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can anyone advise me about serum ferritin and what to do????......

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  • can anyone advise me about serum ferritin and what to do????......

    so had a physical a few months back, and just spoke with my naturopathic Doctor about each and every blood test result.
    LDL was 234
    HDL 105
    triglyercides super low...... homo cysteine and c reactive protein, wonderful...... particle size fluffy most likely due to the fabulous HDL and low triglycerides.... also PH was good......

    all other ones great ALTHOUGH the serum ferritin was at the higher end.....sooo..herein lies my nutritional issue . I have been researching and surfing the web and the overall concesus is to eat less iron. I stopped using my cast iron pan ...which I used to use ALL the time. BUT, I would HATE to give up my daily red meat and dark meat chicken.... I do realize that serum ferritin could mean there is inflammation somewhere in my body.... I am a female, 140 pounds, 5'9..27 inch it's not an issue of overweight.....

    I guess until I can get in to see my Doctor, which takes $$$$, so am waiting a bit.... I want to eat correctly but all the other blood tests showed how great my high fat diet is....and I enjoy it...BUT, how to reduce iron means eating less of the foods I enjoy and I am confused..... it's so paradoxal....I'm definitely blood type O, hunger gathered protein type metabolism....but yet if I have to change my eating for the ferritin levels it contradicts healthy eating for how I thrive....ack..... I have NO clue where to go from here....... does anyone have any thoughts of experience with this sort of situation to deal with?...should I maybe just eat red meat twice per week instead of daily for now?....... please help if you can....

  • #2
    Exactly how high was your ferritin? And by "high end" what do you mean, based on your lab's reference range? And how high or low were your "wonderful" CRP, homocysteine and other numbers? You might think they're "wonderful" but there are context in which they may not be so "wonderful"? Being in the middle of the reference range doesn't mean they're so "wonderful".

    Depending on high "high" your Ferritin is, you need someone who'll review your entire blood work, including your CBC and metabolic panels, not the items you selectively disclosed. I would go see a qualified MD, DO or a naturopath, even though it may cost your money. Don't rely on the lay readers of blood tests here.
    Last edited by choppedliver; 06-24-2012, 11:17 AM.


    • #3
      Hello Chia,

      I registered to be able to answer to you. Sorry for any mistakes in my English, I'm German.

      How high exactly is your ferritin?

      What you have discovered might be hemochromatosis. I have it, so I can give you some pointers. It is a genetic disorder, causing your body to accumulate excessive iron.

      If you decide to go to the doctor, there is a simple genetic test that only needs a little blood. In most cases the test can determine if you have it or not. The cure is simple: bloodletting or phlebotomy. I was diagnosed a year ago, and after 11 months of giving half a litre of blood regularly, my ferritin level is back to normal.

      As far as I know, in the US it is also legal to donate blood if you have hemochromatosis.

      Immediate help for your concerns about eating red meat etc.: Drink black (real, not herbal) tea with your meals. I have this from my doctor. It seems that the tannic acid in the tea prevents or lessens the absorbtion of iron. I've been eating primal all the time during my treatment and only abstained from foods that have extreme amounts of iron, i.e. blutwurst / black pudding, liver and horse meat. (Yes, we eat some pretty strange stuff here in Europe.)

      Good luck to you!
      Last edited by Bess58; 06-24-2012, 11:53 AM. Reason: too wordy, as usual


      • #4
        oh wow...GREAT advice...!.. I didn't put down ALL the stats due to the fact that in Canada, the numbers are different than the U.S. ones. I found somewhere how to convert the LDL and HDL to American numbers but not the others....

        since you're in Germany though...I think you might be the same as let me put down the naturopath did mention hemochromatosis but he didn't think so....

        ferritin: 256 ug/L (12-300) range
        he told me a regular Doctor probably wouldn't have said a thing but he and I are proactive........

        I just don't want to change my diet... I feel great.... the c reactive protein was 0.1 (under 5 is this looks great to me)

        and donating blood...that sounds like a good idea...will ask my Doctor about this when we speak........
        fabulous reply!.... :-)


        • #5
          Hi Chia,

          we have the same numbers here in Germany. Your ferritin is about as high as my daughter's who is 23. This is indeed not dangerously high, and you don't have to fear any damage yet. In women, iron tends to be in a lower range as long as they still menstruate. Then, after menopause, iron often goes up dramatically (mine was over 900 when diagnosed, and in the German hemochromatosis forum there is a woman who was diagnosed at ferritin 9000 - not a typo).

          So I think either way you needn't panic, just keep an eye on your iron and maybe donate blood from time to time. Good thing in itself of course, and I think (don't have the book at hand) that Dr. Eades of "Protein Power" recommends it too. He says that everybody today tends to accumulate excess iron in later age because we dont't suffer the frequent injuries and parasites that humans evolved with.

          Good to hear that you have a very proactive doctor. My last doctor never said anything, just complained about my "high" cholesterol (in the 260s, which is not bad in itself as I learned here). Fortunately, my new doctor diagonosed me.

          Now I see you are in Canada. There is a "Canadian Hemochromatosis Society" with a forum. You should be able to find it via Google.


          • #6
            ok, and yes, my Doctor is beyond amazing.. nothing as wonderful as having the luxury of hiring a naturopathic GP...the time spend...the excruciating attention to detail... :-) he LOVED my HDL and triglycerides... and he happily proclaimed it was most likely the particle size of the LDL was all fluffy and bouncy.... ;-)

            thankyou for your oh so thorough reply.....your LDL was 260?... or do you mean the total?...... yours is only a little higher than my long as your other numbers balanced out the ratio, right?........

            will check that forum....just to see what it is all Doctor didn't think I had that ..probalby due to all the other blood test ratios he was expertise was limited to mostly the cholesterol numbers......

            You are one smart lady.....! if you ever want a pen pal, would love it....!


            • #7
              Hi, Chia! Bess is correct in that the American Red Cross won't take the blood in the case of hemochromatosis, which you don't have, apparently. My ferritin was elevated at one point and I began giving blood periodically, which is personally rewarding. The doctor told me to make sure my multivitamin (or any other otc supplement) doesn't contain iron.


              • #8
                yes, i just checked the symptoms and it certainly doesn't seem like anything I have experienced. so I shall speak to my naturopath about blood biggie...I would love to do that....! I sadly stopped using my cast iron pan, I used to use it once or twice a day to saute onions then add tons of cauliflower rice....but I do realize that is a large source of iron. I guess some people are just more prone to higher ferritin and perhaps inflammation somewhere might rasie it as well...guess it's hard to pinpoint. will also get some black tea like Bess advised so I don't have to stop my yummy, daily bison burger with vegies.. ;-) and the vitamin, NO iron...... :-)


                • #9
                  Donate whole blood, or if possible and you are the right blood type ask to donate double red cells.
                  My son donated double red cells for several years.

                  Then eat all the good foods you want and pass on the goodness of your blood as a favor to someone else!
                  “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                  ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                  And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.