symptoms are not occuring due to something else.

talbet0729 01-05-2008 07:28 AM

Re: Symptomatic with Ferritin of 15?
Thanks everybody for your input. I've had a lot of issues going on and had several things tested lately. I was hypothyroid, had mercury poisoning, low ferritin, and low Vit. D.

I've got my thyroid issue under control, but I'm sure I'll have some lingering effects for a while if not permanently from that.

I just feel so crumby all the time and my mind is constantly going over what could be causing all the different symptoms. It is dumb though because I know there is no way of knowing as my symptoms could be from any one of the problems I've had lately.

I am just so tired of not feeling well and not having the energy to care for my little children. I feel like I'm ready to throw in the towel and just resign myself to feeling horrible the rest of my life. I just feel like I'm never going to get better.

Audrey-B 01-09-2008 12:42 AM

Re: Symptomatic with Ferritin of 15?
Whatever you do, do not give up hope ever. I'm well aware that having little children to take care of adds even more pressure and makes you feel even more tired. I don't know how old your children are, but so long as your kids are fed and clean and you give them lots of hugs i'm sure they wont even realise what you are going through. Kids are very resilient and so long as you are giving them the basics along with some affection i highly doubt they will notice whether the beds are made or the dishes washed. It's ok to just do the basics when it comes to housework, otherwise you will end up in an even bigger mess if you try to do everything perfectly. You can always catch up with things on one of your slightly better days. That's what i used to do. It can be very liberating to sometimes simply say "what the heck!!".

Unfortunately getting over low iron syptoms is a long process and an ordeal in itself and for you personally you have been through a lot more with the mercury poisoning etc .

All the things you have had to correct take an indefinite time. It's very daunting to be taking so many supplements daily. It makes you feel as though the supplements rule your daily life and you end up feeling worse each time you go for that blood test, only to find that your levels have not increased, or have only increased by the tiniest fraction or worst of all, your levels have gone backwards.

When my ferretin went backwards instead of forward, after months of taking supplements i was in tears. I just didnt want to live feeling the way i was. I wanted to have energy just like everybody else, i wanted my hair back to normal, i wanted a normal monthly cycle, i wanted to be able to eat and drink what i wanted and when i wanted, instead of thinking "will this drink/food inhibit my iron absorbtion". At one stage i felt like throwing it all in and giving up and at one point i just didnt even want to visit the healthboard as i felt i was doomed to have this forever. I began focusing on all the things that had gone wrong in my life, all the things i had lost and to top it off i was losing what seemed like all my hair!!!!!!!!

There is however light at the end of the tunnel, even if it does take a long time to get there. The problem is when your ferretin is very low, especially over a lengthy period of time, it can take a lot longer to get it back up, especially as our bodies are geared to use any iron we get in a certain order of priority. Your bone marrow gets it first i was told by my doctor and our hair, skin, nails get it last. Even energy isn't a priority when it comes to ferretin and that is why you feel like rubbish for such a long time as all the other organs in our bodies are first in line, rather than hair and energy.

So don't go giving up, it's basically a day by day situation. With blood tests i found it best not to go getting my hopes way too high as i used to do, as at first most ladies on this board found that their levels went up in very tiny amounts or sat stagnant at one spot for a while before it moved up. There have been very few who had ferretin which went up in one big leap after only being on a supplement for a minimum of 4weeks or so.

All the very best to you. Remember we have all either been where you are now or are going through it right now. Keep us posted on your progress :)

tumbleweed123 02-09-2008 07:46 PM

Re: Symptomatic with Ferritin of 15?

I have just begun to recover from a ferretin level of 4. About a year ago, I started to feel very lethargic, but I attributed the fatigue to chronic nerve pain in my neck and arms. At this time I was keeping up with all of my daily duties, but I was exhausted by the evening. I was beginning to experience muscle cramps in my legs every time I climbed up the stairs, and I had taken up the habit of chewing ice ALL day long. Suddenly, one day, I had a burning sensation in the back of my thighs and calves. After a week of feeling like my legs were set on fire, I finally saw my family physician. I told him that I thought I might be anemic and that I was really worried about the pain in my legs. He order blood tests and called me back to say that I needed to see a hematologist because my ferretin level was 4 and RBC count was 6. By the time I saw the hematologist a week later, I was fatigued to the point that I could barely walk 100 feet without stopping to rest. I can't even begin to express how exhausted I was! Being a mother of two teenagers, I had pushed myself to work through many colds and flues. This time there was nothing to push. Thankfully, I had a wonderful hematolgist. She said that I had the worst iron deficiency symptoms that she had ever seen. She gave me an iron infusion that very day and told me that it would take months to get my ferretin level up. Wow, was she ever right! For five months I was unable to do any household chores, shopping,etc. I kept receiving the infusions every month, but I was feeling no improvement at all. Many times I thought I might be dying. I had the scopes of my small and large intestines, both showed no abnormalities. Celiac disease was ruled out. (I had lost 30 lbs. and showed signs of celiac.) Thankfully, my gastronterologist ordered vitamin tests which showed that I had barely traceable amounts of Vitamin C and A. He had me take very high doses of both and within two more months I was back to working again!

For anyone who is suffering from their low ferretin, I would tell them not to give up! It is so hard when people don't understand that you CAN'T push yourself to work. Keep pushing your Dr. to have tests run and be patient.

I am now receiving the iron infusions every three months and my Dr. hopes that a year from now we can cut back to two times a year.

All the best to you!

ashleymichele88 06-25-2008 02:35 AM

Symptomatic with Ferritin of 15?
I sympathize with everyone. I have always been such an energetic person and for the past year I have been so exhausted, feel like I have to drag myself to just walk, but have to work a job and take care of the house. I hear learned I have a ferritin level of 5, no vitamin D in me (basically) anemic, etc... this is all due they think to the heavy bleeding I have 3 days out of the month with my period. I have 3 fibroids and I think these have caused me to become depleted due to the loss of blood for the past few years.. I am on Vitamin D, iron, fish oil, calcium so I am so hoping I start to feel better. Does anyone know how long it takes to start to feel better when on vitamins? Thanks.

Audrey-B 06-26-2008 03:08 AM

Re: Symptomatic with Ferritin of 15?
It took me 2 years to get my ferretin to 61, then i eased off the iron, thinking it would stay put now that it was up high. Next blood test showed my ferretin had dropped a bit so it was back to the iron supplements.

In february of this year i found out i had an auto immune thyroid condition called Hashimoto's and this was the reason why it was difficult to keep my ferretin levels up. Not so much maybe due to the thyroid alone, but other things were affected by my thyroid such as my digestion which led to malabsorbtion of my iron, vitamin D and also my iodine (which my thyroid needs) and my adrenal function is also out which is somehow linked to the other things and makes me extremely tired unless i'm on medication.

It's all very confusing and now i'm on even more stuff than when i only thought i had low iron.

I spent 2 years focused solely on my iron and lifting it, when in reality i should have been focusing on other things. If your iron is low due to your diet and you begin taking iron and fix your diet, after a month you should see decent improvements. If your diet is fine and iron supplements don't get your iron moving then your iron supplement dosage might be too low or there is something else causing your low iron and stopping it from elevating and staying put. So don't spend forever attempting to raise the iron when there could be something else causing it

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