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Low ferritin level

 

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JenSw

Apr 4, 10 15:23

Post #1 of 28 (23769 views)
Low ferritin level Quote | Reply

Hi all,

Some bloodwork I got done showed a low ferritin level. I'm not anemic but I do need to supplement to build up my Iron stores.

Anyone else supplement? Dr wants me to take 325mg Iron Sulfate a day. I'm looking for recommendations for supplements. I prefer non-heme because I am a vegetarian. I know supplement companies are of varying quality so any guidance would be appreciated, even a dis-recommendation.

As a sidebar, two of the symptoms are night sweats and restless leg syndrome. I'm really hoping getting my Iron stores back up to normal will relieve some of those for me!

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce


Jodi

Apr 4, 10 18:44

Post #2 of 28 (23752 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenHS] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I won't take iron sulfate. Too many GI side effects. I take Iron Bisglycinate. No GI side effects. Absorbed at least as well as iron sulfate. The dosing is lower. I really don't know the source though, but I've found it on vegan websites so I have to assume it's non-heme. I recommend it to all of my patients who need to supplement.

Jodi


Khai

Apr 4, 10 19:15

Post #3 of 28 (23745 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [Jodi] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
I recommend it to all of my patients who need to supplement.

Jodi


Dr. Khai recommends BEEF, LAMB and GOAT! Also, cooking in cast-iron cookware. Jen already knows this, but I couldn't resist replying to Jodi as "Dr. Khai"


<If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough>
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JenSw

Apr 4, 10 21:49

Post #4 of 28 (23720 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [Jodi] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Good to know about the sulfate. Hmm......got some reading to do.

And yes Khai, eating dead animal jokes never get old.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce


AndyPants

Apr 5, 10 19:01

Post #5 of 28 (23658 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenHS] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Since I can't cram any red meat into yer piehole later this month.... ;-) Up your intake of Vit C and eat more spinach (pref both together as Vit C helps with the uptake of Iron in plant and meat sources alike).

Keep an eye on the night sweats. You could be like me: perimenopausal

Nothing to do with iron levels. :-(

(FWIW, I have a similar issue re: calcium so I can relate to your situation).

AP

------------------------
"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS


JenSw

Apr 5, 10 19:09

Post #6 of 28 (23657 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [AndyPants] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'm perimenopausal as well but I'm hoping iron will take the edge off them. I get them almost every night Tongue

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce


AndyPants

Apr 5, 10 20:15

Post #7 of 28 (23647 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenHS] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

yuck, me too FWIW, but a lot is related to thyroid too... we can bitch & moan & flash later this month (poor P and Fraussie) LOL

------------------------
"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS


trailbait

Apr 6, 10 8:44

Post #8 of 28 (23623 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenHS] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Jen, I took Ferro-Sequels when I was pregnant, it's a slow release iron supplement that has a stool softener in it and I liked it. I was waking up in the middle of the night because my legs were twitching so hard I couldn't sleep. I also experienced night sweats and had insomnia so I have had a preview of menopause and it wasn't pretty. We're going to try for baby #2 next year and I will probably go from fertility drugs to pregnancy and without stopping go... directly to menopause. AWESOME!


Erika
http://tribabe.com


bluepoint

Apr 8, 10 23:00

Post #9 of 28 (23559 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenHS] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

i had the same issue a year ago. low ferritin and calcium.

took me about 6 months of supplementing and eating more iron/calcium rich foods to get my levels back to normal.

for iron i took a supplement by Trophic. it's veg, but not vegan.

i never noticed that my hair had been thinning, but i definitely noticed more growing once my levels got back to normal.

i get restless leg sometimes too. always thought it was a calcium issue.

let us know how it goes.


banana

Apr 9, 10 12:32

Post #10 of 28 (23524 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenHS] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I hate iron supplements. Yuck. I took ferrous fumarate for a month and then switched to Proferrin for two months. Proferrin is definitely not vegetarian. I'm told tat ferrous fumarate is the easiest for most to tolerate. Neither was particularly good for my insides and I'm happy to have finished taking them. In order to not be completely miserable, I needed to use psyllium on a daily basis. Still, the effects still impacted my running because things just weren't right.

It's interesting that the link between RLS and ferritin is so well established and yet I wasted nearly a year with my doctor figuring out the cause. For me the change was pretty quick once I started with the supplements. I'm sleeping great now!


Kat_Kong

Apr 14, 10 18:04

Post #11 of 28 (23362 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [banana] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Hey I am a mid-40's woman and realized I have RLS and night sweats. I take an iron supplement despite my obgyn telling me I didn't need to. I had someone else tell me to take one anyways. I wonder if it is the type of iron I am taking.

Is there a difference between iron sulfate and whatever other type of iron??

What else is recommended for pre-menopausal women....?? I too am a vegan.

KK
Meow


elastigirl

Apr 14, 10 19:05

Post #12 of 28 (23358 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenHS] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Hi JenHS,
I'm curious to know what your ferritin levels were and if you have been experiencing other symptoms specifically related to training.
I just had a complete blood workup and aside from general anemia, my ferritin levels were at "10" - apparently this is very low.
I've been experiencing: shortness of breath, "no gas in the tank", general exhaustion, just generally my workouts have not been good. Watts on the bike way off for no apparent reason, gone from running a comfortable marathon 6 months ago to being breathless after a few miles.
Did you experience any of this and if so has your supplementing made a difference?
P.S. I'm in the Seattle area too, hope to meet you sometime

***************************************
"You're the fastest of the slow people" ~ my son


JenSw

Apr 14, 10 19:58

Post #13 of 28 (23350 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [elastigirl] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My blood work was prompted by my first ever DNF. I was doing a marathon and had shortness of breath and very high heart rate. I'd had a run two weeks earlier with the same problem, otherwise my training had been strong.

My ferritin level is 12 and yes, we are both very low.

I am taking the equivalent of 325mg of ferrious sulfate in the form of elemental Iron 65mg.

http://www.naturemade.com/...n=2&productid=55

I just started last week and until my injury on Sunday, I was feeling fantastic. I was on a routine of 2000mg Vit D on the advice of my Dr, Iron and started doing a smoothie a day with Udos Oil or Flax seed Oil for my Omegas. I also throw in Chia for Omegas and for the fiber.

Us PNWers need the Vit D supplement.

It takes months for the ferritin stores to get back up to the desired levels so be patient but the combination of the things I mentioned were a huge help.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce


elastigirl

Apr 14, 10 20:50

Post #14 of 28 (23343 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenHS] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thanks for the advice! Yes, I have had the abnormally high heart rate too. So odd.
I hope I feel back to normal soon.
I drink a lot of smoothies too and will try adding the items you mentioned.
I'm so glad you posted this thread b/c I read it right before I went to the doc. Then I also googled "low ferritin + athletes" and there were several articles from various coaches of runners & swimmers linking low ferritin & reduced performance in their athletes.
Allison

***************************************
"You're the fastest of the slow people" ~ my son


JenSw

Apr 14, 10 20:56

Post #15 of 28 (23341 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [elastigirl] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'm glad I could help! We'll need to do a cupcake get together soon. There are quite a few of us ST Womens in the area.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce


tigerchik

Apr 15, 10 1:28

Post #16 of 28 (23328 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenHS] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

re: vit D ... I'm in Maine and my doctor has me taking 800 IU of vitamin D in the summer and 1600 in the winter. The upper limit is 1800-2000 (at which some negative effects develop).

Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
send a PM for blog accesshttp://www.tigerchik2.wordpress.com


determination

Mar 6, 12 10:55

Post #17 of 28 (18079 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [JenSw] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Saw this thread as I was trying to figure out how long it would take my performance to come back up after being diagnosed with low iron anemia.
So how long was it ?

Oh, and my co-worker, an avid road bike racer lady, told me to get this supplement, so I've been trying it.
Floradix Iron + Herbs
http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/...etail.jsp?id=FL-1011

I saw my test results, no wonder I was having so much trouble with my running this winter!!!

IRON (IRON)10 L 33-150 UG/DL IRON BINDING CAPACITY (IBC)395 220-440 UG/DL PERCENT TRANSFERRIN SATURATION (TSAT)2.5 L 20.0-50.0 %
FERRITIN (FRTN)1.6 NG/ML
White Blood Cell Count (WBC)7.8 4.0-10.0 K/MM3 Hemoglobin (HGB)7.4 L 12.0-16.0 g/dl Hematocrit (HCT)25.9 L 36.0-48.0 % Platelet Count (PLT)402 H 150-400 K/MM3 Red Blood Cell Count (RBC)3.99 3.90-5.00 M/MM3 Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)64.9 L 79.0-99.0 fl Mean Corpuscular Hgb (MCH)18.5 L 27.0-32.0 pg Mean Corpuscular Hgb Conc. (MCHC)28.6 L 32.0-35.0 G/DL Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW)19.6 H 11.5-15.0 % Mean Platelet Volume (MPV)9.3 9.0-12.2 fl


sto

Mar 19, 12 13:35

Post #18 of 28 (17810 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [determination] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

A HUGE YES on FLORADIX.

I've been dealing with Anemia for 6 years on and off. When I feel myself sliding, I get a bottle of Floradix. It's expensive but worth every penny. I take a shot in OJ every morning.

It fixes me FAST. That and eating some tasty cow flesh burgers.

Susan



-------------------------------------------------
"so i've got that going for me, which is nice"
- Carl Spackler


DawnT

Mar 20, 12 7:40

Post #19 of 28 (17750 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [determination] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My DD's been dealing with low ferritin levels and anemia for the last 8 months. Her ferritin level was a 4 when we first had her tested. Her doctor and nutritionist both said they can't believe she could get out of bed in the morning. We just recently got a diagnosis of Celiac disease for her, so at least we know the root cause of it all.

Through this ordeal, she tried several iron supplements, but the only one that helped her was Proferrin. It is a heme iron source, so not for vegetarians. However, if you're not vegetarian, it is much better absorbed by the entire small intestine, so that's why it works better for some people. For my DD, the upper part of her small intestine has been damaged by the Celiac disease, so even though she was eating well with lots of iron in her diet, it wasn't being absorbed. The Proferrin is absorbed by the entire small intestine so it started helping her even before she started on a gluten free diet. She's still technically anemic after 2 months on Proferrin, but her CBC numbers are improving. In addition, she's been gluten-free for about 7 weeks. The doctors have said it could take several months before she's back to normal.


determination

Mar 20, 12 10:53

Post #20 of 28 (17733 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [DawnT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thanks, DawnT - I'll have to check that one out. The advice I got about Floradix was from two non-meat eaters.
But I definitely am a meat eater! I love steak!!!

I think my problem is that I was not eating enough for the amount of exercise I was doing.
Erg...
Her level was 4 and the doc was surprised she got out of bed in the morning? Wow, I was 1.6.


DawnT

Mar 20, 12 11:49

Post #21 of 28 (17724 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [determination] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Well, it was the ferritin level plus her hemoglobin levels. Both were extremely low.


determination

Mar 20, 12 13:19

Post #22 of 28 (17714 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [DawnT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

me too - hemoglobin of 7.4, their range for 'normal' started at 12.
Ug.


DawnT

Mar 21, 12 6:30

Post #23 of 28 (17686 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [determination] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

You may want to start doing some research into the reason why you have low iron. That's what got me onto the Celiac track with my DD. She had a very good diet before. It didn't make sense to me that she had such low iron. I did lots of on-line research and found that anemia is one of the main symptoms of Celiac. If you already eat a good diet that has lots of iron, then you should get the blood test for Celiac. It's one of the most badly diagnosed diseases. My daughter didn't have any of the GI problems associated with it. Just anemia.


determination

Mar 22, 12 5:59

Post #24 of 28 (17648 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [DawnT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

thanks. I might have to look into that. Although, this time, I think my issue was that it was diet related. I don't think I was eating enough food to support the exercise and my job.
Last August I started a more physically demanding job.

I also need to find a new doctor. The one I've loved for years retired and the one I saw most recently I'm not impressed with (same general office, just different doc).


fewoman

Mar 24, 12 5:46

Post #25 of 28 (17551 views)
Re: Low ferritin level [determination] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I have had low ferritin levels as well. Here is a great article on some of the reasons:
http://www.pfitzinger.com/labreports/iron.shtml

Hope this helps!

Blog:
http://www.FeWoman.com/

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