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Ferritin level of ZERO! Please help!
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Ferritin level of ZERO! Please help!

Hello all,

Two days ago, I got bloodwork results back from my PC doctor. I was quite shocked and upset by what he had told me. I have been anemic for at least 5 years now, and have had a pretty low hemoglobin level for the past couple of blood tests... but this one is either new to me, or has never been checked.

My doctor told me that my ferritin (which he explained is the blood that is inside of my bones?) is at a level of 0, and that he has NEVER seen that before. He said I am dangerously anemic, and that I need to see a hematologist right away and start receiving ferritin transfusions. I am 27 years old, and did have gastric bypass surgery just over 3 years ago. I'm currently right at about 120lbs, (a good, healthy weight for me) but I'm always freezing, and always tired and achy. I do eat a good healthy diet, and my doctor said there isn't anything I can or should do to change it that would be of any help for this.

I'm really scared, and have no idea what to expect. Has anyone gone through this, heard of it, or have any information that could be of help? Thanks so much!
~Julie~
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Hi Rainbowgurl,
Yes your ferritin level is a measure of how much iron you have stored in the body. If you have no ferritin you have no /low iron and thus have an iron deficiency anemia. Your hemoglobin can be low or normal with iron deficiency anemia. It depends on what stage you are in. If you are very anemic then you will have low hemoglobin. So, you should be getting iron infusion because it takes a long time for your iron to go back to normal. Once you are stabilized then you can take oral iron such as ferrous gluconate (which absorbs better than ferrous sulfate). The problem is why are you losing your iron? It can be due to malnutrition, blood loss, or some other cause. A lot of times diet lacking iron such as no green leafy veg or no red meat ect. and a heary period can cause this. But you need to see the hematologist to see why the iron is so low. They are also good at understanding the process of getting your iron back to normal more than a family practise doctor. Perhaps they can check to see if there is a problem with the gastric bypass in that maybe you are not absorbing enough iron and other nutrients. You are cold due to the anemia and probably very fatigued. The bone marrow cells make your blood cells and you store iron as ferritin because iron itself is toxic so it has to be stored as ferritin. They probably did a complete blood count. That would also show besides the hemoglobin being low that your RDW is high (this is the red cell distribution and how many cells are abnormal). When you have iron deficiency anemia you don't have enough iron in the red cells so they have different shapes and sizes.  I have gone through this but didn't need the iron or ferritin transfusion. My RDW was high and iron very low and the percent saturation was very low (yours would be too) which shows that you don't have enough iron in the red cells. They put me on iron pills for a long time. I was so exhausted all the time and got out of breath. I do think you should see the hematologist right away and get your infusion. Also, once you are normal you will still have to take iron. Have the iron checked often and make sure you don't get too much too because that also isn't good for you. Let me know if you have any questions.
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