Treatment for low iron and low ferritin advice?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by consuegra, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. consuegra

    consuegra New Member

    Does anyone have clear ideas about treatment (and pitfalls for treating) for low iron and low ferritin. My daughter has had low normal for several years, but now it has become "low" and out of the normal range. How does one treat this?


  2. spacee

    spacee Member

    Once got to the point of ferritin's so low I had "no iron in my body to speak of". I was told to get Feosol and take it three times a day to build up my iron stores.

    I was lucky that I tolerated it well. For some it is horribly constipating. For that she might try magnesium (what is recommended on bottle) and apple juice helped me alot. (The sugar isn't absorbed from the colon and it pulls water into the colon as it goes through.

    I imagine others will have other ideas.

    I don't know how old your daughter is but I ended up with a hysterectomy at age 41...just uterus. that was a huge help.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/30/2008]
  3. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    my iron became lower and lower as my CFS progressed over the years. the docs i had knew nothing about CFS.

    i am sure now that it was "anemia of inflammation".

    i had to take iron for quite a while to build up my iron stores.

    good luck
  4. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    I couldn't tolerate iron supplements and my doc wouldn't prescribe iron IVs after the 1st one. He said that there were too many possible complications. It would've been much faster though.

    So, I bought a cast iron pan and started frying steaks, mostly buffalo. You need to eat them as rare as you can tolerate it. And be sure so sear all outer edges to kill bacteria.

  5. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Slo-fe is a good, non-constipating iron supplement your daughter might benefit from. I took it and didn't have any problems.

    My doctor recommended it. I assume your daughter is seeing a doctor who tested her for this.

    What are her doctor's suggestions?
  6. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    can't your doctor give you iron pills?
  7. Sharon

    Sharon New Member

    I am sorry to hear that your daughter is havig this problem, I have, too, for several years now. My ferritin was "6" when they first found it low. I was sent to a hematologist who did loads of labs, said the normal range for ferritin was between 10-200. He wanted mine at least around 100 before I was ok in his eyes. That took me 2 1/2 years. I took 3 tabs daily of ferrous sulfate. Luckily it did not cause me any problems, but I also take magnesium malate so it balanced out the whole constipation issue that iron is so famous for. I also tried very hard to eat plenty of iron rich foods. If taking the iron orally did not work, he suggested having IV iron as an option.

    I hope she can tackle this problem soon! take care,
    ((((((((((soft hugs)))))))))))
  8. consuegra

    consuegra New Member

    My daughter is 34 years old. Her doctor suggested brewer's yeast, which will probably raise her iron.

    I just wondered what others do for low iron? Teitelbaum says low iron is easily detected and easily treated.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  9. gidgetsmom

    gidgetsmom New Member

    I have FM and have fought "low iron" for years on and off. It finally got so low my regular doc put me on pills which my digestive system couldn't handle. Even tho I eat a diet which is very high in iron (and vitamin C) my body doesn't absorb it from my food. They don't know why.

    I had to have colonoscopy to make sure I wasn't "losing" blood there because I no longer menstruate. That was normal. He sent me to hematologist who put me on IV iron therapy and B12 shots.

    Levels went up and stayed up for 3 months with only monthly B12 shots. Then they started going back down again. Bone marrow biopsy wasn't pleasant, but tolerable...found marrow was a little "slow", but nothing abnormal.

    Am now continuing with monthly B12 shots until level gets down below 10 again. When that happens they want to give me injections of Procrit to stimulate the bone marrow. Insurance won't cover those until all else has been tried and level is down below 10 again.

    How old is your daughter? Has she been checked by obgyn or gastroenterologist? Have they tried B12?

    Hope this helps some. Keep us posted!

  10. charlenef

    charlenef New Member

    ive been on iron ivs for a month ill be going to get my blood tested next week to see if anything happened hugs charlene
  11. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    I never knew that low ferritin was associated with Babesiosis which is a tick borne illness often transmitted with Lyme Borreliosis. Now that I'm being treated for Babesiosis my ferritin levels have improved.

    From Connie Killabugger's web site:

    "Lyme and Babesia are partners in crime. It seems no accident that the two infections are often found together. Babesia destroys red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the cells. Deprived of oxygen, the body has a tougher time fighting Lyme and Bb thrives in the anaerobic environment.
    So what can we do to increase tissue oxygenation?

    Consider increasing the body's iron stores, for one. The body uses iron to create hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the cells. What's more, the body requires that a certain amount of ferritin (iron stores) be present in order for it to utilize artemisinin, a commonly prescribed herb to treat Babesia.

    Iron is a finicky mineral that can be difficult for the body to uptake, however. Dr. Schaller, in his book, The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Babesia, prescribes ferrous heme as a highly absorbable form of iron.

    Also, certain B vitamins are necessary for iron uptake and utilization, especially B-12, B-1, and B-6, so choose an iron supplement that includes these vitamins. Taking iron away from calcium and magnesium is advised, as these inhibit its absorption.

    Likewise, it's a good idea to take it with vitamin C or orange juice. Taking iron with orange juice is thought to double its absorption in the body.

    Finally, if you have Lyme disease but have not been diagnosed with Babesia, yet have low ferritin levels, suspect that the latter infection might be present."
  12. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    My ferritin has also been low in the past years, I think the lowest was 12. My last count was 28 which my rheumy says is within normal boundaries.

    However, my BIL who is a hematologist says that 50 is the start of normal. Also my PCP and rheumy that I had before I moved, said 50.

    My reagular iron level, hemaglobin (?), sorry fog here, is normal.

    I plan to start on the iron again. But unfortunately, it really upsets my stomach.

    According to my psychiatrist, low ferritin may be a factor in depression and ADD.

  13. Jayna

    Jayna New Member

    was first treated for two years with Slow-Fe but with very little effect even though I was also eating plenty of meat every week.

    It was only when I discovered my stomach acid was low and started taking Betaine HCl that suddenly I was able to absorb iron from my supplements and my food. My ferritin started rising quite fast. Also had not been absorbing many other nutrients, apparently, as suddenly I seem to be eating, digesting, and feeling amazingly better, just since starting the Betaine HCl.
  14. maggiemae55

    maggiemae55 New Member

    I first started taking iron in jr. high, many years ago. (I'm 52 now) I just remember it hurting my stomach.

    My body does not absorb iron for some reason. I had both an upper and lower GI, with no bleeding. I did have heavy periods, but had the NovaSure procedure last June, and have not had a drop of blood since!!

    I usually end up getting IV iron every couple of years. My lowest ferritin was 16, and I begged my hematologist to give me the IV. It's a long day getting it infused, but I immediately feel better.


  15. woofmom

    woofmom New Member

    Both elements share left-right-sided cell receptors and are essential for life. The absorption of iron is dependent upon manganese. Manganese is frequently lower than iron, and since iron can provoke a number of problems (gastric upset, constipation) when supplemented, the addition of manganese, when low also, is vitally important. This not only prevents further ratio conflicts between the two, but also substantially reduces the amount of iron needed when manganese is supplemented at the same time. Low iron levels can very easily result from manganese levels having been low for a long period of time. Cellular levels of iron best correspond to actual symptoms of excess or deficiency, in contrast to blood levels, which unfortunately flunctuate under various medical conditions.
    [This Message was Edited on 05/31/2008]
  16. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    You need stomach acid to absorb iron. You should consider supplementing with betaine hcl with meals where you eat fats and proteins. You need it to break them down and since digestion is a problem for all of us, it's pretty safe to say you have low stomach acid. Betaine hcl is an acid from beets that you can use. Make sure you get betaine hcl and not betaine, which is different.

    Also, iron, copper and zinc all compete for the same receptors, so if you are taking anything with copper and zinc in it at the same time you're taking iron, they can clog up the receptors and prevent the iron absorption.

    Betaine hcl and some yummy steaks may be enough to help your iron if your digestive system isn't in too bad a shape. Low stomach acid is a major problem and it won't be obvious that you don't have it. You pretty much try the betaine hcl and see if things improve. Doctors won't recommend it because it's not a drug, even if you need it.

    good luck