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loraleena

Found Out I Am Low On Iron - Questions?

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Well what I have suspected for years was shown to me yesterday when I saw my blood work. While my hematocrit and hemoglobin levels have been in the normal range, I had heard that getting Ferritin tested was crucial. So the above two have lowered to borderline normal as well as my total iron and red blood cells. My ferritin was 14! I read that the range has risen recently. My tests showed the old ranges. I have also read on here and many sites that optimal is between 50-70. Can anyone comment on this. My doc agrees there is an issue and wants me to take dessicated liver tablets. She says they work well and won't cause constipation. My other doc (allopathic surprisingly) recommended yellow hook. Any thoughts?

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Hemoglobin and hematorcrit measure the amount of iron in the blood immediately available for use by the body. Ferritin is an iron storage protein that measures the body's iron reserves, or at least that's my understanding. The question is, why is there such a differential in your case? Neither am I sure how taking an iron supplement will impact one vs. the other. Does it take longer for iron supplementaion to impact ferritin levels than it does hemoglobin and hematicrit? These are some questions you should consider. Perhaps some other forum members have some answers.

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Waiting and wondering myself about response to your question. I scored low on both tests -- way below, under teens in available iron and was told total lack of stored iron - caused heart mummur. My Doc (who assured me the one thing I did not have prior to biopsy was Celiac) just told me to take iron 3X's daily with vit C to assist w/ absorbsion. Still under normal levels after almost a year.

Let's hear What helps?

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Actually, optimal is 110, not 50 to 70 (if we are on the same wavelength, and your labs normal range is the same as mine, being from 40 to 300).

If there is no iron stored to begin with, you can have symptoms of severe anemia, and your hemoglobin will slowly go down to unacceptable levels.

My ferritin (the stored iron) was only 4 a few years ago, and my doctor called me (she normally NEVER calls me) sounding very alarmed, telling me I had to start taking iron supplements immediately.

At that time I was so weak that I had days when I got out of bed in the morning and my legs were too weak to hold me. I had to crawl right back into bed and stay there for the day.

I was unable to go even for short walks on 'good' days.

I took eight iron pills a day for a few weeks, which finally gave me such severe stomach cramps that I was doubled over most of the time and had to stop taking them. They didn't really help anyway, but I didn't know why. Of course I do now, I was not absorbing nutrients due to villi damage, which of course caused the low iron to begin with.

I eventually had to get iron injections twice a week, and had my ferretin levels checked weekly as well (my veins looked like I was a druggie) to bring the iron up to slightly more acceptable levels. But even with twice weekly injections it wasn't possible to get it above 20.

Normally iron injections or an iron IV will get the numbers up and keep you feeling more energetic until your villi heal and absorb the iron from food and supplements again.

My problem, on top of malabsorption at the time was, that I also had my period every two weeks, lasting for ten days at a time with severe bleeding that was close to hemorrhaging. Very likely caused by celiac disease, which never occurred to my doctor.

I had a hysterectomy (fortunately I was already 47 at the time) which finally allowed me to stop the iron injections six months later, and my iron went up to perfect within four years after the hysterectomy.

When your iron is that low you really need more than just supplements. In order to feel better quickly it is important to have iron injections at least for a little while (or an iron IV).

In Germany they would have done an iron IV immediately after finding out there are low or no iron stores, to give you more energy. My sister had that done repeatedly. Unfortunately she refuses to even try the gluten-free diet, because she had a negative blood test and won't believe me that she has celiac disease anyway. She has ALL the symptoms, but doesn't want to give up bread without proof from testing. Foolish woman, I am afraid she will die of cancer within ten years, just like our mother, which I find very upsetting.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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This is facinating!

I just got the same results! Everything was normal except for my ferritin which was 13.

I am not sure why this is. Does anyone know why this happens? Is it celiac? Is it my vegetarian diet?


DH positive skin biopsy June 2007

Blood test positive July 2007

Gluten Free- since 6-23-07

Vegetarian since 1991

Stay-at-home Mommy to:

Kellen 2-05

Cameron 10-06

Scarlett 5-09

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There is evidence that Ferritin over 80 can contribute to Diabetes. Both my Grammys were Diabetic. So I am shooting for 70. I am only at 22 right now, up from 11. But I am just now 5 weeks gluten-free and hoping the iron will start being absorbed now.


GLUTEN FREE 4/4/08. LEGUME/SOY FREE 5/15/08. YEAST FREE. CORN FREE. GRAIN FREE. DAIRY FREE. I am eating all meats, eggs, veggies, fruits, squash, nuts and seeds. I just keep getting better every day. :)

Do not let any of the advice given here substitute for good medical care. Let this forum be a catalyst for research. Find support for any post in here before you believe it to be true. Arm yourself with knowledge. Let your doctor be your assistant. Listen to their advice, but follow your own instincts as well. Miracles are within your reach. You can heal!

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