Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

iron low- how bad are my results?

(8 Posts)
NeverTalksToStrangers Thu 05-Jun-14 13:38:04

Have been feeling v tired lately, especially during my period. Also got 4 mouth ulcers in the space of a week or so.

So went to docs, suspecting I was low in iron. They did a full range of tests and yes, am low in iron.

Being me, I asked what the reading was (this was all done over the phone) and was told the percentage was low, 18.3% when it should have been 30-40%.

Nothing I can find online refers to a percentage. Does anyone know what this would refer to? And how low is it? I'm only curious because I have been feeling so so shit of late.

nahidontthinkso Thu 05-Jun-14 13:45:42

I've never heard of iron been described as a % and i'm a nurse!

Ring them back and ask what your haemoglobin level is and what your ferritin level is (if they have done ferritin).

Low iron level will make u feel like crap. You can get dizzyness, tiredness, aches and pains, trouble sleeping and god knows how many other symptoms.
I hope u get better soon x

Kewcumber Thu 05-Jun-14 13:47:43

yes I would ask about Ferritin levels.

I find I get tired below 12 which is technically above the minimum but also the levels at which my haemoglobin starts heading south quite fast which may be the link.

NeverTalksToStrangers Thu 05-Jun-14 15:10:06

Hmmmm. Hate to look too stalkerish. Might ring them back tomorrow. Wonder what the hell the percentage was about then? !

I hate being fobbed off with stuff. Surely age wasn't just making it up?! V random.

RockinD Thu 05-Jun-14 18:26:00

Sounds like a transferrin saturation rate and yes, that is low in range.

However, if they've done that test, there should be other results as well. Ask for the figures and the reference ranges and we'll go from there.

NeverTalksToStrangers Fri 06-Jun-14 13:16:18

Ok so other readings are;

Iron 10.3- 10 is considered normal, yes?
Ferritin 42 -from what i can find the range should be 13-150?
Transferrin 2.3 -again normal as 2-5 is range.

So all normal but lowish.
Any reason why transferrin saturation would be so low when the others are just ok?

Kewcumber Fri 06-Jun-14 14:59:30

I'm not medical but suffer from (amongst other things) malabsorption of iron so have it monitored and am infused roughly annually.

I've never had anyone pay any attention to my transferrin saturation - I checked back as I keep a spreadsheet of my levels of everything. My ferritin levels on infusion are about 6-8 so 42 sounds totally normal.

However from a quick google I'm surprised they consider 18% as low as I found 12-45% in normal reference range for a woman. Though I know reference ranges do change.

When one of your iron indicators are low I have been told it might be an early indication of iron deficiency.

Have you been asked to make an appointment to see your GP? I suspect they will say nothing to worry about but they'll redo the tests in 3 months.

Often GP's will treat the symptoms of iron deficiency even if your results are borderline with iron tablets.

NeverTalksToStrangers Fri 06-Jun-14 18:10:33

They gave me tablets to take.

When I googled it, I came across research from Limerick uni that suggested transferrin saturation of 17.5% or below and 40% or above led to massively increased risk of death. It didn't say from what exactly. It said that people with those levels did tend to have heart trouble and come from those with poorer socio economic backgrounds (which I don't really) but even taking that into consideration, the risk of death was still very high.

Reassuring. [Smile]

Maybe my gp read that too... hence the tablets.

I did kinda shit myself because I got the tests done on Monday, was told to ring myself on Thurs, but they rang me early on Tues to say I needed to pick up a prescription.

It's definitely had some impact on my wellbeing as I feel like I've been hit by a truck at my time of the month. Only recently too. I'm nearly 35 and had good iron results in both my pregnancies.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now