Low ferritin but high iron help!?

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Since having my baby 11 months ago i have had low ferritin. It's slowly worked it's way back up but it is now at 20. The doctors say that's within the 'normal' range but I still feel like rubbish every day. Fatigue is the worst but also irritability. It's getting me so down being constantly tired that now the doctors think I'm depressed and given anti depressants. They also said my iron count is actually high how is this possible?! Doctors aren't doing much for for apart from referring me to gastro as I also have ibs. Iron tablets make me sick so I can't take them, I have been taking iron drinks though. ny advice or help appreciated sad x

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  • Posted

    Hi. I recently had my ferritin levels checked. They came out at 24. I think the normal goes from about 10 to about 200! When I asked the Dr he said it was fine if it's in the normal range and I said its towards the lower end. I asked if it would hurt to take a bit of iron to bring it up a bit higher and he said that was fine. From what I've been reading, the optimal range is 40 -60 and my Dr told me that for ladies who have had hair loss they recommend about 70. I have has a couple of patches of hair loss so taking a bit anyway. Hope this helps a bit. My friend struggles with the tablets so takes floradix which also contains b vits which may be of help to you. Xxx
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    • Posted

      Hi thanks for your reply! How do you feel other than the hair loss? Some days I'm just not with it & down, everyone around me thinks I'm depressed. Iv never been happier since having my son but the tiredness is getting me down. Saturday I actually had energy had a lovely day out then I paid for it Sunday struggling to function. The doctor didnt seem bothered VHF tried to give me iron tablets as I'm on the lower end of 'normal' will try that floradix thank you x
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  • Posted

    I have felt pretty tired, but I also have head and face pain so this is probably confusing things. Also I'm 49 so prob menopausalūüėēI don't think a bit of iron would hurt. Yours is lower than mine. You could alwYs go back for another blood test in a few months and see if it's improved. I have found that a really healthy anti inflammatory diet helps with the tiredness. IBS can be related to food intolerances which can also make you tired. Worth looking into the food thing. You may be able to work out if a certain food makes you worse. Xx
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  • Posted

    I suggest you both go back to your GPs practices and ask the receptionist for a print out for your blood test results.  You may have to put the request in, in writing.

    Also search this site for non-anaemic iron deficiency and have a read up on it. It's a professional article.

    Unfortunately many GPs are not aware of this condition. So if your doctor is a nice person point them to the article.

    In my own case in 2009 I saw my GP because I was exhausted and getting colds all the time. The GP I first saw ignored the finding on my blood test in fact he actually shouted at me when I turned up for the appointment as the receptionist had made it for me due to the results.

    In May 2012 after being exhausted for years and suffering lots of bacterial skin infections I went to see my GP. I saw them every month for 5 months during that time my hair started to fall out and I got horizontal lines in my nails.

    After seeing the same GP three times I was told to go away. My nails then started breaking in the beds. 

    Two months later I was breathless and made an appointment. This time luckily (for the GP) and myself I saw a nurse.

    She actually listened to my symtoms  conducted some blood tests. I was diagnosed with a severe vitamin D deficiency and my ferritin level was 17.

    9 months later my vitmain D level was now in the optimum range but I was stilll exhausted,  my nails were still growing with horizontal lines in them, I was still getting bacterial skin infections and my hair was till falling out.  I spoke to someone I know who had ones sports science and a trichologist.  They were both horrified that I hadn't also been told to take iron supplements.

    I took some iron supplements for hair and  after having a couple of blood tests my feritin level was over 60. In addition my white blood cell count is normal. 

     

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  • Posted

    For some reason this site is really slow but in short  ferritin levels indicate your iron stores.  (It's more complex than that but I've simplified it.)

    So you can have a haemoglobin level of 14-15 which is high for a woman but a low ferritin level.  Your body will ensure your haemoglobin level maintains high enough for your red cells, while you have low ferritin.  A low ferritin level can indicate that you may end up with iron deficiency aneamia in months to years time.

    The reason for iron loss in women is normally pregnancy, heavy periods, lots of exercise and/or blood donation.

    If you have trouble taking straight iron buy a syrup with it in and make sure the syrup also has Vitamin C in it.  Also stay away from tea, coffee, milk and other dairy products two hours before and after taking it. This is to ensure your body absorbs the dose. 

    I am actually at a new GP practice and the difference between that and my old practice is amazing.  From receptionists to doctors.   The GPs have been diligent in sending me for tests and are interested when I point out I've solved something.  Though luckily thanks to the nurse at my old practice I don't have to see them very much at all.

     

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    • Posted

      Sarah, can I ask if they considered 17 to be a low ferritin level? From what I can make out it depends which lab they use to do the test? I'd be interested to know. Thanks.x
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  • Posted

    Hi I had a phone call from Drs today saying Ferritin levels are very low at 13 and hb is on low side at 12. The doctor is going to call back tomorrow to tell me what treatment I'm having. In bed with flu feeling dreadful at minute hence the phone appointments. My question is what treatment is it likely that I will have.

    Thanks for any advice in advance

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  • Posted

    I know it's been more than a year, and I hope you feel better by now. Just want to share my own case, which might be relevant to your situation as well.

    For years, I donated blood 5-6 times a year. My Hemoglobin level was always around 14-15. They don't test ferritin. I felt tired all the time, but I was shunned and told everyone is tired all the time. Just go to bed early, or eat a healthier diet. Or women always feel tired around that time of the month, get over it.

    When I switched to a new doctor, he wanted a full picture and screened everything. My ferritin was at 11, he would have force me to hospital if it dipped under 10. I also had high cholesterol despite having a healthful diet. He prescribed iron pills. FeraMax150 gave me least problem.

    My ferritin level was only at 17 after 6 months. And 31 after another 6. I have of course stopped donating blood. My hemoglobin was consistently near 16. Doctor suspect a liver problem. (You need hepcidin to regular iron store) but he's being conservative, didn't want a biopsy. Seeing that my ferritin is still going up, we opt to wait and see.

    After 3-4 years, we finally figured out what happened. I have hypothyroidism. So no matter how much iron I consume, the factory isn't producing the product fast enough. It also explain my weight gain despite working out 5 times a week and eat no dinner. My wounds take months to heal, ear piercing took 2 years to stop bleeding... didn't realize it wasn't normal.

    Aerobic exercise increases your hemoglobin levels. You have low iron store, but your healthy lifestyle might be masking other problems.

    Child birth is one of the major cause for thyroid problem. So go back to the GP and screen for that. I advise blood test first thing in the morning for more accurate reading.

    After taking Synthroid for a year, I feel pretty good. Just angry that it didn't identify the problem 10 years earlier. Hope everything is well on your end.

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    • Posted

      I'm really sorry to hear of your experience adorita. I was wracking my brain to understand why I could be low ferritin (mine was 13 - supposedly just within the normal range of 11 to 307 for women) and have a haemoglobin level of 14 (ideal, on the higher side of the normal range I believe). I am also hypothyroid - I have been on thyroid medication for years but am 30 weeks into my first pregnancy and my thyroid has been low throughout (debilitating fatigue, thinning hair, the usual symptoms!). It now makes sense as doubtless it will be my misbehaving thyroid - whilst I'm now at the low end of normal for T4 (levothyroxine), I'm still pooped. Consultant was aiming to get me into upper quartile of normal range and has failed, even though I'm currently on 300mcg T4 daily. I was taken off my 20mcg T3. Hope the thyroid meds have helped and that you're feeling lots better now.

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