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I have just begun to recover from a ferretin level of 4. About a year ago, I started to feel very lethargic, but I attributed the fatigue to chronic nerve pain in my neck and arms. At this time I was keeping up with all of my daily duties, but I was exhausted by the evening. I was beginning to experience muscle cramps in my legs every time I climbed up the stairs, and I had taken up the habit of chewing ice ALL day long. Suddenly, one day, I had a burning sensation in the back of my thighs and calves. After a week of feeling like my legs were set on fire, I finally saw my family physician. I told him that I thought I might be anemic and that I was really worried about the pain in my legs. He order blood tests and called me back to say that I needed to see a hematologist because my ferretin level was 4 and RBC count was 6. By the time I saw the hematologist a week later, I was fatigued to the point that I could barely walk 100 feet without stopping to rest. I can't even begin to express how exhausted I was! Being a mother of two teenagers, I had pushed myself to work through many colds and flues. This time there was nothing to push. Thankfully, I had a wonderful hematolgist. She said that I had the worst iron deficiency symptoms that she had ever seen. She gave me an iron infusion that very day and told me that it would take months to get my ferretin level up. Wow, was she ever right! For five months I was unable to do any household chores, shopping,etc. I kept receiving the infusions every month, but I was feeling no improvement at all. Many times I thought I might be dying. I had the scopes of my small and large intestines, both showed no abnormalities. Celiac disease was ruled out. (I had lost 30 lbs. and showed signs of celiac.) Thankfully, my gastronterologist ordered vitamin tests which showed that I had barely traceable amounts of Vitamin C and A. He had me take very high doses of both and within two more months I was back to working again!

For anyone who is suffering from their low ferretin, I would tell them not to give up! It is so hard when people don't understand that you CAN'T push yourself to work. Keep pushing your Dr. to have tests run and be patient.

I am now receiving the iron infusions every three months and my Dr. hopes that a year from now we can cut back to two times a year.

All the best to you!

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