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what supplements do you recommend to increase ferritin level?

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Posted on Mon, 24 Mar 2014
Question: I have been donating whole blood every 60 days for several years. After this last time I got a letter from United Blood Services advising me that my ferritin level was less than 12 and I would be suspended from donating because I was at a high risk for anemia. My question is what supplement(s) do you recommend to correct this condition. I'm 78, Caucasian, male and a type 2 diabetic on insulin for the past 5 years. Otherwise I'm pretty healthy.
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Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina (1 hour later)
Brief Answer: stop donating Detailed Answer: Usually it should be ok to donate blood every 2 months, as your body should produce it back and more within that time frame. Every time you donate blood, your iron levels go down (and therefore your ferritin level, which is a marker of iron stores in your body). The fact that it is <12 is very significant, and you should not donate blood, and take iron pill supplements. If despite taking iron supplements and not donating blood your "ferritin level" and iron stores remain low, you should actually get more testing done to explore why is this happening as this is not normal. It could be that you are losing it microscopically through your gastrointestinal tract (in the stools, and not necessarily you will have seen XXXXXXX blood in stools); another common problem is that you are not producing enough red cells. So in conclusion, my advise: don't donate any more blood; take iron supplements by mouth; recheck your blood tests in 1-2 months. Follow up with a primary care doctor. Also, you mention you have "severe stenosis". If this stenosis is from the Aorta, then being anemic (which is common if you have low in ferritin / iron ) is very XXXXXXX hope that helped, let me know if you have any further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Enrique Molina (14 hours later)
I HAVE SEVERE SPINAL STENOSIS. I READ THAT IRON SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD BE INCORPORATED WITH VITIMIM C TO AID ABSORPTION. DO YOU HAVE A RECOMENDATION FOR A SPECIFIC SUPPLEMENT? ADDITIONALLY, HOW LONG SHOULD IT TAKE FOR A NOTICABLE CHANGE TO OCCUR IN THE FERRITIN LEVELS?
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Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina (5 hours later)
Brief Answer: ferrous sulfate Detailed Answer: it is true that taking vitamin C helps with the iron absorption. Ferrous Sulfate is an oral formulation that is commonly used as a replacement. It may take 2-4 weeks before you can notice any improvement. Usually blood tests are repeated after that timeframe.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Enrique Molina

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 364 Questions

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what supplements do you recommend to increase ferritin level?

Brief Answer: stop donating Detailed Answer: Usually it should be ok to donate blood every 2 months, as your body should produce it back and more within that time frame. Every time you donate blood, your iron levels go down (and therefore your ferritin level, which is a marker of iron stores in your body). The fact that it is <12 is very significant, and you should not donate blood, and take iron pill supplements. If despite taking iron supplements and not donating blood your "ferritin level" and iron stores remain low, you should actually get more testing done to explore why is this happening as this is not normal. It could be that you are losing it microscopically through your gastrointestinal tract (in the stools, and not necessarily you will have seen XXXXXXX blood in stools); another common problem is that you are not producing enough red cells. So in conclusion, my advise: don't donate any more blood; take iron supplements by mouth; recheck your blood tests in 1-2 months. Follow up with a primary care doctor. Also, you mention you have "severe stenosis". If this stenosis is from the Aorta, then being anemic (which is common if you have low in ferritin / iron ) is very XXXXXXX hope that helped, let me know if you have any further questions.