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Hi Everyone
I will give you a bit of history about me firstly, I live in the UK , Noth wales, not sure if this board is UK or international but i'm sure the advice/help will be the same anyway. In 2006 my ferritin was tested due to recurrent throat infections etc and it was found to be 11 , so i was given iron tablets and took them for a while and my iron went up to about 38( I think the doctor said this was within a normal range) but they made me feel really sick so i was quite reluctant to take them , i started to feel better the throat infections stopped and I stopped taking the tablets and my bloods were not tested again til this time. A few weeks ago i seemed i developed a problem with my eyes, they were constantly feeling tired, sore and watery, I had swabs and optician check and nothing was found but the doctor gave me antibiotic drops , not sure if they worked .. but after about 14 days that cleared up . then just after that I started to feel very light headed and dizzy with a kind of shaky feeling . at first i thought it might be low blood sugar as i seemed to get this when i was pregnant also , so i went back to the doctors had loads of blood tests done , they checked for coeliac dissease (as they say this can stop your body absorbing iron) that was clear, and they checked thyroid function, diabetes, liver function . When i phoned the doctors the receptionist just said my serum ferritin/iron was low and there was a prescription for me waiting, when i asked her what level it was she said 10.8. I have been given a prescription for ferrous fumerate to be taken 3 times a day!This seems like such a lot to me , im sure last time when it was at 11 i only had to take 1 a day , but that was 3 years ago .
Is it normal procedure for doctors to just prescribe iron tablets and see if things improve before exploring other things or should i feel concerned that he hasnt asked to see me . I am trying to reassure myself that my iron was this low 3 years ago and did go up when i took the iron tablets, and Im still here, dont seem to have any other symptoms etc. but when i look at websites about iron deficiency anemia . they scare me stupid about it being caused by losing blood/colon cancer etc. Should i be going back to the doctors and asking him to infestigate more or should i see if things improve with the tablets. I am 36 years of age and Im not sure if my periods could be classed as very heavy, they last for about 6 days and I guess they are heavy for about 3 days of them 6 but i dont know what would be classed heavy enough to make me anaemic , also i dont know if this might play a part or at all effect my iron , but i have been dieting for 18 months and have lost 7 stone , it is a healthy diet(slimming world ) but I dont really eat alot of cereal or bread anymore . I eat loads of fruit and vegetables and pasta and rice, and i do try to eat some meat , some days I will eat lots of meat and on other only smallish portions , but i do try to have pulses atleast a few times a week . I thank you so much for reading and would really appreciate any words that anyone might like to offer me as i am so confused and worried
thank you
Hi Shannon,

I have had a similar experience to you also, i live in Chester and had similar symptoms that you are discribing. Had blood test and although i am not anaemic my ferritin was 8.8 on 19 Jan. Had a message from GP surgery to pick up a prescription and so i am back on the iron tablets again.:dizzy:

Four weeks on and this week i have felt better, i have more energy,enough to get through the usual day. I had been feeling so low in energy that i couldnt get to Uni, or do the usual chores at home any excersise i was trying to do was an extreeme effort that i gave up. Usually i love going for riding lessons and jogging round the block but that was out of the question. I had lots of other mild symptoms sore dry eyes couldnt wear my contact lenses have been wearing my glasses instead, hair loss etc.

Now i am feeling better i am about to go for a couple of days in the lakes for a break before i start second year at UNi. So even to think about getting out and about the iron tablets must be working.

I take 3 x day and fortunately they dont affect my stomach. I have been on them before and i think i stopped too early so i am staying on them until i know my ferritin is high!!

I went to the doctors to ask why is my ferritin is low and they have decided it is because of my periods. I have heavy periods for 2-3 days only then barely anything for another day or so. They have advised me to stop the blood loss and suggested the pill or the coil in my case.

I have felt so rotten that i will try anything and though i do not like the thought of it i am opting for the coil which is one that releases hormone into the lining of the womb and so reduces periods by up to 90% and can stay in around 10 years. There are a couple of negatives but as i say i am that desperate not to go back to feeling so bad that i will try anything!!

Try going back to the doctor and discussing why your ferritin is low and in the meantime keep taking the tablets...Good luck x
Hello, Shannon, and welcome!

I have struggled with anemia and low ferritin in particular the last few years, but only recently have I found a doctor who is taking it seriously (ha, probably b/c I've gotten hooked on small doses of prescription narcotics for ANY energy).

My doctor put me on 325mg of ferrous sulfate 3x/day and sent me to a GI doctor to rule out internal bleeding, especially since I have a family history of colon polyps and have had an ulcer. The tests came back negative, as did the tests for celiac or other things that could cause malabsorption.

Then it was off to the hematologist, who was obviously not concerned with a ferritin level of 13, which is the highest it's been in years. Her advice was to continue with the FS 3x/day for a MINIMUM of three months, though my internist says I will probably be on it indefinitely.

You do not mention how old you are and/or if you'd like to have more children (and therefore might object to birth control pills to control bleeding). My internist put me on a pill that enables me to have only four periods a year; I'm 48 and the LAST thing I expect to have are more kids, lol.

Like you, I had fairly heavy periods for years, especially after my sons were born 19 and 16 years ago. When you couple that with the fact that I wasn't on iron supplements all those years and don't eat much meat (no red meat at all), it all worked against me to put me where I am now.

Building the iron stores in the bone marrow (which is what your ferritin level indicates) is a slow process, as others have mentioned. Make sure you take some Vitamin C with your iron to help with absorption; I take 500mg with each dose of iron. I also started taking a product called "Ferrasorb", which contains two forms of B12, folate, and a bit of iron. I only started on that this weekend, so only time will tell.

If you're looking for a suggestion, I would encourage you to add the Vit. C if you aren't already taking it, adhere STRICTLY to your iron regimen, and get your doctor to check your levels again in 4 - 6 weeks. If your levels have improved (even slightly), then hopefully you are on the right track. If not, I would talk to your doctor about the GI tests (colonoscopy, upper endoscopy) to rule out a GI bleed. Hang in there!!

Cheers,
Nancy





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