Ferritin level, iron maintenance supplementing

I have been supplementing iron since March when my ferritin level was 29 μg/L. After 6 months of supplementing (with chelated iron capsules 27mg) my level was 74 μg/L. I continued supplementing because I wanted to raise my level to around 100. Dec 5 it was 111 and I stopped the daily iron.

BUT I want to maintain this level and I don’t know how much iron I should take? I have been taking one capsule once a week since then. Is that enough? My ferritin level has been around 20 the last 16 years and nobody ever told me that is low. I’m now 55 yrs old and probably just entered menopause, no period since August last year.

Should I stop the iron completely or does once a week sound good for maintenence? How fast does the level decrease again?

5 Replies

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  • No, you shouldn't stop the iron completely. If you've had a low level for 16 years, then without supplementation your level will probably drop back fairly quickly.

    Unfortunately, nobody can tell you how much iron to take to maintain your levels where you want to keep them. We are all different in our ability to absorb and hang on to iron.

    Since you got your iron levels up within a fairly reasonable time (9 months isn't bad), you probably don't need a lot to maintain it there.

    If you are a meat eater then you might be best to eat liver or black pudding once a week rather than supplement.

    Otherwise I would suggest supplementing with one of the tablets you were taking before, perhaps two or three times a week. Be consistent, whichever dose you choose.

    You would need to test to make sure you weren't losing or gaining lots of iron. The cheapest test worth doing that I know of is this finger-prick test :

    medichecks.com/find-a-test/...

    When you have some results you can post them on here and ask for feedback. perhaps do a test after 2 - 3 months and see what is going on, but don't leave it any longer than that.

    I lose iron extremely quickly. I overdid my supplementing and ended up with a ferritin level of 169 (top of range was 150). I gave up supplementing completely for four months and my next test showed a ferritin level of 81.

    I still haven't found the level I need to keep things where I want them, and it is very frustrating.

  • Thank you for your answer. So I will continue supplementing (I don't like liver and even though I am a meat eater I seem to never get enough iron from my diet) at least a few months maybe twice a week and take a new blood test. I do not want to end up over range but range being 20-200 μg/L I have soom room still. Will post results when I take a new test in 2-3 months. Hope I won't lose too much too quickly.

  • Do you feel better with raised ferritin? Any symptoms gone?

  • Yes I felt better pretty quickly. The first symptom to get better was feeling much less tired. I rarely nap in the afternoon now! I stopped losing as much hair as I did before but unfortunately the hair loss is worse again. I have been losing LOTS of hair for many years, not funny. My thick mane is a memory now...

    Other symptoms gone that I don't know if they are related to the iron are no more dizziness, no more chest pain.

  • I had chest pain with low iron. Doctors never seem to make the connection for some reason, despite it being a well-documented effect of low iron.

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