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  • Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

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    Old 11-07-2014, 02:34 AM   #1
    dingdingding
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    Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

    Dear all,

    I have recently noticed changes in my hair - losing more when brushing, change in texture, itchy scalp - and went to the doctor for tests.

    The results show that I have normal haemoglobin levels, as well as thyroid and all other auto-immune issues, but that my ferritin level is 6 ng/mL. My doctor says that this isn't problematic, that I should just eat more iron-rich foods (difficult as I am a vegetarian) however I have read that supplements would be useful in my situation.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Would you recommend taking supplements in my situation?

    Many many thanks.

     
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    Old 11-07-2014, 08:45 PM   #2
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    Re: Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

    I've been having similar issues. When my Ferritin came in low like that a few months ago, they had me start on daily iron supplements.

    I just had some labs this week and while my Hematocrit and Hemaglobin are ok, if a bit low, my Ferritin and iron absorption are still really low. They are referring me for iron infusions.

    The way my GI doc explained it, the Ferritin represents your iron stores. If it stays low, eventually, your hemoglobin will start lowering too since you no longer have those stores to pull from.

    My GI doc said the effectiveness of supplements really depends on the cause of the low iron in the first place. In my case, I have absorption issues that we are dealing with.

    Good luck figuring things out.
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    Old 11-09-2014, 07:40 AM   #3
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    Re: Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

    Ding,

    My ferritin was 21 when I started taking supplements and my hemoglobin was normal. With a low ferritin, hemoglobin will start to drop and turn into full blown anemia. I had many other terrible symtoms besides just hair loss, so perhaps that's why I was told to start taking supplements, but a ferritin of 6 is extremely low and I think you really should start taking them. I took two 325 mg ferrous sulfate per day for the 1st 6 months and then one for the next 6 months. My ferritin, after a full year, is now 68. I have read that to stop hair loss, the ferritin should be over 70 (although a few people say 50). Either way, you are well below that! Quite honestly, I am shocked you only have that symptom and it probably is only a matter of time before you get others including debilitating fatigue, heart palps, dizziness, tingling, etc. so you should kick the problem in the butt now! I can't tell you how many specialist I saw until finally a neurologist told me that the issue was low ferritin! And it was 20...higher than yours.

    Obviously, high ferritin is also problematic so if you do start a supplement, be sure to have your ferritin tested often. For faster results, take the supplement on an empty stomach with vitamin c or a drink with vit c in it but don't drink caffeine for at least an hour before or after you take it.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 11-09-2014, 07:00 PM   #4
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    Re: Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

    I also have the low ferritin issue while everything else is normal. I thought it was from my hashi/thyroid problem but taking pills for that weren't fixing it so my Dr. sent me to get my iron tested. After 2 months of taking 325ml of ferrous sulphate a day my numbers went from 25 to 26. My Dr wants my numbers at 50 so I am now taking 2 iron pills a day and will get tested again in a month.

    I have found Drs vary on what they think is a good number. My husband is sitting at 289 yet I just had a gyno tell me that I was fine at 26! I sure don't feel fine and the heart palps are especially annoying.

    There are 3 types of iron you could take and they all have different strengths. Go talk to your Dr again and if he/she doesn't recommend iron supplements for you I would find a different Dr if possible or just take iron supplements and get tested monthly. If you don't tell some Drs how you feel they will think everything is okay even though your numbers don't show it.

     
    Old 11-10-2014, 03:27 AM   #5
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    Re: Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

    Hi all,

    Thanks for replying and being so kind and helpful.

    An update - today I went to see a dermatologist who suggested that the hair loss is "telogen effluvium" caused by the physical stress/shock of having an operation 6 months ago. Vis a vis the ferratin level, she didn't seem overly concerned, but did prescribe me some supplements that have a percentage of iron in them.

    Speaking to friend who is a Medic in the UK, she explained that a ferritin level of 6 is not considered particularly low - she explained it like this: "you can have people who are functioning perfectly at 6 and people who are deficient at 50 - the 'normal' range has to account for all of this". It does make sense, but I am still in the belief that I should increase this level and so will be taking the prescribed supplements and eating an incredibly iron-rich diet.

    Please keep letting me know your thoughts and I'll keep you all posted!

     
    Old 11-10-2014, 08:33 AM   #6
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    Re: Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

    Six months after an operation seems a long time to still be experiencing hair loss. Did they say how much longer this will continue?

    Iron levels where I live can range from 15-300 and if you are in that range a Dr will say you are fine. This is why it is very important to pay attention to how you feel because Drs use that info as well when deciding if something needs to be done.

    When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism the dr wasn't going to put me on any meds because I didn't have any symptoms. The problem was that I was living with symptoms for years but I discounted them as getting older and the tiredness, brainfog, etc just became my new normal so when the Dr asked how I felt I told them I was fine. Once I realized I didn't have to feel so tired etc., and started pursuing "fixing" myself I discovered I actually had a lot of issues.

    Since you don't eat meat you can also cook with a cast iron frying pan and that will leech iron into your food. Also pay attention to what you eat when you eat iron rich foods to help your body absorb as much as possible.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 11-10-2014, 08:35 PM   #7
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    Re: Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

    I am so glad I read this!!! Please read about TE (hair loss) low ferritin causes TE. I have lost a significant amount of hair. My ferritin was a 4 now it's at 31. I pray for HAIR!! I still suffer with heart palpitations and brain fog, and the rocking on the ship feeling. I hope you get better soon.
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    Old 11-10-2014, 09:43 PM   #8
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    Re: Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

    Twice now (years apart), I've had significant hair loss after surgery. I was told from the 'trauma' my body had gone through. I was told it would be about 3 months before I was back to normal. I went in at the 4 month mark to my PCP and they did bloodwork for thyroid and a general panel. I didn't know I had iron/anemia issues at the time and didn't ask for my iron to be tested beyond the hemoglobin and hematocrit. It was gradual, but in my case the hair loss got better within a couple months after that. My big 'test' was how much hair I was losing when I showered.

    I always ask tons of questions at my doctor visits. I learned a new lesson at my Gastroenterologist visit last month. He went back through years worth of testing to see if there was an apparent cause for my anemia, then discussed things with me more thoroughly. In my case, I'm taking PPI's at high doses long term which impacts my absorption. Also surgery I had 6 years ago for my reflux resulted in less stomach surface. Between the two things he told me I would probably need to be on iron for life or expect my ferritin to go back down over time. I see FOUR doctors/specialists for my reflux issues. This is the first time any of them mentioned the absorption issues with me in this manner. It really makes me wonder what other related health issues may pop up in the future because I'm not absorbing things properly.

    My ferritin is up to 16 now and the clinic reads the results as normal, but my GI doc is referring me for Iron. I agree that it can really be an individual thing as to how we feel.
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    Old 11-17-2014, 03:52 AM   #9
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    Re: Low Ferritin, Normal Haemoglobin

    Dear all,

    The dermatologist said that it would take months to see a real difference as the issue stems from the anaesthetic interrupting the hair growth cycle and it needing to restore itself - while there are three stages in the cycle, there are longer cycles of 7 years. She asked me to take the supplements for a minimum of three months to see any change. I remember that when I started taking imedeen hair and nails supplements ages ago, it was only after a while that I really noticed the effects so I guess she's right in saying that it takes a while for a noticeable difference.

    Through my own anxiety I have also started taking, in addition to the specific "anacaps" hair supplements, iron tablets which have B12 and vitamin C in them. I have also radically changed my diet to include high amounts of iron and vitamin C.

    Any thoughts/ suggestions are more than welcome! Thanks all!

     
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