Low Ferritin : Hi everyone, I’ve been... - Women's Health

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Low Ferritin


Hi everyone,

I’ve been wondering why I’ve felt so dizzy with days of insane tiredness over the last 6 months. I’m 46 and on HRT for Perimenopause so regular periods are back. I asked for a print out of bloods and it showed ferritin was 20 in Dec (only 5 digits above lowest range). Dr didn’t notify me.

I’ve been feeling dreadful through January and asked for another blood test. Ferritin now 32 but still too low - should be about 100 to feel good.. I contacted dr again who put me on supplements.

Has anyone else had this problem?

29 Replies

Have you had your thyroid levels tested ? TSH, T4 and T3.

Julia7 in reply to bantam12

Thanks for your reply. Yes, they are fine. TSH 0.83 and T4 13.8

bantam12 in reply to Julia7

Do you have the ranges ? Your T4 looks low and you need a T3 test.

Julia7 in reply to bantam12

The ranges are 0.30 - 4.40 TSH 9.0 - 19.1 for T4

bantam12 in reply to Julia7

You may not have enough T4 to convert to sufficient T3 which is the active hormone, suggest you get T3 tested to see what the level is, if your GP won't do it then Medichecks home test kit is a popular one, you do the finger prick test send it back to the lab and get the result.

Did they give you iron pills? It takes awhile to get the levels up, usually months. It can make you feel awful even if you're at the lower end of normal, every Body is different. I ate liver & liverwurst to help too. Read the label of how much iron is in them if that's what they gave you.Hope you feel better.

Thanks for your reply....I’m taking 210mg (69mg of iron) . I appreciate your well wishes. X

Yes exactly the same. I was 20 so the doc said I was in normal range. I had to go back a few months later and it was 19. She apologised and said it was now known that people's needs varied and I may need to be nearer 60. Feel so much better now I'm on supplements. I wouldn't aim for a specific number though. You know when you have enough energy.

Julia7 in reply to Jaxstr

How long did it take to feel a bit better and less tired? I have an hour of feeling slightly better and then, bam, it returns! Dizzy also all the time.

Jaxstr in reply to Julia7

The Dr gave me 300mg of iron daily combined with folate, plus you should also take vit c as it helps with iron absorption. I started to feel better after about a week but it probably took 3 months to get my iron levels back to to where they needed to be. I lost a lot with heavy periods so that always set me back when I wasn't on iron. I get a sore tongue when I'm low on iron and just fall asleep on the sofa. Now I've enough energy I've started running and it feels great! I take 100 mg of ferrous sulphate now when I'm feeling tired. I'm on hrt so I'm not losing iron like I was. Hope that helps!

Julia7 in reply to Jaxstr

Thanks so much for this Xxx

I was also at ferritin level of 11 last January 2020. I had given blood 3 times that year and I was a first time ever blood donor. Low ferritin occurs more commonly in female blood donors. I was keen to do something for the NHS as they saved my brothers life. He was in CCU and ICU for 3 months. I didn’t realise how run down I was. A year on ferrous fumerate and my ferritin is back at 100. I also stopped HRT last January. I feel much better. I am 10 years older than you. Very fit and healthy non smoker. There are ways to supplement your diet to eat iron rich foods. The main side effect I suffered was hair loss but I think that was mainly HRT so now as a chemist I would say to ladies if your symptoms are mild try to eat and exercise well and avoid medication. I ended up going to see Phillip Kingsley clinic in London. If you google Phillip Kingsley ferritin they have a good article about impact of low ferritin.

what dose fumerate did you take and how often?? my ferritin is 14 but the ferrous sulphate made me so ill I has to stop. I could eat liver but I don't know which one and how often as it's high cholestrol and mine is high already ( doctor says my ferritin is fine so I buy my own iron ) thanks

210mg 3x per day now reduced to 1 per day.

that's the dose I couldn't tolerate ...did you take them with food I know it says empty stomach but I think that's why I threw up with them

Julia7 in reply to Copse77

Thanks so much for this. I’m glad the NHS were able to help your brother. How long until you felt slightly better from the tablets?

I’m so tired it’s insane! I feel drugged tired.

I noticed on the results of my last blood test ferritin is 34, like in your case, doctor seems to have no problem with it. He texted me my blood test was normal. I would regularly feel dizzy. Like you IAm perimenopausal, but not on any treatment.

Julia7 in reply to Roxylox

Did you take supplements? I’m dizzy for most of the day and feel exhausted after sleeping so well!

Roxylox in reply to Julia7

I am not on iron tablets. From looking at other posts on here I would be a little afraid to try, as they would seem to upset the stomach, and mine wouldn't be great anyway. My teenage daughter though is on one called Active Iron in a red box. She seems to be doing ok on it. Maybe that's worth a try

Low ferritin can cause a sluggish thyroid, so a bit of a double edged sword, I felt like I was dying with a ferritin of 27, still feel pretty bad with it in the 70s, need to get it around 120 for at least 6 mths to feel better.

Julia7 in reply to Melanie1uk

Thanks for replying....I feel so tired and lightheaded/dizzy. How long before you saw a bit of an improvement?

Melanie1uk in reply to Julia7

I'm having more good days than bad right now, it's been nearly 3 mths of taking 80 mg of iron each day. Still have some bad days feeling fatigued and brain fog, will keep taking the iron tablets and then do another self test in about 2 months.

my ferritin is 14 their bottom range is 12 but my gp says that's fine even though I feel dreadful...it was 13 last year but for the last 5 years it's never been higher than 17...i tried iron tablets but they literally gave me such vile stomach cramps I was physically sick

Oh no! I’ve been on the tablets for 6 days now...they are okay (fingers crossed)!

that's great you feel ok can I ask which ones you take and what dose ? I was on 300mg x 3 but I only managed 2 a day for 4 days then had to stop

Ferrous Fumarate 210mg - I take one a day but think I need two?!

it should be 3 a day to treat low ferritin and once it's high enough you can take 1 a day to maintain it...

Iron pills should make a difference. My ferritin dropped down to 6 (!) due to ridiculously heavy periods, which just wouldn't stop. My hair was falling out, I felt dreadful and went from a fit healthy runner to someone who couldn't go up the srairs without sitting down halfway 🙈It's all sorted now (was fibroids and had a hysterectomy) but the iron tablets made a huge difference. They take a while to work, good luck and hope you get it sorted x

Thanks for this. Did you know you had a fibroid? I wonder if I have one? I’m not bleeding (only when I have a period). No pain - just occasional mild right sided cramping.

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