Today I recieved my blood results back and was told my iron level is 11.5 however my ferritin is 4. I had been to my Doctor as I had been suffering from restless leg syndrome at night. My doctor said I was extremley pale. I am always pale, many people have commented on this over the past while, also I am always so so tired and tend to get run down easily. Also ever since having my first of three children 12 years ago I have had a passion for eating soap! I also suffer from depression and irritability. My Doctor suggested a blood test as he was sure my haemoglobin would be low. My symptoms have been present for years, would this mean that my ferritin has been low this long too? I am totally clueless as to what all this means and what has caused it all. 18 months ago I was under a gastro specialist for an unknow cause for severe pain on my left hand side lower abdomen along with high levels in my blood test of inflammation. I had a camera down the throat and also up the back passage with negative results and also a white cell scan, also negative plus negative ultrasound scans. They just put it all down to IBS. Other than this I would consider a myself healthy, slightly overweight mum of three.
Please could someone advise me on what this could all be caused by, and what will happen when I go for an infusion of iron, is this painful/unpleasant? Sorry I am a bit bewildered right now!
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
Low iron (ferritin) could be due to poor intake, loss from body as happens in acidity and GERD, rectal polyps etc, due to improper absorption or due to storage disorders. You should get your stool examined for occult blood. Also you need to get a pheripheral blood smear done to know the RBC count, structure and whether there is cytopenia (general decrease in cell count). The renal function and liver function needs to be checked as also electrophoresis of hemoglobin to know whether there is thalasemia trait or sickle cell anemia.
Depending on the cause supportive treatment is given either with oral or injectable iron therapy. Please consult a hematologist regarding this. Iron injections can be painful. IBS itself could be the cause for low iron level.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Thankyou for your advice, I have been told that I will need infusions of iron but not sure on anything else at the moment until I get my referral to the heamotologist.
Its pretty scary to be told that I have this problem but to not be given too much info about it all, so thankyou for filling me in. I do have one question however. I have read that sometimes in the case of hemochromatosis (excuse the spelling!) you can get a dip in your ferritin before it starts rising to dangerous levels. The only reason I ask is that this disorder is one which my grandmother is struggling with at the moment and I believe that it is genetical. I do hope not and that I am anaemic and nothing more.
Yes, you are right. The ferritin can initially dip in hemochromatosis associated with thalassemia or sideroblastic anemia. However if your grandmother has this problem then you could also have hereditary hemochromatosis. The hematologist will run total iron binding capacity test along with a repeat serum ferritin for diagnosis. Elevated levels of either is confirmatory if a special blood test to detect the HFE mutation, is found to be positive.
Hope this helps. Take care!
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