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    Old 06-26-2005, 08:24 PM   #1
    jmmnyc's Avatar
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    Question low ferritin in men

    I am seem to have a unique problem and would like to know if there are any other men with the same issue. I am a 41 year old male and experience chronic fatigue. For the last five years (and probably longer) I have maintained a low ferritin reading averaging around 11 to 15. My iron, TIBC, and transferrin saturation numbers are always in the normal range. Though my TIBC is at the upper range and my transferrin saturation is at the lower range.
    I have been checked for everything under the sun (have seen around 10 doctors), including hypothyroidism, low testosterone, and blood loss which all seem to be ruled out. I have visited with lead doctors at major hospitals here in NYC, and they have no idea why my ferritin is low; and also claim my low ferritin has no connection to being tired all the time. Better yet, these doctors claim I am the only male patient they have met who appears healthy but with a low ferritin. I also went on a 3 month trial of 975 mg of Feosol a day, and my ferritin only jumped from 11 to 25. My ferritin went right back down after the Feosol trial ended.
    The only meds I am on is Prilosec OTC.
    Could it be I am just genetically predisposed to not absob iron? Does anyone agree low ferritin will not cause fatigue if other iron counts are normal and I am not anemic?

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    Old 07-12-2005, 02:03 AM   #2
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    Re: low ferritin in men

    Don't listen to the docs - listen to your body! My iron level was 33 and dropping. I was extremely fatiqued and couldn't drive. When it hit 20 I couldn't get out of bed. The lab results the doctor recieves are far too broad. This is how it works:
    M/F ADULT ug/L

    <18 Probably iron deficient
    18 - 40 Possibly iron deficient
    41 - 100 Probably not iron deficient
    101 - 300 Not iron deficient
    >300 Possible iron overload

    Who wants to be anything other than "Not iron deficient"!!! I started taking the best iron supplement on the market (non constipating) : 5

    After 3 months of taking 20 ml a day my iron went to 38 and I was functioning normally again. I still continue to increase it though and attempt to get to 100.

    The other issue is b12 and wheat. Stop wheat for one month and you will be shocked at how the fatigue lifts!

    Good luck.

    Last edited by BertFarrell; 07-12-2005 at 02:04 AM.

    Old 08-10-2005, 08:11 PM   #3
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    Re: low ferritin in men


    Thanks for the tip on the iron product.

    Are the numbers you reference for ferritin or iron. There is a difference. As stated in my post, my iron count is normal-81, however my ferritin is really low-11.

    Also, any idea why you have you low iron.


    Old 08-10-2005, 09:00 PM   #4
    Kali M
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    Re: low ferritin in men


    Those labs are consistent with anemia due to blood loss. I know you've been thoroughly checked out. I'm assuming you've had a colonoscopy? Any significant family history? I assume you've had an endoscopy procedure that diagnosed the duodenal ulcer? Have you done stool tests for blood (and if so - multiple ones? rarely will show on just one or two samples).

    I agree with Bert. I think you're tired from the low iron (ferritin). Did you feel better when you were supplementing??

    I found this elsewhere. It's from another male sufferer of low ferritin: "All of the male members of my father's side of my family are migraineurs. In addition, we all suffer from mild (borderline) iron deficiency anemia. In serum ferritin tests, for example, a result of 30 or higher (up to 300) is considering within a normal range of iron levels. My family members have serum ferritin levels of 24-25 typically. A couple of years ago I came across a couple of articles that related iron deficiency anemia to migraine headache and to a condition called "restless leg syndrome." After discussing the articles with my doctor, he agreed to put me on an iron supplement (an oral iron salt) and see what impact it had. The results were impressive. My serum ferritin levels rose to 88-90, my restless leg syndrome improved materially and, most important, my migraine frequency dropped down to twice a month from 6 or 7 a month. As you can imagine I was very pleased.

    Then, about 6 months ago, everything reverted to my old condition. My restless legs got very bad and my migraine frequency picked back up. It was such a material change, that my wife kept asking me if I was remembering to take my iron. I assured her that I was.

    At the time that I began the reversal, I also began taking a medication called Prilosec (for acid reflux). Two weeks ago, I came across an article that indicated that Prilosec was so effective in reducing stomach acid that it diminished the bioavailability of iron salt supplements. To check to see if that was my problem, my doc ran another serum ferritin. It had fallen to 9 from a high of 90. Needless to say, I discontinued the Prilosec and am looking forward to an increase in my iron blood levels and a corresponding improvement in my migraines and the restless leg syndrome."

    I can't back it up with facts. Just maybe something to look into since you're taking Prilosec.
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