Thyroid UK
85,931 members100,826 posts

How can I raise my ferritin level?

hi there I've got very low ferritin levels and have done for some years now .it's currently 8 I've tried everything to raise my levels I take ferrous gluconate twice a day I also have or just started having blackstrap molasses and I also use floradix x but still no movement in my ferritin levels any ideas peeps?

22 Replies
oldestnewest

Sorry you have had no replies, I am responding to push this back onto latest activity, hopefully someone with relevant experience will spot it..

L

x

Reply

Thanks Louise:)

1 like
Reply

Hi I have this problem but food Endo, been on Ferrous sulphate many years, still too low. She told me to ask for a % of absorption test, NHS but has to be written on the iron/ferritin test. Mine was 17%, I do have absorption problems due to many complex co -morbidities. I am now on a much bigger dose, from GP although she is horrified! All these years, I never knew about asking for the % .Incidentally , my B12 and Foliates are very high in range. I think some people find Spatone better for absorption and less side effects. My Endo likes it but you would need an awful lot as not strong. You can get it on a script but quite expensive, they like the cheapest!

Best wishes,

Jackie

2 likes
Reply

Hi Jackie, I have never heard of that test either! I will definately ask about it. My B12 used to be very low too, but I self medicate with injectable B12 now, which has helped enormously. thanks for that advice! Learn something new here every day xxx

Reply

I don't think this will be terribly helpful as my levels were never as low as yours, but I found ferrous fumarate quite effective. It is horrendously constipating , so I used it until I couldn't stand it any longer, then left if off for a while and switched to Gentle Iron (available online). This caused no digestive problems and my last ferritin test showed levels had increased from 59 to 130 ug/L over the course of a year.

Sue

1 like
Reply

This is Iron (or Ferrous) Bisglycinate for anyone looking for any other brands. Generally seen to be the least problematic iron supplement, and with least side effects.

Any iron supplement should be taken with vitamin C to help absorb it.

1 like
Reply

Hiya, I was reading about that last night, I decided to order the spatone off amazon and give that a go . thanks for taking the time to reply x

Reply

It's about the weakest iron supplement there is!

Reply

Hi Sue, thanks for you reply, yeah I started on ferrous sulphate, gave me stomach ache, but perservered as didn't know any better, eventually moved over to ferrouse fumerate, and now on ferrous gluconate. I do wonder if the fact I drink tea or coffee in the day stops me absorbing it? Might have to set an alarm clock for middle of the night to take it then :(

Reply

Hi Yes, I had read that and have severe colon ,I refused to have it removed ( Op), so it causes me lots of problems but to my surprise it was fine for me, if taken as prescribed with food. I have been on it for years.I think it may be a case of try different treatment until find one that suits.

Best wishes,

Jackie

Reply

I reckon if your ferritin isn't going up then it's because you are lacking something else that is needed for your body to use the iron. Zinc and vitamin B2 are two of the possibilities that you could try taking. Copper deficiency causes anaemia that looks like iron deficiency but doesn't respond to iron supplements. The final option is that you have very high levels of inflammation that are causing your body to reject additional iron. In that case you should stop taking the iron and try to do things that help reduce inflammation. I don't know which of these things applies in your case, and you should discuss it with a doctor. If you've been trying to raise your levels for two years without success, then it's not simple iron deficiency and its time to try a different approach.

5 likes
Reply

Hi My problems is due to very bad absorption, due to severe autoimmune Pancretitis,but it does show how important the % is.There is a good test for the pancreatic enzymes, Faecal Elastase, then to take Creon, enzymes, 20 min before food. It does not help all pancreas problems ,as I have others, but it slightly helps absorption if proved to be needed by the enzyme test., mine is as low as can be, not much better with a huge amount of Creon, but it does help some people more.

Best wishes,

Jackie

Reply

Hi poing, its going down if anything! it was 12 last time. its been 3, 5 , 8 etc. I dont really think the doctor will help me. As long as my normal iron levels are ok, they seem happy. Trouble is, I have very bad periods, they leave me totally wiped out, and weak as a kitten. I just dont know what to do anymore. I feel so overwhelmed, doctor doesn't take me seriously, and I have been having heart problems too, so feel they cant cope with more that one thing at a time. I was only there 2 weeks ago, to discuss all this new medication they want me on. Aspirin, bisoprolol, a statin and an angina spray. I have only taken the aspirin so far as want to wait until the results of the scans before I start all those heavy drugs (man!) lol

Reply

Oh no! I am not at all surprised that you feel overwhelmed, weak and wiped out. I had really low iron about three years ago, and my ferritin was 12 after a year on being on iron supplements. I know how it feels!

Your heavy periods probably have a lot more to answer for than you realise. Iron deficiency makes them worse, so it's kicking a lady when she's already down. Thankfully I found a way to sort out my heavy periods. When I had my copper IUD removed, I went from 8-day periods down to 2. That made more of a difference to my iron levels l than anything else I've done, as my ferritin then shot up to the dizzy heights of 22. Are doctors doing anything about your bleeding? The mirena coil is supposed to dramatically reduce bleeding, and even though I don't like hormonal contraception, if nothing else worked then I would consider it.

If the inorganic iron supplements aren't raising your ferritin, then you really do need to do something different. Iron is strongly linked with heart disease, and I had chest pain from taking too much iron in the beginning, which I've never had before or since. I had to cut my dose right back... a single sachet of Spatone was all that I could manage. I can't possibly know if iron is connected to your own heart problems/angina, and I don't want to scare you, but it's something to be aware of because I think it's a possibility.

I've come across a heme iron supplement from the US called Proferrin, which apparently works much better than the inorganic ones, and will raise iron much faster. The absorption mechanism is different because it's haem iron. I haven't tried it myself, but I have heard good things about it. There's another one called lactoferrin, which is derived from milk, but is a (non-casein) protein that latches onto minerals and is then absorbed and studies seem to suggest that it works fairly well for fixing iron deficiency. The other thing to consider is eating liver at least once a week (or if you can't stomach that, liver tablets). It's chock full of so many nutrients, but especially iron and copper. That's what I do now. Oh and I have blackstrap molasses too. :-)

A good diet - preferably without wheat/gluten - and some B vitamins might also help.

I hope you can find something that works for you. Good luck!

1 like
Reply

Hi Poing, thanks so much for your reply!. unfortunately I had the coil in Jan 13, worked great, then had a smear test and sure thats when they pushed it inside me! Basically I had to have a GA to have it removed in June 13 :( Such a shame because it was doing a good job until it disappeared into my uterus!

I am going to look into both proferrin and the othey typ of iron. Ive sordered some spatone and will try that too. But I t have decided to actually go back to my doctor to ask why after 2 years on Iron my ferritin isn't rising. I do take a sublingual vit b complex, selenium, vit d, vit k2. epsom salts. I have also just bought some blackstrap molasses on the advice of a veggie friend, but theres not that much iron in it, but will taken 2 tsps a day

I wish I liked Liver! yuk. wonder if liver pate is any good for iron? love that!

Tan x

Reply

i know it has been a year now but its sounds Endometriosis to me...have a look on that.

1 like
Reply

thanks didiola, it may have been a year, but strangely seeing the doctor this monday! I had a blood test recently (thyroid) and they rang me and asked me to come in, so I am going to ask to be referred to a private haematologist, but thanks for that bit of info, will mention that to my doctor.

funnily enough twice before 2 periods recently I have been awoken with severe cramp pain in my uterus, lasted about an hour each time. painful enough to make me cry and writhe!

Reply

When mine was 8 i was given blood transfusions but i had to keel over in thestreet first as nhs only gives them via a and e. Suggest you do the same, say you think you are anaemic,let them think they have figured it out. Even after transfusions i could never get decent ferritin levels despite taking 400mcg ferrous fumerate daily for over 5 years. I had an iron infusion this year but these are almost impossible to get on nhs. You may have an absorption problem like me. I am about 1.5 years into being gluten free and my vit and mineral levels are finally going up. Decent ferritin levels ie 90 are essential for thyroid function

2 likes
Reply

I meant to say, going gluten free will help your absorption levels. HypoT is linked with an inability to absorb iron, but the nhs has not cottoned on to that medical fact yet

Reply

Thanks Bluedaffodil, I know, everything I read says that I should go gluten free. But not done it ...yet. It seems soooo overwhelming. I am on slimming world, so do a lot of cooking from scratch, so it wouldnt be that much of a quantam leap.....maybe one day I will try x

Reply

I had a level of 8 three months ago and my doctor told me I wasn't digesting my protein. I started taking HCL for digestion and in 3months my level is 15. Hope this helps you too.

Reply

Hi, I suffered from anemia for years. Ferrous sulphate just gave me stomach issues, but taking folic acid (and I have done so now for 20 years) cured me! The only time I didn't take it for about 3 months i became anaemic again. I also take vitamin C as your body needs both vitamin C and folic acid to utilise iron. Both vitamins are cheap to obtain and have no side effects so it can't do any harm to give them a try

2 likes
Reply

You may also like...