Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Does anyone know about Ferritin Levels and Pernicious Anaemia?

I was recently referred to a blood consultant at my local hospital regarding my Pernicious Anaemia because i was self injecting at home, she wrote to my doctor so i can now have injections every 4 weeks if i need to, on doing a blood test she said my Ferritin levels were borderline and prescribed iron tablets for me to take for 3 months, as those 3 months were coming up i went back to my doctor who done another blood test to see what my ferritin levels are now they come back at 37 which he said wasn't very low although said the levels should be between 40 and 200. He has prescribed more iron tablets for me to take. My concern is that taking the iron tablets doesn't seem to be making any difference to my ferritin levels and wondered if anyone knows why that might be?

3 Replies

Coming from my usual place (Thyroid UK), my immediate reaction is to think that you might have impaired stomach acidity. (All too common in those with hypothyroidism.) If so, it can be sensible to take the iron tablets along with some acid drink - orange juice, dilute cider apple vinegar, or similar. People do report improved absorption.

Different forms of iron might absorb better, but may not be available on NHS. I know little of this so do not wish to say more and inadvertently push you in a wrong direction.


Ferritin is a funny thing. If you have some kind of infection or inflammation (even just a cold) then it can be elevated because the body shunts iron into storage (ferritin is a storage protein) to keep it away from the invading virus.

So to rule out the possbility of iron deficiency, you need to raise ferritin quite high, to around 50. Perhaps that's what they mean by recommending a level of 40?

The bottom of the normal range for ferritin is usually around 10-12. If you were "borderline" when first tested then your ferritin could have been much lower then 37. I doubt that they would have prescribed anything for a level around 37.

I didn't get a prescription until my ferritin levels actually fell to 12, even though they were monitoring me and I was on iron supplements that I had bought myself.


Thank you both for your responses. It is such a minefield with PA, having this site to go on and either ask questions or just tell your own story really does help.


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