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This is a hard topic. Some doctors say there are no symptoms while others agree with the patients laundry list of symptoms. Symptoms can be very similar to anemia symptoms. For me personally when I had at a 2 Ferritin, RLS symptoms were really bad and then over a longer period of time fatigue being the worst. And..... how could I forget the whole time my hair was falling out really bad. When I reached a 20 Ferritin it slowed way down. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
When my ferretin was 8 i could have slept night and day and just getting up in the morning to eat breakfast would tire me and i would have to lay down to get some energy so that i could get dressed. I also had no motivation, felt depressed and had been suffering hair loss for a few years prior. When i looked at old blood test results i found that my ferretin had been getting lower and lower each year.

The doctor i ended up seeing this year did further tests and found my thyroid had been affected to some degree by years of low iron, my vitamin D was very low as was my Iodine and my zinc was also low but not extremely low.

Now that my ferretin has improved, so has my thyroid and i'm taking supplements for the vitamin D and iodine as well as continously taking iron supplements. I know my hair wont stop shedding until my ferretin gets much higher, some doctors say it has to get to 70, while others say over 40. I noticed my energy levels really improve and take off to the point i can do some exercise when it got over 30.

At the end of the day every person is an individual and will be affected differently, some will become energetic when their ferretin hits 20 and others will need a higher figure. Some people get hair shedding, while others dont. You also have to remember that certain symptoms are shared by other health problems. Symptoms of low iron and those of thyroid conditions are very similar so your doctor should check everything thoroughly.
My ferritin is at 5 at the minute, although in the past it has been lower. This leads me to feel extremely tired, breathless, anxious and of course hair thinning. Flfower girl is quite correct in saying that some doctors dont see it as a problem (that is so long as your haemoglobin etc is with in the normal limits), its a case of finding a doctor that understands, if you are having symptoms.
The main thing is that you need to establish why your ferritin is low, any doctor worth his salt will do further investigations. Mainly in women its caused by heavy periods, but there is a whole other range of reasons. So id go and seek further medical advice.
Good Luck
Linds
hi, i'm new to this thread but like you have many questions. i too have a low ferretin of 8. my hair had been falling out for years and i blamed it first on having a child 4 years ago but as it got worse and more noticable i had blood work drawn. all my numbers were great except for my ferretin. an 8, i couldn't believe it but wore i didn't know what ferretin was or how to fix this problem. hair loss, not so much fatigue but anxiety. a heaviness in my chest which i thought was from perimenopause. found out my hormones were even fine and all these symptoms must be from my low ferretin. i am now taking an iron supplement along with trying to eat food higher in iron. so far all that i've seen in a month is an increase on my scale. i've gained 4 pounds from all this high iron foods i've been eating. my hair is still falling out not that i expected a quick fix but in a month i was hoping for a little something. i need help too if anyone would like to help me since all my doctor did was prescribe a pill and send me on my way.
lisafu - welcome to the boards and hope you find lots of info on here to help you out :)

My ferretin was at an 8 when they discovered my low iron. I always put my tiredness down to a hectic job, but couldn't work out why my hair was constantly shedding more than it ought to have been. After further blood tests i found out my iodine and vitamin D were both extremely low. My thyroid was in the area of what most doctors would class as normal and not an issue as my results came back within range. I spent ages focusing solely on my iron.

After my iron picked up, but a lot of the other symptoms stayed and we did further testing it was found out i was gluten intolerant as well as actually having a thyroid condition called Hashimoto's.

By all means your ferretin needs to be raised and to a much higher level than what your average gp finds acceptable. Even after your ferretin gets up high it will still take 3 - 6 months and even a year for some to see proper hair growth cycle. If your ferretin gets up high and you are still losing hair at a high rate then it's time to look into other things eg: thyroid, could your birth control pills be causing the problem, or perhaps some other issue.

All the very best and keep us posted :)
lisafu - i really can't suggest much apart from trialing various forms of iron supplements on the market. Sometimes it takes time for your body to adjust to the iron supplement and it's also sometimes worth starting off on a lower dose and working your way to a higher dose so that your body adjusts.

Depending on what is causing your iron defficiency, 2 months is not a long time. It took me 2 years to get to where i am now. Did they test you for gluten intolerance? Some people have had polyps in the bowel which were bleeding. I would look at all the possibilities. On the other hand it might simply be that your body doesn't absorb iron as good as somebody else. Mine was an incredibly slow take off and the higher my ferretin got the better my body seemed to absorb it.

As i said in my previous response, my thyroid was fine according to most doctors, but some people's test results can be out by a little bit and a lot of their symptoms can be thyroid related. My iron is good now, but the constant tiredness is still there and so is my hair loss. The tiredness is different to when i had very low iron though. I'll be seeing my new doctor regarding my thyroid on monday and i'm hoping very much he starts me off on some form of medication as i've had enough of this.

Have you tried posting your thyroid results on the thyroid board? it's worth a go. I also looked at my dad's thyroid results and his doctor told him they are fine, but his results are worse than mine and he is having the same symptoms as me.

It would be nice to trust all doctors, but unfortunately there are a lot who simply keep saying test results are fine when in some cases they simply aren't. At the end of the day you have to take your health in your own hands and do as much research as possible.
StephieK - did your doctor find out why you had heavy periods? For me personally, i'd rather get to the root of the problem rather than take something to mask the symptoms. My periods were badly messed up and at times very heavy and no doctor could work out why. They always told me to go on birth control, but i refused. I ended up going to a naturopath and after taking a herbal mix for a while it settled my periods and they became lighter. I have now found out that my period issues could be a direct result of my newly found thyroid condition. I will get hormone tests and other test results back on monday when i visit my new doctor.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people are low in Vitamin D these days. A lot of people with low iron appear to have low Vit D too. I was shocked when my test results came back confirming that not only was i low, but below low as was my Iodine.

With the Vit D, my doctor told me to take that at night after my evening meal as Vit D supplements worked best after a main meal containing meat.

My zinc was sort of low, but not chronically low, while my B12 was rather good.

My blood test came back positive for gluten intolerance. That can have a bearing on things too, and as i said in the previous post, i also came back positive for Hashimoto's thyroid condition, which can cause similar symptoms to that of low iron.





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