Low ferritin - symptoms?

Hi all,

Just received some lab test results back from Blue Horizon medical. Thyroid all seems fine but they flagged up low Ferritin levels of 17.7 (normal range given 20 - 150 ug/L). I am post menopause so don't have any periods and have no gastrointestinal problems (that I know of) but do have the following symptoms, which I read could be due to low iron levels? .....

Easily fatigued

Short of breath when climbing stairs

Light headed after standing up quickly

Brittle nails

Hair loss

Cramp in calves

Bruise easily.

I guess I should go to see my GP, if so will he order extra tests? I also have low Vitamin D.

6 Replies

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  • Hi Tima, welcome. :)

    Yes, those are all ferritin deficiency symptoms. A visit to the doctor would be in order. When you say your thyroid results are fine.... That would be unusual with such low ferritin, unless you take T3? Was your TSH under 1.0 and your FT3 towards the top of the range?

  • Hi jazzw, thanks for your reply.

    TSH was 2.8 (range 0.27 - 4.2)

    FT4 15.3 (range 12 - 22)

    FT3 4.5 (range 3.1 - 6.8)

    B12 290

    Vitamin D (25 OH) 30

    Folate 27.9 (range 10.4 - 42.4)

    Iron levels, Haemoglobin not tested.

    Not on any medication other than HRT

  • Ah right, I see. Well, your thyroid is struggling a little because of that low ferritin result. The T4 a thyroid makes has to be converted into an active thyroid hormone called T3 in order for it to be useful but conversion needs ferritin.

    This may not develop into a full blown thyroid problem if you can get the Iron anaemia fixed. But your B12 is also low which would suggest that either your diet isn't great or your gut isn't currently very good at absorbing the nutrients in your food.

  • Not taking any form of stomach acid supressant are you? Gavisgon, that type of thing....

    G

  • No, nothing like that......

  • These are indeed symptoms of low ferritin. If you take iron tablets to improve the levels then you need to take Vit c at the same time to help absorption. It takes a while for ferritin to increase and a few weeks after that for symptoms to improve.

    If your ferritin and d3 does not improve after supplements and further blood tests then you should ask why are supplements not being absorbed.

    Good luck raising the levels :)

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