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Re: Low ferritin
Sep 12, 2008

Not a male and I'd say you're going to be hard pressed to find one. We have had one or two pop in but they don't stay!

Anyway, your GP is correct that is VERY unusual for a male to be anemic from iron deficiency. It is almost always due to blood loss. The other possibility is some type of autoimmune disorder or heredity issue which would cause destruction of your red blood cells.

My next thought would be: How do you know that this anemia is caused by iron deficiency and not another type of deficiency, such as B12. Other deficiencies can cause anemia. A doctor can tell by various different tests (after they do the CBC) which type of problem is causing the anemia. It is unwise for a doctor to prescribe iron if he doesn't know for sure, especially to a man. So, can you tell us what tests your doctor ran? Besides looking at your hemoglobin, the MCV can tell a lot of about the type of anemia. This test would be in your CBC test. The next tests run are often an iron panel, which tells serum iron, TIBC, %saturation. A ferritin is also run. Ferritin is a protein that binds to iron within the cells so when they measure ferritin they get a good idea how much iron you have stored. Low ferritin = low iron.

My GP also ran a stool test which, for me, was also negative. We did, however, take it further and do a colonoscopy and an upper endoscopy to look at the stomach. I did end up having a bleeding stomach and gastritis (I had no clue) so the stool tests are NOT 100% accurate. They can miss the bleeding.

You don't say your age, but I'm thinking that if you are in your late 30s or up, are just presenting with iron deficiency anemia, I would insist on the bowel studies.

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