Need to build my Ferritin Back up. Need suggestions please.

Thread starter #1
In the effort to keep my HCT under 50.1 I have needed to donate blood. Because of that I have pretty much crashed my Ferritin.

I am looking for ideas on diet and supplements to get my blood built back up asap.

 
#3
In the effort to keep my HCT under 50.1 I have needed to donate blood. Because of that I have pretty much crashed my Ferritin.

I am looking for ideas on diet and supplements to get my blood built back up asap.

How many times have you donated in order to achieve this ferritin?
Like Vince said iron + Vit C will help. But iron will also help speed up the increase in HCT.
I would supplement with iron for a month or two and check where HCT and ferritin are. Ideally do not donate more than once every 3 months to avoid tanking your ferritin. However some people will have a big increase in HCT after 3 months without donating so that would not be a option.
 
Thread starter #5
How many times have you donated in order to achieve this ferritin?
Like Vince said iron + Vit C will help. But iron will also help speed up the increase in HCT.
I would supplement with iron for a month or two and check where HCT and ferritin are. Ideally do not donate more than once every 3 months to avoid tanking your ferritin. However some people will have a big increase in HCT after 3 months without donating so that would not be a option.
4 over the last 14 months of being on TRT.
To be fare. no one PCP or TRT doc ever checked my ferritin. I asked for it to be added on my retest HCT post blood donation.

My first blood donation was May 22 2017, then Jul 20 2017, then Sep 21 2017, and finally Jan 25 2018

Getting my ferritin back to a healthy lvl is priority one. I don't care where my HCT goes during this process.

I have a theory my Jan 2018 51.7 HCT was a bad/botched blood test. Who goes from 43.0 to 51.7 in 8 weeks?
No one goes from 51.7 to 45.9 with one pint whole blood donation.

This bad blood test caused me to donate when I did not need it.
 
#6
4 over the last 14 months of being on TRT.
To be fare. no one PCP or TRT doc ever checked my ferritin. I asked for it to be added on my retest HCT post blood donation.

My first blood donation was May 22 2017, then Jul 20 2017, then Sep 21 2017, and finally Jan 25 2018

Getting my ferritin back to a healthy lvl is priority one. I don't care where my HCT goes during this process.

I have a theory my Jan 2018 51.7 HCT was a bad/botched blood test. Who goes from 43.0 to 51.7 in 8 weeks?
No one goes from 51.7 to 45.9 with one pint whole blood donation.

This bad blood test caused me to donate when I did not need it.
I understand it is your priority to bring your ferritin up. But just speak to your doctor and do some research before supplementing with iron. Otherwise you might end up in a endless loop where your ferritin will always be low and your HCT will always be high.
For me supplementing with 100% RDA iron (through iron bisglycinate) + 1g of Vitamin for 1-2 months after donating was able to bring back my ferriting back to normal after donating blood. Everyone will respond differently so the optimal dosage for you might be completely different (by optimal I mean a dosage that will balance a increase in ferritin while minimizing the increase in HCT). Just keep in mind that loading with iron might just put you in an endless frustration cycle.
One thing i will ask my doctor in my next consultation is how high can my HCT go (with no symptoms: normal blood pressure etc). Lets say that if a HCT of 52 in the absence of symptoms is ok, then I could donate less often and avoid tanking my ferritin.
 
Thread starter #7
I understand it is your priority to bring your ferritin up. But just speak to your doctor and do some research before supplementing with iron. Otherwise you might end up in a endless loop where your ferritin will always be low and your HCT will always be high.
For me supplementing with 100% RDA iron (through iron bisglycinate) + 1g of Vitamin for 1-2 months after donating was able to bring back my ferriting back to normal after donating blood. Everyone will respond differently so the optimal dosage for you might be completely different (by optimal I mean a dosage that will balance a increase in ferritin while minimizing the increase in HCT). Just keep in mind that loading with iron might just put you in an endless frustration cycle.
One thing i will ask my doctor in my next consultation is how high can my HCT go (with no symptoms: normal blood pressure etc). Lets say that if a HCT of 52 in the absence of symptoms is ok, then I could donate less often and avoid tanking my ferritin.
Understand thank you.
On my first consult with Defy Dr Calkins said since I live at altitude he would not be concerned until I hit 54-56.
But the person I talked with 8 months later via emails had no clue that discussion ever happened and I am sure they just read off some standard procedure and did not take into consideration where I live. I would expect different answers depending on who you talk with.

Right now I don't plan to just take supplements. For instance Chicken liver has one of the highest lvl of iron. Supplement wise going from 500mg vit-C to 1-2g's/24 hours.
I want to investigate other foods with high iron content.
 
#8
I have found for me that the best way I absorb iron and is easy on the gut is to take comfort iron 25mgs at
lunchtime along with some meat protein, steak, hamburger etc. I do not take anything else except vitamin c at breakfast. I have always had to do a phlebotomy every 6 weeks and my ferritin has been 7 before. I have experimented about not taking iron to see if my levels still rose and they still did for me. The iron though did help raise my ferritin levels better when taken with a meat source. Michael
 
#9
Hello, I ran into the same issue. My ferritin was lower than yours. You can read about it here:

What I do now, is supplement with a product called Blood Builder. You can read all the reviews on Amazon. This stuff works for people when no other iron supplements will. I take it every day for 2-3 weeks after donating to build up iron & ferritin without spiking Hemoglobin & Hematocrit.
 
#10
I had the same issue (and have again due to increasing testosterone dosage) and ended up with way too high HCT and too low ferritin. Reducing my testosterone dosage to 100mg per week, losartan at 25mg daily, and using Thorne's Ferrasorb brought my iron to where it should be and my HCT leveled out. But, since I screwed it up recently, I have to do it all over again. My body just doesn't like being over 600 level total testosterone.
 
#12
Hello, I ran into the same issue. My ferritin was lower than yours. You can read about it here:

What I do now, is supplement with a product called Blood Builder. You can read all the reviews on Amazon. This stuff works for people when no other iron supplements will. I take it every day for 2-3 weeks after donating to build up iron & ferritin without spiking Hemoglobin & Hematocrit.
I like the approach of supplementing with iron for a limited time after donating only. That can help the ferritin and not mess too much with HCT. I am doing the same but for 4 weeks after donating
 
Thread starter #13
I like the approach of supplementing with iron for a limited time after donating only. That can help the ferritin and not mess too much with HCT. I am doing the same but for 4 weeks after donating
Hi HealthMan, Is it trial and error determining how long to supplement for low ferritin? Would 4 weeks post donation be a good starting point for me?
 
#14
I've been donating blood every 56 days for 30 years. My ferritin is @50. Not bad considering all the donations. All other measures of iron are good. I'm on a mission to raise the ferritin now using iron bisglycinate.
 
#16
But do you feel okay otherwise? Dr. Caulkins is my doctor as well. I have to be phlebotomized because I am not eligible to donate. 750 milliliters every 3.5 months. I thought the point of blood removal was to make the body slightly anemic so it would stop making so many red blood cells !! If you feel all right otherwise and the hormonal levels are good, I would just forget about it .. Even with testosterone therapy, all your numbers will not be text book normal. Just get it the best you can for your situation and run with it !! At some point your ferritin will slowly rise again, and when RBC starts creeping up you will have to donate again! Ferritin is just a protein for iron storage. It represents iron that the body is not using and doesn't need. All iron in the body is recycled. The male body has no way to eliminate iron other than bleeding ... This is just my opinion .. I am not a doctor, just a low level plastics engineer ..
 
Thread starter #17
But do you feel okay otherwise? Dr. Caulkins is my doctor as well. I have to be phlebotomized because I am not eligible to donate. 750 milliliters every 3.5 months. I thought the point of blood removal was to make the body slightly anemic so it would stop making so many red blood cells !! If you feel all right otherwise and the hormonal levels are good, I would just forget about it .. Even with testosterone therapy, all your numbers will not be text book normal. Just get it the best you can for your situation and run with it !! At some point your ferritin will slowly rise again, and when RBC starts creeping up you will have to donate again! Ferritin is just a protein for iron storage. It represents iron that the body is not using and doesn't need. All iron in the body is recycled. The male body has no way to eliminate iron other than bleeding ... This is just my opinion .. I am not a doctor, just a low level plastics engineer ..
I feel fine. I have none of the side effect of low ferritin. I only tested it because a fellow member helping me with my thyroid panel suggested I get it tested. I'm glad I did and I think I caught it early. I'll be adding the ferritin to all my future blood tests until I get a good feel on how my ferritin responds to supplements. I'm not really worried I think I can get it back in range pretty easy.
Plastic Engineer? that's cool. Does that require a lot of chemistry?

I had no idea iron is recycled and you don't consume it. Thank you for that info.
 
#18
My associate degree is in plastics technology with a major in Color Matching. A couple classes in Chemistry and Physics. I wish I had an associate in Chemistry. Could do a lot more with it. But you can go a long way with just an associates degree, provided it's in the right field. My field is very small and specialized. If I don't like my job I will have to move out of state or something like that.
 
#19
Hi HealthMan, Is it trial and error determining how long to supplement for low ferritin? Would 4 weeks post donation be a good starting point for me?
Sorry for the late reply feeling lost. For some reason i am no longer gettingn email notifications for the forum i am subscribed to (can a admin help me on this?) There are some studies published showing that supplementing with iron (~38mg elemental iron) after donation blood will recover your ferritin levels much faster than no taking iron. The trial and error part is how much iron you need to recover ferritin fast enough and avoid increasing HCT too much. For me 18mg of iron byglicinate for 4-6 weeks after donating (taken with VIT C) is able to bring back my ferritin to pre-donation levels. Since i tanked my ferritin amd that is messing with all my iron homeostasis i am trying to:
- reduce my testosterone dosage
- take 18mg iron bysglicinate 2x day with VIT C
- donate as little as possible to keep HCT below 51

my main goal is to stop donating blood completely. Donating too often is giving me iron avidity and f... up with my iron. I will ask to get tested for hematochromatosis just in case. But all my iron labs before trt and before starting to donate blood were perfect
 
#20
Healthman pretty much covered it, but if you're supplementing iron (with vit c), and ferritin isn't going up, then you have other issues to deal with (usually your stomach acid & malabsorption issues).

Also Google foods/drinks that impede iron absorption, ie dairy, tea, coffee, etc, and avoid these for 2 hrs before/after taking iron.

Just one more thing (as Columbo once said!), that if you have some kind of infection, iron will 'feed' it and make it worse! Something else to consider.
 
Top