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    Old 04-12-2009, 07:11 AM   #1
    ibovel123
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    low ferritin

    My ferrintin level is 5. My Dr. told me to take 300mg of Iron 2x daily. I still feel the same. Tired, can't focus, hair is falling out, muscle aches and migraines. Wha can I do to allow the iron to be better absorbed into my system????

     
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    Old 04-13-2009, 05:06 AM   #2
    Audrey-B
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    Re: low ferritin

    Hi and welcome to the boards As a lot of us on this board have found out, it can take ages for ferritin to rise. Once you begin building your stores, your various bodily organs will take it all, not leaving much for energy or hair. It's only when your reserves are sufficiently high enough to go around to all the organs such as muslces, bone marrow etc that your energy and hair can start taking their share.

    It also depends on you as an individual and what is causing your anemia.

    Often when people first start off supplementing with iron it's very slow progress. You have to remember your body has been almosed starved of iron and what little you had left had to cover so many areas in your body, including transporting oxygen. When there is little there and you exert yourself in your daily routine, you will obviously feel very tired out. This is why rest and relaxation is a good idea, no excessive exercise until your stores build up somewhat.

    Fortunately my ferritin only got down to 8, but it's taken me a little over 3 years to get it up to 82, with a number of setbacks along the way. I know 82 might sound like a lot, but i got there the hard way and in my case it only began moving up fast once i got to 60. Prior to that it was extreme slow going.

    I used to only focus on my ferritin, but later i found out i had a thyroid condition as well has messed up hormones and malabsorption of nutrients due to my pancrease not making sufficient enzymes to help digest protein. My hair shedding is not due to my low ferritin, but either due to my thyroid problems or my estrogen excess. This is why i'd advise anybody who is low in ferritin to find out why, is it diet related, do you eat meat, are you gluten intolerant, do you have any other health issues? These are all things you need to find out as low ferritin is normally a symptom of another illness.

    Hope you feel better soon

     
    Old 04-14-2009, 05:22 PM   #3
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    Re: low ferritin

    ibovel123 --Welcome to the boards!

    There are certain foods that will inhibit iron absorption so you should avoid taking your supplement with those, even though it usually takes large amounts to interfere. Some of the basic foods that will do this are: oxalic acid found in spinach, phosphates in milk, dairy products. Also sodas, phytates in beans and tannins in tea and coffee can all interfere with iron absorption. Just take in those in between iron not close to supplement time.

    As you are asking about absorption, Vit-C 500 with each iron dose will enhance the absorption of iron several fold. However, it needs to be taken at the same time with the iron. Both vit-C and iron must be present in order for the absorption within the intestine to occur. It is recommended to drink orange juice with your iron fortified cereal in the morning, not milk or to eat i.e., broccoli with meat and you only need 3 oz a small amount.

    For maximum absorption of iron, it is taken with oral supplement or juice rich in Vit-C. There are many food lists out there that you can read which have easy picks for food combinations. The biggest plus for absorption is Vit-C with a heme meal.
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    Moderate Anemia (resolved) Low Ferritin-- Work in progress! Hiatal Hernia--GERD
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    Old 04-14-2009, 07:37 PM   #4
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    Re: low ferritin

    Very interesting Audrey B, you've obviously done lots of homework. I've tried for many years to get my ferritin up, it does go up and drops down like a broken elevator. very discouraging. would you know how I can find out what's wrong with me? I do have hashimoto's and I'm entering perimenopause, but my hair has been falling for years and the docs are sick & tired of hearing me complain about my hair...
    cathy

     
    Old 04-16-2009, 04:34 AM   #5
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    Re: low ferritin

    Cathy57 - when your ferritin does rise, do you stop taking your supplements? If you do, that would account for your ferritin dropping again. My ferritin rose incredibly slowly, then when it did rise it would bomb back down, even when i was taking the same iron supplement. I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow for my new results so i'm hoping it hasn't bombed again.

    As you have Hashimoto's and you are also perimenopause you could be in for a rough ride, depending on the state of your hormones. If your regular hormones eg: testosterone, estrogen and progesterone are decently balanced, menopause will be kinder to you. Through my research i've found that women whose hormones aren't balanced to begin with end up having a rougher ride through menopause. Exercise and diet are very important when it comes to hormones too. Exercising in the morning, doing cardio type exercise is the best.

    Thyroid treatment seems to be a bit of a hit and miss affair with a lot of doctors and Endo's. There aren't too many doctors out there who will work with your lab results, set targets rather than ranges and work with your actual symptoms.

    You really have to doctor shop if you feel all your issues are not being addressed. My doctor has so far done a stool analysis where he checked to see what my digestion was doing, a saliva hormone test to see what my hormones were up to, including my adrenal function, he's done a liver detox test to see how my phase 1 and 2 detox processes are working. With the thyroid you can't simply look at the thyroid alone. So many things affect the thyroid and a poor functioning thyroid can affect other things. Thyroid suffers, especially Hashimoto's, appear to have a lot of issues in common. We generally are low in certain things and this can be due to malabsorption, but i've read we have thyroid receptors in various areas of our body and one location is the stomach. I gather this means nutrient abosrption can be minimised leading to things like low ferritin, low B12, Vitamin D and in my case i have to take daily iodine supplementation.

    When i look back, my hormone issue, as well as hair shedding and a slow dropping ferritin all began around a similar time frame. Just prior to this is when i saw the Endo who claimed i didn't have a problem, but i still have those test results and i most definitely had Hashi's back then.

    As for being knowledgable (laughs at that ), these boards are where i've learnt so much from other contributors and my big help along the way is actually FLFLOWERGIRL who has passed on so much knowledge to others. I've also done a lot of independant research on the net, picked my doctors brains. Sometimes the dishes can wait and the research comes first I don't think anybody can afford to sit back and let doctors dictate how it's going to be, especially when they keep drumming into your head that nothing is wrong. That's just not on!!

     
    Old 04-17-2009, 05:32 AM   #6
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    Re: low ferritin

    Hi Audrey, Yes my ferritin drops when I stop taking the iron, I figure I may need to take iron for the rest of my life, I think I've been low most of my adult life due to bad diet in my 20's. How is your ferritin now? How about your hair? What does of thyroid are you on now? Also, what's your age? Thanks heaps, cath Are you feeling pretty good now?

     
    Old 04-19-2009, 06:25 AM   #7
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    Re: low ferritin

    Hi Cathy57 - Yes, i feel much better than i did this time last year and i'm 42. Actually it's only in maybe the last month that i've began to see the difference. I've not been well for so many years, about 10 or so years, that i'd forgotten what feeling good or normal was like. I'd say how i feel now might be closer to normal. I still get the odd off day where i like to have "me" time, but not as much as before.

    My ferritin has now dropped a bit to 74 from 82. I know even 74 seems high to some on the boards here, but my doctor wants me up at 125 and to stay there. He wants me up high as certain functions only perform or only perform well when ferritin stores are up that high. Higher ferritin and Vit D stores are beneficial for many things, including the thyroid and adrenal function.

    My thyroid T4 is exactly where my doctor wants it and my T3 is nearly where he wants it. My TSH goes up and down, but is lowering.

    My diet is excellent and always has been. I can walk past a take away place and be strong enough not to buy greasy foods. It does smell nice, but i simply imagine what it's doing to my insides if i ate. I cook just about every night or at least have left overs, i get lots of salads and vegetables and fruit and variety of nuts and i love my red meat, yet still i have to take iron supplements or it will drop. I'll see what happens at my next blood test and 6 weeks of taking the hydrochloride tablets.

     
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    Old 04-19-2009, 11:05 AM   #8
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    Re: low ferritin

    Audrey, what's your T4 count that your doctor is content with it?

    I wonder why labs have the ferritin range 12 or 15 to 200. How can anything's range be so "wide"!? I'd wish to know a doctor here, who'd also want mine to reach higer counts Many consider you're ok if it's 15. Anyway...

    Take care

     
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