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Association between serum ferritin [stored iron] level and fibromyalgia syndrome – Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jan 20, 2010

  [ 53 votes ]   [ 7 Comments ]
By O Ortancil, et al. • • January 24, 2010

[Note: Ferritin is an iron-storage protein in cells. It binds to iron, keeps it in a dissolvable state, and makes it non-toxic to the cells around it.]


• Iron is essential for a number of enzymes involved in neurotransmitter synthesis.

• Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) has shown a reduction in the concentration of biogenic amine metabolites, including dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.

• This study aimed to investigate the association of ferritin with FMS.

Subjects/Methods: A total of 46 patients with primary FMS participated in this case-control study, and 46 healthy females who were age matched to the patients were used as the control group. Venous blood samples collected from all subjects were used to evaluate serum ferritin, vitamin B12 and folic acid levels.

Results: The mean serum ferritin levels in the fibromyalgia (FM) and control groups were 27.3+/-20.9 and 43.8+/-30.8 ng/ml, respectively, and the difference was statistically significant (P=0.003). Binary multiple logistic regression analysis with age, body mass index, smoking status and vitamin B12, as well as folic acid and ferritin levels showed that having a serum ferritin level of less than 50 ng/ml caused a 6.5-fold increased risk for FMS.

Conclusions: Our study implicates a possible association between FM and decreased ferritin level, even for ferritin in normal ranges.

We suggest that iron as a cofactor in serotonin and dopamine production may have a role in the etiology of FMS.

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Jan 20, 2010;26(2):168-72. PMID: 20087382, by Ortancil O, Sanli A, Eryuksel R, Basaran A, Ankarali H. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Zonguldak Karaelmas University, Zonguldak,Turkey. [E-mail:]

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Maybe ...
Posted by: fnx3
Jan 27, 2010
Well - my iron & ferritin levels were found to be deficient about 18 months ago - that was 6 months after my Fibro diagnosis - then 10 months later it was discovered that I had a pre-cancerous (bleeding) polyp in my colon & it was removed PLUS the GE recommended that I adopt a Gluten Free diet until he performed a gastroscopy at my next colonoscopy to determine if I was Celiac. BINGO! A few months later my massive brain fog & physical fatigue has gone & not returned (after 2 years of being fully home-bound!). Sooooo ... I highly recommend ANYONE with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia also request tests for Celiac disease.
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Question for previous poster fnx
Posted by: CuddleBear
Jan 27, 2010
How do they test for Celiac disease? I too, have iron deficiency (diagnosed last year) and have had FM for about six years. We live way out in the mountains and I don't know if my country doctor would even know what Celiac Disease is! What are the symptoms? What is the treatment?
Reply Reply

Coeliac Disease/Fibromyalgia
Posted by: Tias_33
Jan 27, 2010
Hi I have had Fibromyalgia since I was 11 yewars old but of cause was not diagnosed until well into my 30's.

I also have Coelic Disease. For the member who asked how you are diagnosed? what are the symptoms?

My symptoms were not being able to keep anything I eat in my bowel had constant diaroah sorry spelling, you can have it the other way constipation your very thin and there are other symptoms there not nice until you are diagnosed. Nothing stays in your gullett it goes straight through you.

The way you are diagnosed at first they may test your bloods. The only true way is a Endoscopy down the Gulett a biobsy and that way they can get a true diagnosis. It is the upper bowel which is inflammed and the lower one to.

Coeliac Disease you can not at all have anything with Wheat you must eat a Gluten free Die. Once your on the proper diet you will see a Huge Improvement within 2 weeks. it can be a bind finding what you can and what you can not have to eat.

I belong to the Coeliac Society and am a member get the Food Dietry book every year as well as up to day magazines.

I have never heard of anyone who has Coeliac Disease and Fibromyalgia is cured. I know many Fibros go onto the gluten free diet and say it helps there fibro. For me it does nothing.

I am pleased for you that it has helped you. I hope for the member who wanted info on Coeliac Disease has helped you Love Tia


Posted by: helens939
Jan 27, 2010
My nutritionist feels that my ferritin levels are on the high side and has suggested iron, total iron binding capacity and iron levels should be investigated. Apparently this could indicate, oxidative stress, low grade inflammation or parasites. So it leads me to wonder where we are with this piece of information, both indicating different things.
Reply Reply

Celiac diagnosis
Posted by: fnx3
Jan 27, 2010
Hi, Well the way it happened for me was first by just observing the improvement in my health whenever I cut gluten products out of my diet - then the Gastroenterologist observing the same thing in combination with the anaemia, osteoporosis & Rheumatoid Arthritis. Some people with Celiac may also experience obvious digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation, bloating, colic & wind but not always - so it can be overlooked as an obvious gut condition. There are blood tests that can show if there is a hightened immune response in the gut but the big decider is the actual Gastroscopy which takes a tiny bit of the gut lining & observes it in the laboratory - they can then clearly see if the little "villi" are flat or not - they should be standing up nice & separately but in Celiac disease they are worn out, wrecked & lying down flat - thus not able to absorb the nutrients from the food as it passes through - hence all the deficiencies.
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To Tias 33 ..
Posted by: fnx3
Jan 27, 2010
Nice reply! (How did you manage to add it as a "sub comment"??? - I couldn't work that out)

Yes - this is what I am now watching for - to see just how far my health will improve with the gluten free diet - I wonder if it will eliminate my Fibro symptoms altogether - I am hopeful but it has only been 3 months. And then of course I also have only recently started to experience RA attacks in my joints so that adds more negative symptoms esp. fatigue during a attack. Oh Brother! where does it end - but I am also hopeful that by reducing the immune system response as per Celiac that it may also reduce the RA attacks too, somehow ... like I say "hopeful".


Celiac decease is . . .
Posted by: vickip5200
Jan 27, 2010
Celiac decease is determined with a blood test, I've been told. I will be going to my doctor for the test for it. I have been gluten free for a week and already lost weight (I'm on a low fat and calorie diet as well) and the night sweats have lessened dramticly. I've had FM for nearly 20 years and need all the help I can get.
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