Besides eating liver, red meat, oysters, dried apricots and all other foods high in Iron, what is the best way to build up my iron stores? There is plenty of iron in my blood serum, but my Ferritin level is a meager 13 post pregnancy and 18 months of nursing so far. I have been taiking a small amount of ferrous sulfate; is there anything else that I can do?
asked byjessica_20 (228)
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on May 18, 2012
at 05:11 AM
Have you had liver and thyroid function tests? Liver makes ferritin and thyroid is involved in its production. Aside from that, I can't think of a single medical condition in which serum iron is high, but ferritin low ... ferritin is a ubiquitous protein in nearly all cellular life, whose only function is to transport ferrous iron.
@coffeesnob is right that celiac and Vit C deficiency are associated with low ferritin, but both are also associated with low serum iron.
Lastly, do you have any lead exposure? Lead binds hemoglobin, displaces iron (free serum iron), and can damage liver (though most famously kidney). But typically one doesn't see a reduction in ferritin with lead poisoning. If your transferrin/TIBC levels are rather low, that might be your culprit.
If not, maybe try eating blood sausage with a blood orange? Best of luck.
on May 18, 2012
at 03:14 AM
I guess you can avoid foods that interfere with iron absorption. So you would want to avoid foods with phytic acid, oxalic acid and/or tannic acid. Also you can incorporate foods that enhance iron absorption. These foods will be high in vitamin C, citrate, and amino acids.
Do you have celiac? I am just trying to understand why you have a normal serum level for iron but a low ferritin level.
on May 25, 2012
at 09:00 PM
Actually it is very common for serum iron to be in the normal range while ferritin is low particularly in women. My nurse practitioner says she sees this often. It just means that iron intake and or absorption are marginal and so there is only enough for the body to use for the most highly prioritize things but not enough to have much storage iron which is is used for functions lower in priority for survival. According to her, just low ferritin can lower energy and she sees women feel better when ferritin is brought up.
on May 18, 2012
at 03:42 AM
Ugh. I have the same problem. Honestly I was not able to resolve this with diet. I ingest a ton of iron and like you my serum levels were great. I had to take Poly Iron 150, no other iron supplement helped. I hope you find what works for you.
on October 11, 2012
at 05:36 AM
This pretty interesting my new doctor is a genuis a super brillant person who speaks all over the world. When I had my first appointment with the dr I said I'm an anemic and the dr goes did you ask you old doctor what causing the anemia ? ??? The doctor goes onto it could be internal bleeding it could be fungus in your blood that is eating all of your iron, so you take more iron so the parasite/fungus eats more of it it is a cycle. The fungus issue would be the first matter to be treated ! My symptoms were; exhausted felt dizzy; light headed , dry eyes felt and like I going to fall down; shortness of breath and my skin itched like crazy. The the doctor goes something is causing the low iron. So a doctor was actually looking at the cause of the problem wow that was amazing Let's not mask the problem here. Anyhow I have been reading about some cases of people that had shortness of breath and they get diagnosed with asthma and started inhaler Only later to find out it is a vitamin defieciency . Also shortness of breath, rapid heart may be anemic or low ferritin or it could be sinus infection or outer or inner ear infection but many times doctors may not think of it, they are looking for something acute
on May 26, 2012
at 01:17 AM
I had a son who was anemic and for us the key was wild caught clams. He would eat them with tomato sauce and it really helped him. You can buy cans of wild caught clams and check the label because I believe they are the food with the most iron. The farmed ones are not that high. You also need to eat them with something acidic like tomato sauce and do not eat them with dairy.
on May 18, 2012
at 05:53 AM
Herbal infusions of nettle and oatstraw and try the Floradix iron supplement, its an herbal iron, more absorbable then other forms.
on May 18, 2012
at 05:24 AM
I know Chris Kresser talks about this quite a bit on his podcasts. I'd go check his site.
on September 02, 2013
at 08:29 PM
I have hypothyroidism and Candida. My Iron Serum and % Iron Saturation levels tested high but my Ferritin levels were low. I've been able raise my Ferritin levels over the last 5 months slowly, at least 1 point per month, by taking a sublingual supplement of Coenzymated B6. It's only 25 MG but it appears to be working. I get my Ferritin level tested on a regular basis but I haven't had my Iron Serum and % Iron Saturation levels tested in 8 months. Which means that I don't know how or if the B6 is effecting them. I wish we didn't have to search for help on these issues. Such is life. Good luck everyone.
on August 14, 2013
at 09:53 PM
Hi. I read this on a site where the lady was doing self-research, I don't know what her findings were, but, like many had low ferritin. She added dehydrated molasses, made into capsules, realized that inositol was in or created by the molasses ingestion, then added inositol. This was to correct a slow metabolism, this helped her. I am trying it but it is too soon to know if it is helping. Candida and other things can keep iron from absorbing, so a body can have toxic iron levels building, but be anemic. Candida and fungal issues are strongly related. Adding iodine/iodide may help if there is additional thyroid issues as well as help dispel the candida. I am now adding selenium as well, as this is needed for thyroid glandulars to be used as well. I am currently trying the approach of thyroid desiccated, multi glandular, inositol, iodine/iodide and selenium for thyroid. As well as b6 and b12 and zinc for pyloric symptoms, and DHEA at a higher level for a few months, then 5 mg per day to help balance cortisol levels and help the adrenals.
Despite ketogenic diet, and previous paleo diet, I lose weight at snail speed. Chronic inflammation and nsaids, prolonged for years after an accident, years of gaining weight during this time. Added exercise and keto diet not resulting in additional losses. Am attempting to correct thyroid, (always had low body temperature and low blood pressure and anemia diagnosis since a teenager, only weighed 108 before my babies at age 23, and always at lowest level of "normal" thyroid charts, even when this size. Now that I have been gaining steadily from diagnosis of adrenal system failing and forced rest for three days, and steady stress, assuming this created high cortisol levels. Normal sugar levels, indicating a metabolic syndrome. This is the therapy I am trying, my inflammation is less and no nsaids, just herbs and acv, for 30 days so far! Again, almost nonexistent weight loss still.
Hope this helps for anyone wanting to research further!
on August 03, 2013
at 08:00 PM
My daughter had ferritin level of 6 but not anemic. She is 14 and a competitive swimmer. She needs to be over 50. She got very ill during the first 48 hours of altitude training due to this. We've supplemented 14 months now with frequent testing and her free iron is very high at 345 but her ferritin is just 20.8. She is not absorbing to store. We've ruled out hypothyroid (which I am) and lyme disease. Lyme can cause this condition and we do know of 2 individuals that had the same and tested positive for lyme. Next testing is h.pylori and celiac. Celiac can cause this condition I've found in my research. If those are clear, we'll see what the Sports Medicine doc at Texas Children's can suggest. Her diet is good and she trains well, but not achieving results expected due to her running out of steam at long meets. Anyway, I've offered a few more suggestions I hope are helpful!
on July 28, 2013
at 01:46 AM
Causes of low ferritin when other labs look great can point to bacteria and viruses feeding on iron making ferritin levels low. An Example can be H Pylori. A bacteria that lives in the stomach causing ulcers, gastritis, inflammation and other symptoms. It is estimated that 50% of people in the US have the bacteria in their gut and don't know it. Even too much of certain herbs like Milk Thistle can lower ferritin.
on July 26, 2013
at 05:41 AM
I AM 48 YEARS OLD FEMALE WITH OSTEOPOROSIS, AND HB-12.9 BUT MY FERRHINTIN LEVEL IS 15.5, I AM LOOSING MY HAIR FAST , I AM VEGETARIAN AND I N INDIA, TALING BEET ROOT , POMEGRANT, SPINACH, CHEESE, MILK PRODUCTS, BROCCLI, SPERULINA AND FLASEEDS. FOLIC ACID TABLETS , FEFOL Z TWICE A DAY TOO. WHAT ELSE CAN I TAKE PLEASE ADVICE. i have family history of thyroid, but my liver and thyroid tests are o.k SIMI
on July 13, 2013
at 04:12 AM
I just found out my ferritin is... 4. Talking about feeling like crap! I've been dizzy, short of breath with slight tightness in chest at times. I saw someone posted that their skin was itchy. I've had chronic idiopathic hives since March ( probably not related though). My hct is 10.8.
on May 09, 2013
at 12:42 AM
I am also having an issue with my serum iron being very high and my ferritin being very low, my hemoglobin and hematocrit are both low as well? I cannot figure it out? Anyone have a clue what the culprit could be? THanks
on April 11, 2013
at 08:16 AM
I am male, 53. I am told for optimal thyroid function, my serum ferritin needs to be @ 150-200. I have never been more than 90 no matter how much I supplement or what foods I eat. My latest test showed my serum iron elevated (193) and my ferritin actualy decreased (45) despite taking a liquid (Spatone) and capsule iron supplement. If I take more than this, I get bound up pretty quickly.
So, my serum iron is saturated, but I am low in storage. Anyone assist in interpreting what this means and why?
on January 05, 2013
at 02:07 AM
what was the name of the fungus in the blood? How did they test for it?
on May 25, 2012
at 09:41 PM
Blockquote try the Floradix iron supplement, its an herbal iron,
Floradix is regular iron, it has some herbs in it, but the iron in it is still the regular stuff.
They don't like to advertise it, and they try to keep an image of "herbal", and "natural" iron, but they will tell you what it is in an e-mail. That's how I found about it.
I would recommend trying out Spatone, but I don't know if it's possible to get your hands on it in the US. I know it has helped a lot of people, including me.