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Blood work showing low ferritin. Taking iron supplements. Further tests needed? treatment for low ferritin?

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Oncologist
Practicing since : 2002
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I wanted advice on blood work that shows low ferritin and if anything in my blood work could explain muscle fatigue,twitches and raw feeling of skin. I started taking Iron supplements 3x a day (325). Do I need any further blood work to rule anything out? Should I be doing anything else for the low ferritin? My ferritin level is 6 ng
Posted Fri, 18 Oct 2013 in Blood Disorders
 
 
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Advice

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

I think most of your symptoms can be attributed to a very low iron level. I would also be interested to know what your hemoglobin is. Very low iron can cause a low blood count which I might expect to see in your case.

The other significant question is for us to determine why your iron level is so low. Commonly this can happen if there was some type of gastrointestinal bleeding or bleeding within the urinary tract or from the uterus.

your doctor needs to determine why your eye level is low. Usually we start with a colonoscopy and go from there.

I expect your Iron level will improve over the next couple of months. It will take a while for you to restore your level by taking this three times per day. I am sure your doctor has also mentioned that there are side effects including constipation which can happen when you supplement with iron. It is also very important that you take iron along with vitamin C. The acid content of vitamin C will help your body absorb the iron more easily.


thanks again for sending your question. Please let me know if you have any additional specific concerns.

Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Blood work showing low ferritin. Taking iron supplements. Further tests needed? treatment for low ferritin? 43 minutes later
My hemoglobin is 11.5 g/dl. I believe the blood loss is from menstruation. I've had very heavy blood flow. I just had a D&C to remove 2 polyps and will be getting an IUD soon. Do you think I should pursue a more aggressive way to get my iron up?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Hello again

Detailed Answer:
I would wait until you see the results of your next iron test to determine if you need more aggressive means. Usually oral supplementation is adequate.

If for some reason you are level remains low and you cannot tolerate oral iron your doctor might consider giving you some intravenous iron.

Make sure to have at least a screening colonoscopy as well every 10 years.

Dr Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Blood work showing low ferritin. Taking iron supplements. Further tests needed? treatment for low ferritin? 3 minutes later
I did have a colonoscopy in '06 and a sigmoid in'09 with only hemorrhoids being found. Would you think I would need to get another?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Followup

Detailed Answer:
No. this is sufficient. just wanted to rule out any possible astrointesribal source of anemia. sounds like yours is mainly uterine in origin.

Dr Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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