When I got the results back from my iron blood test a while back, the doctor told me that I was within in normal range, though on the lower end of the spectrum. So do I need iron supplements for my fibromyalgia?

ComponentYour ValueStandard Range
FERRITIN24.7 ng/mL8.0 – 388.0 ng/mL
IRON62 mcg/dL50 – 170 mcg/dL
TRANSFERRIN413.0 mg/dL200.0 – 360.0 mg/dL
T.IRON BINDING CAP615 mcg/dL250 – 400 mcg/dL
% SATURATION10 %15 – 50 %

However, she also said that many of my symptoms, including the crazy burning pain sensations and involuntary flailing of my legs (RLS) seemed to indicate I was deficient. So despite low but normal results, her recommendation was this:

Iron level is okay, but having it a little higher can sometimes help with restless sleep and improve energy. If you would like to try to improve these things, I would recommend you start ferrous sulfate 325 mg twice daily for 2-3 months and then re-check ferritin (lab level).”

I started out taking just half of her recommended dosage. (There I go being all non-compliant again!) Because I’m super-sensitive to everything; supplements and medications are no exception. And also, I do what I want.

I took the half dosage for the first five days. Things were looking up, so yesterday I started twice daily dosing.


I read up on iron deficiency anemia, and found that it can cause all of the following symptoms. I have them all, by the way:

  • dizziness (I fall a lot.)
  • lethargy
  • lightheadedness
  • malaise (After a shower, I have to lie flat for 30 minutes.)
  • brittle nails (My fingernails and toenails tear like paper.)
  • hair loss (I have always assumed my fine, thin, dull hair was related to my hypothyroidism, even though blood tests suggest I am being sufficiently treated for it.)
  • headache (Increasingly severe, with more frequent migraines.)
  • irritability
  • restless legs syndrome (RLS)
  • weakness (I sometimes can’t roll myself over in bed, no exaggeration.)
  • pale skin (I’m pale anyway, but I get downright pasty now that one of my medications prevents me from sun exposure.)
  • chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath (Complaints of shortness of breath early on got me a trip to a cardiologist for a heart stress test; he determined I was just out of shape. I also experience weird flutterings at night before bed.)
  • cold hands and feet (They might feel like they’re on fire to me, to Dan they feel ice cold.)
  • inflammation or soreness of your tongue (Some of you probably remember me going to the doctor about this a while back. My tongue was so big it wouldn’t rest between my teeth. It was constantly being scraped by my lower teeth and was red and ridgy around the edges.)

After just under a week with supplements, my legs are less painful, I’m sleeping better, my dizziness has lessened by about 40%, and I can take two or three steps without becoming completely breathless.

Having mulled all these things over, I’m currently assuming that my IBS has left me malnourished which has complicated my life tremendously. I mean, it doesn’t matter how mindfully you eat and how much you try to optimize for nutrition if your body doesn’t take what it needs from your food. Right?

I’m still in pain and think I might always be, but I can deal with the pain as long as I can move again.

Keep those fingers crossed for me guys.

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