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Low ferritin
May 18, 2013
Hi, I was wondering if anyone had same experience as me. In February I had vertigo, was put on Serc and then I started to have visual disturbances, blurred vision, flashing lights, sometimes the vision seem to be darkened. Saw opthamologist, my eyes are fine. CT scan of my head and blood test are normal, except ferritin was 20. Also have cough that I can't get rid off.My doctor put me on proferrin 11mg iron supplement, been taking for a month and not much of improvement. I have headaches, and I am tired, dizzy all the time.I saw neurologist and I am going to have MRI in July. However, my homeopathic doctor thinks I should not be taking iron, as my hemoglobin levels are fine ,and iron can be toxic, and he put me on B vitamins, magnesium and gaba for nerves. I am at my wits end, and I can't understand why this doctors can't find what is wrong with me.

[QUOTE][/QUOTE]
Re: Low ferritin
May 20, 2013
Your ferritin is really low. Most people don't even report feeling well till their ferritin reaches 50-70. Ferritin can take months and even years to go up and you can absolutely still be anemic with normal hemoglobin/hematocrit. I'm no Dr. but I know the results of having low ferritin first hand and it's something that needs to be treated. I was lucky, my Dr. is leaving the anemia diagnosis until my ferritin reaches 100. My ferritin is at a 66 now (from a 2 last May) and he says I can plan on taking iron for a while longer. I think you need to go to a Dr/hematologist that is going to address your low ferritin.

Symptoms of low ferritin:

Aches and pains.
Easy fatigue.
Increased weakness.
Heart palps.
Loss of energy.
Loss of libido.
Increased irritability and confusion.
Stomach Pains.
Heartburn.
Tingling and numbness in extremeties.
Breathing difficulty.
Headache.
Dizziness.
No appetite.
Sore tongue.
Picas
and just to add vision issues, which I had as well.

There are a lot more that can go on this list these are just a few off the top of my head.
Re: Low ferritin
May 20, 2013
Thank you so much for replying. For a while I thought I was having ms, neurologist agreed that my ferritin was low, but said if in few weeks my symptoms are still there I should have MRI. I used to have iron shots when my ferritin was low, but for some reason my doctor decided to give me iron pills this time. I feel so horrible that I don't know if I can deal with this. I also have pain around my rib cage, my whole body hurts. My last period was not heavy , I was just spotting,wondering if I am in menopause(I am 50). and this have been my life for 3 months now. Heatherx5, at what point did you start feeling better? My doctor wants my ferritin to be at 50. It is confusing, because some doctors claim (an emergency doctor for example) that if you have normal hemoglobin you should not take iron, as it could be toxic. Praying for all of us to get better.:confused:
Re: Low ferritin
May 20, 2013
Do you have the actual results of all your tests so you know what was tested? I would recommend getting your lab results so you have a record. Your homeopathic Dr. is not giving you good advice about the iron. Iron is only toxic if you are overloaded with it. You are the opposite and it is better to enhance your iron stores now before you get worse and get outright anemic with low Hct and Hg levels. It could be that more than just low ferritin is going on, and knowing what tests you had done is crucial. There are 1000's of tests, some very specific to specific disorders. Most Drs only order two things initially- a blood count and chemistry panel. Do you know if your thyroid levels were checked? That is a common cause of fatigue and should be checked.
Re: Low ferritin
May 24, 2013
Please help with my results!


Results Normal range

ferritin 21 (13-150)
iron total 11 (7-30)
TIBC 63 (39-65)
% 0,17 (0.25-0.50)
saturation
I feel like crying, my ferritin level went up from 20 to 21, after taking iron pills for a month. No wonder I am feeling so horrible, Wondering if iron injection would be a better option at this point.
Re: Low ferritin
May 26, 2013
b2b, having been anemic my whole life, I understand what you're going through. You need to see a hematologist in order to have them run tests to find out why you are not absorbing the iron. The doctor that told you if your iron level is normal even though you have low ferritin is not very knowledgeable in this matter. I've never had a doctor tell me that and I've been dealing with this my whole life. If your ferritin level is low there is no way you can overload on iron to where it becomes toxic any time soon. That takes a lot of time. Your numbers should be watched every 3 months in order to make sure it goes up, and that way they'll see if it ever gets too high. If you go see a hematologist, they can do intravenous iron for you.

Good luck!
Re: Low ferritin
Jun 8, 2013
[QUOTE=b2b;5177483]Thank you so much for replying. For a while I thought I was having ms, neurologist agreed that my ferritin was low, but said if in few weeks my symptoms are still there I should have MRI. I used to have iron shots when my ferritin was low, but for some reason my doctor decided to give me iron pills this time. I feel so horrible that I don't know if I can deal with this. I also have pain around my rib cage, my whole body hurts. My last period was not heavy , I was just spotting,wondering if I am in menopause(I am 50). and this have been my life for 3 months now. Heatherx5, at what point did you start feeling better? My doctor wants my ferritin to be at 50. It is confusing, because some doctors claim (an emergency doctor for example) that if you have normal hemoglobin you should not take iron, as it could be toxic. Praying for all of us to get better.:confused:[/QUOTE]

That is absolutely not true. I have had a normal hemoglobin for months and am still taking iron...it is possible to have normal hemoglobin and hematocrit in your blood and still have organs, tissues, and cells suffering because they aren't getting the iron they need. That is why it's crucial to continue the iron therapy (even if your just taking a smaller dose of iron through a multi-vitamin, which I am doing). Ferritin levels are a good way to detect IDA in the early stages because it's one of the first things to go. Having a low hemoglobin shows that the IDA is in a later stage. By the time your hemoglobin gets low it's time for iron, but why Dr's wait for that to happen is beyond me!

That is why I believe Dr's should use a ferritin test more often then not because it's a very early indicator of a problem before waiting for the last stages which are hemoglobin and hematocrit dropping. Iron is not going to be toxic unless you iron overload which I don't see happening with a ferritin of 21 and iron serum of 11, it's just not going to happen. Ferritin takes months and years to raise and your body is putting the iron where it needs to be. Once your iron serum goes up it's going to start dumping back into your stores. That is why it's important to do under a Dr's care so they can monitor your labs, but quite honestly your numbers are just way to low to even worry about overloading.

I have been taking iron for a year now and can honestly say I have days where I feel bad still. I would say I started noticing a difference about 6 months in but it was very little. It's a long hard battle and you need to find a Dr. that is going to properly care for you or your just going to keep going in circles.

What I see happening here is you get to the end stages of anemia. Your hemoglobin and crit are going to start dropping and it's going to put you even worse off, I would hate for that to happen to get some attention from a Dr. My hemoglobin was about 2 points off from needing a blood transfusion. I was very lucky in the Dr. department, he left the anemia diagnosis till my ferritin goes back up and my OB told me to take iron for at least another year, at that was with normal hemoglobin and crit levels! I think your getting some bad advice from the people who are caring for you, it makes me angry. I see so many women here in your position talking about how their Dr's just don't take this serious. :(
Re: Low ferritin
Jun 9, 2013
I am taking ferrograde once a day.. Drinking orange juice and iron rich foods. I also feel dizzy and blurred vision I am just laying in bed. I am supposed to work tomorrow but just feel demented. Should i see SOME improvement soon? I am so desperate for some hope! Couldn't I be transfused ? My hb is 10 ferritin 2 . X
Re: Low ferritin
Jun 9, 2013
Transfusions are usually done when HB closer to 9. Since there is some risk with transfusions, the oral iron should work and if not, IV iron should be tried. You should get a 1.5 point rise in HB in one month (about 2-3 on HCT) on daily iron as long as you are absorbing it well. That will be enough to help you feel better gradually over next month or two. It will take a long time to get iron stores replaced to a decent level, like about a year starting so low. So when you are sure the iron is working, buy in quantity! Let us know how you progress. Things will get better!
Re: Low ferritin
Jun 9, 2013
[QUOTE=ladybud;5185591]Transfusions are usually done when HB closer to 9. Since there is some risk with transfusions, the oral iron should work and if not, IV iron should be tried. You should get a 1.5 point rise in HB in one month (about 2-3 on HCT) on daily iron as long as you are absorbing it well. That will be enough to help you feel better gradually over next month or two. It will take a long time to get iron stores replaced to a decent level, like about a year starting so low. So when you are sure the iron is working, buy in quantity! Let us know how you progress. Things will get better![/QUOTE]
Re: Low ferritin
Jun 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have been beside myself as I booked a holiday for July 28 and am so so worried that i wont be well enough by then. My 4 children are so excited and I just can't disappoint them.if at least my hearing and vision is back by then it will be a huge
Relief. Could I double up on iron tablets ?? Would that help?x
Re: Low ferritin
Jun 9, 2013
The recommended dose is one a day. Since your trip is in a few weeks, I would ask your Dr if he/she could give you an iron injection (IM can be done to ensure absorption) a time or two so you can feel better for your vacation with your family. That is a totally reasonable request. IV would be even better, but either would eliminate the possibility of poor absorption from GI tract and still being so fatigued by then. A repeat Hb or HCT could be done to see if it has come up at all since you started the oral. Six weeks of intensive iron therapy could make a significant difference in how you feel by end of July.
Re: Low ferritin
Jun 11, 2013
Update: Yesterday I received an iron shot, and my doctor is going to be giving me a shot once a month. Asked her why only once a month, considering I have a hard time dealing with my symptoms(in the past I will get them once a week), again her concern is iron overload, she did not refer me to haematologist. If anyone knows good doctors in Toronto area( I live in Markham), please let me know. I am afraid I will stay like this, and I need to get better.
Re: Low ferritin
Jul 18, 2013
Your dr is right to be concerned! I stopped taking ferritin, my hair was falling out like crazy! I found out it was because my ferritin levels had improved so much I was overloading my body with iron!
I have learned iron supps are not something one should take lightly, and more than once a day!
Re: Low ferritin
Jul 25, 2013
Not to be rude but there is no cause for being concerned with iron overload in a person that has ferritin and iron levels as above. I could see if this woman was being treated properly but not every case is the same, there is no way this particular person is going to iron overload and I have never heard of anyone losing hair from to much iron. Just the opposite actually. A ferritin of 20? Iron Serum level 11? This person is clearly suffering and needs iron. Iron overload? I don't think so.

Lets not even mention the fact that maybe in your case you're issues were being addressed. Anemia is just a symptom of a problem that needs to be fixed. If it's not fixed anemia will continue.
Re: Low ferritin
Jul 25, 2013
I agree with Heather. To get iron overload, you have to correct the deficiency, which takes months, then continue to supply (or absorb) excess amounts of iron until ferritin gets over about 250. That is not a concern here at all. The iron should be given at a rate and via a route to ensure correction of the iron deficiency and anemia while searching for the underlying cause of the anemia.
Re: Low ferritin
Jul 25, 2013
I went back and reread the levels that she had posted and all of these posts to make sure I answered correctly the first time. Agree with you as well Lady. We usually see eye to eye on things :). Ferritin is a big deal, but with these numbers I do not see iron overload being an issue for a long while!





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