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B12, Haemoglobin, Ferritin - what should my levels be?

(27 Posts)
BloodyBloods Wed 23-Sep-15 13:25:58

Went to the GP due to excessive tiredness today and had bloods taken. GP was very dismissive and I felt a bit of a fraud for being there at all. I just wondered if anybody could tell me what the normal ranges for B12, Haemoglobin and Ferritin are? I am a 45 year old woman.

I am going back next week to get my results and in the past I have been told my haemoglobin levels were 'normal' when in fact they were right at the bottom of the normal range. So I am just trying to prepare myself for when I go and get the results so that I can question them at the time if need be.

KeepBadgering Wed 23-Sep-15 14:04:22

Afraid I don't know what levels should be but a couple of years ago I went to doctor as I too was excessively tired. My B12 levels were so low that they called me back in as they thought they'd made a mistake with the results.

I now take Women's health tablets from Asda and feel so much better. If I forget for a few days I feel dreadful. These give me 800% of B12 requirements. A friend had such low levels she had to have injections to boost levels.

Hope things get sorted for you soon.

BloodyBloods Wed 23-Sep-15 15:43:36

Thank you for your reply. How long did it take for you to feel better? I have bought some B12 supplements but I haven't started taking them yet as I am waiting to see what my levels are. They are 500 micrograms (I can't do the little symbol) but I don't know what that equates to in IU. I read that the body excretes any excess B12 so I figured it wouldn't do any harm to get them just in case. I didn't know which ones to get as there was so much choice.

Pleasemrstweedie Wed 23-Sep-15 18:57:36

Hb at least mid- range
B12 over 500. The Pernicious Anaemia Society say more like 1,000, which is way above the NHS range.
Ferritin at least 70, preferably 100 or mid range, whichever is the higher.

Also folate top of the range.

BloodyBloods Wed 23-Sep-15 20:11:08

Thank you. What is the range for Hb? I think the range for Ferritin is 12-150?

Pleasemrstweedie Thu 24-Sep-15 08:45:44

All the reference ranges vary from place to place and lab to lab. The range for Hb is 120-150 where I live, but to get your local ranges you will need to ask your GP surgery in the first instance and if they can’t (or won’t) tell you, then the lab.

BloodyBloods Thu 24-Sep-15 10:11:23

Thank you. I have just moved area. TBH I am not very confident with the doctor. She just told me it was normal to feel tired at my age but I am spending the whole day lying down. I got the distinct impression she is just going to tell me I am depressed but I don't really suffer from low mood. I came away from the consultation in tears because she snapped at me and just dismissed everything I said. That will hardly help my case.

I think I will try to find out from the lab, if I can find out where it is.

Pleasemrstweedie Thu 24-Sep-15 13:39:59

I would expect it to be at your local hospital.

I don't know how old you are, but it is not normal to be tired enough all the time to go to the doctor with it.

BloodyBloods Thu 24-Sep-15 15:38:06

I will have a look to see if I can get contact details for the lab. No, it definitely isn't normal to be so tired, and as I was trying to explain how bad it is the doctor was really dismissive.

c4kedout Thu 24-Sep-15 16:52:46

ferritin range is (depending on area) from 15-290. but ideally, you want it to be 70 at least.

I was extremly fatigued last year and my ferritin was 20. I took iron and it went up to 60 and I felt a lot better. I keep taking iron to keep my levels up. I have very heavy periods and which are probably to blame.

c4kedout Thu 24-Sep-15 16:55:34

there is a difference between "in range" and "optimal".

BloodyBloods Thu 24-Sep-15 17:14:02

Which iron are you taking? I have some Solgar Gentle Iron 25mg which I used to take and I am wondering whether to start taking that again. I am waiting for the results in case it turns out to be something else entirely. I am having really heavy periods which I'm sure are causing the problem.

I have started taking the B12 now.

c4kedout Thu 24-Sep-15 18:00:19

That sounds like a very low dose.

I am taking Ferrous Sulphate 200mg. just get it over the counter (cheaper than prescription). I have no side effects.

c4kedout Thu 24-Sep-15 18:02:05

took me a good 4 months of 2-3 tablets (200mg each) to raise my ferritin level to 60 and feel better. didn't happen overnight.

hopefully you get it sorted. the fatigue I had to as crushing.

BloodyBloods Thu 24-Sep-15 18:35:54

Thanks. It is a low dose of iron, but I was apprehensive about taking the prescription strength ones in case I am not anaemic. The doctor said I couldn't be anaemic because I don't look pale. But if I'm not anaemic what is wrong with me? My life is passing me by because I'm so tired and drained.

c4kedout Thu 24-Sep-15 19:09:23

results should come through quickly. I would just wait and see. I was not pale btw

KourtneyK Thu 24-Sep-15 19:45:29

I've never heard that your haemoglobin should be 'mid range', although I've seen it quoted on here. Is there any info on this please? I have chronic anaemic and have been seen by a haemotolgist who never suggested this either. confused

Chillywhippet Thu 24-Sep-15 19:52:05

My B12 was recently 188. The normal range in UK starts at 180 but in other countries they treat below 400 or even higher.
I had an injection on a Friday morning and woke Sunday morning with colour in my cheeks for the first time in months.

So technically my b12 was normal but I felt dreadful and GP happy to prescribe course of injections.

BloodyBloods Thu 24-Sep-15 19:54:30

I was never pale last time I was anaemic, as I just don't have the sort of complexion that looks pale. But the doctor just took one look at me and said I couldn't be.

What is your Hb Kourtney? I can't remember what mine was before but it was right down at the bottom and they just said that was ok.

Neddyteddy Thu 24-Sep-15 19:56:19

I know 12 is the lowest for ferritin officially. However you can be exhausted with figures in the teens/twenties and hair loss can be a problem below 50.

Grains/tea/coffee/eggs can effect iron absorption negatively. Vitamin c increases absorption.

KourtneyK Thu 24-Sep-15 20:11:57

At the moment, it's gone up to 13 which the highest it's ever been in yonks. They're usually happy with me once I'm at 11.5-12.

Neddyteddy Thu 24-Sep-15 21:12:44

That's still very low despite being 'normal'

pigsinmud Sat 26-Sep-15 10:32:16

What is the difference between ferritin and haemoglobin? I had a blood test in April and my hb was 10.5 - never got dealt with by GP as my CA125 was raised so that set off a whole load of other tests and my hb was ignored! I've been taking iron, but still feel exhausted and breathless and generally not right. I'm 43 and keep thinking it must just be an age thing.

KourtneyK Sat 26-Sep-15 10:56:08

Neddy Do you mean mine? I've seen people on MN say that HB needs to be mid range but my haemotologist never said it, I am confused. confused

BloodyBloods Sun 27-Sep-15 12:14:13

My ferritin was 8 and the receptionist phoned me at 16.55 on Friday to make an appointment for me to see the doctor.

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