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Low ferritin levels and high iron serum? Help

Where to begin! I'm a 26 year old female who has been generally a fatigued person for the past 10 years or so. I recently had blood work done to address my fatigue and my ferritin was low normal at 45 and my B12 was low at 145 (can't remember the unit?) For the last month I've been taking an iron supplement (18mg) and drinking a spinach smoothy (4 large handfulls of spinach) everyday for the past 2 weeks. I recently had my blood work done and my B12 went up to 500 which was great, but my ferritin serum dropped to 18 (the norm for the minimum level is 11) so I'm low borderline normal. My iron serum was high (outside the normal range on the high end). What does this mean? Does it mean that there is more iron in my blood; however, my body is not absorbing it? Why would my ferritin serum be lower than a month ago when I've consumed far more iron that I did in the past? I'm so tired all the time and get like 10 hours of sleep at night and still struggle to get up in the morning. I'm "foggy headed" at work and I feel like I'm always in a daze. I also wake up at night with frequent night sweats. My grandmother died from polychondritis anemia and I had a kidney stone at the age of 20. If anyone can relate to my symptoms or has any idea what going on with me - You're advice would be greatly appreciated :) Thanks in advance!!
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500238 tn?1255131214
If I remember right, you Iron serum is your iron circulating currently in the blood whereas your ferritin is your backup storage.  When your body needs iron, your ferritin releases it into the blood.  Therefore, until your ferritin is quite depleted your iron serum can remain normal and may not show a decrease until your ferritin is too low to release enough into the blood.  My ferritin was at 18 and I felt major affects from that -- very cold, especially hands and feet, extreme fatigue, foggy brained, etc.  Check out your fingernails.  A little lesser known fact is that vertical raised lines in your fingernails can point to anemia as well as spoon shaped nails.  It's called kolynchia if I remember right and I have it.  18 ferritin is low especially for a male.  If your doctor allows, chromagen forte is a great vitamin but it is by prescription only and it is not covered by some insurances.  It contains Iron, ascorbic acid (which helps you to absorb iron), folic acid and vitamin B12.  That is what I was put on and I pay for it out of my own pocket because it has helped me so much.  You should be checked out by a gastroenterologist because you are young and probably do have some malabsorption issue.  There is no reason for someone your age to be that low without an underlying cause.
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Avatar universal
Thank you to everyone who is interested in my situation. Here's an update. The doctor that I was seeing has me on 5000mcg of B12 for the rest of my. Low ferritin serum levels associated with low B12 usually means pernicious anemia. He also placed me on 900mg of ferrous sulfate (iron) a day for 2 months to build my iron stores back up. I haven't been back to the doctor to see if my iron stores have replenished. I've been tested for celiac disease which came back just fine. I moved out of state recently and have to acquire a new doctor here. I'll keep you posted.
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563773 tn?1374246539

Ferritin is iron binding protein and represents iron stored in the body Ferritin is found in the liver, spleen, skeletal muscles, bone marrow and at low level in the blood.

Low ferritin is found in iron deficiency anemia,inadequate iron intake,chronic blood loss like in heavy bleeding during menses,GI bleed from ulcers, colon polyps, Colon cancer, Hemorrhoids, etc.

Serum ferritin levels are more specific than serum iron levels.So pls consult a physician to find out the cause of low ferritin levels in serum.
Hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how you are doing.

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Avatar universal
please e-mail me at **** @ *** with your response - thanks!
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Avatar universal
Did you ever find an answer to your question?  I am a long-distance running coach and my team recently had iron testing done and there are a few people who have turned up with similar results to yours and I'm trying to figure out what it means.  If you have any information you've learned since your post, it would be great to hear from you.

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