- Oxygen Transport (part of hemoglobin and myoglobin)
- Energy and Metabolism
- Immune System Function
IRON STATUS INDICATORS
Indicates the amount of iron in the blood. Sometimes people may have a normal serum iron value, but are iron deficient. Therefore, it is important to use multiple blood tests when determining iron status.
Indicates the status of iron stores, a low ferritin value is the first indicator of iron deficiency.
Whenever I work with a new client, I always want to know what their ferritin values are especially if they are having issues recovering from exercise, feeling fatigued or generally not feeling well. Symptoms of low ferritin can very closely mimic symptoms of a low thyroid function, including intolerance to cold and inability to lose weight. I’ll never forget one client I worked with at the gym, we did her resting metabolic assessment and the whole time she was shivering like mad. The results came back very very very low so we immediately ran a thyroid panel and a ferritin value. Her thyroid levels weren’t perfect but her ferritin value came back at 9 (the reference range is 12-290 at some labs), well below the already way to wide reference range. Her husband was a doctor so she began supplementing under his guidance and got better quickly.
I’ve also worked with several clients who benefited from slight supplementation to get their levels closer to or above 50. In fact, I personally recently started supplementing after discussing it with my doctor even though my levels were 55 the last time I had it checked (in general it’s a good idea to get second opinions when treating yourself, even if you are a medical professional). I have a longstanding history of anemia, bruise SUPER easy, have super low body temperature (consistently under 97), a diet high in foods that inhibit absorption of iron and a few other things that suggested that supplementing might help. I’ll do this for 30 days then recheck to ensure it doesn’t go up above recommended levels. It’s important to only supplement with iron under supervision of a professional as it can have some brutal side effects and iron overload can cause a whole host of serious problems.