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Recently Answered Question

  • What is the best treatment for low ferritin blood levels? I have recently been diagnosed, my ferritin level is 20. The range at my lab is 30-400. Hgb is 12 (13-17) MCV is 87 (80-100) TIBC is 413 (220-430). I have great difficulty metabolizing many medications. If possible can you suggest medication, as well as any possibility of any alternative supplements or nutritional possibilities. I suspect I have suffered with this for years. Thank you for any help you can offer me.

    Lydia R.

    ACCEPTED ANSWER: Your hemoglobin is just the lower limit for women and TIBC and MCV are within the normal range. You don't have a severe anemia, but if you have such symptoms you can start taking iron supplements to increase your ferritin levels. Your low ferritin levels can be due to your malabsorption problem. Your body can't absorb enough iron from your food. Make sure to eat plenty of iron-rich foods, such as organ meats (especially kidney, heart and liver), red meat, fish, poultry, beans (lentile and chickpeas), nuts, seeds, sardines, and dried fruits. You also need some supplements to improve iron absorption. Vitamin C, copper, folic acid, vitamin B12, molybdenum and selenium will help absorb more iron from food and iron supplements. You should also avoid taking substances that inhibit iron absorption, which include: red wine, coffee, tea, soy protein, high fiber diets, rhubarb, most dairy products, wheat bran and chocolate. If you have problems with absorption, gluten free diets and drinking non dairy milk (soy, rice or almond milk) or goats' milk instead of cow's milk can also help resolve this problem. But taking too much iron can also be harmful. Check for improvements in your symptoms after taking these measures. Hope this helps.

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Verified Doctor

  • William K., MD
    William K., MD
    Medical Expert
    Medical Doctor, Health Advocate. 12+ years of experience in guiding people towards health solutions.
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    Surgery, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Trauma, Burns, General Medicine
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