Ferritin in low normal range 25 (20-300), B12 near top of range 847 (180-900)

All of my thyroid tests are at the good end (tsh supressed, T3 and T4 near to high end) but I'm still feeling a bit tired, cold, hair falling out etc. Went to my GP with difficulty swallowing and blood coming up into my mouth. Been referred for a endoscopy but I asked whther it would be worth taking an iron suplement and was told no - I don't want to take things I don't need, does anyone else have exeprince of this please?

21 Replies

  • Hi The most important test for iron/feritin, I recently discovered from my Endo, is the% for absorption. This is not generally done NHS, it has to be written on the top of the test request. Mine is only 17% but should be very high. on this basis I have had to have my script increased considerably. However, that is because my End told the HP to.You would not want the iron/ferritin too high, unlike B12+ Foliates ( autoimmune and hormonal) but if it was me , I would take some spatone. It takes 3 months to make a difference any way.ideally a retest then.

    If your T4 is high i range, it may be that you are on too much, this could cause hair to fall out. It can be from hypo or hyper, very similar symptoms often. You need to ask fora print out of TSH, 4 and Free T3, so that you can see. usually best with T4 in top third of range ie not too high and Free T3 near the top, but never over.

    If nothing shows with a gastroscopy, and ENT scope may be a good idea. Also an ultra sound of the thyroid.. although they do not sound as if really connected to thyroid.

    Make sure you have also had a Diabetes test, autoimmune hormonal, similar symptoms and importantly vit D, hormonal. corrected calcium before D treatment , but any way with these symptoms a good idea.

    Best wishes,


  • Jackie, thanks as always for your helpful response. I've never heard of teh perecntage absrpotion test - I'll do my best to ask for this. I have the print out and my T4 and T3 are in the top third but not over - my t4 has actually come down a little since my last test. TSH is slightly below range.

    I do think I need the thyrpid ultra sound but teh GP said the problems swallowing arent thuyroid related. I have the gastrescopy tomorrow so its not long to wait but I just thought that I maybe needed iron. I can cope with the hair loss but its the other symptoms I dont like!

    I havent got my results with me now as I'm at work but my Vit D was 90 I nebelive, up from 60 now I supplement with 3000iu, my calcium was mid range. Thanks so much for sharing you knowldege, I've made a note of the other tests to ask for if I dont get anywhere. In teh meantime I'm popping to Boots to get some Spatone!

  • Hi Low iron can cause hair loss , but if it is the thyroid, it takes a long time, after thyroid stable until the hair improves, As you can see it is a bit mixed up.Spatone cheapest on amazon or Tesco, sachets, £5 a box. Gentle, liked best by endos.. It is important to know what your corrected calcium is as D can make it go over range, which must not happen. Usually a specialised ENT, , sometimes just a thyroid surgeon, large hospital, does scopes for throat , surgery etc. Not the same as a gastroscopy. The problem is common with thyroid problems, but as you say bleeding could, of course ,matter. You certainly need to know the cause., how ever many consultants you see! .

    Try not to worry, the main thing is to know exactly what is the cause, it could be so many things, so do not be fobbed off, no matter how many consultants you need to see! As one who does, a real pain, but sometimes needed..

    Best wishes,


  • Your ferritin is not ‘low normal’. It is plain old low and needs to be raised so that you can use your thyroid meds efficiently. The received wisdom is that it needs to be over 70, and preferably over 90 and I know that some NHS labs mark a result below 70 as an indicator for hair loss and fatigue.

    If your GP won’t help, you can buy supplements over the counter. Ferrous sulphate is the most common (and often the most poorly tolerated). Ferrous fumarate is the alternative and often better tolerated. If you don’t get on with those, then there are other possibilities. Both Blue Bonnet and Solgar offer Gentle Iron, which is another iron compound entirely. I take a supplement made by Cytoplan, which is more expensive, but has proved to be the only one that works for me.

    I am really unsure why the NHS has such a mental block about ferritin, when it is so important, but I guess it’s just one of many mental blocks they have.

  • Thanks Ansteynomad, its so difficult to know when to trustteh GP isnt it. She said anywhere inside the range is adequate! I have an appointment with a gasterenterlogist tomorrow so I'll mention it to him to see if he can persuade the GP but if not I'll buy some myslef. I did take Ferrous sulphate a few years back after having my daughter.

    Thanks again, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

  • There was a proper double blind study done... You will need to google it. And the conclusion was that anything under 70 for ferritin means hair loss. The further away from 70, the more the hair loss.

  • oooh thats intresting galthea, thanks I'll google that and have a read.

  • Also your ferritin needs to be above 70 to be able to covert T4 to T3 properly and then to transport the T3 into the cells, which is where your body desperately needs it to be.


    Moggie x

  • Thanks for the link Moggie, thats really useful and informative.

  • Just re-read your question and noted the "blood in your mouth bit" so maybe your GP is thinking ulcer and taking iron tablets when you have a bleeding ulcer may not be such a good idea as iron tablets can be quite harsh on the stomach.

    Maybe you should take your GP's advice and hold off of taking iron supplements until you have seen the gastro.

    Moggie x

  • Ooh thanks moggie didn't think of that. I didn't have the blood when I went to the GP, that's just started in the last couple of weeks. I went to the GP with swallowing problems and she referred me to a gasterenetrlogist and the blood tests. I had to have a phone call with he as another GP who reviews all blood tests had said I was on too much thyroxine as tsh below range. It was then that I asked her about the ferritin. I have a gastroscopy tomorrow so I'll try to ask the consultant about ferritin then. Thanks again,

  • Hope all goes well tomorrow - you'll have to let me know how it went as I am due one of these soon. They are doing mine due to low iron and are looking for bleeding ulcers which causes low iron.

    Moggie x

  • Thanks Moggie, is your iron very low? Hope you don't have to wait too long for yours. I'm probably asking a silly question but is iron a separate test to ferritin? Just scanned all previously results and I can't see any iron ones?? Thanks again x

  • Yes - iron is how much iron is in your blood and ferritin is how much iron your body has stored as a reserve. Its the ferritin one that's important.

    My ferritin level was 12 when I started taking iron supplements and after 9 months it is now at about 65, so still a way to go - I am aiming for about 100'ish. I take my tablets with a good Vitc powder, as the body cannot absorb it without vitc, and straight after lunch as iron supplements can damage the lining of the gut if taken on an empty stomach.

    You should be have a FULL iron panel which will tell your GP everything that is going on with your iron but I suppose that costs more money!!!!!!

    Moggie x

  • Morning Moggie, thanks that makes it a lt clearer. I've got copies of my blood tests over the last two years and this is the first time ferritin has been tested so I have nothi g to compare it to, also I can't see any mention of iron. I'll see what the gasterenterologist says today and then look at iron supplements. Thanks so much for explaining it x

  • Your welcome and I hope all goes really well today - your gastro will most probably understand what your thyroid condition is doing much better than your GP.

    Moggie x

  • get your gp to send you to a hematologist, blood doctor, i have to go once a year for iron infusion, you can do it that way. leona

  • Thanks firewolf, does your GP do this when you are in range - albeit low? I ask as when I queried the level with my GP she was adamant that there was Ning wrong with my level. Thanks

  • This is interesting, I am having an iron infusion in a couple of weeks(ferritin 15) but because I am ceoliac with osteoporosis, I mentioned that my thyroid tablets might also be affected by the low iron and he looked at my as though I was an alien!

    We shall see.....

  • GP's are very good at looking at us like we are aliens aren't they ;) hope the iron infusion helps you, you must really suffer with all those things - hope it helps. I guess that you have to have regular ones if you can't absorb iron?

  • i have to get mine done at 6 months the most one year. the last time was at 8 months it was just borderline, but i told my hematology doctor i was having a lot of symptoms, so he said we would go a head a do it. i feel alot better, and it does make a difference with thyroid meds, i had to lower after infusion. firewolf

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