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Yes, my periods are heavy so I think this is the likely culprit for me. ANA is Antinuclear Antibody test (I had to check that myself!). It covers a wide spectrum of autoimmune diseases. If a weak positive or positive ANA comes back after testing, further testing is carried out to look for specific antibodies related to connective tissue diseases. Rheumatologists are the people to see in relation to ANA testing. You will be referred by your doctor if you need to see one. I was told that my thyroid level was normal but I think I just had the TSH tested and not the free T3 and T4. If the TSH is within 'normal range' doctors will be reluctant to test further (free T3 and T4). I share symptoms of low thyroid but also Lupus (the Rheumatologist did look further into Lupus but at this stage there is no evidence in relation to results at this stage).

There have been numerous people on this board who suffer from joint/muscle/bone pain, fatigue, hair loss, coldness, etc. Whether this is related to iron stores (Ferritin) and/or additional diseases is anyone's guess. Sorry to be so vague. Clare x
[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??

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