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  • Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

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    Old 02-12-2008, 05:58 AM   #1
    innocence
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    Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    Hi,
    I just got my latest blood tests back, and my ferritin was 9! a month ago, it was 16, and a month before that, it was 24. Therefore, my GP doesn't want me to start taking iron supplements now, so that i can have a blood test again to see if it really is declining so rapidly. Is it unusual for it to decline like that??? I feel SOOO bad all the time and just want to start taking the iron asap, esp. since it takes a while for the ferritin to go up. My MCH and MCV are a bit low, but Hg and serum iron are fine.
    What I don't understand is...what the causes of a low ferritin could be, and whether this is a condition of its own, or if it's usually a symptom of something else? I have a lot of symptoms which suggest hypothyroidism and am seeing an endocrinologist soon, but I'm not sure if these symptoms could all be linked to the low ferritin??? My symptoms are - fatigue (very severe!), always cold, cold hands and feet, basal/morning temp of 35.6-35.8C and average temp in afternoon is 36.4C, hair loss, dizziness, weight gain. These are all typical hypothyroid symptoms, but I suppose the hair loss and fatigue could be due to the ferritin? What about the others??
    Thanks! Also, my GP thinks it's better/cheaper to get OTC iron supplements...but all of the ones I've seen are 7-14mg/day doses?!?!
    Thanks a lot!

     
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    Old 02-12-2008, 06:05 AM   #2
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    And could it really be iron deficient anemia, if I eat a lot of red meat, salmon and dark leafy vegetables, etc??? And I don't have heavy periods.

     
    Old 02-12-2008, 06:07 AM   #3
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    Oh and could muscle and joint pain be due to low ferritin as well? And blurry vision!! basically my TSH/free T3 and T4 haven't been tested yet, and I'm wondering if there's any point in seeing an endocrinologist, if all of this could be due to the ferritin levels. However, I've also read that low ferritin is a symptom of hypothyroidism??

     
    Old 02-12-2008, 08:00 AM   #4
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    Low ferritin is not a disease of its own, nor is iron deficiency anemia. It is a SYMPTOM of another disease process and you need to figure out what that is or you will never get rid of it.

    Some causes are:
    heavy periods
    hypothyroidism
    autoimmune disorders
    bleeding from stomach or colon

    The doctors have to do a workup to determine what is going on and should not just treat it without finding the cause.

    Your low ferritin (and maybe you have anemia too), is most likely the culprit for all of the symptoms you described above.

    That it is declining so rapidly makes me think this is due to some type of blood loss.

     
    Old 02-12-2008, 08:11 AM   #5
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    Thanks a lot for your input, really appreciate it!
    I definitely do not have heavy periods (they are rather light!) and autoimmune conditions have been ruled out by my rheumatologist recently. A bit worried about the possible internal bleeding!! Cealiac has also been ruled out! I have always had a low ferritin level of around 20-30, but never 9! I'm almost 'relieved' that it's a symptom of hypoT, because I am seeing an endocrinologist soon.
    Do you think it's wise that my GP wants to simply monitor my ferritin levels for a while, and won't let me start taking iron supplements??

     
    Old 02-12-2008, 09:22 AM   #6
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by innocence View Post
    Thanks a lot for your input, really appreciate it!
    I definitely do not have heavy periods (they are rather light!) and autoimmune conditions have been ruled out by my rheumatologist recently. A bit worried about the possible internal bleeding!! Cealiac has also been ruled out! I have always had a low ferritin level of around 20-30, but never 9! I'm almost 'relieved' that it's a symptom of hypoT, because I am seeing an endocrinologist soon.
    Do you think it's wise that my GP wants to simply monitor my ferritin levels for a while, and won't let me start taking iron supplements??
    I don't know if it's wise or not. What is his logic for doing that? Maybe he wants to see if this will correct on its own and then he can let it go? I can understand that; however, in the meantime you will feel like crap. Do you know if you are anemic?

     
    Old 02-12-2008, 12:28 PM   #7
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    Hmm, he wants to find the cause first..and then treat it. But if it's due to hypoT, it will take a while for me to see my endocrinologist, etc!!
    My serum iron is 'fine'..don't know the value. Hgb is 13.6, so that's fine. MCV is low with 81.5 and MCH is low with 26.0.

     
    Old 02-12-2008, 01:37 PM   #8
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    innocence- How did they rule out Celiac? I may have that. I guess I had a Positive test result for the antibody. Just curious about disease.

     
    Old 02-12-2008, 02:29 PM   #9
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    Okay, so you are not anemic (yet) but definitely have an iron deficiency.

    My guess is he is going to try to figure it out before throwing iron pills at it.

     
    Old 02-12-2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    To rule out celiac, I had an anti gliadin blood test.

    Mmm it's just that it'll be a while until I see my endocrinologist, and a while until I'll take iron supplements..and it already takes ages to raise ferritin!

     
    Old 02-13-2008, 01:44 AM   #11
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    It's your choice, but if i had known a few years ago what i know now i personally wouldn't give a toss about what some doctor wants to wait for. I would be taking an iron supplement now.

    On the other hand, it's not normal for ferretin to simply drop so fast. It is a good idea to rule out all possible causes.

    You are right though, the OTC supplements aren't very high doses. I used to be on one and when i found my treating doctor he told me to triple the dosage and even that wasn't high enough. I have been taking a high dose formula which his chemist concocts and it doesnt have a name as it's not sold OTC. Others on this board can give you names of supplements which have worked for them if you decide to go ahead with iron supplements. You can use the search facility on this board as there are some good articles on the back pages.

    My ferretin only got down to an 8 and the gp i saw back then nearly had a heart attack and told me to go buy something quick smart to raise my levels. She scared me so much i thought the way she was carrying on that it was a matter of life and death!! So there you go, different doctors have different approaches.

    I too felt like crap, but thought that was normal and i was simply over tired due to a hectic work schedule. Now that my levels have gone up and my hair isn't falling out quite as much i feel so much better, but it has taken me 2 years this april to get where i'm at now. Also b/c i ignored all my symptoms and simply thought this was the way i was and had to live with it, the long term (i'm talking years) of low ferretin ended up affecting my thyroid, which is self correcting now that my ferretin has gone up.

    Whether you go along with your doctor or start taking a supplement i wish you all the best as it's definitely not nice living this way.

     
    Old 02-13-2008, 09:33 AM   #12
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    Re: Any advice for me? Ferritin of 9!

    Audrey--Now that my ferritin is going up, my thryoid is wacking out on me. Soon it should be adjusted to my new dose of Synthroid. I NEED to feel normal again! FLFLOWERGIRL

     
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