Pernicious Anaemia Society
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iron issues


still struggling with this, thought I'd ask you guys what you think.

(on a positive note, I finally got a referral to an Immunologist at Addenbrookes re the various auto-immune issues, he was really good, well worth the trip! :) )

But can't seem to progress with my GP re the iron issues.

My serum ferritin level has been above range for a year now (for the 15 years prior to this I'd had to take 400mg of iron daily as my body "would never store any spare/escess iron") , yet my serum iron is still below range, GP just puts 'no further action' I did ask her in July, how come I have too much in 'store' and not enough going round my body, she said it's because I have inflamation and the body won't release it as iron feeds the inflammation, I kinda get that but, what is this inflammation, shouldn't it be investigated?

she also put "no evidence of anaemia" on my notes, yet the lab results (Oct 16) say otherwise

Serum iron 9.3 (10.0 - 30.4)

I don't know whether to try another doctor, change surgery or wait until I see the Immunologist again in January.



12 Replies

Non-anaemic iron deficiency normally causes no symptoms and requires no treatment. If your blood iron is slightly low, but haemaglobin is normal then that's what you have.

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my haemogloblin is also below range 119 (120-156)


I would just add that this it not true in children, where it can affect development. And personally I don't think it's true in adults either, but anyway, very important in children to correct low iron. I realise this is an adult case. But here the problem is an underlying inflammatory condition, which needs tracking down before the ID can be improved.

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For what it's worth, I've been able to keep ferritin at a normal level and increase iron by taking Lactoferrin. Prior to the lactoferrin my iron would go up but ferritin would go up higher. It has antimicrobial properties. It also binds iron so I don't quite understand how it allows serum iron to increase but it does seem to work. I also take iron but at a separate time. The evidence I've seen for lactoferrin is mainly anecdotal, and it's not cheap, but might be worth trying anyway.

In addition, vitamin C helps with iron absorption so it should be taken together, and I take a betaine HCl with the iron too.

Second, I was finally able to get my hemoglobin above the bottom of the range (there was approx a 20% increase) by taking 800 IU vitamin E for several months (now taking 400 IU). It helps maintain RBC membrane integrity. My RBC count also increased by about 15% though my RBC count was never "low".

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thanks Jade, not heard of Lactoferrin, will look it up :)


I have had Iron deficiency anemia for many years now in conjunction with my PA.

The best solution I've come up with is a new simple one that worked incredibly well for me this year. I eat one kiwifruit a day to get 150% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C and I eat a tablespoon of organic black strap molasses daily. My last blood test results recorded serem iron levels in the high ranges for the first time in 15 years. I was gob-smacked, really didn't expect such a significant result.

Sadly It hadn't made much change to my still low iron stores but I expect the next test should show improvement there. Fingers crossed anyway....

Food is medicine!

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thanks Martinec, interesting!

especially in that it hasn't upped your iron stores as thats the one thing I dont need :)

Do you eat the kiwi and molasses together or separately?

I've actually no idea what black strap molasses is but I'll look it up.


Martinec, I've just had a look for blackstrap molasses, Holland & Barrett sell Meridian organic molasses but it says 'pure cane' underneath whereas an online complany sell it, label almost identical but it says 'pure blackstrap', is there a differnece?


The inflammation that causes high ferritin can be quite minor ... a sinus infection, for example. Rheumatism could cause it. Are you aware of a cold, an infection, or any chronic inflammatory problem?

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no cold, sinus probs etc but I am Coeliac (asymptomatic) diagnosed Feb this year and have very mild rheumatism in one knuckle, could that cause it? whatever it is I've had it for over a year now! my GP has said the raised ferritin is due to inflammation, but not what this inflammation is.


The gp is right re the inflammation causing your body to shut down the use of its stored iron, and it is of no use taking more iron till the inflammation has lessened. If you read on Wiki about hepcidin all will be clearer. Your gp won't know what the inflammation is...

Are you completely gluten free now? Really strictly?

Has your CRP been measured? The rheumatism might be enough...


thanks Aspmama,

I'm about 98% GF, I don't worry about cross-contamination.

I'll have a read of your link.

CRP was done about 6 months ago, I think it was high.


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