Male with low ferritin levels?
May 3, 2021 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Is it normal to have iron-deficiency symptoms at my ferritin levels (75 ug/L)?

A while ago I posted about having ferritin levels in the 30 ug/L range which resulted in symptoms like, fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, headaches, etc. and I got a lot of great answers. Since that time, I've been able to get my levels up to the 70s (ug/L), but its not going up anymore over the past few months.

I spoke to my gastroenterologist (as I am an IBD person, however, in remission no symptoms), and he was convinced that low ferritin was not my issue (other blood work all normal). I honestly found this to be very defeating as I've been feeling run down and crappy for a very long time. Even since starting the iron-polysaccharide tablets, I noticed small improvements up until I started to plateau. He's telling my 75 is normal and it's like something else because my hemoglobin levels are actually normal (158 g/L).

I just don't know if I should accept this information as fact since I've seen/read so many individuals on here who say otherwise. Am I still low at 75? Is it crazy to think I have symptoms at 75? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

(33 year old male, 185 lbs)
posted by Atlantic to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
75 ug/L is comfotrably within normal. However, the doc you oroginally saw benchmarked 100, so why not go back and see her instead of your gastro?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:45 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: My original doc said “I’d like you over 100” which is contrary to what the GI said. Where did she pull this 100 number from of 75 is normal?
posted by Atlantic at 1:49 PM on May 3

No one on the internet is going to be able to answer this question. Too much can depend on factors specific to your body and lifestyle. Are you an endurance athlete? Have you had your vitamin D and your thyroid hormones tested? Are you descended from a Mediterranean population? What’s your RBC? Has your stool been tested?

I’m not a doctor, but you should be able to ask your doctor these questions. If you don’t trust the doctor you have, get a second opinion.
posted by bq at 2:41 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

Some medications cause low iron, like some blood pressure meds. It is always a good idea to go through your prescriptions one by one and take notes on possible side effects. Talk to your pharmacist. Lisinopril is a classic for this. Maybe ACE inhibitors in general, maybe. One other thing, milk and milk products, eggs, and tea inhibit iron absorption if taken within one bour of your iron rich meal or suppliment. It is a good idea to take your iron with an iron rich meal, so you have it all in one section of your gut. Lunch is a good meal for this, because iron is hard on the stomach, and lying on the stomach wall at night is narder on the stomach than what goes on in the daytime.
posted by Oyéah at 3:21 PM on May 3

Where did she pull this 100 number from of 75 is normal?

Hence my suggestion you go back and see her. You still feel unwell your gastroenterologist is of no use, this seems like the logical next step.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:06 PM on May 3

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