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Iron saturation levels low

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Recently after a blood test was done, I found out my iron saturation levels are low, but all my other iron levels are fine and i am not anemic. I understand what iron saturation is, but i dont understand what causes it to be low and if i can fix it. i have been eating more iron lately (more meat, spinach, plums, etc. -- all iron-rich foods)
i am a 23-year-old woman with light periods and a pretty healthy diet (i eat fruits and veggies, dairy, whole grains, etc. but up until recently I hadnt been eating that much meat)
I guess what i want to know is if this is potentially serious (caused by something else) the doctor wasnt very helpful in answering my questions. thanks!
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First Helper mstrombe
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replied October 2nd, 2008
Iron saturation level
Hello,

Since you are young and healthy and eating well, it probably isn't anything to be concerned about, but low iron saturation may indicate a need to increase your body's iron stores. Supplementation should be done with care and under medical supervision, because too much iron can actually be worse (and harder to treat) than too little.

For now, you can eat iron-rich foods (at the same time as some vitamin C, [aids absorption], and several hours separate from any high calcium source [hinders absorption].

Do you have your lab results? How far below the lab's scale was your saturation? Are there plans to check it again in a few months?
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replied January 25th, 2009
iron saturation
when they are testing for iron saturation what are they testing for?
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replied October 29th, 2009
Low Iron
I am curious because Iron levels are low as well. The saturation was a 9 which it says is low. The binding was high at 608 , iron 56 and ferritin was low at 13. I have been waiting 10 days for pathology to interpret the smear. It is very hard to be patient.
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replied November 20th, 2009
My 15 yr old daughter is anemic. We just found out a few weeks ago and she's taking Feosol. So far she's feeling much better but her iron saturation was very low at a 5 and her ferritin at a 9, iron serum is a 22. What does this all mean? I'm so new to this.
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replied January 6th, 2010
Low iron
Hi,
Below is my wife lab results. can you please let me know what do you interpret? She is 24 years old female, has gained sudden weight in the past 6 months and has complaints about fatigue, light headedness etc. Can you please let me know what you can interpret?

Total Protein 8.4 5.9-8.4 gm/dl
Albumin 5.1 3.2-5.2 gm/dl
Globulin 3.3 1.7-3.7 gm/dL
A/G Ratio 1.5 1.1-2.9
Glucose 84 70-99 mg/dL
Sodium 139 133-145 mmol/L
Potassium 4.7 3.3-5.3 mmol/L
Chloride 101 96-108 mmol/L
CO2 25 21-29 mmol/L
BUN 10 7-25 mg/dl
Creatinine 0.7 0.6-1.3 mg/dl
e-GFR 102 > 60 mL/min/1.73m2
BUN/Creat Ratio 14.3 10-28
Calcium 10.1 8.4-10.4 mg/dl
Iron 40 30-160 mcg/dl
Bilirubin, Total 0.2 0.1-1.0 mg/dl
Alk Phos 94 39-120 u/l
AST (SGOT) 93 HI < 37 u/l
ALT (SGPT) 51 HI < 40 u/L C
------* HEMATOLOGY *--------
Col: 1/4/2010 Status: P Reviewed:
P.T.T. 32.5 HI 24.9-31.8sec
-----* MISCELLANEOUS *------
Col: 1/4/2010 Status: P Reviewed:
TSH 2.780 0.27-4.2 uIU/mL
THYROXINE(T4) 10.8 4.5-12.0 ug/dL
T3(THYRONINE),TOTAL 132 80-200 ng/dL
FERRITIN 18 SEE BELOW
HEP. A Ab,IgM Negative NEGATIVE
HEPATITIS A AB/TOTAL Positive * NEGATIVE
HBcAB TO FOLLOW NEGATIVE
HBsAb Positive * NEGATIVE
HBsAg Negative NEGATIVE
HBeAB TO FOLLOW NEGATIVE
HBeAg TO FOLLOW NEGATIVE
FOLIC ACID >20.0 HI 3.1-17.5 ng/mL
VITAMIN B12 350 211-946 pg/mL
IRON % SAT. 11 LO 20-55%
TIBC 369 228-428 mcg/dl
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replied January 8th, 2010
LOW saturation
I got my test results and the dr said she has never seen a lower level in her years in practice.. my saturation is 2 i am going today to see the hemotologist and starting an iron infussion on monday. I ameating up to 7 pounds of ice a day .. I am getting dizzy slurred speach and tired ALL THE TIME.. alotho my hemoglobin is 8.1 my thyroid was 7.55 which she said could be that high due to being so severely anemic.. Can anyone tell me whats the heck is going on and what I can expect with the infussion?
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replied December 8th, 2011
Tennyl,

The symptoms you described are just like mine. The tiredness and especially the ice chewing continue to plague me.

I am about to start my infusion on friday, and was just wondering how you took to it, the side effects you experienced, how it felt, etc.

I am starting to wonder if this is the right choice.
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replied January 4th, 2012
Reply about iron infusions
My iron saturation was 4 and my other levels very low. My hemoglobin was at 7.8. Just a little lower and I would've had a blood transfusion. But. The iron infusions, which I received weekly for months before I was even allowed to have a hysterectomy. After I had my surgery, I had months of more infusions to build me back up.

The infusions are no more painful than a regular IV. It doesn't hurt going in. I felt nauseous afterwards, but that was also directly related to my eating. If I ate a full meal before the infusion, I didn't get sick. If I snacked, I nearly always got sick.

If your iron is very low, iron infusions may be your only option. I too was chewing ice like crazy! I cracked a tooth, which is how I finally started seeking treatment for my anemia. I had no idea it was soooooooo low. I felt tired, but I thought it was just because I have an extremely stressful job. I had no idea it was because I was so low even the hematologist was worried.

A hysterectomy did not solve all of my problems. I'm still dealing with anemia issues. Thankfully, though, I haven't gone to the loooooow levels I was before. They check my levels about once every 6 weeks. My body does not absorb oral iron supplements. In fact, my levels do not budge at all after oral iron. So I have no choice but infusions.
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replied January 27th, 2010
Iron Deficient
I was in your shoes several years ago. The contantly eating ice is a huge clue that you need to see a hemotologist. I had to have iron infusions because, like you, I was dizzy , extremely tired and I could tell I was acting a bit goofy. Well, thank goodness the iron infusions worked. I was back to my self in about a week. Make sure you stay on your iron supplements. You can get RLS - Restless leg syndrome - and once it starts, it stays with you for years.
Hoped this helped.
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replied December 6th, 2011
I'm having the same problem with iron saturation, leg cramps are driving me insane. Did yours ever get better?
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replied December 8th, 2011
Adding on to Susin1, did your ice chewing ever slow down?
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replied February 1st, 2010
he myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS, formerly known as "preleukemia")
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replied August 3rd, 2010
reply to Hgowda
Hgowda, you wife has hepatitis and her liver enzymes are elevated, being this is Aug hopefully she already is having treatmnt.
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replied October 7th, 2010
Hgowda-
Fortunately, she has Hepatitis A, which is usually transmitted in foods...caused by poor handwashing. No specific treatment exists for hepatitis A. Your body will clear the hepatitis A virus on its own. In most cases of hepatitis A, the liver heals completely in a month or two with no lasting damage.

Hepatitis A treatment usually focuses on coping with signs and symptoms of hepatitis A infection. For instance:

�Expect less energy. Many people with hepatitis A infection feel tired and have less energy for their daily tasks. Rest when needed. You may need several days off work or school in order to recover.
�Find ways to cope with nausea. Nausea can make it difficult to eat. Find ways to make food more appealing. Eat small snacks throughout the day, rather than three large meals. Try soft, easily digested foods, such as soup or broth, yogurt and toast, as these may be the most appealing.
�Give your liver a rest. Your liver may have difficulty processing medications and alcohol if you have hepatitis A. Review your medications, including over-the-counter drugs, with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend stopping or changing some of your medications. Stop drinking alcohol while you have signs or symptoms of hepatitis A infection.
Hope this helps...
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replied December 5th, 2010
low iron saturation
I have been treated with iron infusion 4 times in one month.When the doctor ordered a blood test and my iron saturation was 4.4. What is going on I am concerned. why is it that my body is not absorbing the iron infusion. The doctor scheduled another iron infusion for the next month. Can someone help that has been through this.
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replied July 3rd, 2011
Can anyone shed light on this for me?
im 31 years old and had lost 1 pint of blood back in Feb. I have 2 blood transfusions. About 1 month ago i had a really bad painc atack which lead to tactic cardio. I also quick coffee(8-10 cups a day)cold turkey. And my saturation iron on that day was 11. My body has been weak,very tired,hard time keeping focused,my legs feel like they have ants all over them, mild depression,headaches,aniexty through the roof. I was just wondering if anyone could give me any adive. All my doctors was to put me on anti-depressants im not depressed like that. I though in the begining it was vertigo went to the ENT it's NOT,then i thought MS went to the Neuro everyday for a week through a bunch of testing and I'm fine. I'm driving myself crazy over this. I just started b-12 injection and started my iron pils again. My doctor says my iron is fine. Well ya my RBC is fine bt the i dont think he looked at the saturation. Anyways these doctors are making me think im crazy. I have been back on my iron pill(that were given to me at the hosptial in Feb) i started taking them and i'd know if i really am crazy but i think i'm starting to feel a difference. Can anyone shed some light on this for me. Thank You.
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replied October 10th, 2011
8 year old son with anemia and support through Dr and Naturopath
I am not a doctor or nurse but from personal experience for several years I have been attending a naturopath/kinesiologist and am having amazing results. She was able to do live blood analysis on my son 8, we were shocked with the results as we thought he was my healthy perfect child that ate so well. He had very low iron saturation levels and high uric acid (he was anemic) anyway I took this info to my doctor who followed up with more blood tests. My doctor is now working with my naturopath/kinesiologist. We have had a week of a normal child and we haven't seen him act like this for about a year. The iron, b12 and vitamin c suppliments are helping. We are only at the beginning of our journey but based on how fantastic my naturopath/kinesiologist has been and my doctor who I have been attending for years I feel releaved to have this complimentary medicine. I only wish I realised what was wrong earlier as the teachers at school were saying my son was lazy when in fact it was the anemia that was affecting his concentration as he was always fatigued. The teachers know now and they are supportive now they realise he wasn't well. He had achey bones, tired/fatigued, headaches, poor concentration, bruises easily. .

It is early days so I really don't know where to from here other than suppliments. I am going back to my doctor to discuss where to from here this week. My son seems way too young to be going through this.
All the best everyone.
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replied January 5th, 2012
9 year old son critically low saturation level and other counts
Im99....my sons blood work has come back with critically low saturation level 6%, RBC high 5.47, MCV low 69, Mch low 21, rdw high 15.9.... then on the white count neutrophilis high 6.5.......we live in malaysia (from USA) and not finding much help here so far???? One doctor I spoke to basically said it sounds like anemia, not much to worry about....come see me aftert the new year, we are to busy now....???? what????

Have they been able to explain why the saturation is low? What causes that? Also how do they decide on the the amount of the iron to take so they don't get to much iron? Thanks......praying our little ones are back on track soon, sounds like your son is on his way yeah! Thanks so much for your input.
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replied October 5th, 2012
hey i'm having difficulty understanding as well. i get tonsillitis probably once every three weeks and am prone to headaches and light sensitivity. So I was given a blood test to check everything out about a month ago. Everything in my test was normal except my iron was 1.2 and my saturation was 2% My stores or ferritin are 58 which I was told meant that I didn't have to worry that my other iron results were so low and to go home and hope I don't get sick again. Sure enough about a week ago my tonsillitis came back and I've been asked to take another test because now they've decided it does matter? Does anyone know if doctors actually do anything about these things? Can they really help iron saturation or do they just say eat more red meat slash take tablets?
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replied October 26th, 2012
low iron saturation
My iron saturation was low, I had iron infusions and also was tested for Celiac disease. The blood test and endoscopic biopsy came back positive for Celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the villi in the small intestines. The damaged villi no longer absorb nutrients (like iron) from food so you become malnurished and have low iron saturation. Anyone with low iron should have at least a baseline Celiac disease blood test.
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replied November 1st, 2012
Severe iron deficiency, need blood transfusion...afraid
I have to have blood transfusion after years of mindless ice-chewing, fatigue, vertigo, restless legs and migraines at least twice a week. I'm scared. I don't want anyone elses blood in me. I'm afraid of getting aids or something else. Can somebody who has had a transfusion before, tell me what to expect and reassure me? I'm so scared.
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replied December 11th, 2012
blood transfusions are fine and all donors screened very very carefully. no worries
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replied October 3rd, 2013
low iron and saturation levels
I have suffered from iron deficency for the past 4 years. I have had many iv infusions , hysterectomy and a few other procedures to help out. I thought I was doing better then began feeling tired ,rls, craving ice and saltine crackers, etc.... just had another blood test done and my iron count is only a 29 and saturation is at 7%. Anyone have any suggestions on what's going on
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