Does ferritin usually take this long to rise?

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I found out I had iron deficiency anaemia 3 months ago. Which judging by the symptoms I have had it for around 8-10 years.

I have been on Ferrous Sulphte for 3 months, 3 tablets a day.

My ferritin level was 4 and after three months it is now 5.

I am pleased that it's going in the right direction but quite disappointed that it is still so low. Does it typically take this long to increase?

Just to mention as soon as I found out I was iron deficient I quit tea and coffee completely, I have been put on the pill to lesson my monthly period, I have started to eat red meat often (I didn't eat it before) and I have been taking my tablets exactly as I should...hours after/ before milk and on an empty stomach with a high vitamin c drink to help absorption. Is there anything else I can do to help myself. I have completely changed my diet to be really high in iron rich foods but it doesn't seem to be helping much. Thanks for any advice.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Depends on the causer the low ferritin. Do you know your iron levels?
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    • Posted

      Iron deficient, but wasn't told the numbers. I was told my red blood cells are too small (micro). I hope there isn't an underlying cause.

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    • Posted

      If both your iron and ferritin is below the range after 3 months of supplementation you should request an iron infusion which bypasses the stomach and goes straight into the blood stream. This should increase your numbers drastically in 6 or so weeks. If the numbers plummet from there then you know it's likely you have a bleed somewhere or something which needs further investigation. However your iron needs to be below 7. Interestingly my go said to take iron after eating so it spends longer in the stomach and theoretically has more time to absorb. 

      I suspect that you have had your b12 and folate levels checked?

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jenny. So far I have been prescribed another 3 months of iron tablets to take, which will be finished in October. I will suggest further investigations such as your suggestion if it doesn't rise much again. My B12 and folate were tested 3 months ago and that was all at a normal level. It looks like it's just the iron and ferritin. I will ask for the iron number because I would like to know this.

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  • Posted

    Hi Rachel, if the underlining cause of your low ferritin is not established you may have a hard time to catch up. Generally 3 months of supplements would give you far better improvement than what you are experiencing. Absorption is paramount. It may be possible that you have some damage to your small intestine (where supplements are absorbed) due to food sensitivities (like wheat). The supplement I use is ferrous polysaccharide. You only have to take one a day and the bioavailability works much better. I have celiacs so I don't absorb very well and am always in a state of low ferritin and B12.

    Try polysaccharide and see if absorption improves. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thank You, I was looking at celiacs today and wondering if it could be that. I will ask my doctor about this and the polysaccharide.
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