Feeling Like Crap… Low ferritin levels

Today has been one of those days you want to crawl inside a hole and hide from the world. I woke up to a very sore throat, so I think I am catching my husbands cold. I have been on Entocort for my recent Crohns flare, so my ability to fight off stuff in nil. I have physically felt like dog poo all day and to add to it, my job is not Disneyland! The people I work with just dont get it. Some days are rough, today is one of those days.


I saw the hematologist today, I am being put on an iron supplement as my Ferritin is too low.


Ferritin is a protein that stores extra iron for when the body needs it. Low ferritin levels indicate you have low iron stores. A simple test can be performed to see what your ferritin level is if you are experiencing symptoms of low ferritin. A low ferritin level will not always cause symptoms, but when low ferritin symptoms do appear, they usually include the following:

  • Minor aches
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased pulse
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of libido
  • Confusion
  • Irritability

Causes of Low Ferritin Levels

In order to feel well, it is important that all parts of the body, including the systems of the body, work normally and that we have the proper amounts of all essential minerals and other nutrients our blood and bodies need. Iron is a critical component of the blood and is an essential part of hundreds of proteins that are needed for energy, the synthesis of DNA and for antioxidant enzymes. When you do not have a sufficient amount of iron in your blood, you may develop a condition known as iron deficiency anemia, the most common kind of anemia. Anemia affects your red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. If your body does not make enough hemoglobin because it doesn’t have enough iron, the result will often be iron deficiency anemia.1

Low ferritin levels are often the precursor to iron deficiency anemia, and there are many causes of low ferritin levels:

  • Excessive blood loss (due to heavy menstrual flow, gastrointestinal bleeding, infections, IBD, cancer)
  • Malabsorption of iron (healthy absorption is about 10-15% of the iron we consume)
  • Insufficient intake of iron in your diet

To improve you ferritin level, you should consume foods rich in iron such as lentils, kidney and lima beans, spinach, beef, dark meat turkey, chicken legs, chicken livers and cereals fortified with iron.

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