P-396 Women With Tiredness, Sleeplessness, Depression, Headache, Lack Of Concentration, Hair Loss Or Vertigo? Test The Ferritin Level!

Von Orelli F. (Basel)
Not anaemia but iron deficiency is at the base of headaches, tiredness, depressive symptoms, sleeping disorders, muscle tenderness, hair loss and nail breaking, dizziness, concentration and memory problems and restless legs of millions of women. Isolated or multiple, these symptoms should first suggest testing of the ferritin level. Since iron is an essential element of about 170 enzymes in the human body, lack of iron can provoke a multitude of deficiency signs. Reduction of the haemoglobin production and haematopoiesis are the last to appear. Only 10% of patients with symptoms responding to iron supplementation show haemoglobin below 120 g/l. Because of the bad absorption of oral iron supplements, the frequently needed amount of more than 1000 mg of iron to really fill up the reserve should be given i.v. if possible, with careful monitoring to avoid iron overload specially in haemochromatotic women. The observation of more than 800 symptomatic women treated by i.v. iron supplementation showed that only filling up the iron deficit until values of more than 100 ng/ml resulted in improving of the majority of the symptoms in 60–70%. Symptoms and results will be discussed. The complexity and the subjective character of symptomatology and the lack of specificity create an uncertainty of the diagnosis. New criteria for normal ferritin value in menstruating women and for the iron deficiency syndrome have to be found. Iron deficiency with and without anaemia is the most frequent and at the same time probably the most neglected deficiency illness of the planet. A word to the wise is enough!
Women with tiredness, sleeplessness, depression, headache, lack of concentration, hair loss or vertigo? Test the ferritin level!