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The tests used most often to detect iron deficiency include hemoglobin (the iron-containing protein in the blood that carries iron and oxygen to cells), hematocrit which provides the percentage measures of of red blood cells in the blood, serum ferritin, which indicates the amount of iron stored in the body, and serum iron and iron-binding capacity (IBC, UIBC or TIBC). The latter measures are used to calculate transferrin-iron saturation percentage (TS%), a measure of iron in transit in the serum. Serum ferritin is a very important test because it helps distinguish between iron deficiency anemia and anemia of chronic disease (also called anemia of inflammatory response). In cases of iron deficiency anemia, iron supplements can be helpful; but in cases of anemia of chronic disease, iron supplements could be harmful.
Normal value range is:
Male: 12-300 ng/mL (nanograms per millilter)
Female: 12-150 ng/mL
Heavy menstrual bleeding
Intestinal conditions that cause poor absorption of iron
Iron deficiency anemia
Long-term digestive tract bleeding
originally posted by: VegHead
Low ferritin is extremely common. It is often the first blood result to slip down low when your iron intake is too low. In other words, it's often the first step towards iron deficiency anemia. I don't think I've ever had my ferritin in normal range- just can't get it up even with supplements.
I am very surprised you got referred to a hematologist - are there other reasons for the referral?
Symptoms of low ferritin are usually none. Many people have low ferritin and aren't aware of it without a blood test. Some people do get symptoms, though, which are like mild anemia symptoms (fatigue for example.)
The cortisol level is actually more dependent on time of day than anything else. Cortisol peaks between 8 am and 10 am. It's lowest at night. Your level doesn't seem high. That wouldn't even be high in the afternoon, and if it was taken in the morning it is almost low. (My 8 am cortisol a often near 20). So, time of day matters.
I don't know if any of that helped. I have a history of endocrine problems (pituitary issues, thyroid cancer) so I'm all too familiar with these hormone tests.
If you are really concerned about your cortisol, request a 24 hour urine test. It is a much more accurate indicator of your cortisol levels.
originally posted by: anxiouswens
I was low on this for 3 or 4 years. Apparently I was told this was more of a true indicator of aneamia. Under microscope my cells were miniscule which can indicate something more serious. I had every test done celiac, stomach ulcer, etc everything normal. Had terrible itching and sores, joint pain, depression, fatigue. Bit by bit things have improved but it has taken time. As long as you have had all tests done I would try not to worry too much as only makes depression fatigue worse.