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  • Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

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    Old 11-29-2003, 09:34 AM   #1
    lovemythreeguys2002
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    Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    Hi all....I haven't posted in a long time, I couldn't post and the news boards are hard for me to read.

    Anyways, my CBC tests have always come back normal, with my hemoglobin etc being on the low side. A while ago, my DR checked my "transferrin saturation" and that was low, he told me to eat more red meat and spinach, which I haven't done

    I have been doing some reading lately about having "ferritin" checked (this is the storage of iron, I guess), so I did....it came back very low 5.7 (range11-306). My dr didn't make any big deal of it and said it could be a cause of fatigue.

    Well, I got home and started reading and now I am more confused and scared. It seems that it is a low ferritin is 'symptom' of something...internal bleeding, tumors, ulcers etc.....I had a colonoscopy/endoscopy about 9 mos ago and I was fine. My husband is a Paramedic and he said if I had internal bleeding, I would know it.

    The other thing is that anemic symptoms are so similiar, I didn't know this....fatigue, coldness, achiness, bad nails etc etc......so I wonder how many of my symptoms are due to the thyroid or the anemia....sigh

    I have also read that hypothyroidism can CAUSE anemia...

    I am scared and confused.....if anyone can shed light, I would really appreciate it...thanks

    PS.....the posts are really hard for me to read, they are too wide and I have to scroll to the right, is there any way to make them narrow again like they used to be?
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    Last edited by lovemythreeguys2002; 11-29-2003 at 09:39 AM.

     
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    Old 11-29-2003, 11:28 AM   #2
    Ladywolfe
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    The other thing is that anemic symptoms are so similiar, I didn't know this....fatigue, coldness, achiness, bad nails etc etc......so I wonder how many of my symptoms are due to the thyroid or the anemia....sigh

    I have also read that hypothyroidism can CAUSE anemia...>>>

    Hi there.

    When did you last have any thyroid bloodwork done? Hypo CAN give you the symptoms you listed above, so I would check back with my doctor on this.

    Taking iron with Vitamin C (Orange Juice is good) is what my Dr recommended to me. She said that the Vitamin C helps the body to better absorb the iron.
    Are you eating a healthy diet? Do you smoke? And no, I'm not bashing anyone if they smoke, that is their busines, but smoking does affect the iron levels in your body. (go to *********** and type in anemia and smoking - you will get several articles).

    You said that your Dr told you to eat more red meat and spinach, but that you hadn't done that. There are lots of other foods that have iron in them. Just a few are:

    whole wheat bread
    cereals
    prune juice
    raisins
    shellfish
    dark leafy vegatables
    most meats (red meat is higher)

    If you're not eating foods that have iron in them, then I hope you are taking an iron supplement to keep your iron levels up.

    I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

    Last edited by Ladywolfe; 11-29-2003 at 11:37 AM.

     
    Old 11-29-2003, 01:21 PM   #3
    lovemythreeguys2002
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    When did you last have any thyroid bloodwork done? Hypo CAN give you the symptoms you listed above, so I would check back with my doctor on this.>>>

    I just had it done this week, but what I am saying is how do I know which symptom is from which ailment....either the thyroid or the anemia?

    No, I don't smoke, and eat fairly healthy......I just want to know why this is happening.

     
    Old 11-29-2003, 01:25 PM   #4
    Ladywolfe
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lovemythreeguys2002
    When did you last have any thyroid bloodwork done? Hypo CAN give you the symptoms you listed above, so I would check back with my doctor on this.>>>

    I just had it done this week, but what I am saying is how do I know which symptom is from which ailment....either the thyroid or the anemia?

    No, I don't smoke, and eat fairly healthy......I just want to know why this is happening.

    Low thyroid can CONTRIBUTE to anemia. You have the tools to boost your iron levels, by eating iron rich foods and/or taking supplements.
    If your thyroid levels are off, and you are feeling tired and run down, adjusting them can make a world of difference.

    That is what I was saying you would want to set down and talk to your doctor about. Getting your thyroid levels adjusted is not going to cure anemia, if you are prone to low iron. When you have your iron levels up and your thyroid meds are where they need to be, you should feel better as far as energy goes.

    They go hand-in-hand...they don't work by alone.

    Hope this helps.

     
    Old 11-29-2003, 04:00 PM   #5
    lovemythreeguys2002
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    That is what I was saying you would want to set down and talk to your doctor about. Getting your thyroid levels adjusted is not going to cure anemia, if you are prone to low iron. When you have your iron levels up and your thyroid meds are where they need to be, you should feel better as far as energy goes.

    They go hand-in-hand...they don't work by alone.>>>

    I agree and I am in the process of getting my levels right, my TSH is under 1, but he just increased my dose of Armour to see if it helps.

    I am just wondering if I need to proceed with finding out WHY I have low ferritin....like if I have a tumor etc....I have read that anemia is always a symptom of something, I am just not sure it's only a symptom of my thyroid...you know?

     
    Old 11-29-2003, 10:06 PM   #6
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    If you have hashis as the cause of being hypo, then as this is an auto-immune disease, you might also be at risk of another autoimmune disease called pernicious anemia. I know nothing about it but happened to read it today in the Idiots guide to being Hypo.

    Good luck

     
    Old 12-01-2003, 08:36 PM   #7
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lovemythreeguys2002
    That is what I was saying you would want to set down and talk to your doctor about. Getting your thyroid levels adjusted is not going to cure anemia, if you are prone to low iron. When you have your iron levels up and your thyroid meds are where they need to be, you should feel better as far as energy goes.

    They go hand-in-hand...they don't work by alone.>>>

    I agree and I am in the process of getting my levels right, my TSH is under 1, but he just increased my dose of Armour to see if it helps.

    I am just wondering if I need to proceed with finding out WHY I have low ferritin....like if I have a tumor etc....I have read that anemia is always a symptom of something, I am just not sure it's only a symptom of my thyroid...you know?
    Lovemythreeguys2002, you don't say how old you are, but I had very low ferritin as well, caused by years of heavy menstrual periods and a diet low in red meat and other iron-rich foods. Months of iron supplements got the levels up.

    Nornie

     
    Old 12-01-2003, 08:39 PM   #8
    lovemythreeguys2002
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    you don't say how old you are, but I had very low ferritin as well, caused by years of heavy menstrual periods and a diet low in red meat and other iron-rich foods. Months of iron supplements got the levels up.>>>>

    I am 35.

    What was your ferritin level and were your other levels normal also?

    Did you go through a bunch of tests to see if you had internal bleeding....and what kind of iron (liquid or pills) did you take and what dose.

    Thanks

     
    Old 12-02-2003, 06:07 AM   #9
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lovemythreeguys2002
    you don't say how old you are, but I had very low ferritin as well, caused by years of heavy menstrual periods and a diet low in red meat and other iron-rich foods. Months of iron supplements got the levels up.>>>>

    I am 35.

    What was your ferritin level and were your other levels normal also?

    Did you go through a bunch of tests to see if you had internal bleeding....and what kind of iron (liquid or pills) did you take and what dose.

    Thanks

    My ferritin level was shown as <5, and the range at my lab was 10-232. Almost all of my other iron-related numbers were out of range (TIBC, and transferrin saturation) as well as hemoglobin and hematocrit. My doctor insisted on doing an occult blood test for blood in the stool. It came out normal, so then he agreed it was probably from the heavy periods. (A year later, for an unrelated reason, I also had a colonoscopy/endoscopy and that was normal too.) My doc didn't care what iron supplement I took, he said go to the drugstore and pick one. The biggest problem with them is they tend to constipate, but I found something called "gentle iron" at the health food store - it's iron bisglycinate - and it did not constipate at all. I then looked it up on the internet, thought maybe it had less iron than others, and I found articles that said bisglycinate is actually better absorbed by the body than ferrous sulfate! I took one pill a day, 25mg, ate some red meat (hamburger or steak) twice a week, and in 6 months my ferritin was up to 16 and hemoglobin was in the normal range.

    Hope this helps.

    Nornie

     
    Old 12-02-2003, 07:13 AM   #10
    lovemythreeguys2002
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    The biggest problem with them is they tend to constipate, but I found something called "gentle iron" at the health food store - it's iron bisglycinate - and it did not constipate at all. I then looked it up on the internet, thought maybe it had less iron than others, and I found articles that said bisglycinate is actually better absorbed by the body than ferrous sulfate! I took one pill a day, 25mg, ate some red meat (hamburger or steak) twice a week, and in 6 months my ferritin was up to 16 and hemoglobin was in the normal range.>>>

    Thanks....I have heard that ferriitn should be up to 50 to feel the best, have you heard this? I also had a colonoscopy/endoscopy about 7 months ago and I wonder if I would need another......my thyroid dr made mo big deal about the ferritin, but it has me concerned.

     
    Old 12-02-2003, 07:57 AM   #11
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    I too have had anemia throughout my life. I still have low iron in the blood, but I figure it is me. About 3 1/2 years ago I really became anemic due to heavy menstrual cycles, thyroid related, and had to be on an iron supplement for quite a long time. Pernicious anemia is when your body doesn't absorb B12 so you would have to get injections once a month. My mother has that so I always make sure I get that tested. I don't think your problem is that. I really think yours is thyroid related, but I can be wrong. Just try and take your iron supplement and see how that works for you.

     
    Old 12-02-2003, 08:22 AM   #12
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    Hi LM3Gs! I've missed talking with you and comparing Armour notes. How's that going?

    I agree with Bellajoon on the anemia question. Iron-deficient anemia is usually pretty responsive to simple iron supplementation. Just add some extra to your diet for a while... or take a modest supplement if you can't change your diet. It will probably help, but if it doesn't, you can always look for other causes later.
    The fact that your endoscopy was clear is a positive sign. It's doubtful anything has grown in there after this short a time that would cause excessive bleeding now. Besides, your smart hubby is right. If you were bleeding, you'd know it.

    So I guess because of the anemia, you aren't feeling much better?

     
    Old 12-02-2003, 08:36 AM   #13
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?



    I have a friend who had low ferritin levels this summer and she was in a panic (kinda like you are). Take a deep breath and don't make yourself too crazy. She had every test imaginable. It turned out to be from her hemmoroids. It could also be from your periods. Another possibilty is Sprue (celiac) disease causing a malabsorption problem.

    Another good form of iron is dessicated liver tablets that you can get from your health food store. They probably don't constipate you like regular iron tablets do.

    Good luck to you and wishing you the best.

     
    Old 12-02-2003, 09:37 AM   #14
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    Re: Really low ferritin...scared, any thoughts?

    I've missed talking with you and comparing Armour notes. How's that going?>>>>

    Eh...not so hot....my TSH is under 1...but my frees are pretty low still, so he upped me from 1 grain to 1.5. I am still worried that mabye I do have Fibro How are you??

    Besides, your smart hubby is right. If you were bleeding, you'd know it.>>>

    I think so too....but I have also heard of blood in the stool where you can't see it?

    So I guess because of the anemia, you aren't feeling much better? >>>

    You know, it's hard to say what is what....I don't have extreme fatique except for once in a while. I just mostly have joint/muscle pain and brain fog

     
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