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I suffer from the same syptoms when my ferritin is low (when it drops to about 2) as i do when i actually become classed as 'anaemic', when my hb drops. My heamatologist puts me on infusions when my ferritin is very low, regardless of my hb levels. All countries must differ, but here in the uk it is widely recognised that low ferritin does cause symtoms, my hair fell out just because of low ferritin, i wasnt anaemic at that time!
Anyone who doesnt suffer the effects of low ferritin are lucky in my opinion.
Thank you ladies!

I was DX'ed in 2/05 w/Hashi's and we are still trying to get the right dose. I am most likely undermedicated. The doc had just raised my synthroid to 0.075mg, 3 days a wk.when I became anemic and started with heart paps sooooooooo bad. I thought it was the meds, I called and told my doctor I wanted to back down to 0.05mg because my heart was too fast. At the time I really thought that it was the meds, I now know that it wasn't. They went away with the anemia. But my eyes are black in the corners and this is new for me. Like you Christine, I am fair and I have always had rings underneath the eyes and thin skin. You also said somewhere that your hair didn't fall out and mine was really bad when I had 2 Ferritin, it's much, much better at 20. Maybe it's just an individualized thing like symptoms of anemia? I have never been hyper that I know of and the highest I have ever been is 9.02. So, I don't know either.

Nyxie, I know what you are saying about the TSH numbers. I just thought that it didn't make a difference because the old 5 range, thought that at 3 I would be the new high:). I never gave it much thought. Don't like to take meds. Maybe this is why I get a leg rash for up to 9 months at a time, itchy! Even that is gone now. My last Free T-4 was 1.16 range 0.93-1.70 and my TSH, 3rd generation 3.160 range 0.270-4.200, Thyroxine T-4 10.9 range 4.5-12.0. I have no clue what those mean. I've only watched the TSH, never understood the other, I let the doc do that. This doesn't sound like me either, I might add. I just thought it was no big deal. I even have a popular autoimmune disease book, if you know what I mean. Does it look like my numbers are messed up from the low Ferritin? My next apt is Oct. 4th. I already hate getting older, this is just no fun.

Osteo--I've always heard that it was a 1 when people feel their best. my doctor always asks how I feel and not just lab results. I hope he is doing me justice. Please let me know what you all think of my numbers, I can take it.
I never realized that Ferritin had anything to do with this. Thanks for your replies. Glad to hear your numbers are better than mine. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
Audrey - Glad I could be of some help. :) The way I've figured it (and am probably not right, but it makes sense, at least to me) is that our low iron has caused thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid dysfunction, in return, causes our adrenals to work overtime, causing the adrenal fatigue. Its a sort of domino effect. There are also other stress reactions that can cause adrenal fatigue. In my case, years of chronic insomnia (due to nerves), as well as PTSD, 2 years of agoraphobia (over that now), depression, and anxiety and panic attacks. Fun, huh?
Any doc can test for adrenal fatigue. Like I said before, most will just do a one-time ACTH and cortisol blood test, which should be done prior to 8am. The saliva test, while giving a better overall picture, isn't always accepted by conventional medical practitioners, in spite of clinical studies that support its legitimacy.

The saliva test itself: Get a kit either from your dr or order one from an online lab. Pick a day to do the test. Some labs prefer that you do the test on a certain day of your menstrual cycle. You spit into the little tubes they give you - once when you wake up, at noon, at 4pm, and again right before you go to bed. Believe me, coming up with all that saliva isn't as easy as you'd think, but there are tricks. Send the kit in and 1-2 weeks later you get your results.

Now as to optimal levels - These are a general rule of thumb that I've gathered from various forums (I'm on about 8 of them, altogether). Your mileage may vary, as our bodies are all different. Many of the forums I'm on are run by patients who have had to resort to self-treatment due to inadequate care by conventional medical practitioners. These optimal results are from years of patients experimenting, finding out what works best for them, and compiling the results from there.

TSH - Close to 1, closer to 0 if dealing with an autoimmune thyroid disease. Now, a word about TSH. While this is the gold standard for most endos and conventional docs, its a [I]pituitary [/I]hormone, not a thyroid hormone. TSH levels can be affected by medications, illnesses, time of day the test was taken, and even the time the test was done during your menstrual cycle. Its not the end-all and be-all that most docs are making it out to be. Prior to the 3rd-generation TSH tests coming out in the 70s, docs actually had to [I]listen [/I]to their patients and diagnose by [I]symptoms[/I].

FT4 - This is the unbound T4 in the body that's available to be converted into T3. Optimal levels are generally the upper 1/3 of the range.

FT3 - This is the active unbound thyroid hormone your body actually uses. Optimal levels are generally in the upper 1/3 of the range.

Serum Cortisol - This should be at the upper end of the range (20-25).

ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic hormone)- This is a pituitary hormone that stimulates cortisol production. This should be double the serum cortisol level (40-55).

Saliva Cortisol - Optimal levels will vary, based on which lab you use, and most include a chart along with the test results. Ideally, it should be in the upper half of the range, with high levels in the morning, declining at noon, raising again in the afternoon, and then at its lowest level at night.

There are other tests that can be done, such as DHEA (a hormone precursor produced by the adrenals, which then converts into testosterone, estrogen and estridiol), aldosterone (a hormone produced by the adrenals which regulates sodium and potassium levels), and renin (which is really kinda complicated to explain, but impacts the aldosterone levels).

Hope this helps. :)
Nyxie-thanks for all the information. What a hard road you have had. It does indeed get pretty tough out there.Besides working on the ferritin, thyroid , adrenals etc. have you tried any body mind techniques??I started tai chi about 5 months ago and I think it has changed my life. Of course it's only been 5 months but I find it so helpful. There is something about these ancient movements and getting out of my head and into trying to learn a movement I have never done and balancing at the same time--it has been a vacation from some worries and has really helped. Tai chi is ancient, there is a reason why people keep doing this-and I think it is that it is because it feels good. Maybe you could give it a try or perhaps some other form of body mind movement that appeals to you?
This last year has been medical hell for me, but I am hoping that things are now getting somewhat better. It has been very hard for me to get the kind of doctors on my team that I wanted to work with and it is a work in progress. But at least the pcp part is settled and that has made alot of difference.And, now I have more familiarity with the issues and know things I can improve- like the ferritin, vitamin d etc. I am so thankful to the wonderful and informative people I have shared with on these healthboards, I have really learned alot here and also been sort of stabilized by the sharing.After being on the boards for awhile- you know you are not alone going through this stuff!
I don't know if it was improvement in ferritin , vit d level or thyroid just having more time on correct dose and /or the tai chi- but I don't seem to be so in the dooomsday scenario camp . I have to say too that getting worked over , through various diagnositic procedures can really wear on a person. And, not to forget, I will have my colonoscopy chapter to write in about 3 weeks. Again Big Thanks to the wonderful people on this board who spoke about osmoprep and who told their story--very helpful information!!!!! This is a wonderful community here at the anemia board!
And last but not least I will have my ferritin checked again in the next few weeks. I got it up to 47 , I know this seems so high to those on this board who are starting from 8 or so. Well, I will see if after 2 months no iron supplements whether it has declined. I had to stop the iron for a bit because I was going through a bad gi disturbance and the doc felt the ferritin was ok and wanted me to just stop anything that might hurt the intestinal tract. The weird thing was that apparently it was a viral thing that damaged the lining of my gi tract and then made me lactose intolerant. They think the lactose intolerance will diminish in time. But for now , I am getting my calcium through supplements and have gone back to 18mg ferrous fumarate a day.
Sorry to go on so long- you would think I was hyper which I know I am not at this time
Nyxie-I like being at home too. :) No question a safe nest is very important to physical and mental health . Although I must add that I love my nature walks as well. We have a national wildlife refuge not far from where we live and generally go there weather permitting all day at least one weekend day if not two. It is my opportunity to merge with beautiful natural surroundings and wildlife. That is very helpful too.
A great way for you to either do tai chi or yoga would be to check out dvds from your local library. Just be sure to get several at a time, because in my experience there are usually more that do not work for me than do . So out of say 5 , maybe 1 or 2 or none. I would love to hear how it goes for you. My all time favorite tai chi dvd is with Scott Cole. And, though I did yoga for years, I never felt so at one with the experience as I do with the Scott Cole dvd. You could look at the reviews on Amazon , this guy is really popular. Half the workout is at the beach in hawaii , the other half in the studio. Very beautiful, and soothing.Another tai chi dvd totally failed with me,I couln't follow it at all. So , be sure to give yourself a number of opportunites with various dvds before thinking that either tai chi or yoga will not work for you.

I hope the ferritin comes out ok. I would be ok taking the 18mg ferrous fumerate forever since it causes no issues. I have decided to go see a naturopath and have her check out my supplements to try to optimize what I am taking and be sure that things are balanced. I have just been following bits of advice here and there. I am though totally convinced that the iron and vitamin d have helped greatly. And, probably the fish oil too.

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