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I just found out in March that my Ferritin level was low, 6. Normal is 22-291. My CBC was normal though. I also have hypothyroidism and started taking a T4 med in January and started a T3 med in April. My symptoms have been aching and run down/fatigue. I started taking a liquid iron supplement and in 2months it raised my Ferritin to 11. I do feel like I am improving, but am not sure if this is due to my thyroid meds that I started or my liquid iron. I am definitely not feeling "normal" yet. Can a low ferritin level, but normal CBC cause aching and rundown/fatigue feeling? Or does your iron level need to be low as well to cause the aching and rundown/fatigue?
I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but my Neutrophils level over the years will occasionally drop below normal range. I have seen this in blood tests that have been ran. I'm not sure if the neutrophils will drop when you are not feeling right. I only have had blood tests when I have not felt right.
Here are some of my netrophil blood test results:
Standard range 2.1-7.7 K/uL
12/29/2010 3.3
3/1/2011 1.6
3/4/2011 5.3
Can this indicate cyclic anemia/nuetropenia?
Jenny--- I do not have all the answers to your questions. But I do have some thoughts and experiences to share. And, as you know from the thyroid board--I too have hypothyroid, have had low ferritin and also low vitamin d. And, when all those 3 things came on together , I felt awful. Today, I feel so much better and I think getting better takes working on all 3 conditions. I also think it is near impossible to tease out which symptoms are attributed to which deficiency as the symptoms so often overlap. I think it is just best to get started on a multi-pronged approach.

That being said...your ferritin is really low. I am sure that others on this board would agree . And, it will take some time to get your level up. And there is the question to what level? Some say at least 50. But, having spent sometime on this board , I think most of us want a ferritin of at least 75 if not higher.

It is truly a long slow process to get your levels up...for most of us who have been at the ferritin project it can take a year or two. There are different forms of iron . Personally I had a great deal of stomach upset with any of the ferrous formulas. So, I kept searching. I made great strides with proferrin and it doesn't make me ill . My ferritin is now around 60 but I want to get it higher so I am taking a low dose of proferrin daily and have had to adjust my thyroid meds accordingly.

As to your vitamin d--try to get that around 45ng/ml or higher. I would go for at least 50ng/ml on the vit d.

Anyway...you have your work cut out for you.

Just a final thought and this should actually have been the first point...did your dr. rule out other causes for your low ferritin? Generally before going to supplemental iron , a dr. should rule out other causes of low ferritin.
Azuree
Azuree: We do have quite a bit in common! My vitamin D level was 37, normal Kaiser level being 30-100 so my doctor did not recommend anything. Because I was not feeling the improvement that I wanted to see after beginning my thyroid meds and liquid iron supplement I started taking a Vitamin D supplement on occasion to see if my symptoms improved. I have not been taking it religiously though because I was not told by my doctor that I needed it. Do you know how much iron is safe to take per day?
I was tested for sooooo many autoimmune diseases and had so many different blood tests, ferritin being one of them. I am the one that asked the doctor if I could take a liquid supplement to boost my ferritin level. I asked my endocrinologist if my low ferritin level was due to my hypothyroidism and she told me that she didn't think so!? That suprised me. What are some other causes for low ferritin?
Jenny--A very good endo told me that low vit. d, ferritin and b12 levels can be associated with hypothyroid and that these low levels may be due to poor intestinal absorption of nutrients. I didn't have a b12 deficiency because I have supplemented daily with 1000mcg sublingual b12 for quite a few years. That endo also checked other vitamin/nutrient levels and some others like zinc were borderline low.

If you look on the net you can easily find other reasons for low ferritin including internal bleeding or dietary.

So do you have hashimto's? I do. It is an autoimmune condition which results in the destruction of the thyroid by tpo antibodies. Were your tpo antibodies tested?

Prior to getting my thryoid, ferritin and vit d levels right....I would have aches in my body, some intense aches in legs at night, and a myriad of other symptoms.

I think it is hard though to say that the low ferritin level is just due to thyroid levels being off...because I am quite certain that even if you get your thyroid levels right, your ferritin level will not return to a good level.( In my case , I didn't eat red meat or chicken for some 20yrs. so I also think that had a great deal to do with my low ferritin level.)

In any event, I can completely understand that you would not feel good. I do think though there is a lot that you can do to feel better. I also think that taking a probiotic daily is very helpful as well as daily exercise. I think you can turn things around it will just take a bit of effort and time.
Azuree
[QUOTE=azuree;4747402]Jenny--A very good endo told me that low vit. d, ferritin and b12 levels can be associated with hypothyroid and that these low levels may be due to poor intestinal absorption of nutrients. I didn't have a b12 deficiency because I have supplemented daily with 1000mcg sublingual b12 for quite a few years. That endo also checked other vitamin/nutrient levels and some others like zinc were borderline low.

If you look on the net you can easily find other reasons for low ferritin including internal bleeding or dietary.

So do you have hashimto's? I do. It is an autoimmune condition which results in the destruction of the thyroid by tpo antibodies. Were your tpo antibodies tested?

Prior to getting my thryoid, ferritin and vit d levels right....I would have aches in my body, some intense aches in legs at night, and a myriad of other symptoms.

I think it is hard though to say that the low ferritin level is just due to thyroid levels being off...because I am quite certain that even if you get your thyroid levels right, your ferritin level will not return to a good level.( In my case , I didn't eat red meat or chicken for some 20yrs. so I also think that had a great deal to do with my low ferritin level.)

In any event, I can completely understand that you would not feel good. I do think though there is a lot that you can do to feel better. I also think that taking a probiotic daily is very helpful as well as daily exercise. I think you can turn things around it will just take a bit of effort and time.
Azuree[/QUOTE]

Yes, I do have Hashimotos and they did test my tpo antibodies and they were off the charts at >1000. My calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, b12(b12 was 794 and normal is >200) were all normal. I also take a b12 supplement and have been for the past 2 years, before all of my symptoms started. I have not had my zinc level tested.
Jenny--I do not think it would be worth it necessarily to have zinc levels tested. You already know you are low on some things. If you are not already doing so , add in a good multi, some vit.d and get your ferritin moving.

My tpo antibody level was 2250.It has come down about 70%with thyroid treatment.
Azuree
Hi Jenny; Thyroid all aside (because I know nothing about that and mine was normal). What is your hemoglobin level? Because my Ferritin level is a 3 right now (I know, crazy low like my hemoglobin (6.9) and others are crazy low and some crazy high as well). As I research, I'm finding that Ferritin is like your storage pantry for red blood cells (am I right anyone?). Your body needs iron in order to make red blood cells... so by increasing the iron, now the body has the main ingredient it needs to 'make' the red blood cells/hemoglobin...but it takes 120 days for new red blood cells to form/hatch and be released into your system. So after just two months, it makes sense to me that you're not feeling great yet, because even if your iron levels are going up, your body hasn't finished producing and releasing all the new red blood cells that are going to bring that hemoglobin level up yet because it hasn't been 120 days yet? Maybe I'm just going by 'ME' though, and I don't know what your hemoglobin level is. I would think that when the hemoglobin (red blood cells) goes up, then you would start to feel better? Like you need to count out around 120 days from when you had that test?

I too have the pain, achiness and fatigue, but I wasn't thinking that the pain and aches had anything to do with the Ferritin, I was thinking it was my rheumatoid factor that showed up and was high :dizzy:

No matter with all these other numbers though - are you drinking enough water? Sometimes we forget how important it is to stay really hydrated - I think we need lots of water in order to have energy and for our bodies to run like 'well oiled' machines :D

Michelle
[QUOTE=mjinteriors;4751737]Hi Jenny; Thyroid all aside (because I know nothing about that and mine was normal). What is your hemoglobin level? Because my Ferritin level is a 3 right now (I know, crazy low like my hemoglobin (6.9) and others are crazy low and some crazy high as well). As I research, I'm finding that Ferritin is like your storage pantry for red blood cells (am I right anyone?). Your body needs iron in order to make red blood cells... so by increasing the iron, now the body has the main ingredient it needs to 'make' the red blood cells/hemoglobin...but it takes 120 days for new red blood cells to form/hatch and be released into your system. So after just two months, it makes sense to me that you're not feeling great yet, because even if your iron levels are going up, your body hasn't finished producing and releasing all the new red blood cells that are going to bring that hemoglobin level up yet because it hasn't been 120 days yet? Maybe I'm just going by 'ME' though, and I don't know what your hemoglobin level is. I would think that when the hemoglobin (red blood cells) goes up, then you would start to feel better? Like you need to count out around 120 days from when you had that test?

I too have the pain, achiness and fatigue, but I wasn't thinking that the pain and aches had anything to do with the Ferritin, I was thinking it was my rheumatoid factor that showed up and was high :dizzy:

No matter with all these other numbers though - are you drinking enough water? Sometimes we forget how important it is to stay really hydrated - I think we need lots of water in order to have energy and for our bodies to run like 'well oiled' machines :D

Michelle[/QUOTE]

Michelle,
My hemoglobin tested normal, just my ferritin is low. I was wondering if just a low ferritin could cause these symptoms. You are right. The ferritin is the storage of iron, or your iron reserve. I do make sure that I keep well hydrated. I also have hypothyroidism and I have been learning this may have led to my low Ferritin level. My vitamin D level was 36, the lower end of what is considered normal, so I also started taking a Vitamin D supplement. I just wish these symptoms would go away.
Okay so your hemoglobin is okay (mines not)... I don't have the thyroid thing (but you do) nor has my doctor checked vitamin D or anything so not sure about that. But we DO have low Ferritin levels in common and we both have achiness and fatigue. Though my fatigue has gone down so much since I started taking the iron and vitamins 12 days ago that I feel amazing! I don't even need a second cup of coffee anymore!

Sorry, back to the question at hand. So my point is that maybe there IS something about the low ferritin that can cause our aches and pains and fatigue. I just had a bunch more tests done by a rheumatologist yesterday to see if I have other diseases that could be causing the arthritis symptoms.

I have more bloodwork being done next Tuesday for a CBC, Ferritin (again, after being on iron for 10 days) SED rate and RETICULOCYTE count. I'm DYING to see what my Ferritin count is... she had me go from no iron up to 975mg (farous sulphate) in the last 5 days, now I'm 5 days before the blood test on 975/day so I REALLY hope to see a rise in that level. I've been taking them with vitamin C and not touching anything dairy for 3 hrs after taking them to aid in absorbtion and am so hopeful!

Try to stay positive - I feel guilty for feeling so much better so soon when so many of you on this forum have been feeling crappy for years. Have your doctors been checking for 'blood loss' as the possible cause? I just can't help but to wonder how many others might have uterine fibroid cysts that are living off of our blood supplies but don't know it. Apparently 50%+ of women between the ages of 30 and 50 have fibroid cysts, some just have no symptoms. My cyst/tumor is HUGE (9.6 cm which i guess is the size of a cantaloupe) and my gynecologist didn't feel it during a routine pelvic exam. He didn't even feel it or see it when doing a pap smear - it wasn't visible until he did the ultrasound. But as I read about these cysts, they are like blood suckers (eek!:dizzy:) I can't wait to get this thing out I feel now like it's been taking my blood away from me for years. I just want to make sure that this avenue has been explored (the gynecological one) and even though I think you said you don't have heavy periods, it doesn't mean there might not be some of these hiding and quietly thriving and growing at your expense!:dizzy:

Please let us know if you find anything out, I'll keep you posted too if I find anything more out about your question ;)

Take care,

Michelle

Michelle
Fitness Seeker, yes most people with hypothyroidism do feel better with their TSH in the lower end of normal. Also, it is very common for those with hypothyroidism to have high cholesterol. I just started thyroid meds in January of this year and found out that my cholesterol is much higher than I thought it would be. It was 198, still normal, but with how healthy I have been eating over the past two years I was really expecting to see a much, much better number. My endocrinologist said that once I get my thyroid under control that my cholesterol level will get better. I started taking an iron supplement after finding out that my ferritin was 6 and 1 1/2 months later it went up to 11. It takes awhile to get the ferritin level back up.
What types of symptoms are you having with your ferritin that low?
[QUOTE=Jenny95123;4747311]I just found out in March that my Ferritin level was low, 6. Normal is 22-291. My CBC was normal though. I also have hypothyroidism and started taking a T4 med in January and started a T3 med in April. My symptoms have been aching and run down/fatigue. I started taking a liquid iron supplement and in 2months it raised my Ferritin to 11. I do feel like I am improving, but am not sure if this is due to my thyroid meds that I started or my liquid iron. I am definitely not feeling "normal" yet. Can a low ferritin level, but normal CBC cause aching and rundown/fatigue feeling? Or does your iron level need to be low as well to cause the aching and rundown/fatigue?[/QUOTE]

what were your HGB and HCT levels?

yes I read that if the low ferritin involves very low iron stores in tissues (other than bone marrow), then you can have such symptoms. I was also worried myself because I got weird muscle pains and weakness but it seems to be related. my HGB(12.1) and HCT were tested to be in the normal range, just at the low end of it, MCV too low though, below normal. so I'm guessing bone marrow was making up for this by producing more RBC's, because cell count is higher than it was last year when I had better HGB and better iron levels.

so anyway, this is why I'm asking exactly where your HGB is in the range. also how about MCV and MCH?

what would really show if the tissues in general (such as muscle tissue - your aches, are they muscle aches??) are low in iron, is a soluble transferrin receptor test. if sTFR is high in the blood, then your tissues don't have any iron in them.
of course a low ferritin level will suggest this too, but I read in some articles that sTFR can be an even better marker.

PS: I don't know anything about thyroid stuff so no idea about the possibility of that problem causing the aches etc.
[QUOTE=hmm82;4759277]what were your HGB and HCT levels?

yes I read that if the low ferritin involves very low iron stores in tissues (other than bone marrow), then you can have such symptoms. I was also worried myself because I got weird muscle pains and weakness but it seems to be related. my HGB(12.1) and HCT were tested to be in the normal range, just at the low end of it, MCV too low though, below normal. so I'm guessing bone marrow was making up for this by producing more RBC's, because cell count is higher than it was last year when I had better HGB and better iron levels.

so anyway, this is why I'm asking exactly where your HGB is in the range. also how about MCV and MCH?

what would really show if the tissues in general (such as muscle tissue - your aches, are they muscle aches??) are low in iron, is a soluble transferrin receptor test. if sTFR is high in the blood, then your tissues don't have any iron in them.
of course a low ferritin level will suggest this too, but I read in some articles that sTFR can be an even better marker.

PS: I don't know anything about thyroid stuff so no idea about the possibility of that problem causing the aches etc.[/QUOTE]

My HgB was 12.3 (11.5-15normal range) and my Hematocrit was 38.8(34-46). My MCV was 89 (80-100). My RDW was out of range, but of no concern to the MD. It was 15.3 and normal is 11.9-14.3. I'm not sure what the MCH is?
Hi Jenny: The symptoms i have had the past few yrs is just fatigue, exhaustion, weakness (esp during 1st few days of period), windedness /brethlessness when climbing stairs or doing aerobic exercise (which i have avoided for a couple of yrs b/c it makes me very lightheaded and uncomfortable that i feel i may past out). The internist that i just started seeing told me he thinks the windedness may be related to sth else so we are still trying to figure things out. It may be related to my lung capacity or heart so I will do an echo test in a couple weeks.

My severe anemia was diagnosed 3.5 yrs ago altho i may have had it unbeknowst to me longer than that. I had 3 submucosal fibroids which were removed in 5/2009. Since then my hemaglobin and hematocrit has gotten better (pre surgery 8 -9) and now they are fluctuating within range/borderline/or lower than the range but not by too much. According to the gyno she tells me i'm no longer anemic , based on the hema /hematocrit numbers. So we are still searching for answers. She suspected i had hypothyrodism, however the labs for T3 and T4 were normal she said, altho my thyroid number escalated. Do you mind telling me what your numbers are/were? She wants me to consult my internist and then i will see her after that.
[QUOTE=Fitness Seeker;4760150]Hi Jenny: The symptoms i have had the past few yrs is just fatigue, exhaustion, weakness (esp during 1st few days of period), windedness /brethlessness when climbing stairs or doing aerobic exercise (which i have avoided for a couple of yrs b/c it makes me very lightheaded and uncomfortable that i feel i may past out). The internist that i just started seeing told me he thinks the windedness may be related to sth else so we are still trying to figure things out. It may be related to my lung capacity or heart so I will do an echo test in a couple weeks.

My severe anemia was diagnosed 3.5 yrs ago altho i may have had it unbeknowst to me longer than that. I had 3 submucosal fibroids which were removed in 5/2009. Since then my hemaglobin and hematocrit has gotten better (pre surgery 8 -9) and now they are fluctuating within range/borderline/or lower than the range but not by too much. According to the gyno she tells me i'm no longer anemic , based on the hema /hematocrit numbers. So we are still searching for answers. She suspected i had hypothyrodism, however the labs for T3 and T4 were normal she said, altho my thyroid number escalated. Do you mind telling me what your numbers are/were? She wants me to consult my internist and then i will see her after that.[/QUOTE]

Prior to thyroid meds my TSH was 9.98. More recent lab results are as follows:
TSH (.10-5.50): 3-1-11: 1.5
4-1-11: 1.3
5-2-11: 1.23

Free T4 (.8-1.7ng/dL)
3-1-11: 1.5
4-1-11: 1.3
5-2-11: 1.1

Free T3 (210-440)
3-1-11: 270
5-2-11: 270

Make sure that your Free T3 and Free T4 is also tested as well as your TSH. Just a T3 and T4 can be inaccurate, especially if you are taking certain medications, such as birth control pills. The Free T3 and T4 shows what is readily available for your body to use.





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