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[QUOTE=sahaira]Hi all -

I was reading the ferritin posts and I have a quick question. I get confused about whether or not low ferritn causes symptoms other than hair loss. My doc says no - as long as my hgb and what not are good then the ferritin does not matter. My ferritin is any where from 3 -7 at the most. They all say its ok but I never feel good and I have anxiety/panic problems. As I said, all other iron tests are normal except for my iron store ( I am hypothyroid too as well though). I see people have transfusions - is that because your hemoglobin is low or for just low ferritin? I am SO confused!!!! :dizzy: Oh yea and I have constant dizziness/ear ringing that they say has nothing to do with the low ferritin, I am not sure though??

If you have read this - thank you![/QUOTE]
Ferritin is a protein molecule that iron is stored in for future use. If the ferritin is low, it indicates that there is no iron available beyond what is being taken in and used from daily diet. IF the diet is good, then there is usually no problem. If you have a menstrual problem or other bleeding problem, you may have a lowered hemoglobin count which may or may not cause symptoms. Ringing of the ears can be caused by anything from a sinus infection to drinking too much caffeine. Some people take a lot of pain medications and can not avoid ringing ears. That is called Tinnitus and is sometimes just an aging problem and sometimes is caused by diabetes or other neurological problems. I have even read that ringing ears can be caused by too much arsenic in drinking water etc. The main thing to understand is that Ferritin does not cause symptoms one way or the other. It is just a measurement of the body's ability to use or store iron, without having to do a bone marrow test, to find out if any disease process has been detected. By itself, ferritin level mean nothing.
[QUOTE=alwayshotroddin;2901635]I have been reading your posts on this topic. Does anyone know how long you can have low ferritin levels before your hemoglobin levels start to drop? I first found out my ferritin level was at 11.6 in January and since then it's dropped to 4.0 as of last week (this is also while I'm taking iron supplements). My iron saturation level is also low. Just curious to know what might happen next if my ferretin levels don't start to go up?[/QUOTE]
For those asking about ferritin levels and iron. The ferritin level measures how good your body is at extracting iron from food or supplements you are taking. If you are a vegetarian who eats no eggs, cheese or other dairy products, your source of iron is a plant source such as beets, etc. There is iron in vegetables, primarily root vegetables, potatoes etc. It is not heme iron, but it is iron. Then meats: beef, pork, chicken are the primary sources of heme iron, with eggs being a good source if you eat the yolk, that of course is an issue with some health considerations.
Either way you get iron, the body uses what it needs for daily functioning and stores the rest in a storage area for drawing on if you get food deprived. If you are nutrition deprived, you will lose your hair, primarily a protein loss issue, you finger nails will become brittle, break easily or will get streaks, you may get mouth sores easily. All of those symptoms are from not enough available iron. Ferritin again without any other information about your nutritional status means nothing. Usually, people will seek medical attention while they still have a little ferritin left because of other problems and symptoms. Thyroid problems can be silent too. Depression for any reason can make the body stressed out and not respond to available nutrition. It is not caused by what you think, the depression causes the way you may feel and your appetite may become picky or non-nutritious just at the time you need the food the most. I hope that will help you to understand. Some people can have a low hemaglobin and low ferritin and feel awful, some can have a normal hemaglobin and a low ferritin level and never know it. Some can have a low hemaglobin, be short of breath, and think they have a virus and they have been gradually dropping in iron all along and never connected it together.
Some people are always different than other people so that is what medical practice is all about, there are no definite answers except the one you believe.

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