Iron Deficiency—Three Steps to Raising Low Ferritin

If you’ve had a hard time raising your iron levels, I’m going to tell you three reasons why and how to fix it. My name is Dr. Tom Rofrano from the Natural Medicine Clinic, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The 1st Reason Iron and Ferritin Levels Aren’t Improving 

Most of our patients come in with gut and thyroid issues. Many of them have either low ferritin or high ferritin, which is indicative of your stored iron levels. One patient, a woman in her early 50s, came in and had low ferritin levels. Her level was at a 7 ng/ml for three years and even though she was taking iron, she couldn’t raise her levels, and she wanted my help. 

The first reason why her iron levels weren’t improving was because she was taking the wrong type of iron. Her primary doctor discovered she had low ferritin and told her to go buy iron. The most common type of iron people purchase is ferrous sulfate in a 65 mg dose, which has a very low absorption rate as well as causing gastrointestinal symptoms. Many people will just stop taking it. I recommend iron glycinate, which is much more absorbable and causes very little GI symptoms.

The 2nd Reason Your Iron and Ferritin Levels Aren’t Improving 

The second reason your iron levels are not improving is not taking iron for a long enough period. Even though my patient had been taking iron supplements for three years, she took it for a period of months and then had her levels retested and her iron was high, so her doctor told her to stop taking. 

Even though her iron percent saturation was high, her ferritin was still low. Your iron can be high because you took an iron supplement within the last day or two, but until your ferritin, which represents your stored iron levels, comes to an ideal level, you often need to keep taking it. 

The 3rd Reason Your Iron and Ferritin Levels Aren’t Improving

Thirdly, not finding out the root cause of why your iron and ferritin levels are low. Her primary care doctor sent her to multiple specialists to rule out that she wasn’t having any bleeding, and all those appointments showed normal results, so she was at a loss. 

When she came in, I did some comprehensive testing to find out the underlying root cause. She had the common symptoms of low iron and ferritin: fatigue, forgetfulness, hair loss, inability to lose weight, lack of focus and concentration, as well as gut symptoms of bloating, and constipation

After doing some comprehensive testing, I discovered she had a very high gluten sensitivity and leaky gut. She also had bacterial overgrowth, yeast overgrowth, and inflammation in her intestines. All this led to iron malabsorption, and she had some other nutritional deficiencies as well. 

The FreeDiet® Fix

Typically, when you’re iron deficient, there are other deficiencies that go along with that too. She had several deficiencies including selenium (which is important for the thyroid). She has a thyroid condition called Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid and selenium is very important for that syndrome. 

To fix the malabsorption issue I put her on a specific diet I call The FreeDiet® because it eliminates gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, dairy, eggs, oil, soy, legumes, and processed foods—all foods most commonly responsible for inflammation, leaky gut, and other chronic health issues. 

Go here for your complimentary copy of The FreeDiet® phase one food chart.

As far as supplements, I put her on the right amount and type of iron called Iron Glycinate at a dose of 120 milligrams a day, gut support supplements, and other nutrients she was low in. 

Seeing Positive Results

After a month’s time, her gut symptoms improved, she had more energy, and better focus and concentration. Her hair loss was at least 50% improved and she lost eight pounds in one month. 

Her ferritin was up to 29 ng/ml, which was about 300% higher than it had been the prior three years, so a major improvement. I would like to see her ferritin level in at least the 50-60 range, so she has way to go, and at least she has been increasing her ferritin levels.

I believe that most everyone can get better once they discover the root cause and are provided the right solutions. 

Contact Us for Help with Raising Ferritin Levels

If you’ve been struggling with low ferritin levels, give us a call at 561-627-5800 or email us at info@nmcwellness.com. We would love to help you with your health journey.


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