Low Ferritin from Frequent Donations

Anyone on here ever had to deal with low ferritin due to frequent therapeutic phlebotomy? I’ve been trying to tweak my protocol recently using some of the advice on here which is:

60mg Test Cyp every 3rd day
300iu HCG every 3rd day

My most recent labs showed TT around 700, e2 30

My ferritin right now is at about 28, but was as low as 7 about 8 - 9 months ago at which point I started supplementing oral iron. I seem to have plateaued here because of the need to donate at least every few months because of HCT. Would doing sub injections or any other protocol tweaks reduce the HTC increases? Thanks for any help.

How high is your hct getting?

I have found that daily injections decreases my HCT the most, even EOD injections increased HCT by 4%. Supplementing iron will increase HCT, I was iron deficient and HCT increase 3% once my iron and ferritin increased and was no longer iron deficient.

At what HCT percentage are you choosing to donate?

What are your other biomarkers?

My HTC is at 52 right now and the doc wants me to donate, and that’s usually when I do. A few times it’s climbed to around 54.
When you say biomarkers I don’t know if you mean bloodwork or vitals, but my BP is usually all over the place. My average is around 130/90 and this seems to be regardless of HTC. My pulse has been high recently, sometimes resting around 80-90 which is unusual for me. Very tired all the time.
I’m trying to locate my most recent bloodwork so I’ll post that as soon as I find it. I’m also having TSH tested and waiting for those results.
If iron raises HTC then how does one ever get ahead of low ferritin while on TRT?

You’re on TRT, so biomarkers are Total T, Free T, estrogen, SHBG.

I had the same problem when iron and potassium deficient. You might want to do more testing to see if there are other deficiencies, low potassium would make it difficult for the heart to beat consistently and you would see your heart rates all over the place, been there done that.

TSH by itself doesn’t tell you enough about thyroid status, TSH is a poor marker for thyroid status and isn’t a thyroid hormone, it’s a stimulating hormone, fT4, fT3 and rT3 are thyroid hormones.

If you have low ferritin, then you have low iron. If you continue to need to donate blood, then you will have to supplement iron or you risk becoming iron deficient.

I recommend 28mg iron chelated, it’s better absorbed than iron ferrous sulfate and less side effects. Depending on how low your ferritin is, you may need to dose 2-3x daily until you get your ferritin up and switch over to a daily maintenance dose.

Do you inject IM or subq every day? Does subq also help keep HTC down?

Do you not get side effects from iron supplementation? I take to correct iron deficiency anaemia, switched to liquid but the gastrointestinal irritation is killing me

This is iron I’ve used to combat iron deficiency and have never had stomach issues from it. It works extremely well. I couple it with 2000mg vit C and 1300mg L-lysine.

Yes I did because I didn’t need iron supplementation, I needed vitamin C which has never been apart of my diet since birth, not joking. When I stopped iron supplements ferritin was 63, started adding vitamin C to my diet and a month later ferritin was 123, two months later 163.

My ferritin kept climbing despite no iron supplementation. The side effects from the iron supplementation was in fact because I was taking in way too much iron, iron in food and supplements.

I’m an IM guy, SQ felt terrible. It was as if I injected pure estrogen, days later it felt like I had missed several T injections. Sometimes SQ decreases estrogen in men, other times it goes the other way.

Yee, I need the iron because I bleed profusely… when I go to the bathroom (haemorrhoids), initially had a rubber band ligation (which was rifle with complications) but now it appears the bleeding has started again with full force… and it’s pretty bad at times (looking like I’ll have to go back for a haemmeroidectomy)

It’s a drag… because it’s gotten to the point where my haemoglobin tested in at 135, now it’s even lower, and it feels rather terrible (reduced workout stamina/performance, fatigue, shortness of breath). I take the iron supplements to ATTEMPT to replenish what my body continually loses.

@systemlord how much iron were you taking when you had the negative side effects from supplementation? And what were your symptoms from too much iron?

I was taking 28 mg glycinate, I was getting rashes 30 minutes after taking the iron. The rashes ceased when I stopped the iron.

I got ahold of my bloodwork.

TT: 673
FT: 21ng/dL
SHBG: 10.6
E2: 31
Folate: 20.32
Ferritin: 28
HG: 18
HTC: 52.6