Low ferritin levels, also known as iron-deficiency anemia, can cause a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, and coldness in the hands and feet. Other symptoms may include brittle nails, a smooth and sore tongue, restless leg syndrome, and hair loss.
The primary cause of low ferritin levels is a lack of iron in the diet, leading to decreased production of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body’s tissues. Other factors that can lead to low ferritin levels include blood loss from menstruation, pregnancy, ulcers, and colon cancer, as well as chronic kidney disease and an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Symptoms of low ferritin include:
Fatigue: This is one of the most common symptoms of low ferritin levels. Fatigue can be caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood due to anemia.
Weakness: Low ferritin levels can cause weakness, especially in the muscles. This can make it difficult to perform physical activities or even to carry out everyday tasks.
Shortness of breath: Anemia can cause shortness of breath, especially during physical activity. This is because the body is not getting enough oxygen to meet its needs.
Dizziness or lightheadedness: Low ferritin levels can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position.
Pale skin: Anemia can cause the skin to appear pale, as the body is not getting enough oxygen to the skin.
Cold hands and feet: Low ferritin levels can cause the hands and feet to feel cold, as the body is not able to maintain proper blood flow.
Heart palpitations: Anemia can cause heart palpitations, as the heart has to work harder to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body.
Treatment for Low Ferritin
Treatment for low ferritin levels usually involves increasing the intake of iron-rich foods, such as red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and fortified cereals. In severe cases, iron supplements may be prescribed by a doctor. Vitamin C can help the body absorb iron, so it’s important to also include vitamin C-rich foods in the diet.
In some cases, low ferritin levels may be due to a medical condition that needs to be addressed. For example, if the low ferritin levels are due to blood loss, the underlying cause of the blood loss must be addressed. Additionally, if the low ferritin levels are due to a chronic disease, treatment of the underlying condition may be necessary to raise ferritin levels.
It is important to see a doctor if you experience any symptoms of low ferritin levels. Blood tests can determine the ferritin levels and help diagnose the cause of the low levels. Early treatment can prevent serious complications and improve quality of life.
Low ferritin levels can cause a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and pale skin. The primary cause of low ferritin levels is a lack of iron in the diet, but other factors can also play a role. Treatment for low ferritin levels usually involves increasing the intake of iron-rich foods and in severe cases, iron supplements may be prescribed. If the low ferritin levels are due to a medical condition, treatment of the underlying condition may be necessary. If you experience symptoms of low ferritin levels, it is important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.