Extremely low ferritin level, exhaustion and hair loss?

BrunetteGirlBrunetteGirl Posts: 2Registered Users
Hi I'm new here. I'm having the following symptoms:
-Extreme fatigue, fatigue so bad that I'm sleeping until 4-5pm in the evening
-Hair loss, I've lost 75% of my hair
-Really pale
-Dark circles under my eyes
-Shortness of breath, most noticeable after going to the bathroom and washing my hands. I have to sit down and rest.
-Feeling like not enough oxygen is getting to my head at times
-My hands and feet are so cold it's almost unbearable

My doctor has ran tests and checked for thyroid problems and all this. Everything is normal. My TSH is 0.9. I'm not anemic, my hemoglobin is 14.6. But my ferritin is basically nonexistent. It was 10 a couple months ago. It's probably 5 now. I know all of the symptoms of low ferritin and what it can cause but the doctors refuse to acknowledge it. They say I'm fine and I'm not anemic. Even a HEMATOLOGIST who does iron infusions said my iron was normal and low ferritin doesn't cause symptoms unless you're anemic. The doctors refuse to do anything and won't prescribe iron supplements. I'm 16 and I live with my mom and I don't have a car or my license. She won't get me an iron supplement because she truly believes what the doctors are saying even though I've told her time and time again what low ferritin does and the symptoms of it. The doctors have said not to take iron and that you can get iron toxicity so she doesn't want me to take iron. My mom thinks all my symptoms are caused by oversleeping and depleting my body (to where I wake up with low blood sugar and dehydration since I'm sleeping so long) and lack of movement (I don't exercise cause I'm exhausted). She's been anemic before and had a hemoglobin of 6 and she said she was still able to go to work, do laundry, etc and that my symptoms are not ferritin related. I asked my grandmother who has a heart condition but has lots of energy to get her ferritin checked and it was 66. She thought it was the iron too at first but now my mom has her believing it's the sleep schedule and lack of movement and also the way I'm eating (I don't eat breakfast until 4-5pm). She said low ferritin can't make someone sleep this long.

So I want to know how can I get it up through food? I looked it up and some supplements have 18mg of iron and 2 servings of Cheerios is 17.8mg of iron. So can I just have 2 servings of Cheerios? Would that work? We don't eat red meat because she has a fear of Mad Cow Disease so cereal is the only thing that I could eat that would have enough iron to bring it up. I've tried eating turkey every day and it's not working.


  • BrunetteGirlBrunetteGirl Posts: 2Registered Users
    Also, my mom says I need to go to an eating disorder clinic because although I don't have an eating disorder, I have disordered eating since I eat breakfast at 4pm, lunch at 7pm, and dinner at 9:30 and that nobody does this. But I don't wake up till around 4pm to eat anyway and I've already lost a lot of weight because I can't fit enough food into an 8 hour time frame. So what does she want me to do? Wake up at 4 and have a snack and then dinner at 7 so that it's a more acceptable time frame for her and not "disordered eating" and then I'll lose more weight? But she thinks oversleeping is causing me to be more tired, that I just need to get up early and exercise and I'll feel better.
  • Therese1Therese1 Posts: 2,563Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    BrunetteGirl, I'm so sorry that you're going through this. It is too bad that the doctors won't allow you to take just a small dose of iron for a short period as an experiment.

    The only thing I can offer you for advice is to make sure you're getting enough vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body use the iron that is in food. Maybe the turkey would help you more if you were getting some vitamin C with it? Also, I think that the dark-meat turkey probably has more iron than turkey breast.

    I'm sorry that you are not getting support from your mom. It doesn't sound like she has very accurate information. If the problem could be fixed by something as simple as getting up earlier and exercising, you would have done that already! I hope you get some answers soon.
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
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    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • Therese1Therese1 Posts: 2,563Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I did remember something else from an old nutrition book I read years ago: dried apricots and eggs are great for iron. Can you eat those foods?

    Another thing is that I read in a book written by a nutritionist that the main sources of zinc are red meat and oysters. She said you really need to have one or the other in your diet. Since you don't eat red meat, are you getting enough zinc? I don't know what zinc deficiency signs are. If you can't eat red meat or oysters, dried beans contain a signficant amount of zinc, just not as much.
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • CurlyCowgirlyCurlyCowgirly Posts: 299Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Greens!! Spinach, broccoli, and chicken livers are high in iron. Not cheerios dear! They add that in. Cheerios have Round-up in them, and right now with your weakened state you need a whole foods, organic diet. Stay away from toxins and preservatives. Liver is the most nutrient dense food out there, and no risk of mad cow! I have insomnia and cook it on the stovetop with garlic, lemon, EVOO, onion powder and poultry seasoning when I need energy.
    Low/Med porosity, very fine, low/med elasticity & density, 3A
    AKA hard to work with hair!

    Low-Poo: Kenra Volumizing shampoo, AG Fast Food shampoo
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  • StarmieStarmie Posts: 7,169Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I had very low ferritin levels a few years ago, even though my haemoglobin was normal, my doctor told me to take iron tablets so that's what I did, can't understand why yours would say differently. Once my levels were up again I stopped taking them and have been ok since - my hair loss seemed to stop, though what I'd already lost never came back. Can you not just get iron supplements from the chemist? We don't need scripts for them here.
    It concerns me that your sleep/wake and eating patterns are so out of whack and no-one seems to be doing anything to help you. Can you see a different doctor? Difficult at your age I guess.
    3b in South Australia.
  • OnduleeOndulee Posts: 1,305Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    When I was young my mother gave me blackstrap molasses for my ferritin levels.  It's a by product of sugar production, a food item I cook and bake with.  

    It's bitter so you can mix it with peanut butter to dull the taste if you don't like it.  

    Do a Google search for "I tried Blackstrap Molasses for Anemia" ...an article by Amelia Diamond on site manrepeller.  Her experience (positive) using this food as an easily absorbed form of iron.  

    Also this was used by a friend's mother to keep her blood and iron built up when having part of her stomach removed due to cancer.  Her doctors were amazed at her strength through the surgery and her quick recovery...hope this can give you a food based solution to your health issue.  All the best!
    shoulder length bob; fine; 3A-3B; thin density; normal porosity; normal elasticity- my hair loves keratin, ACV, silk protein ,Curlkeeper and AG:Recoil ; needs moisturizing products and hates oils except mineral oil; CG- Jan/'09-mod CG Sept/'09;CG again Jan/'10/mod CG from Mar'10

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