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A ferretin of 17 might show you as being withing the "range", but it's not something you should dismiss and you should actually try to boost it higher. I don't know how you feel, but while my ferretin was below 35 i felt tired all the time, lacked motivation, my eyes were always burning, puffy and very dark circles, i shed so much hair i could have started making men's toupes from it!! Someone else might be able to have a low end of the scale ferretin and not really notice anything as our bodies are not all the same. I am coming across more and more females in my daily life who do have low iron and also have noticeable hair loss.

A lot of foods might contain iron, but need to be accompanied by certain other foods/beverages to better absorb the iron. Certain foods/drinks will actually hinder iron absorbtion. I will now only have either herbal coffee or a decaffeinated tea with my main meals if i really need a coffee/tea. Even chocolate has caffeine in it and big amounts of dairy can hinder iron absorbtion by up to 60%.

I think if you simply watch your food/drink intake and give an over the counter iron supplement a go for 3 months, then get a repeat blood test. You should notice your levels go up, unless you have other health issues which could be causing blood loss due to an unknown source or even gluten intolerance. You said that you have recently come off antidepressants, some people have been known to put on a lot of weight taking those. If you had a high amount of stress in your life and you needed antidepressants then that could be what caused your iron levels to go down. Long term stress affects your digestion and vitamins and minerals you need might not be being absorbed. It can take a while for your body to get back to normal after going through a stressful situation.

Not sure what my ferretin is right now, just got a new blood test done today. I can say that my hair stopped shedding in extreme amounts back in mid December 2007, i now have energy, my eyes feel alive and fresh, i don't have the extreme dark circles i once had and when i visited my parents last weekend my mum said that i now look healthy and the best i've looked in a very long time. I do believe she remarked that i no longer look like a corpse, which makes me think, did i truly look that bad!! I'm guessing if i'm feeling this way and my hair is still shedding, but not in scary amounts as it was before, that my ferretin would have to be at least 40.

All i do know is that the person i was when my ferretin was when it got down to 8 and up to 35 isn't the person i now am and if simply raising ferretin can do so much good for my body then why simply stay down at a low number? I know i'll keep pushing till i reach at least 70 or as close to 70 as i can get. My doctors aim is 125 to 150ug/L but dont fancy his chances.

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