I had RNY Gastric Bypass about 1 year ago. At my one year check up I was told my Iron level was low. My surgery was done in the US but as a Canadian any tests must be done there. The US office suggested a hematology consult as I have been on iron supplements for about 9 months with little improvement, however, when I visit my Canadian MD I am told my Ferritin is okay so just keep taking the Iron. I do not feel well. I feel tired to the point it is affecting my life and crave ice. I take Foltrin BID and an Iron supplement BID. (I have been trying different varieties due to issues w/ constipation). At 3 months post op my Iron was 5 umol/L at 6 months it had increased to 14 umol/l but at one year it was back down to 7umol/L. My understanding is that normal is 11-32 umol/L. The ferritin has stayed the same at about 33ug/L (norm 10-250ug/L).
I don't understand the correlation between the iron and ferritin. Does the amount of Iron I'm taking prevent the ferritin from falling? I do feel unwell and also am having the side effects of so much oral iron. The constipation is quite significant despite being on a rigorous bowel routine. I still have to take MOM frequently and am frequently impacted.
Will this ever improve? Any suggestions on how to proceed. I would also like to undestand more about the ferritin.
How does the body regulate the amount of iron? Fortunately, most of us are able to maintain appropriate levels of available iron in the body (enough available iron to ensure an adequate supply of hemoglobin, but not so much as to produce toxic effects), even if our iron consumption does not always exactly match the body's iron loss. Ferritin (Figure 1) is the key to this important control of the amount of iron available to the body. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron and releases it in a controlled fashion. Hence, the body has a "buffer" against iron deficiency (if the blood has too little iron, ferritin can release more) and, to a lesser extent, iron overload (if the blood and tissues of the body have too much iron, ferritin can help to store the excess iron).
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