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  • Low ferritin?

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    Old 01-13-2009, 11:10 PM   #1
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    Low ferritin?

    I had my ferritin serum levels checked as I have had odd symptoms for 6 months now-extreme joint cracking, muscle twitching all over, nerve pains...My ferritin was marked as low the normal starts at 10 mine was 5. My CBC and ALL other blood tests have been fine. What does this mean?

    My dr left a msg that my test results were fine but when I picked up my labs I saw this?

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    Old 01-14-2009, 04:58 PM   #2
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    Re: Low ferritin?

    I'm not sure how helpful this will be, there are some more experienced people on here who might be able to help more.

    But for me, I would interpret that to mean that you aren't getting enough iron in your diet or potentially not absorbing it as well as you should, so you aren't storing as much as you should. This generally isn't a huge deal (those levels seem strange to me so maybe your lab uses a different scale than the ones that I'm used to) but it's something you should watch.

    Are you a vegetarian or anything like that? Any reason you wouldn't be getting enough iron?

    From personal experience, I had an eating disorder almost five years ago...and at the time I found out my ferritin was low. My B12 was also low but everything else (including hemoglobin) was fine. I remember them mentioning it to me, and it made sense for it to be low because I wasn't really eating. I didn't think much of it though because the rest of the CBC was fine. However, I never made an effort to increase my iron, and then I started having problems with my periods and I ended up severely anemic. Basically if you are ever in a situation where your hemoglobin starts to drop (which for me was when I hemorraghed from my periods) your body will try and pull from your iron stores (your ferritin) so if they are will become anemic faster.

    That's what happened with me. I had a ferritin of 0 so my hemoglobin dropped really fast, and I've been quite sick for a few months.

    So my best suggestion would be to make sure you make a real effort to try and get iron in your diet, or even talk to your doctor about your concern and see if you need supplements. Hope that helps!

    Old 01-21-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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    Re: Low ferritin?

    If your lab range begins at 10 and yours is only 5 then your ferretin is low and you ought to be supplementing. My lab uses a 15 - 165 range and my doctor wants me up at 125. a lot of doctors simply don't care, so long as you don't show up as being anemic. A lot don't even request a 'ferretin' result.

    The doctor who really helped me out a lot also always requested a Vitamin D and B12 test. These 2 are important and they should also be up at the high end of the lab range.

    The lowest my ferretin got to was 8 and i felt like death. My gp at the time simply told me to begin taking an iron supplement ASAP!! Different doctors view it with varying degrees of seriousness. Everyone on this board has felt better at a higher level of ferretin and most knowledgable doctors will want your level higher.

    Old 01-23-2009, 02:49 AM   #4
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    Re: Low ferritin?

    I agree with Audrey - you probably should be taking iron supplements. I had a ferritin of 5 and I was sent to a hematologist by my GP and she put me on iron. Perhaps you need to contact your doctor again to discuss - don't be bashful to demand some better answers.

    Old 01-23-2009, 09:08 AM   #5
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    Re: Low ferritin?

    Any odd symptoms associated with low ferritin aside from tiredness? Like muscle twitching, stabbing pains etc?

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