I have been trying to figure out what's wrong with my body. I've had muscle pain for over a year now and 1 year ago I was so tired I thought that I might be anemic (plus a bunch of other odd symptoms). My blood tests showed my ferritin level at 2.32 and my iron at 47. My thyroid appeared to be a little off as well. In the end I was told to take iron supplements (very well tolerated) and another doctor said I was in the beginning stage of autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's?). I'm now taking a 25 mcg of levothyroxine and last summer between the iron and the other I felt real good! By the end of summer the one doctor said that I was fine with my ferritin at 22 and my iron at 63. No need for more iron. In November I started getting muscle pains again and feeling tired again. Blood test showed ferritin at 12 and iron at 78. The doctor said that I'm fine and that nothing is wrong with me and I shouldn't even be treated for thyroid problems. I've read that ferritin levels should be at least 50 in order to feel good. I'm convinced that I need more iron. I haven't even been tested to see why my ferritin dropped as it did. "Heavy periods" is what I was told because of the info I gave this female doctor.
Your ferritin is low, that means your iron storage is almost "empty", for you to evaluate the anemia you need to do a blood film smear and a full blood count to see the RBC shape , hemoglobin, hematocric. With low ferritin you'll become anemic very quick, no storage...
Thanks for the input! My blood tests have always shown my hemoglobin and hematocrit as being fine. They aren't even low. I was able to convince a GP to prescribe iron to take but he fears that my "whole" iron level might go too high so he told me to take it 3 times a week instead of everyday. I want to see if I can find a doctor who will to listen to me and is willing to look into matters a little more thoroughly.
Have you tested for folic acid, Vit B12, reticulocyte count and tranferin?, I had ferritin 9, then 15, and now 22 and I'm taking iron everyday (last 8 months), there is no problem if your ferritin is to low and your iron in serum is not very high. About iron in vegetables, this iron is well absorbed if you take vitamin C.
Since you hemoglobin is normal, the iron you take will now go to replenishing the ferritin stores.
When one is truly "anemic", supplemental iron will first go to raising the hemoglobin and hematocrit- this happens fairly quick. After these parameters are normal, the storage iron will be slowly replaced.
I've never had anything like B6, B12, folic acid, zinc, vitamin D or the reticulocyte count looked at or a blood film smear. In the last blood they did ask for transferin and it was normal. The only thing that I've always had abnormal since I was pregnant were my blood platelets, but nobody's ever said anything about that.
So, the iron will raise my ferritin but it will also raise the "whole" iron as well, correct? Would I be in any danger of raising it too high?
There is a danger in raising the iron level too high.
The ferritin stores will take the iron until they are full, then it will spill over and raise the serum iron further.
Repeat ferritin testing will prevent this.
The serum iron can fluctuate as much as 50% in one day if food high in iron is eaten in the 24 hours before testing.
Go by the ferritin first. Serum iron is too variable, unless the level is very high.
And overdosing on iron is unlikey if you are taking the recommended amount and still have your period.
Thanks so much for the information. How high is the level of ferritin stores supposed to get to? Or should I just see how I feel? I'm sure the dcotor will take me off the iron in 3 months when I'm supposed to get another blood test.
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