Low serum ferritin/ anaemia

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May 2019
12:49pm, 23 May 2019
41701 posts
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My ferritin is never much above single figures with a normal haemoglobin, and I have no symptoms at all.
May 2019
1:58pm, 23 May 2019
557 posts
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my ferritin when it was last checked was 12. My haemoglobin was in the normal range. I did start taking ferrous sulfate; but didn't like taking it as it made me v constipated. I don't have any symptoms. On discussing the issue with my Dr he concluded that I have a naturally low ferritin. It did increase when taking the iron for 8 weeks. We decided though that I didn't need to continue taking the iron and to just accept that I have a low ferritin. Physically, I don't feel any different having stopped the iron.
May 2019
2:12pm, 23 May 2019
25355 posts
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Ferritin is iron stores, haemoglobin is what you have to use. If your haemoglobin is normal it doesn't matter what your ferritin is, as you have a normal level of oxygen carrying molecules. There are no symptoms associated with a low ferritin in the presence of a normal Hb.
Think of it like money - haemoglobin is your current account which you use every day for normal life. Ferritin is like a savings account which you dip into if the current account runs low. As long as the current account has sufficient funds you can live perfectly normally with zero in the savings account as you don't need it to top up. It's a bit simplistic as an analogy but that's basic how it works
May 2019
2:22pm, 23 May 2019
5061 posts
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Northern Exile
It's a good analogy. My ferritin levels are normal, but I struggle to maintain normal Hb levels, my last test - a few weeks back, was on the low side at 121. I have an inflammatory form of arthritis and it could be the disease that's causing, but equally so it could be the GI/leaky gut problem I have [apparently] that's causing the autoimmune condition. Currently using Floravital to try and get levels back up.
May 2019
2:24pm, 23 May 2019
1414 posts
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Little Miss Happy
Pen - I'm not a doctor but that sounds a lot like my experience before being diagnosed with hypothyroidism and then pernicious anaemia. Hope your GP can find something that's easy to fix.
May 2019
5:44pm, 23 May 2019
10450 posts
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Alex Hutchinson (who I really rate) wrote an article about iron and running today.

May 2019
6:12pm, 23 May 2019
1729 posts
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Thanks :-)

Getting more bloods done next week to check thyroid, b12 and a few other things.
May 2019
7:34pm, 23 May 2019
5062 posts
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Northern Exile
You can have some of my B12 if you want. My levels are up around 1300 - 1400, nearly three times the upper limit!
21 Jun
8:48am, 21 Jun 2022
18104 posts
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Isn't fetch wonderful; there's always a good information trove no matter what you need to find out!

My better half presented to the docs with a sore chest from running and has always been breathless going up hills. But otherwise is a pretty vigorous and energetic woman.

She was disappointed to be advised "probably reflux" but would get blood tests anyway. Turns out reflux is definitely a thing (gaviscon seems to make immediate difference) but has also discovered low Hg and SF levels via the blood tests, as well as slightly low B12, so doc is talking about pernicious anaemia.

My first thought therefore is to search here (!) and stumbled onto this thread which seems in many ways to be talking about the same things. Not looking for advice necessarily, but if her running improves (she's going from being a 26min parkrunner about 6 years ago to struggling to get under 31 at parkrun despite running similar amounts) measurably from the iron tablets and B12 supplementation she's been prescribed now it'll be another helpful anecdote.

Her Hg was 100 on the last two blood tests and SF was 3.7 (only tested on the last dose). B12 was 129.

What I've noted is that, with the exception of running, she doesn't appear to be anaemic. Just about none of the other symptoms of anaemia are present in her normal day to day, so I presume she's just gradually compensated for it over a lengthy period.

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About This Thread

Maintained by NRGEE
I have recently discovered that I have a low serum ferritin- at least it is at the lower end of the ...

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