Is my blood ferritin level of 14 ug/L high enough? Why am I still tired?


Q: Hello Doctor,

Background: My ferritin levels are 14 ug/L. The lab where I got my test done (BC Canada) states that normal ferritin levels are >11 ug/L. My GP told me my iron levels are now normal and I am healthy. 19 yr old female.

I have two questions:
-Is my ferritin level of 14 ug/L are healthy enough? I read online that normal levels range between 18-160 ug/L.
-When will the symptoms of low iron fade? I still feel very fatigued and slight irritability.

Thank you very much in advance.

Symptoms:  Fatigue, iron deficiency, history of anemia, low ferritin levels, low iron, 14 ug/L, normal iron range, low iron range, sleepy, tired, irritability

A:   The normal range for serum ferritin (SF) varies from lab to lab. SF range also differs by gender, ethnicity and age. Such variations limit the consistency with which a healthcare provider can determine abnormal iron levels. For now, we recognize serum ferritin lower than 20ng/ml as iron deficiency and a serum ferritin elevated above 150ng/ml as potential iron overload. Other tests such as transferrin-iron saturation percentage (TS%) and hemoglobin are important to determine anemia.
If you are iron deficient, you may boost your ferritin levels with these approaches: Consume meals rich in vitamin C and lean cuts of red meat; Avoid calcium supplements, coffee or tea 2 hours before & after meat meals. If iron supplements are recommended, take them with vitamin C-rich foods or beverages. Your symptoms are likely to improve with regular therapy over next two months.

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