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Blood Result feedback

We are officially new to this disease despite 17 years of symptoms, and the uncertainty doesn't seize to amaze me.....
I have a question regarding blood results:My 19 y.o son's nurse suggested that his low Ferritin result is considered within the normal range. I however, question whether a low result would warrant an iron supplement.
My son's main symptom is fatigue and decreased appetite. He is currently on Remicade ( 3 infusions so far).
Are any of you taking supplements? Have they helped? or should Remicade eventually resolve this?

Thanks for any guidance :)


Staff member
Has a complete blood analysis been done, do you know the hemoglobin and hematocrit readings?
Has there been a CRP and ESR included in lab tests .
I would be seeking the advice of the GI specialist with regard to all this and especially since he is on Remicade.


Super Moderator
How low is his ferritin?
Keep in mind that iron supplements can make him constipated, and that can cause problems in itself. If he does take them be sure he drinks plenty of waste and add a stool softener like miralax if he feels like he is starting to have difficulty. It is also important that he doesn't strain himself if he does get backed up.
Thanks for the feedback! Trysha- his hemoglobin and hemocrit levels are
normal as is the CRP. I agree with you, I will speak with his GI.
AFidz his F level is 18.8. Thanks for advising me on possible side effects from iron supplements. Much appreciated! :)


It unlike that a doctor will recommend supplementing iron with a normal ferritin and hemoglobin levels. Do you have the levels for any other iron numbers?


Staff member
Stephen's iron levels improved once he started on remicade. At diagnosis, his HGB was approx. 110 (our lab's normal 135-170) and Ferritin approx. 30 (normal 30-300), while on EN only, HGB was 120s and Ferritin was teens to low 20s, after remicade HGB went up to 140s and Ferritin was, last test, at 67.

We were never told to add iron supplements. I do try to add more red meat to his diet and, at home, often use a cast iron pan (not sure how much this helps but have often read cast iron pans do add a little iron to diet).

Also, having vitamin C along with iron can help iron absorption (ie spinach salad with strawberries, orange juice with steak dinner, etc.) but, again, not sure how much of an impact this can make??
We supplement all the time for low ferritin even when it is in the very low end of the normal range. In our experience ferritin is one marker of inflammation for my son and when he is fine his ferritin is well into the normal range without supplementation. My son's doctor is fine with our supplementing under his supervision.

And frankly, any lab result that is borderline should be viewed as having an equal chance of being abnormal because of the margin of error on all tests. The actual value is within a certain range which would include both very low normal and very slightly abnormal. Unless he gets serious side effects from iron supplementation, then adding a very low level supplement seems sensible to me.

If you know previous results then you could look for a trend in his ferritin level. If it is trending down then I would be pushing more for supplementation now. However, you should definitely talk to the GI before starting any iron supplementation.

my little penguin

Staff member
DS had a barely low ferritin level at his last set of bloodwork .
His iron levels were normal but ferritin was 9 (10 minimum normal ).
His Gi does have him on a supplement .
He takes chelated iron . For him the iron gives him diarrhea if he doesnt take it with a small sandwich . He normally has constipation as part of his crohn's so obviously he didn't get the memo on such things.
I would wait for the Gi advice on this since our Gi gave us a dose specific amount he wants DS on.