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Dr. Gupta
Dr. Gupta, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Vastly experienced MD Physician with 19 years of experience.
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Can low ferritin of 8 indicate diet related lack if iron?

Customer Question

Can low ferritin of 8 indicate diet related lack if iron ?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Gupta replied 4 months ago.

Yes,

A value of 8 is very low for Ferritin.

It can certainly be due to low dietary sources, or blood loss due to any reason, or poor absorption of iron.

Treating with oral iron supplements as prescribed by your doctor should be useful in uncomplicated cases,

Warm regards

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I'm worried as it's my
Mum/ she's 67 and she has ferritin 8 and hemaglobin 10.6. Her hemaglobin in 2013 was 11.6. But feritin was never tested and the dr has referred for colonoscopy and endoscopy
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Have they suspected cancer that they have refered her within 2 weeks ?
Expert:  Dr. Gupta replied 4 months ago.

Yes,
At her age, blood loss can lead to low ferritin, and this can be due to bowel cancer.

This is an unlikely possibility but needs to be ruled out.

Diet & low acid in the stomach is a MORE likely possibility.

The tests should help clarify the situation,

Warm regards

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Would there be dark stools with colon cancer ? She does not have dark stools . Could this indicate stomach cancer too ?
Expert:  Dr. Gupta replied 4 months ago.

Dark blood is not necessary for colon cancer, sometimes there can be microscopic blood loss which is not visible with naked eyes.

Stomach cancer is unlikely in this situation, however low acid secretion in the stomach can cause less absorption of vitamins, leading to low iron levels,

Warm regards

Dr. Gaurav Gupta

Expert:  Dr. Gupta replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

Please let me know if you need more information,

Please rate my reply if you found it helpful, it helps the experts get compensated for their time,

Warm regards

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I see. Is there any reason why ferritin is very low but hemaglobin is moderate at 10.5? The hemaglobin in 2013 was 11.5 . It's a drop in three years
Expert:  Dr. Gupta replied 3 months ago.

Ferritin can be low due to improper diet or blood loss.

This is the reason that the tests have been suggested.

The drop is minor, over a period of three years, but at her age, the precautions of doing these tests is in order,

Warm regards

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