Thyroid UK
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these are my results for my iron levels

ferritin - 35 (24-336)

serum iron - 131 ( 35-194)

% saturation - 32 (20-55)

TIBC - 404 ( 250-400)

What i dont understand is that my iron levels are normal but why is my ferritin level low? I dont want to take iron supplements and get my iron levels higher than how much it already is. is there a different supplement for ferritin? my gp doesn't say anything about it but i sure am not feeling good with these levels. does anyone know what i can do about my ferritin level? oh and I'm losing a lot of hair everyday too which i read is because of ferritin too. thanks!

11 Replies

hypossee You can get a Ferritin supplement, I tried one by CardioVascular Research . There's also ProFerrin if you can get it.

You can add Blackstrap Molasses to your diet (I used to put in some hot water, let it dissolve then add some apple cider vinegar with Mother, and drink before my evening meal, for low stomach acid [ACV] and an iron boost [molasses] ).

I then went on to eating liver once a week (couldn't take iron supplements at all, not even the Ferritin which is only 5mg) and that's what has boosted my ferritin level from under 50 to almost 90. I use lamb's liver, if you like liver pate you can also eat that. My other iron results are all in range, no problems with them when tested when ferritin showed nearly 90.

hi thanks for your response seassidesusie. I'm going to try taking the supplement that you suggested. how long did it take for you to increase your levels? also is 5 mg a recommended dose or is it a small dose? I recently started taking lamb's liver too so hopefully that will do something. thanks again!

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to hypossee

Originally my ferritin level in June 2015 was 35 (13-150). I tried Gentle Iron 20mg but it made my constipation so much worse that I had to give it up, then tried Ferritin 5mg. I did manage to get my ferritin up to 50 by September 2015, but the constipation was so bad I couldn't continue so I stopped completely. I took nothing for about 9 months so I think my level must have reduced a fair bit by the time I started eating liver. In about 5 months of eating liver I've got up to almost 90 and I was eating it once a week, about 125g a time.

I don't know how 5mg Ferritin compares to 20mg elemental iron in Gentle Iron, although the usually recommended supplement is Ferrous Fumarate which contains 65mg elemental iron and it's normal to take two of those a day. The CVR Ferritin does say 5mg bioavailable iron from bovine source and to take 1 or 2 capsules daily.

also i have started taking naturemade ferrous sufate 325 mg (65mg iron). is it not going to work so well?

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to hypossee

So are you going to continue taking Ferrous Sulphate as well as the Ferritin supplement, and eat liver as well? I would have though the Ferrous Sulphate on it's own would be enough to supplement, and you should retest after finishing the pack (assuming it's an 84 tablet pack). Personally I'd wait and see your next test result before considering adding a second supplement, or is the Ferritin instead of the Ferrous Sulphate?

i think ill just take ferrous sulphate. i thought for ferritin you gotta take something specific and not the regular ferrous taking it 3 times a day hopefully it'll improve

hi seaside. i had a small confusion with supplementing iron. I'm currently taking ferrous sulphate but have also bought the cardiovascular ferritin like you recommended earlier. I don't have problem with iron level but have problem only with low ferritin. which one would you recommend me to take? and also is cardiovascular ferritin going to take longer time to increase my ferritin to optimum level than the ferrous sulphate ( 325mg)? thanks

helvellaAdministrator in reply to hypossee

The Ferritin as a supplement does not go straight into your blood as ferritin. It is, simply, another source of iron which is absorbed by a different mechanism in the gut to things like ferrous sulphate. It is usually regarded as being more gentle as there is no free iron in your gut.

I am no expert on iron, but I do not follow: I don't have problem with iron level but have problem only with low ferritin.

Low ferritin is often regarded as an indicator of inadequare available iron but it is a complicated story.

SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to hypossee

I really can't add anything to what Helvella has said.

Ferrous Sulphate is the usual supplement prescribed or recommended for low ferritin (ferritin being your iron store, or the pantry where your iron is kept, when your body needs iron it fetches some out of the pantry).

If someone can't tolerate Ferrous Sulphate (as I couldn't) then a different form can be tried. Gentle Iron (which is iron bisglycinate) is often used and it contains less elemental iron than Ferrous Sulphate. Then if that isn't tolerated another form can be tried, and I tried Cardiovascular Research Ferritin which says it contains 5mg 'bioavailable iron'. Then when I couldn't tolerate that I eventually started to eat liver which has worked for me.

So in your case, first of all what is your current ferritin level?

Can you tolerate Ferrous Sulphate with no problems? If so, then you can continue with that.

I don't know if Cardiovascular Research Ferritin will take longer to improve your ferritin level. Each FS tablet contains 65mg of elemental iron, so your 3 a day is giving you 195mg elemental iron. I don't know how that compares with 5 or 10mg 'bioavailable iron' from CVR Ferritin supplement. My guess is that it will take longer to raise your level with CVR Ferritin than with Ferrous Sulphate but I don't know.

My understanding is that if you have good levels of serum iron then the body moves extra iron into ferritin. Ferritin is a kind of "store room" for the body's iron.

The body moves iron from serum iron into and out of ferritin as necessary. Having low ferritin is known to cause fatigue and good levels are required for both serum iron and ferritin to feel at your best.

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