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Anemic. Done blood test. Taking iron supplements, ferrous sulphate. Sufficient?

Hi, I had blood work done and it showed that I was anemic, my ferritin level was at 8. This was back in early february and I have been taking iron pills since. For the first month I was taking 65mg and I had another blood work done and my ferritin had only risen to 12. I am a college distance runner, and for training needed my iron levels to get up much more quickly, so for the past month I have been taking 130mg of elemental iron in the form of ferreous sulfate but my performance has not improved at all. I do not take my iron with any calcium or meals. Is my body just not absorbing it? Why am I not seeing any improvements?
Asked On : Sat, 6 Apr 2013
Answers:  3 Views:  136
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Thanks for submitting your question . You are surely suffering from iron deficiency anemia. Your ferritin level is low which suggest iron deficiency anemia. I think oral iron therapy in the form of ferrous sulphate is sufficient, which contains 60 mg of elemental iron. What is your hemoglobin level?. 60 mg of elemental iron if taken for 4to 6 weeks rises hemoglobin by only 1 %. So it takes time for ferritin level to rise. If you want quick results then iron injections are available but in your case it is not required. Beside you should also go for iron profile to know the cause of anemia. But from your current history it is evident that ferritin level is not rising ,so one should find the cause for blood loss from the body. Next step is to undergo upper and lower GI scopy to rule out anemia due to blood loss. Have patience oral therapy requires time for ferritin level to rise . Thank you ,best wishses
Answered: Sat, 6 Apr 2013
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General & Family Physician Dr. Himaja Bai Kethavath's  Response
Hi and welcome to HCM!
Thanks for posting your query here.

First thing is you did not mention whether you are female or male and your age. Iron deficiency anaemia is very common in females. The serum ferritin levels seems to be very low. The normal range varies from in men-17-250mcg/l, women-18-170mcg/l. Serum ferritin values are more sensitive and represent the total iron store of the body.

Low ferritin levels can be seen in iron deficiency states, chronic infection, loss of blood like menstruation, or deficient iron absorbtion conditions like celiac disease, worm infestation.

A lot of conditions are there to work up with anaemia. A complete blood picture will help in diagnosing the type of anaemia.

If the ferritin levels are not increased even with iron supplements there are chances of iron absorbtion abnormalities or iron losing conditions.

Please visit your physician who will do appropriate tests to diagnose the anaemia and will guide you in the treatment. In the mean time you please continue with the iron supplements.

Hope this is helpful to you.
Answered: Sat, 6 Apr 2013
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Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Ravindra Shukla's  Response
Is it the ferritin levels you are talking or Hb levels? Ferritin levels of 8 but kindly specify the unit.
In my opinion the amount of iron you are taking is less so it might take some time for clinical improvement. Till your Hb comes to normal level you will lag behind in athletics - thats obvious. Increase dose of ferrous sulphate and get done repeat blood test for reticulocyte levels. If they are increased then we need not worry. If they are still less we may have to some more tests.
Take care
Answered: Sat, 6 Apr 2013
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