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Reassurance needed re Low Ferratin

(42 Posts)
ForgiveMeFather Fri 13-Jun-14 22:55:26

How long does it take to start feeling better again?

My level came back as 10 in last blood test.

I'd been feeling very dizzy and lethargic for several weeks hence asking for blood test.

The Pharmacist gave us a box of iron tablets - 200mg three times a day and I've been in those for almost a month now.

I do feel a bit better, palpitations not as frequent and I'm able to potter around at home but I still can't tolerate any physical exertion. I walked very slowly round the block today and came home with double vision, slurred speech, numb feeling all over, especially feet and just overwhelming exhaustion hmm

I'm so fed up and starting to panic that there might be something else going on.

I have made some improvement since taking iron and have good days and bad but getting really impatient to be well again.

How long did it take you to start feeling like your normal self again?

Szeli Sat 14-Jun-14 00:40:52

It took a good couple of months then I was on them a year - I thought I'd be on them forever but according to the nurse just not anaemic anymore... Persevere tho and take your tablets with pure orange juice or kiwi fruit as it aids the absorption, make sure you're drinking no tea around tablets or meal times and try to up your iron intake thru the foods you eat too

Hope that helps

NoBusinessLikeSnowBusiness Sat 14-Jun-14 00:51:14

a friend of mine recommended getting vitamin B12 levels checked too as that can be an aggravating factor. Might be worth it if you still don't feel right soon. It's horrible when your iron drops. I'm back on the tabs for the third time in four or five years.

EnlightenedOwl Sat 14-Jun-14 08:44:53

I would say about six to eight weeks. Take some vit C with your iron tablets helps absorption

RockinD Sat 14-Jun-14 09:34:53

It took me four years to raise my ferritin to an acceptable level with no help from the NHS whatsoever, but yes, if you can continue to tolerate the tablets you have been given, and you take them with a source of vitamin C, four hours away from other medication, it will be quicker.

However, if you are low in ferritin, you may well also be low in vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D and these should be tested and optimised as well.

brokenhearted55a Sat 14-Jun-14 10:11:17

10?!

I wish. Mine was 4.

I had to live like that for about 9 months while tablets did nothing.

I finally got IV iron last week. I feel a bit better. Dont get palpations anymore but I still feel really lethargic.

My B12 levels and folate are low too.

RockinD Sat 14-Jun-14 11:46:40
ShineSmile Sat 14-Jun-14 11:55:16

10 doesn't seem that low. I was 10 when pregnant and was told it isn't that low. Are you sure it's not something else too? My vitamin D is very very low, but thankfully the treatment is quick

beccajoh Sat 14-Jun-14 11:56:17

I was 8.7 after I had my son and it took a good four months for it to get back to normal levels.

beccajoh Sat 14-Jun-14 11:57:48

And yes I'd say 10 isn't very low. Most GPs wouldn't medicate for that figure. I would have a full blood count done.

brokenhearted55a Sat 14-Jun-14 12:03:07

I was told 6 was the bottom end of normal.
10 isnt that bad.

RockinD Sat 14-Jun-14 13:03:13

Can we be clear about the difference between ferritin and haemoglobin?

Where I live, the range for ferritin for a woman is 15-150 and anything below 70 is going to be an issue, causing symptoms like tiredness, breathlesness and hair loss.

The range for haemoglobin where I live is 12-15.

With ferritin of 18 and haemoglobin of 13.2, I was very unwell indeed.

ForgiveMeFather Sat 14-Jun-14 18:18:20

If 10 isn't considered that low then what the hell is wrong with me because I feel wretched and have pretty much all the symptoms of low iron.

I did get a print out of my blood tests as had FBC and it said bottom range of 15 so according to that I am low but it obviously varies from one area to another.

My Hb is fine though at 14 so I'm not anaemic.

Will look again at my printout to see if anything else lower end of normal

DazR Sat 14-Jun-14 18:24:14

10 is very low - probably bottom of range. My daughter had a similar level and our target was to get to her 80. Increases very slowly......... She was also very deficient in B12 and the low ferritin caused hair loss too.

ForgiveMeFather Sat 14-Jun-14 18:24:31

Could a Vit D or B12 deficiency cause similar symptoms?

ForgiveMeFather Sat 14-Jun-14 18:28:02

Wonder why such a discrepancy in benchmark levels?

When I phoned for my results the female GP seemed really worried about me and said "you poor thing, you must be feel dreadful" (which I was!)

Whereas when I saw make GP for appointment he couldn't have been less bothered and thought that iron tablets were overkill bastard

Dirtypaws Sat 14-Jun-14 18:32:14

10 is very low. I was 22 but 'within range' and felt shit. Ferritin as I understand is the iron store and HB is the iron available in your blood? I was 11.5 for HB which isn't particularly good.

I took the liquid iron for at least a month before I dcould feel the difference. Keep going.

RockinD Sat 14-Jun-14 18:43:34
Kewcumber Sat 14-Jun-14 18:54:22

I don't absorb iron so I'm the queen of monitoring ferritin levels as I have an iron infusion in hospital when it drops too much (about annually).

Hospitals aren't keen in intravenous iron infusions as they have a high risk of anaphalactic (sp?) shock so they don;t do them on a whim and my consultant has certainly ordered them at ferritin levels under 12. I find I am symptomatic at about 10 so it is entirely possible that your symptoms are low ferritin although they more to me like full blown anaemia. Don't rule out that it might be something else causing the tiredness - I also had sleep apnoea and Pernimicious anaemia at the same time my iron deficiency was diagnosed.

Also make sure that they retest your levels after 3 months because I struggled with awful side effects of the iron tablets for 3 months at which point they retested to find they hadn't had any effect at all because I had stopped absorbing iron!

Also we don't have enough to say whether 10 is too low - "normal" ferritin levels depend on whether you are male or female and pre or post menopausal.

Kewcumber Sat 14-Jun-14 18:55:44

Vitamin D deficiency )another of mine!) is generally symptom free (initally) but yes b12 deficiency (also one of mine...) causes the same symptoms but in my experience they will have checked your B12 and Hb at the same time. Ask the surgery for your actual numbers.

EnlightenedOwl Sat 14-Jun-14 19:09:01

my ferritin level was 9 and looking back I really did not feel well at all

Kewcumber Sat 14-Jun-14 19:11:25

I can tell when I need a blood test as I become symptomatic at about 10 - I've never been wrong!

ForgiveMeFather Sat 14-Jun-14 19:29:57

Just looking at my blood test print out, I can't see any mention of B12 or Vit A on there and can't be faffed to wait for appointment again so wondering whether to get done supplements just incase?

ForgiveMeFather Sat 14-Jun-14 19:31:40

Thyroid is 3.0 so well within normal limits

RockinD Sat 14-Jun-14 19:47:54

Eek - that thyroid is within most normal UK ranges, but it is very far from ideal.

It should be more like 1!

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