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low ferritin help

I'm 32, female and otherwise healthy; my doctor called with some anormal labs:
Hgb 10.8, ferritin 5

I guess this is why I'm so exhausted:( Is there anything I should do? She suggested otc low Fe.
Is this a serious issue?

Thanks for ANY thoughts!
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Avatar universal
A ferritin level that low is suggestive of iron deficiency anemia. There are other tests that can help confirm this such as a Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) level, transferrin level, RDW, MCV etc which her doctor problem already obtained, which is the reason why the doctor recommended iron therapy. As a general rule, you start with conservative therapy 1st (i.e. oral iron therapy), then consider other options if that fails.

And FYI "prescribed" iron is the same as otc iron. The formulation is the same.

Hope this helps...
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Avatar universal
Sparta, I would get this sorted out ASAP.  As I stated, I don't think OTC Iron will help with a level that low.  That's my opinion.  

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Avatar universal
OTC the 1st line therapy for iron deficiency anemia. She is anemic most likely do to blood loss from menstruation and a diet low in iron. IV iron therapy is reserved for people who are profoundly anemic or can't absorb iron through their gut.

Sparta802 you can try otc ferrous gluconate instead of ferrous sulfate. I believe the gluconate version is absorbed better by the body. Also iron tablets can cause nausea and stomach irritation so make sure to take with a full meal. Iron tablets have the side effect of making your stool hard and dark so you may want to take fiber supplements as well to keep your stool normal consistency. Most importantly you should change your diet and eat food rich in iron (look up the food list online) or once you stop the iron therapy you will become anemic again.
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1373852 tn?1307843048
you have anemia so do I this is a normal solution to this problem.my hg was ten point five and ferritin is four.I have heavy menistration thats what caused mi ne
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Avatar universal
Ferritin of 5?  What is the normal ranges for this lab?  That is very low and all this physician recommended was OTC Fe?  You need to have a prescription for Fe and try to increase your daily intake of iron through the foods you eat as well.  Ideally, you probably need to be treated with Fe injections or IV.

I would recommend finding a physician who is willing to find out the cause of WHY you are anemic.  OTC Fe is not going to do the trick in my opinion.

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Avatar universal
It is not uncommon for young, menstruating women to have iron deficiency anemia. With a ferritin of 5, it sounds like you are very anemic, so this could certainly explain your exhaustion. Iron supplementation is a definite must. Taking it orally is a reasonable place to start -- you need 150-200mg of elemental iron supplementation per day, so taking something like Ferrous Sulfate 325mg three times per day (with meals) should be sufficient. Your doctor should recheck your iron studies and blood count after 2-3 months to make sure things are moving in the right direction.
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