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[QUOTE=acilim;4792212]Good morning everybody,
I had a blood test a few weeks ago and my Ferritin level was at 6. Everything else was normal including my hemoglobin which was a 141 (Range 115-165). I have been taking heme iron and really increased how much iron I am getting in my diet by eating more red meat and vegetables. I don't feel any improvement at all, to be honest I feel worse than I did. I can't seem to find the energy to even get out of bed. I go for another blood test in about a month. Is there anything else I should be doing to get my iron levels up? And is it normal to feel so awful with a low ferritin but normal hemoglobin?

yes it is normal to feel like that. my ferritin was also at 6 (2.5 months ago), hemoglobin 12.1 and I felt crap. after starting iron supplementing, 3 weeks later I started to feel normal. a couple more weeks later: symptoms gone. I think you may have to wait a few weeks to expect improvement, you don't say exactly when you started taking it and also how much you are taking.

OTOH, I liked the heme iron idea but then I saw how expensive it was and then I read about how good the absorption rate of ferrous sulfate is with enough vitamin C (the vitamin C needs to be at least 6 times the weight of elemental iron). it is comparable to heme iron. just have to take it on empty stomach for best results. so I went for the cheaper option, a load of ferrous sulfate elixir mixed with a lot of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). twice a day on empty stomach. result? I had a ferritin of 96, 2.5 months later (just got the result today). hemoglobin up by 1.2 too (13.3).

now of course if you have side effects from this kind of supplement, then you may want to try chelated iron (ferrochel). that one is really gentle on the stomach, I took some of that myself, just to make sure that one of the two versions of iron would work. and I never felt any side effects with ferrochel (not a lot of side effects with the ferrous sulfate either, but NOTHING at all with ferrochel).

PS: well, I'm actually so surprised that ferritin came out to 96 that I'm going to recheck this. I did take my usual morning dose of iron before the test so I don't know about that.. does someone know if that can affect the ferritin result??
I hope you are getting answers from the gynecologist. In May I had a ferritin level of 3. But my hemoglobin was a 6 on a scale that should range from 12-16. My heavy periods were the culprit. I had a very large fibroid cyst (small cantaloupe size) in my uterus, so I had a hysterectomy on June 6th. I just had a 7 week post op appointment.

My levels started rising only 10 days after being on farrous sulfate 3x/day with vitamin C (hemoglobin was up to almost 8). I only had one more test done just before my surgery (which would have been after about 4 weeks on the iron) and oh gosh, I know I was blown away, but I can't remember for sure, I think my hemoglobin had gone up to 12? Ferritin, I'd have to dig out my paperwork but I know it DID go up, I was very happy - I was ELATED actually that it went up so fast.

I had to go off of it just before and for 2 weeks after my surgery because your bowels don't work too well after major abdominal surgery, and iron will constipate you, so when I went back on he said to start out with one a day and only up it if I felt I needed it. I did feel like I needed the second one, some symptoms were returning (fatigue in the afternoon and the restless legs and tossing and turning at night). After just a few days on 2/day I'm better again and sleeping soundly again.

Hope you're figuring it out and that it's helping...

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