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    Old 05-20-2009, 11:27 PM   #1
    elizabethwater
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    low ferritin level is it normal?

    I had my iron level checked because i was not feeling well. My ferritin level is a 4 and saturation is a 8 both low but my cbc was borderline. The last Dr. i went to has not helped me take care of these issues and i am getting frustrated and feeling worse. I don't know if i should be worried about these levels. Daily life activities are a struggle. I could use advice.

     
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    Old 05-21-2009, 08:49 AM   #2
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    4 is quite a low number, my number was 3 as of a few weeks ago when I had my yearly physica, I asked my doc to do blood work and check it. I looked on ***** and say they generally for women ages 18-50 it should be between 18-160. My advice is to see a Hematologist. They may redo blood work and put you on iron supplements or a multi vitamin with iron it them to bring back up your iron stores which is what ferritin does. They will ask you questions I'm sure about why this may be happening...heavy periods? Blood on when you have a bowel movement? Dietary history? That is what I'm thinking but then again I'm not a doctor. I've been on iron supps on and off for 5 years and they never found out why.

     
    Old 05-22-2009, 11:28 PM   #3
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    Hi elizabethwater - with a ferritin of 4 you ought to be on an iron supplement regardless of what your doctor thinks.

    Are you a vegetarian or eat little red meat? If so, adding meat into your diet ought to see results.

    If you do eat meat and still low in iron then there is another cause and until you find out what the cause is you will constantly be on iron supplements.

    For some people it's loss of blood internally or due to extremely heavy periods. For some it's related to a gluten intolerance or digestive disorder causing malabsorption of nutrients.

    If your doctor is no help then you ought to find one who is helpful. No use wasting time with a doctor who doesn't care.

    Take care and hope you feel better soon

     
    Old 06-13-2009, 05:44 PM   #4
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    I had similar levels and felt terrible and they didn't do anything because the CBC was close. I feel fine now; before months of iron supplements I couldn't stand long enough to cook a meal. Get another doctor ASAP.

    Wantok

     
    Old 09-30-2009, 08:28 AM   #5
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    Hi ElizabethWater,

    I agree with Wantok, I would get another doctor. BTW, it takes a while before low ferritin and saturation levels show up in a CBC and if yours is "borderline"; then you probably have been low for some time.

    According to the National Institute of Health the normal range for a female is: "12-150 ng/mL (ng/ml = nanograms per milliliter). The lower the ferritin level, even within the "normal" range, the more likely it is that the patient does not have enough iron." Source ( http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003490.htm).

    Both of your Ferritin and Saturation levels are very, very low -- especially if you are still menstruating. Low iron levels can cause a whole bevvy of symptoms: fatigue, dizziness, tiredness, depression, thinning of hair, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), poor sleep quality, etc.

    I would defintely see a different doctor. I would also caution you not to randomly take iron except under the advice of a healthcare provider. Taking too much iron can cause serious illness, and you want to find the root cause(s) of why your iron stores are so low.

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope you are well again soon.

    LadyFraser

     
    Old 09-30-2009, 09:18 AM   #6
    guy in AU
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    I would start taking an iron supplement and a multivitamin such as Centrum. You should start feeling improvement within a few days, but you should kep taking the iron for quite a few months, to build up yout bodys iron stores.

    Carbonyl Iron (Sundown Perfect Iron is a brand name) causes a lot less in the way of side effects than most other iron preperations, and it is very cheap..... a well known online drug store is selling a 3 month supply for $4.75

     
    Old 10-02-2009, 06:10 AM   #7
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    Smile Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elizabethwater View Post
    I had my iron level checked because i was not feeling well. My ferritin level is a 4 and saturation is a 8 both low but my cbc was borderline. The last Dr. i went to has not helped me take care of these issues and i am getting frustrated and feeling worse. I don't know if i should be worried about these levels. Daily life activities are a struggle. I could use advice.
    Hi,

    I also have very low ferritin levels (5). My CBC is normal. .
    My symptoms were pain on my left shoulder, neck and arm. I also had a very high pulse rate (126). After ruling out any heart condition they finally figured out it was caused by the low levels of ferritin. I was also VERY tired.

    I have done alot of research and have gone to several doctors (most of them have not been very helpful).

    I finally found a system that works for me and have seen tremendous results.
    I take Hemax Iron 1/2 a pill one hour before lunch on an empty stomach and the same at night one hour before dinner. It helps if you can take your iron with orange juice or some form of Vitamin C but make sure to take it on an empty stomach and wait one hour before eating. I also take 200mg of magnesium Glycinate on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and before i go to bed. The magnesium will be very helpful in making sure you do not get constipated from the iron. I'm also taking floradix iron + herbs with my nightime dose of Hemax.

    For the first time in along time i'm not tired when i wake up or late afternoon. My mind feels clear and i can focus which i was not able to do before. My pain in my arm, neck and shoulder are gone. My pulse is 85.
    its only been two weeks but i feel amazing.

    Good Luck

    Last edited by razaida; 10-02-2009 at 06:13 AM.

     
    Old 10-02-2009, 06:14 AM   #8
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by razaida View Post
    Hi,

    I also have very low ferritin levels (5). My CBC is normal. .
    My symptoms were pain on my left shoulder, neck and arm. I also had a very high pulse rate (126). After ruling out any heart condition they finally figured out it was caused by the low levels of ferritin. I was also VERY tired.

    I have done alot of research and have gone to several doctors (most of them have not been very helpful).

    I finally found a system that works for me and have seen tremendous results.
    I take Hemax Iron 1/2 a pill one hour before lunch on an empty stomach and the same at night one hour before dinner. It helps if you can take your iron with orange juice or some form of Vitamin C but make sure to take it on an empty stomach and wait one hour before eating. I also take 200mg of magnesium Glycinate on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and before i go to bed. The magnesium will be very helpful in making sure you do not get constipated from the iron. I'm also taking floradix iron + herbs with my nightime dose of Hemax.

    For the first time in along time i'm not tired when i wake up or late afternoon. My mind feels clear and i can focus which i was not able to do before. My pain in my arm, neck and shoulder are gone. My pulse is 85.
    its only been two weeks but i feel amazing.

    Good Luck

     
    Old 10-30-2009, 05:24 AM   #9
    RickInTampa
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    The wife and I are going nuts, and I hope you folks can help. Our 19 year old daughter has been having iron deficiency problems for about 15 months now. Her levels were so low that she went to a cancer center to get an "Iron IV" treatment. That was 3 months ago, and it brought her levels up to 45. We were told that is in the lower part of the "acceptable range". Well last Wed, Oct 21st, the Dr called to say her iron level was back down to 2, and we needed to take her in for another IV. We did that on Friday the 23rd. She's been very nauseous and now, she's having bad pain in her stomach and left side, and she can't hold anything down. So 2 days ago (Oct 28th) I took her to ER and they admitted her. They took a blood test (among many others) and her ferratin level came back at 1538!! Not a typo. 1538. The Dr at the hospital said that is off the charts high. And our daughter was scheduled to get ANOTHER Iron IV today. Well, from her hospital room, I called her oncology Dr and told her the levels came back at 1538, and I asked her what's going on. She said, "Yeah... That's normal for someone who just had an iron treatment a week ago.". The Dr at the hospital told us it would take 5-6 weeks for the iron levels to show an increase. Which doesn't make sense either. If they put the Iron IV in the blood, and they draw the blood to test it, why wouldn't it show up?

    All her ultrasounds, CAT scans, blood tests, etc. and so on came back normal. She's had 1 menstrual cycle in the past 3 months. Yet she's still nauseous, has trouble keeping her food down, and she's still losing iron. (Even though it's at 1538 now!)

    She's also not pregnant according to the GI Dr's lab tests.

    So.... Why is she losing iron? Why is her ferritin level 1538! What's really "normal"? And why is she in pain and nauseous?!

    Any insight you folks can provide would be greatly appreciated.

     
    Old 10-30-2009, 08:10 PM   #10
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    RickinTampa - hi and welcome to the boards. Firstly, i've never had infusions, only injections so i can't help with the infusions. I did want to say though that it might be better if you began a new thread for your post and give it a title in relation to the infusions and that way you can get all the people who have had infusions to help you out. You will get a lot more responses this way too.

    As for your daughters anemia, has any doctor ever done thorough range of testing to see why your daughters ferritin keeps dropping?

    Does she have any form of internal bleeding?

    Has she had a blood test and even better still a biopsy of her small intestine to check for gluten intolerance/Celiacs?

    Has she had very heavy menstrual cycles?

    Is your daughter a strict vegetarian or have a diet lacking in protien, paritularly meats?

    Anemia can also be linked to thyroid problems as this disrupts the digestive process and leads to malabsorption of nutrients. This is my problem and my pancreas doesn't produce sufficient enzymes to digest protein foods either. It wouldn't hurt for her to get a full thyroid panel tested eg: TSH, Free T3, Free T4 and Thyroid Antibodies.

    If her ferritin is low, get her B12, folate, zinc and vitamin D tested. I bet some of those could be low too.

    From what i've read on these boards, there are many forms of anemia. I'm not familiar with them all, but know certain ones are linked to low B12 levels or an intolerance to gluten.

    I think if it were me, i'd want to know why am i anemic. I used to think at first that with anemia all i had to focus on was getting up the ferritin levels, but realise now that most often anemia is simply a symptom of something else which is going on.

    Good luck with your daughter's health.

     
    Old 11-02-2009, 04:05 PM   #11
    RickInTampa
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Audrey-B View Post
    RickinTampa - hi and welcome to the boards. Firstly, i've never had infusions, only injections so i can't help with the infusions. I did want to say though that it might be better if you began a new thread for your post and give it a title in relation to the infusions and that way you can get all the people who have had infusions to help you out. You will get a lot more responses this way too.

    As for your daughters anemia, has any doctor ever done thorough range of testing to see why your daughters ferritin keeps dropping?

    Does she have any form of internal bleeding?

    Has she had a blood test and even better still a biopsy of her small intestine to check for gluten intolerance/Celiacs?

    Has she had very heavy menstrual cycles?

    Is your daughter a strict vegetarian or have a diet lacking in protien, paritularly meats?

    Anemia can also be linked to thyroid problems as this disrupts the digestive process and leads to malabsorption of nutrients. This is my problem and my pancreas doesn't produce sufficient enzymes to digest protein foods either. It wouldn't hurt for her to get a full thyroid panel tested eg: TSH, Free T3, Free T4 and Thyroid Antibodies.

    If her ferritin is low, get her B12, folate, zinc and vitamin D tested. I bet some of those could be low too.

    From what i've read on these boards, there are many forms of anemia. I'm not familiar with them all, but know certain ones are linked to low B12 levels or an intolerance to gluten.

    I think if it were me, i'd want to know why am i anemic. I used to think at first that with anemia all i had to focus on was getting up the ferritin levels, but realise now that most often anemia is simply a symptom of something else which is going on.

    Good luck with your daughter's health.
    Thanks Audrey. Yes... I will start a new thread. Good idea.

    As for the daughter... Yes. She's had tons of blood tests, cat scans, ultrasounds, upper GI, etc. and so on. We're still waiting on the results of the celiac test. Besides that, everything's come back normal. I don't know that they've done any thyroid tests though. That's something I'm going to look into. So thank you for that tip!

     
    Old 11-05-2009, 12:36 AM   #12
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    No problem. Hoping all goes well. Be careful of those doctors who tell you tests have come back normal as often doctors are only looking at 'lab ranges' and not where you are supposed to be. That's how i ended up going undiagnosed for 9 years when i was suffering from a thyroid condition all along.

     
    Old 11-06-2009, 10:02 AM   #13
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elizabethwater View Post
    I had my iron level checked because i was not feeling well. My ferritin level is a 4 and saturation is a 8 both low but my cbc was borderline. The last Dr. i went to has not helped me take care of these issues and i am getting frustrated and feeling worse. I don't know if i should be worried about these levels. Daily life activities are a struggle. I could use advice.
    Elizabethwater, I have been fighting iron deficiency since 2007. I started out being fatigue and not able to do anything at all. Found out that my iron saturation was a 3. I go every 3 months for 5 sessions of ferritin by IV and today my Iron Saturation is at 14.7. The doctors explain that my body does not metabolize the iron and that I am bleeding out (have peptic ulcers) faster than the iron can be absorbed. I highly recommend going to a Hematologist, as they understand the blood disorders. R/Iron Deficient in Maryland

     
    Old 11-07-2009, 08:06 AM   #14
    RickInTampa
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    Re: low ferritin level is it normal?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Audrey-B View Post
    No problem. Hoping all goes well. Be careful of those doctors who tell you tests have come back normal as often doctors are only looking at 'lab ranges' and not where you are supposed to be. That's how i ended up going undiagnosed for 9 years when i was suffering from a thyroid condition all along.
    These Dr's are morons. I'm firmly convinced of that. I understand that medicine is called a "practice" for a reason, but... There's should be a certain baseline of knowledge that each of them share. When you go to 4 Dr's for the same thing and get 4 different answers (and each one is convinced that the other is wrong!), it gets very frustrating. Especially when you're a parent with a sick kid.

    But it's not just blood/iron issues. We were just told last week that my mother has stage 4 inoperable cancer in her breast, lymph nodes and liver. Back in March, she had a mamogram and an exam and was given a clean bill of health. Even though she's had pain in her breast and under her arm the entire time.

    It's enough to make someone go postal...

     
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