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low ferritin is okay?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 05, 2012 at 5:19 PM

is there anything wrong with having low ferritin? all i hear about is high ferritin

TIBC 228 (250-450) total iron binding capacity
UIBC 180 (150-375) unsat. iron binding capactiy
IRON SERUM 48 (35-155)
IRON SAT 21 (15-55)

FERRITIN 23 (13-150)

293ba4c95d190bc616b27d85b10d705a

(661)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:59 PM

hi sorry, i missed your comment! have you retested? did she say it was okay to supplement iron with a low tibc? i grew up not eating red meat so i think i've been dealing with this for a long time and just didnt know it

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:01 PM

But then hey, we're just reading this on the net. Could be wrong about the whole situation. :)

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:00 PM

Yah, definitely retest. The impression I got was that none of the above was done, so also speak with doctor on it. I suspect this is one of those nasty areas where the doctor's not doing what you expect, but if you mention researching it on the net, they get all huffy about it.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on February 05, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Her blood test, if there was severe issue, would reference from the lab to retest to confirm the abnormality. There are many missing components such as was the test done in a fasted state, did the Dr. suggest supplements, what is her diet - did she submit a week of food to her doc, etc., and I see now below that she has been dizzy. I've gone through this entire anemia bit personally and now that she says dizzy - she needs to retest to re-confirm the levels and speak strongly with her Dr. or find another. Just my .02.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 05, 2012
at 08:00 PM

Hrm, interesting. The stuff I saw indicated low ferritin leads to low conversion of T4 to T3 and high TSH. Dizziness is one of the symptoms of anemia. Are you fatigued, etc? Other than that, don't base anything off one blood test, use it as a guideline, nothing more, because there could be any number of reasons it's off. If your doctor isn't concerned, there could be something else going on we don't know about. Or he/she could be the standard HMO physician, going through as many patients in a day as possible and not able to dedicate as much time as necessary for the situation.

293ba4c95d190bc616b27d85b10d705a

(661)

on February 05, 2012
at 07:51 PM

my doctor wasn't concerned at all. i have really bad episodes of dizziness etc but i don't believe it's directly caused by this. i also have NO clue if i took this around my period! durr, i will retest and keep better track. my tsh is too high and i have t3 issues so that is why i was looking this over.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 05, 2012
at 07:45 PM

The reference range for this test is 13-150. So yes, she's in the reference range, but on the low side. Reference ranges are a funky animal when you think about it. Especially when dealing with paleo. Reference ranges are what 95% of the population falls into as "normal". If 95% of the population is eating SAD, and has low numbers AND you're on the low end of that scale...

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on February 05, 2012
at 07:24 PM

Your Ferritin is not low - normal is 15–200 ng/mL. If your doc is not concerned and you are, then get another blood test to confirm the results.

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3 Answers

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5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 05, 2012
at 07:40 PM

In terms of reading these numbers, you've got the first number (how much your stat is) and then the number in parenthesis (the reference range for normal).

It's in the "normal" range, but on the lower end. I've seen things indicating you realy want to be in the middle of the reference range of these tests. The rest of your iron numbers look low too. Did you have the test done around the time you had your period? That can affect the numbers poorly. Did your doctor say anything about it? Depending on how busy they are, they might have said "In the reference range, next patient please", or they might have asked you for more details on your diet, periods, etc. and then said move along.

In terms of low ferritin for myself, my recollection when I researched it is that there's at least 3 bad things if it is low for males (and I assume females). 1) ferritin is how the body stores iron it's not using. Low stores = low ability to extract iron for use in the blood/etc. Leads to anemia, etc. 2) It affects thyroid function negatively when low, 3) I've seen a lot of studies indicating low ferritin levels leads to hair loss. Nothing really specific saying you have ferritin = 23, you lose X hair. But more along the lines of more people with ferritin in the low range have less hair.

You have to be really careful fooling around with iron though (especially males). The body doesn't have a way to get rid of excessive iron normally (unless you're a female having periods). You'd want to be in sync with your doctor on taking supplements to boost things. It's not something you want to take megadoses of on your own based on an internet forum.

293ba4c95d190bc616b27d85b10d705a

(661)

on February 05, 2012
at 07:51 PM

my doctor wasn't concerned at all. i have really bad episodes of dizziness etc but i don't believe it's directly caused by this. i also have NO clue if i took this around my period! durr, i will retest and keep better track. my tsh is too high and i have t3 issues so that is why i was looking this over.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 05, 2012
at 08:00 PM

Hrm, interesting. The stuff I saw indicated low ferritin leads to low conversion of T4 to T3 and high TSH. Dizziness is one of the symptoms of anemia. Are you fatigued, etc? Other than that, don't base anything off one blood test, use it as a guideline, nothing more, because there could be any number of reasons it's off. If your doctor isn't concerned, there could be something else going on we don't know about. Or he/she could be the standard HMO physician, going through as many patients in a day as possible and not able to dedicate as much time as necessary for the situation.

best answer

1
B23318c968ac589b87131d5b489d6e16

(1294)

on February 05, 2012
at 08:24 PM

Had a similar test result, my doc (a naturopath) was concerned. She explained that if you have low stores it is a sign that your body has used up its resources. You can still function but if you were to need those stores - you got pregnant, or had an accident and bled, etc - you would not have what you needed to replenish your blood stores quickly. She put me on a whole food iron supplement (like Floradix, its food based) for the short term and for the long term I increased red meats, organ meats, and greens.

293ba4c95d190bc616b27d85b10d705a

(661)

on February 27, 2012
at 02:59 PM

hi sorry, i missed your comment! have you retested? did she say it was okay to supplement iron with a low tibc? i grew up not eating red meat so i think i've been dealing with this for a long time and just didnt know it

1
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on February 05, 2012
at 06:19 PM

My ferritin actually went to 2, but I was very close to collapsing. Finally got a hysterectomy and that cured it. My IBC was through the roof though ~ they said the IBC goes up when ferritin is low, to get all the iron possible. If your doc's not worried, I wouldn't worry. If you're paleo and eating lovely red meat, it should be fine.

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