Jun 11, 2002
My ferritin levels are on the low side and I believe increasing them would help with my constellation of symptoms(and slightly low rbc),but iron supplements have gotten such a bad wrap for causing oxidative stress (free radicals)and everything that comes along with it.So is there anything okay to take?Also will procrit increase ferritin levels or is that completely different?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Ferritin is an iron-protein complex. It's helpful in determining whether your body has enough iron (iron stores). Iron is a necessary component for the formation of red blood cells. Is this the cause for your "constellation of symptoms?" Probably not, but it might be contributing to your "slightly low RBC." You should check your hemoglobin level. If it's less than 12 g/dL for women or 14 g/dL for men, then you are anemic. Next step would be to find out why. A check of your iron stores would let you know if you're iron-deficient. If so, iron supplements would be helpful. The "bad wrap" (cheap aluminum foil?) - or should that be "bad rap?" (like Eminen?) - whatever - let's just say the unfortunate reputation that iron supplements have regarding free radical oxidative stress is not a significant issue particularly if someone has iron-deficient anemia. We know anemia in the setting of HIV disease is associated with decreased survival and appropriate treatment of the anemia is linked to improved quality of life, increased energy, and a survival benefit.
Procrit will not increase your ferritin or iron levels. Procrit stimulates your bone marrow to make additional new red blood cells. Iron is a necessary component for the production of healthy new red blood cells.
Hope that helps wrap things up for you.
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