Is my ferritin low enough to cause my symptoms????

I have posted here before but looking for some help .... my ferritin level was 17 in a range of 11 - 309 ..... I have horrible light headedness most of the time doc says it's fine and not a cause for concern or my symptoms.... my folate was 2.8 range 3.1 - 19 ..... and bizarrely my b12 was 867!! Even though I'm vegan ans docs stopped my injections 2 years ago..... I am so fed up feeling ill and dizzy ..... anyone experienced this with simular levels?? HELP xx

11 Replies

  • Yes - my ferritin has been between 5 and 18 over the last few years and lightheadedness/dizzyness on standing is definitely a symptom.

  • It's not when standing it's just all the time...

  • Your low folate levels could be causing the light headedness. Did you have a full blood count to establish whether the low folate has caused macrocytic anaemia?

  • Hmm not sure what do I look for on my r results???

  • If they give a result for MCV (mean cell volume) then any result over 100 is an indicator of macrocytic anaemia.

    As an aside, your high level for B12 isn't that surprising. If your previous B12 deficiency was due to your vegan diet then it probably means you don't have any absorption problems. The 'normal' human body is very good at storing and recycling B12, so the injections you had 2 years ago will still be going around on the enterohepatic cycle - blood - liver - gut - blood - liver - etc.

    What is strange is a vegan with low levels of folate as that is found at fairly high levels in things like leafy green veg. I know next to nothing about folate absorption, but a quick scan suggests it's fairly complex with several steps. I would guess that each step would be liable to some genetic mutation that might hinder its effectiveness.

    As well as macrocytic anaemia low folate can cause problems with a biochemical pathway where homocysteine is converted to methionine. If this doesn't work very well then the levels of homocysteine can build up. And high homocysteine can have some bad effects - - so I would suggest getting this tested as well.

  • But I don't get any b12 in my diet as I am a vegan and it's in aninal product?? I've been advised as I had no folate or very low folate then it's likely my b12 is inactive and as my folate rises the b12 will drop significantly

  • As I said, humans are damned good at recycling B12 (assuming no absorption problems). The stuff you had injected two years ago will still be in your body. That's why you have high levels.

    Your low folate will have little, if any, effect on your B12 levels. Low folate can't 'inactivate' your B12. When your folate rises your B12 will drop a teeny tiny amount.

    The important questions are - why, despite a diet which is, I presume, high in folate-rich foods, is your folate level so low and is that responsible for some of your symptoms?

    Personally I would start supplementing with folic acid - cheap from Tesco. And I would make sure it is folic acid not the 'natural' and possibly magical, methylfolate.

    You should be getting a load of methylfolate in your diet, but it obviously isn't getting into your blood. Folic acid is easier for the body to absorb and it may well bypass any defective absorption mechanism that affects methylfolate. 400 ug a day should do the job.

    I would also start taking a multi-B vitamin (one with 100% of the recommended daily amount) to keep your B12 up at those nice high levels.

  • Do you eat vegan milks or yoghurts or other foods that might have added b12?

  • Just to add as well my doc won't test me for anything more as they don't think I have a problem and said my ferritin and folate were fine!!!!!! Since learnt far from fine

  • Bloody doctors - if your B12 is just slightly 'in range' then it's OK. If your folate is just slightly 'out of range' then it's OK.

  • All I know is I cannot go on feeling this way ..... it's mainly dizziness and light headedness that is my main symptoms.... I just don't know what to do ...I'm taking folic acid and iron but I am no better yet

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