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Ferritin levels 17

(18 Posts)
PhilPhilConnors Mon 26-Oct-15 14:35:57

My gp has told me this is the low side of normal, but he would expect fatigue under 50.

I've been utterly exhausted and breathless, can't get up stairs without burning muscles and having to stop to steady my breathing. Could this be to do with low ferritin levels, or are they too high/normal to explain this?

Pleasemrstweedie Mon 26-Oct-15 14:50:51

Your ferritin level is abysmally low and will cause symptoms like you describe and a few more besides (hair loss anyone?)

It really needs to be mid-range to be optimal.

If your GP is not playing ball and offering iron supplements, you could try buying ferrous fumarate over the counter (easier on the digestive system than ferrous sulphate) and building up gradually from one to three a day.

PhilPhilConnors Mon 26-Oct-15 15:27:12

I have iron supplements which I have just started, 2 a day with orange juice.
He feels the breathing is down to stress, but I'm hoping it's a side effect of the low iron levels so will go away! No hair loss though.

Boredofthinkingofnewnames Mon 26-Oct-15 15:29:55

Mine was 6 after EMCS and I had three transfusions so yes yours sounds way too low!

Kewcumber Mon 26-Oct-15 15:49:21

I wouldn't count 17 as "abysmally low" certainly not low enough in my case to cause shortness of breathe. I only get shortness of breath when low ferritin has turned into anaemia though I'm aware everyone is dfferent.

I get iron infusions when my levels hit 10 and I do find I'm symptomatic at about 12. Though to be fair I am used to having low ferritin levels so maybe I get used to it.

PhilPhilConnors Mon 26-Oct-15 16:03:20

The gp said there were also inflammation markers in the blood test, which can artificially raise the ferritin level, not sure if that would explain it.

Clarella Mon 26-Oct-15 16:56:31

I was eventually told that really 70 is normal. And I had terrible symptoms at 50 (though am hypothyroid)

Sorry I may have missed it; are you being given tablets?

Pleasemrstweedie Mon 26-Oct-15 16:57:18

If your ferritin levels are being artificially raised by inflammation, but are still only 17, you are in more trouble than you know!

I stand by what I said earlier. When my levels were 16 (15-150) I was referred for an infusion. As it happens, I then got stuck in a row between the haematologist and the endocrinologist who had referred me and I ended up with a very apologetic endo and no infusion. It then took 4 years for me to raise my levels to 100, which is pretty much where they should be, but at least at the end of it I could climb stairs again!

Have a look at the article I have linked to:

Clarella Mon 26-Oct-15 16:59:06

Oh well good you've started tablets.

The only thing I've noticed is that I really don't get out of breath now my ferritin is over 100.

The thing is the upper range is something like 200 or more.

I had awful restless leg symptoms (itchy bones) so we raised it to over 70 and it helped.

Clarella Mon 26-Oct-15 17:00:13

(The range where I am stated this)

PhilPhilConnors Mon 26-Oct-15 17:25:40

Interesting article mrstweedle, thanks.
I have quite a few of the signs, including ridged nails and sore tongue, which I hadn't even thought would be related!
I'm waiting for results of a blood test for coeliacs.
In the meantime I'm giving up wheat, as this would tie in - in the past few years I've gone through stages of stress and related crap eating (lots of comfort food - bread, cake, biscuits etc) which coincides with feeling like this, and it put it down to feeling stressed, when it could be the wheat.

PhilPhilConnors Tue 27-Oct-15 18:31:35

Just a quick question about ferrous fumarate - i started it yesterday, today i woke up with a really bad headache (went with nurofen) and have felt wiped out and slightly light headed all day.

Is this a coincidence or side effects?
Thank you!

Pleasemrstweedie Tue 27-Oct-15 21:59:11

More likely coincidence I would have thought.

Miiaaoow Fri 30-Oct-15 14:15:21

For those who are getting iron infusions etc - Is this just for a low ferritin or do you have low haemoglobin too?

My ferritin is currently 7. My GP marked it as 'satisfactory'. My Hb is also on the low side but not deficient.

I suffer from severe chronic fatigue and wondering if I should actually be getting treatment for this...

I do drink spatone but can't tolerate regular iron.

Equiem89 Fri 30-Oct-15 14:42:46

7 is definitely not satisfactory, it's not even in the low range of normal. It should be about 70!
I've just posted about my experiences on the other anemia thread

Pleasemrstweedie Fri 30-Oct-15 15:01:14

Of course you should be getting treatment. Your ferritin levels need to be at least 70 to support various biochemical processes in the body and it is negligent to leave you with a level of 7.

If you can't tolerate oral iron and your ferritin level is below range, you need a referral to a haematologist for an infusion, otherwise it could take years to get your levels up to where they should be. I speak from bitter experience.

I am not surprised you are chronically fatigued!

Miiaaoow Fri 30-Oct-15 15:49:23

Ughh, Can someone please talk to my GP for me cake

Last year it was around 10, and he said it was low but only just, and it didn't need treatment.

How do you dispute this with a GP?!

Pleasemrstweedie Fri 30-Oct-15 19:31:25

Start researching. Have a look at this for starters.

Also have a look at the NICE guidelines.

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