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Low Haemoglobin / Ferritin


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#1 dotjack

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 12:58 PM

I went and gave blood the other day and I had low haemoglobin so they took more blood and tested it. It has come back that I have haemoglobin - 112 and ferritin 8.97. Would this be because I have been excersising a lot and not getting enough iron (I don't eat meat). Does anyone have suggestions on how to make my levels become normal? :wacko:

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#2 SlingRunner

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:22 PM

View Postdotjack, on Feb 27 2007, 09:58 PM, said:

ferritin 8.97

The ferritin level is so damn low. I suggest you do a second test and ask your GP about ferritin supplement.

Do you find that you have been feeling weak, unenergized, & sluggish lately?

#3 Amjan

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:36 PM

That's really low. My ferritin was 12 and I felt awful with that level.

Yes, I would say it's because you don't get enough iron in your diet. If you're vegetarian and female (I can't tell your gender from your name) it's something you have to be even more conscious of.

There are lots of things you can do. I would start by doing more research into balanced vegetarian diets and haem and non-haem iron sources and talk to your GP about iron supplements. Actually I would just start taking iron supplements (with orange juice) and then see your GP after a few weeks to get it retested, but people seem to get upset when things like that are suggested.

#4 dotjack

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:04 PM

View PostAmjan, on Feb 27 2007, 09:36 PM, said:

That's really low. My ferritin was 12 and I felt awful with that level.

Yes, I would say it's because you don't get enough iron in your diet. If you're vegetarian and female (I can't tell your gender from your name) it's something you have to be even more conscious of.

There are lots of things you can do. I would start by doing more research into balanced vegetarian diets and haem and non-haem iron sources and talk to your GP about iron supplements. Actually I would just start taking iron supplements (with orange juice) and then see your GP after a few weeks to get it retested, but people seem to get upset when things like that are suggested.


Yes I am female (most of the time) 38yrs 76kgs 163cm. I have lost 12kgs in 12 months and feel fantastic. I eat red meat maybe once every couple of weeks and eat some vegies.

#5 Amjan

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:27 PM

Dotjack - congratulations on your weight loss. I am very happy to hear that you feel great. If you are feeling good and not tired or out of breath (to an unusual extent) when you are exercise, I personally would not  be too worried about having low iron levels. It just bothered me because I felt horrible.

Maybe it's just something to discuss with your GP next time you go?

#6 dotjack

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 03:39 PM

I am off to the doctors tomorrow just to check it out otherwise if i was any fitter I would pop. Have been going from hot / cold but that could also all be part of the womenapause thing. Who knows doesnt worry me. :wacko:

#7 malleyDuck

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 10:50 PM

i have had the same problem twice now. Recently i was unable to give blood because my haemoglobin was 124. They did a venous test and it was still 124 (130 is the threshold for a donation).
I'm always borderline, never more than 134.
Last time i had to take six months off from donating and try and build my  iron stores back up.
This time they have sent a sample away and i'm waiting for the letter that says i have to take 6 months off from donating.
I have started on an Iron supplement, it's called FAB and it's iron amino acid chelate which is supposed to be the best supplemental form. I also take some vitamin C to help with absorption. The literature i have says not to take iron at the same time as zinc and to possibly supplement zinc also.
Natural sources of iron are Pumpkin Seed, Sardines, Nuts and some other foods i cannot remember right now.
I am mostly vegetarian (i will eat fish)
I like the suggestion above about going to a GP and having some tests done.
I think i did this last time and he put me on some iron supplement that was readily available in the chemist.
Iron levels are a real challenge for a vegetarian athlete.

#8 Rudolf

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 06:10 AM

View PostmalleyDuck, on Feb 28 2007, 11:50 PM, said:

Iron levels are a real challenge for a vegetarian athlete.

unfortunately, this is common myth and well propagated by media, and it is said, that occasional case of low iron vegetarian athlete is publicly suporting this myth and creating a scare campain.

If it was take on % bases, it will show up, that meat eaters are possibly more likely becoming iron deficient.

Perhapos do more reading of the facts published by vegetarian, vegan, raw nutrition style etc authors, and You might come to different opinions and actualy solve the problem for Yourself.

#9 clairie

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:48 AM

When I am feeling a bit lethargic I have a glass of milo! Works a treat and tastes yummy.

I eat meat but still tend to suffer from low iron levels depending on how my training is going etc.

I think it is something every female athlete needs to be aware of and use preventative measures as low levels really can exhaust you and is the worst feeling when the mind is willing but the body is not!

#10 Rudolf

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:59 AM

the reasons why it is happening, is not known to medical cominity. There are general terms like low absorbtion, high loss, low storage etc, but no doctor is going to tell You what is happening exactly in Your body, as to have any clue how to fix it.

My car engine has some hidden problem, I spent some money on it, but the mechanics could not explain why is loosing so much oil, they offered to rebuild the engine for many thousands of dollars with no guarantee it will fix it. So I am buying cheap engine oil and topping it up regularly, it gets me going. I know, than I could by new car when the time is right, so I am not worry too much about it.

Sorry, it was about doctors prescribing the iron suplements.

Lately the sprt physiology is uncovering some mechanisms realted to iron levels, absorbtions, storage, loss and regulation mechanism to the level of iron, feritine, red blood cells etc. Of course it is all because of dopping. The name of the game is EPO.

Lots of research how to artificially increase the red blood cell - oxygen carying capacity, to produce new drugs, everything about this issue needs to be understood. The other party to the doping war is running research about deticting this manipulations, so lots need to be understood as to provide indirect tests to prove any doping, EPO itself or similar. From this research war, lot of new understanding about iron in human body is comming, and some articles are available, need to search through sport doping, not through general health.

#11 Running Gal

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 10:17 AM

I admit I am taking the easy option and using supplements 3 times a week. I don’t eat meat and I have tried to adjust the diet, saw a nutritionist, did a lot of research and changes, but I still couldn’t keep it high enough… I agree with Rudolf that this is not the best option but at this point it works for me, keep my level stable and I can do my O negative donor duty and give blood every 3 months

Being down from lack of Iron is really not a pleasant experience for active people and it can take a while to realise what is so wrong..

#12 dotjack

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:57 PM

View PostRunning Gal, on Feb 28 2007, 06:17 PM, said:

I admit I am taking the easy option and using supplements 3 times a week. I don’t eat meat and I have tried to adjust the diet, saw a nutritionist, did a lot of research and changes, but I still couldn’t keep it high enough… I agree with Rudolf that this is not the best option but at this point it works for me, keep my level stable and I can do my O negative donor duty and give blood every 3 months

Being down from lack of Iron is really not a pleasant experience for active people and it can take a while to realise what is so wrong..


Thanks everybody for your input. Went to the doctors today sooooo excited having all types of test to check it out more blood and other yukky stuff. At least at the end I will be able to call myself pin cushion and I will know how truly healthy i am.

#13 brizza

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 04:06 PM

one problem with meat eaters who then give up is that you body seems to be used to the easily absorbed iron,b12 etc from meat then having to (even over some time) get usedto absorbing nutrients from non meat sources,for example b12 is cyanocobalomine when aquired from meat and hydroxycyanocobalamine from veggies,not so readily available for absorption and lost,meat eaters lose the "intrinsic factor" which facilitates the absorption of iron from food and do not readily absorb iron from non meat sources.I'm not a doctor or nutritionist.I've eaten meat for about three years in my whole life and did have a few anaemia related problems as i returned to vegetarianism,b12 was the lower limit of normal, ferritin and iron were down,i took no supplements and had a full blood count done six months later and it was all normal,at no time did i feel unwell or fatigued and continued to exercise like a maniac.I"m fifty soon and take supplements in the form of beer,red wine and occ. pizza and a regular wild,wild woman which helps as does a daily dose of rock and roll with flailing,highly recommended-briz

Edited by brizza, 01 March 2007 - 04:07 PM.


#14 Chris B.

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 08:42 PM

Wow that is a low level. My wife recently went to give blood and they refused to take it with a H of 105 and the blood test showed a ferritin level of 12. They suggested a trip to the doctor which she has just done. More tests to try find out why are being done. The point the doctor made was that they "usually" don't manage to find a cause, but at worst it could be due to Bowel cancer, stomach ulcer Coeliacs(?) or some slight internal bleeding.

Oops sorry, did not read quite all the thread. Good to see you are getting it checked out. Yuck but worth it.

Edited by Chris B., 03 March 2007 - 06:13 PM.


#15 MicrowaveJenny

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:24 PM

Malleyduck, just wanted to know how you went with the FAB - if you've noticed results yet? My results came back with H = 109 (still waiting on results from the complete blood test to get ferritin results etc) but I am taking Ferro-Grad C at the moment but am not sure it is as good as FAB. On Monday I will have more answers as to the cause of the anemia, whether it's b12 deficiency etc.

Can any CRs tell me how soon they began to feel better after starting iron therapy? Are we talking weeks or months here? Mine has gone undiagnosed for so long, I just feel like death warmed up.

#16 Jason M

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 09:43 AM

Be careful with Iron supplements.  Don't take them without checking what your levels really are.  Too much iron can cause worse problems, than low iron.  Also chronic use of iron supplements can lead to a significant reduction in you bodies ability to absorb iron.  Yet, they are often a very effective medication when used appropriately.

#17 downunder runner

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 08:08 AM

hi coolrunners,
yes, Iron deficiency can be very frustrating. It has been for me for many years. I am female and 7 day a week runner/triathlete, and I  have endometriosis and may have adenomiosis as well - so some internal bleeding is very possible.

My ferritin has increased from 11 to 39 over the last 4 years (since having a baby) however there are a couple of other figures on my results here in front of me that are VERY low...on is just called IRON and it is  5 L (range states 9-31) and my TRF. SAT. is 8 L (range being 15-50)...........these figures are obviously very low....

I know that ferritin is the iron stores in the body, but what is IRON and TRF. SAT?  

I have been on iron supplements for years (different types) AND I eat red meat  at least 2-3 times a week !!  So I have an absorbtion issue????????

Jason - where did you read/know about supplements causing reduction in iron absorbtion over time?

#18 StillGettinThere

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:53 PM

View PostChris B., on 02 March 2007 - 08:42 PM, said:

Wow that is a low level. My wife recently went to give blood and they refused to take it with a H of 105 and the blood test showed a ferritin level of 12. They suggested a trip to the doctor which she has just done. More tests to try find out why are being done. The point the doctor made was that they "usually" don't manage to find a cause, but at worst it could be due to Bowel cancer, stomach ulcer Coeliacs(?) or some slight internal bleeding.

Oops sorry, did not read quite all the thread. Good to see you are getting it checked out. Yuck but worth it.
Hey, I know this a really old thread, but it was the third hit on google for the "search" data that I entered.
I see everyone else was talking about iron tablets and then you mentioned all these other "nasties".
I truely hope that none of this applied to your wife and that all she required was a simple re-adjustment in levels.

All these other things do become serious considerations though and are a bit of a worry.

#19 walker1st

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 11:59 AM

while on the topic, latest research is showing the opposite danger - high or just higher levels of ferritin are 1 of 3 major reason for premature aging and body deterioration,
basically rusting-corroding from inside, and it is likely to be THE reason why men are living shorter than females who are solving the issue via menstruation.

The high ferritin level in males is also THE likely reason for all prostate problems, so the male eating meat and not regularly donating blood is in deep kaka long term

Now the experts do suggest to each male over 20 to have regular ferritins levels checkups and ferritin lowering strategies (dating the vampire female)

#20 Wardy

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:14 PM

View Postwalker1st, on 17 March 2012 - 11:59 AM, said:

while on the topic, latest research is showing the opposite danger - high or just higher levels of ferritin are 1 of 3 major reason for premature aging and body deterioration,
basically rusting-corroding from inside, and it is likely to be THE reason why men are living shorter than females who are solving the issue via menstruation.

The high ferritin level in males is also THE likely reason for all prostate problems, so the male eating meat and not regularly donating blood is in deep kaka long term

Now the experts do suggest to each male over 20 to have regular ferritins levels checkups and ferritin lowering strategies (dating the vampire female)

Not sure about that for the "normal"  person, but haemochromatosis is the most common genetic disorder there is. Effect is that the body stores too much iron, which as Walker points out is quite dangerous. Female athletes are forever being told to take iron supplements; DON'T without a blood test confirming low iron first.