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I'm a little confused. I have a low ferritin level, but my iron levels are within the normal range. I went to a hemotologist and PCP and they recommended iron tablets for 2 months. My questions...

Do iron pills raise ferritin levels?

How long after taking iron pills does hair stop falling out (I know it will take a few months to grow)?

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Goodness.....I have the exact situation, but my GP said I did not need iron because the iron levels were normal? Do you remember your Ferritin number? I believe mine was 48 which I was told was low, but not below "normal" levels. I read an article where a physician treats for a level 45 or below. I have always wondered as I am borderline to this. Do you have other symptoms other than hair loss?


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These were my levels in June...

Iron 104....normal is...... 30-140

TIBC 294....normal is..... 210-415

Transferrin Saturat 35....normal is.... 11-46

Ferritin 10.5....normal is.... 9-150

According to my results, ferritin is actually in normal range but low. Just wondering if iron will raise it?

My other symptom besides hair loss was fatigue.

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I'm not an expert, but here's my understanding:

Ferritin is a protein that binds to iron in your body (bone marrow, liver etc), storing it and releasing it as needed. So measuring ferritin indirectly measures your stored iron.

Iron is also bound to transferrin in the blood and hemoglobin in your red blood cells. When you get your "iron level" they're normally talking about your serum iron level which is the amount of iron bound to transferrin in your blood. Sometimes they also talk about your "total iron binding capacity" (the amount of iron needed to bind to all of the transferrin) and "transferrin saturation" (the percentage of transferrin with iron bound to them).

Presumably your doctor ran all of these tests and concluded that the right approach is to increase your iron intake. Maybe your doctor thinks your iron reserves are running low. I ran across one paper that said ferritin under 50 might contribute to hair loss, but it didn't give any information about how long it would take to change it.

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Good point on the blood volume.

Ferritin is storage. Serum iron is what is being transported and the body tries to keep it within a certain level. There are differences of opinion on what is normal for ferritin (hence the huge range), but nutritional biochemists like to see it above 50 but not too much over 100 in a menstruating woman.

If the stores are low but transportation is healthy, you just need to eat or take more.

I hope your hair stops falling out quickly.


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