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  • Ferritin level 17 ug/L

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    Old 01-31-2008, 11:37 PM   #1
    beautyofspeed
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    Ferritin level 17 ug/L

    Hi all,

    I'm a bit confused. I had a bunch of blood work done because I have been gaining a bunch of weight for no reason, and am finally off antidepressants after 10 years (which messed with my hormones I'm sure). I was thinking I would see something amiss with my thyroid or cortisol, but to my surprise the lowest values were my ferritin, WBC and neutrophils.

    My ferritin is 17 ug/L (range 15-180 ug/L). My doctor's office phoned to tell me to "add more iron to my diet". I looked it up online and saw the things that contain iron to add to my diet -- but I already eat them, and a lot of them! (salmon 4x weekly, dark leafy greens, etc.).

    I don't think I've noticed any symptoms due to low ferritin, but maybe that's because I've been so focused on my weight gain (which I think MIGHT be due to the minocycline I was on and stopped two days ago, but that's another story).

    Anyways, I've been reading on these boards that a ferritin of 70 is what I should aim for, but is that 70 ug/L or a different unit of measure?

    And is 17 totally low?

    Thanks!

     
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    Old 02-01-2008, 03:53 AM   #2
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Ferritin level 17 ug/L

    17 is low and can cause many symptoms (or not). It is still within the "normal" range but both of my doctors like to see "normal" people with a ferritin of at least 50. You are not anemic, so that's good, but your ferritin is low enough to "watch" because it is a downward number and you could become anemic if all the stars were aligned. You would probably fare very well just to start taking an multi-vitamin with iron everyday along with eating iron rich foods as you currently are doing.

     
    Old 02-01-2008, 10:49 AM   #3
    beautyofspeed
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    Re: Ferritin level 17 ug/L

    I had a lot of hair loss in 2006, and notice not a lot of regrowth since then. I wonder if this is because I have low iron? Hmm...wonder if my hair will start to grow back nicely if I up my iron value.

    thanks!

     
    Old 02-01-2008, 11:08 AM   #4
    javasoft
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    Re: Ferritin level 17 ug/L

    You should notice less hair loss as you start taking iron supplements as it was with me but to regrow hair, I have read that ferritin level should at least be 70. See following thread which mentions success stories of different people and supplements they are taking:

    [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=574830[/url]

    Good luck.
    -Zak

     
    Old 02-02-2008, 01:34 AM   #5
    Audrey-B
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    Re: Ferritin level 17 ug/L

    A ferretin of 17 might show you as being withing the "range", but it's not something you should dismiss and you should actually try to boost it higher. I don't know how you feel, but while my ferretin was below 35 i felt tired all the time, lacked motivation, my eyes were always burning, puffy and very dark circles, i shed so much hair i could have started making men's toupes from it!! Someone else might be able to have a low end of the scale ferretin and not really notice anything as our bodies are not all the same. I am coming across more and more females in my daily life who do have low iron and also have noticeable hair loss.

    A lot of foods might contain iron, but need to be accompanied by certain other foods/beverages to better absorb the iron. Certain foods/drinks will actually hinder iron absorbtion. I will now only have either herbal coffee or a decaffeinated tea with my main meals if i really need a coffee/tea. Even chocolate has caffeine in it and big amounts of dairy can hinder iron absorbtion by up to 60%.

    I think if you simply watch your food/drink intake and give an over the counter iron supplement a go for 3 months, then get a repeat blood test. You should notice your levels go up, unless you have other health issues which could be causing blood loss due to an unknown source or even gluten intolerance. You said that you have recently come off antidepressants, some people have been known to put on a lot of weight taking those. If you had a high amount of stress in your life and you needed antidepressants then that could be what caused your iron levels to go down. Long term stress affects your digestion and vitamins and minerals you need might not be being absorbed. It can take a while for your body to get back to normal after going through a stressful situation.

    Not sure what my ferretin is right now, just got a new blood test done today. I can say that my hair stopped shedding in extreme amounts back in mid December 2007, i now have energy, my eyes feel alive and fresh, i don't have the extreme dark circles i once had and when i visited my parents last weekend my mum said that i now look healthy and the best i've looked in a very long time. I do believe she remarked that i no longer look like a corpse, which makes me think, did i truly look that bad!! I'm guessing if i'm feeling this way and my hair is still shedding, but not in scary amounts as it was before, that my ferretin would have to be at least 40.

    All i do know is that the person i was when my ferretin was when it got down to 8 and up to 35 isn't the person i now am and if simply raising ferretin can do so much good for my body then why simply stay down at a low number? I know i'll keep pushing till i reach at least 70 or as close to 70 as i can get. My doctors aim is 125 to 150ug/L but dont fancy his chances.

     
    Old 02-02-2008, 01:01 PM   #6
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    Re: Ferritin level 17 ug/L

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Audrey-B View Post
    You said that you have recently come off antidepressants, some people have been known to put on a lot of weight taking those. If you had a high amount of stress in your life and you needed antidepressants then that could be what caused your iron levels to go down.
    Hi there,

    Yes, I gained about 60 lb on them. I have lost 35 lb of those, trying to get the rest off.

    I have been sooo tired for sooo long, but that was due to ADs (antidepressants), so the feeling I have now of not being AD-tired is more than I could ever hope for. Maybe that's why I don't notice any low-iron symptoms -- because I am so grateful to be off ADs and not having THEIR side effects!

    I was actually trying to do a search on ADs having anything to do with iron deficiency. Didn't really find anything.

    Anyways, thanks for all your info. I am just waiting to hear back from my naturopath about taking an iron supplement. I think it's probably necessary. I would love to have some hair regrowth!

    ~beautyofspeed~

     
    Old 02-03-2008, 11:03 PM   #7
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    Re: Ferritin level 17 ug/L

    Have you ever looked into the fact that antidepressants can cause hair loss? I was on them but only for 4 months and i recall reading the info insert within the packaging and it said that the particular brand i was taking could "possibly" cause side effects. My gp at the time discounted that and said that my hair loss couldn't be from the medication. At the time i thought it was simply seasonal hair shedding as that was when the very first signs of "more hair shedding than normal" was beginning to occur.

    I'm beginning to think more and more that living a number of continuous years with daily stress and anxiety led to my digestive system being affected. Also prior to that happening i ended up with extreme bout of irritable bowel due to a big build up of candida in my stomach due to too many antiobiotics. I was low on vitamins at this time and this likely started the ball rolling, then the anxiety and stress didn't help. I've been better for a number of years now but i think when you hit rock bottom it takes a long time before your body can get through it's recovery phase.

    I agree with your comment about understanding the difference between the tiredness you felt whilst on the AD/s and the tiredness of low iron. I used to think that tired was just tired, but now that my iron is going up i am amazed how different the tiredness is while being low in iron compared to the regular tiredness of a hard days work.

    You mentioned visiting a naturopath, i'm seeing one of those too and am on herbal drops to helps get my monthly cycle regular. They also offered to help with my thyroid if it didn't improve, but now my iron is improving my thyroid appears to be also. It's amazing what they can do with natural products.

    All the best and i hope you get some answers soon, keep us posted

     
    Old 02-04-2008, 11:52 AM   #8
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    Re: Ferritin level 17 ug/L

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Audrey-B View Post
    Have you ever looked into the fact that antidepressants can cause hair loss? I was on them but only for 4 months and i recall reading the info insert within the packaging and it said that the particular brand i was taking could "possibly" cause side effects. My gp at the time discounted that and said that my hair loss couldn't be from the medication.
    I was on two different ADs. One of them was Prozac, which I had been on for 9/10 years. that didn't cause any hair loss that I was aware of. Wellbutrin for one year cause massive amounts to fall out. That is why I stopped taking it.

    I guess I was thinking maybe the low iron though is preventing the hair regrowth -- and maybe giving me weird grey hair? The reason I say weird is because a lot of the hairs are grey at the ends, but my natural color at the roots. Almost like, the hair was grey for some temporary reason and is now coming back in my natural color?

    Anyway -- it could be lots of things. But discovering I have a low iron level was a total surprise to me. I am still waiting to hear back from my naturopath on wondering if I should take a supplement.

    Thanks for all your input! I realize this thread was supposed to be about low iron and I'm trying to keep on topic............

     
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