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Can anyone help me with these iron results?

(35 Posts)
turtlepie Mon 21-Jan-13 14:08:31

iron 18.7 (range 10.5-28)
ferritin 38 (range 30-400)
transferrin saturation 21% (range 20%-55%)

Symptoms are brain fog, very easily tired, worn out, needing more sleep than others. Told all within normal range.

From what I could discover on the net the iron is great, ferritin fine (?) and transferrin saturation, although at the bottom of the range is apparently only significant if iron is also low, in which case it would indicate iron deficiency? But iron is not low.

Would an iron supplement be of any benefit with these figures? And what (if any) is the significance of the apparently low transferrin saturation? (maybe it is good for it to be low like cholesterol for all I know??!)


turtlepie Fri 25-Jan-13 15:12:51

I have now got results of

serum iron 15.4 (10.5-28)
tibc 74 (41-77)
transferrin saturation 21% (20-55%)
ferritin 38 (30-400)

Does this lot together look like iron insufficiency?

lazydog Fri 25-Jan-13 19:20:03

Yes, sure does to me. Your TIBC is at the very high end of normal. That's a measure of how much transferrin in your blood isn't carrying iron, so if you have iron-deficiency anemia you have a high result for that test. Also your ferritin (iron stores) is considerably lower than I've been told is the low point I should be aiming for (should try to get it >50, according to my dr).

lazydog Fri 25-Jan-13 19:30:16

Did you ever get a hemoglobin result?

turtlepie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:57:49

I wasn't told one - is it important or do these results tell me enough? How long might it take for these figures (except ferritin) to get nearer to mid range if I get iron tablets or a couple of spatone a day or something?

turtlepie Fri 25-Jan-13 20:15:00

Because like you said the gp has said they are in normal range

Thumbwitch Fri 25-Jan-13 22:22:22

Well they might be in normal range but they're at the ends of normal range so if I were the GP, I would have wanted to see a full blood count result - as I said, haemoglobin content and red blood cell size are also indicative of anaemia, so I'd like to know what they were. And then, if I were your GP, I'd be doing something about your situation before it worsens to actually make you fall out of normal range. Good primary care is about prevention (something that gets lost so often) - your GP has the chance to sort this before it gets clinically worse, you're obviously already feeling the effects of it!
Normal ranges are bloody irritating anyway. Because it might be that you would normally, healthily be at the opposite ends of the "normal range", so actually your results are way out of whack for you. But for someone else, they might be their "normal". If that was the case though, then they wouldn't be feeling the symptoms that you are.

So - symptomatic + results at ends of normal range --> DO something, GP! IMO.

But you can do it yourself, as has been suggested, with Floradix or Spatone - or you can get a multimineral and vitamin supplement because although we know your iron levels aren't perfect, we don't know why and unless you know the answer (heavy periods, for e.g.) then just taking iron on its own could be counterproductive, as a balance is needed between mineral intake. Other minerals/vitamins are required for blood cell/Hb production as well as iron, could be one of those that's low as well.

I'd still want to know why though...

And if you do take iron tablets, try to get something like ferrous citrate, not ferric sulphate (really inefficient absorption + can give black poo, constipation and gut pain but is the cheapest option)

turtlepie Sat 26-Jan-13 08:56:34

I think it is diet - I am not vegetarian but never cook red meat. No idea what else iron comes in but I dont eat many vegetables either and lentils maybe once in 2 months? Plus I dont eat fortified cereals. I think I need to have a look into dietary sources of iron as well as supplements.

turtlepie Sat 26-Jan-13 09:00:48

and only eat chicken maybe once a week if that

Thumbwitch Sat 26-Jan-13 09:38:17

Crikey - what do you eat? [no imagination here]
Non-meat sources of iron are mostly green leafy veg, especially dark green ones. But they are not as effective as meat, because the iron is in a different form - the iron in meat is from the blood content, and as such is more easily absorbed. You can still get a decent iron intake from green leafy veg but need to ensure that you are also getting a decent vitamin C intake, as it helps with iron absorption. If your vit C intake is very low this can inhibit iron absorption so make sure you're getting enough of that as well.
Do you eat fish and eggs?

here is a list of foods that contain iron

turtlepie Sat 26-Jan-13 10:03:11

fish yuk, eggs yum! It's a bad diet for iron isnt it.

I can introduce more red meat but its hard to find anything that the whole family is going to eat. And I cant stand the idea of the sausages full of rubbish.
I think I'm going to have to reinvent my menu planner.

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