Abnormal Ferritin levels

coxy

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Hi, my son has just had blood tests because of all the very me/cfs symptoms he's been having over the last couple of months. I've been told he has abnormal ferritin levels over the phone(not sure exactly the levels yet), i know ferritin is part of iron levels, but does anyone know if this is an me/cfs symptom? obviously we're very worried.
 
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My wife's ferritin levels were virtually non-existent. She felt pretty tired but was okay otherwise. She went on ferritin tablets for about six months and is back to normal - for now at least. BTW she does not have CFS and has a A1 immune system.
 

biophile

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Although ferritin is used to help measure iron levels, it is not necessarily synonymous with iron levels and can be elevated during periods of disease and malnutrition.
 

Athene

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I've had abnormal ferritin levels at various times - it seems to vary a lot over time. I have also had high levels of unbound serum iron, which is very bad. These are both problems that can occur with ME. In my case they seem to come on after long periods of particularly atrocious terrible guts. (My gut problems are always severe). I was given a good explanation by the doc which I am very sorry to say my fogged brain cannot currently remember.
The wiki article is brief but fairly informative and worth a look:
http://209.85.135.132/search?q=cach...ki/Ferritin+ferritin&cd=1&hl=it&ct=clnk&gl=it
 

coxy

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thankyou Athene for the link it was really interesting & helpful.
i now know that my son't ferritin level is only 5.4 (should be between 20-288), but the other areas of iron were normal as was the basic full blood count. i can't see how low ferritin levels would cause him to have symptoms of hot flushes & sweat so badly doing a small amount of activity. i can accept it could be causing the achey legs, fatigue, dizzy spells & terrible trouble with his school work due to concentration problems. Can anyone else throw any light on this?
 

kerrilyn

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Hi,
My ferritin level is 11. I read recently there was a study showing a link between low ferritin and Fibro, not sure about ME/CFS (wouldn't surprise me if it was). I don't have hot flushes and sweat doing a small amount of activity, if anything low ferritin makes you feel cold. But just a thought, could he have POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)? There has been a lot of topics about POTS and other Orthostatic Intolerant Syndromes in the Symptoms and Lifestyle Management areas of this forum lately. With some POTS patients when they exert themselves they get flushed, clammy feeling and sweat. There is lots of info about POTS here: http://www.dinet.org/symptoms.htm Just a thought - good luck with your son.
 

xchocoholic

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My ferritin was low due to excessive menses and celiac disease and since I couldn't handle any iron supplements, I used a cast iron pan all the time and ate bison steaks every day. Bison has more iron than beef ... I continue to use a cast iron pan from time to time ...

A note of caution here. My hair turned blackish / greyish from using the cast iron pan too often. I'm a blonde so it was a weird color for me ...
 

Athene

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Sweats and flushes:
1. I would ask for his thyroid to be measured (the proper one, Th3 and Th4 as well as TSH. If you are in the UK you have to stamp your feet and fuss to get all this on the NHS as they save money by only testing TSH normally)
2. Also consider if he has high levels of histamine. This is very common with CFS and causes wide ranging symptoms that resemble ADHD - so the lack of concentration would fit well with this. Test this by giving him antihistamine for three days, full dose, and see what happens to his symptoms. If he improves you need to start allergy testing. Sky high histamine is v common in CFS.
These are just ideas from brainstorming. I don't know if the ferritin could explain these symptoms but unfortunately every symptom of CFS is caused by several different things so it takes a lot of fiddling to get to the bottom of everything.