Low Ferritin Low TIBC..?
January 17, 2019 7:18 AM   Subscribe

My Ferritin is at 26.02 and I have been having symptoms of dizziness, chornic fatigue, headaches, brain fog, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, loose stools. However, my TIBC is low which indicates too much iron in the blood. Are these symptoms indicative of low ferritin even with normal to high iron levels?

I have been chronically ill for several years now. No doctor has ever been able to figure out what I have. The only thing that ever came back positive was Lyme Disease but those tests aren't supper accurate and I treated with antibiotics for a year and didn't really get any improvements.

Throughout the last couple of years my ferritin was tested a few times and every time it was low 30's. Then, a couple months ago it dropped to 26.02 which then was out of the reference range and encouraged me to look into this a bit more.

I met with a hematologist and they told me that unless my hemoglobin was affected, then I wouldn't be having any anemia symptoms (which I don't necessarily agree with).

I have been taking iron bisglycinate for two weeks now and feel absolutely no better. I am assuming two weeks isn't long enough to start feeling better, but I just is really scary because I just want to get better. Each day it is so hard to get up and go to work and when I get to work I am just in a fog. I cant concentrate, I am dizzy, weak and just exhausted. I honestly just feel constantly sick. I usually have a pretty bad headache too. Along with all these symptoms I have about 2-3 loose stools a day. That's been going on for quite awhile now.

Being a male it's kind of strange to me that I would have low ferritin. Anyway, below are my latest iron results done about a week ago. Let me know what you guys think. I have another appointment with my doctor tomorrow so if you have any other ideas of other things I could test for that would be awesome!

Iron 102 ug/dL 47 - 149 ug/dL
TIBC 266 ug/dL 260 - 400 ug/dL
UIBC 164 ug/dL 110 - 370 ug/dL
% Sat 38 % 20 - 55 %
Ferritin 26.02ng/mL 20.0 - 324.0 ng/mL
posted by nichostetler to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Iron aside, has your vitamin D been tested as well? I had your same set of symptoms with low vitamin D. What about your thyroid?

I'm sure other will chime in about your iron.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 8:13 AM on January 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

I had similar symptoms with undiagnosed celiac (which can prevent nutrient absorption due to gut damage) and low vitamin D as well. Have you been tested for celiac or low vitamin D?
posted by cnidaria at 8:26 AM on January 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you! I have had my thyroid tested and even had an ultra sound, everything is fine with that except I did have slightly elevated T3 Free at 3.93 and ref. range is 2.3-3.8.

My vitamin D is at 42 now, it was in the low 20's but I started taking 5,000 IU daily. I don't feel any better since starting that.

I just tested for celiac a few days ago and waiting for the results however, my doctor said I was previously tested and it was negative.

I have also tested for EBV, which was negative, and all other vitamins are within range.
posted by nichostetler at 8:34 AM on January 17, 2019

Did you have your B12 tested? That can cause anemia and similar symptoms.
posted by noxperpetua at 9:50 AM on January 17, 2019

Response by poster: B12 tested super high like 892 and ref range is 200-900
posted by nichostetler at 10:04 AM on January 17, 2019

Lower the B-12 intake, cobalamine is not tolerated well by some people and read up on symptoms for too much. Iron is something we need, but is also toxic. Separate your intake of iron from calcium rich foods, tea, and eggs by one hour on either side of your iron rich meal, or when you suppliment. I used to teach women how to increase their iron after.childbirth, at a hospital. Try to make lunch your iron meal and take the meal or suppliment with a vitamin c source. Iron is hard on the stomach lining and should not be taken before bed.

If you have an e-pylori infection in your stomach then the iron will be hard on you maybe making some of the symptoms you describe. Iron is usually constipating. The b-12 can be a culprit, I have to get that from food, the pills cause all kinds of symptoms in me. So if your iron suppliment has lots of b-12 too, get a different one.
posted by Oyéah at 11:45 AM on January 17, 2019

I'll answer a part of the question and say that you can certainly have anaemia symptoms when your haemaglobin is still okay and your ferritin is low. You can even have symptoms when your ferritin is still in the normal range but dropping. This is the situation I'm in now - my ferritin is about where yours is and I have mild fatigue, certainly not like what you are describing.
posted by neatsocks at 2:20 PM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

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