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What you have is iron deficiency that has not yet progressed to the anemia stage. I started with mild anemia when my ferritin hit 5. However, I never did have any hair loss.

The most usual cause of this in pre-menopausal women is heavy menstrual flow. If you don't think this is the case for you, then you do need to get it checked out because gastrointestinal problems (ulcers, tumors, etc) can all cause bleeding and iron deficiency and anemia. Anemia is not a disease but a symptom of another disease so it is important to determine the cause of losing your iron.

My symptoms seem to be predominantly fatigue, even when I don't have the anemia. When the anemia is present, it is even worse.
Optimal ferritin for women is between 70 & 90 (although the lab reports will call as low as 10 "normal", it's NOT).

The hemeglobin and hematocrit will start getting low after the ferritin gets below 10 (but you can have low iron symptoms long before that).

My ferritin was 15 (and my hemeglobin was 12, normal). I took 200 mgs of a over the counter slow release iron. I was also low in magnesium and I took that too. Magnsium help keep you from having constipation. Vit C helps the iron to be absorbed.

I had heart palpitations & shortness of breath from the low ferritin and low magnesium. Those symptoms went away after a few weeks on the iron. (2 cardiologist had done expensive test & could not figure out why I had the heart palpitations!)

Donating blood can cause low ferritin too! The Red Cross only test the hemeglobin and keep taking blood from people until their ferritin gets below 10 and the hemeglobin finally gets too low too! Incredible.

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