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.
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.
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.
please e-mail me at **** @ *** with your response - thanks!
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.