How much iron is enough???

Hi All,

Been taking iron tablets now (Ferrous Sulphate 200mcg's) for about 9 months and my Ferritin levels have gone from 12 to 63 (this was back in Sept) but am now experiencing a nasty taste in my mouth (can at times taste like blood but I have no bleeding but is a very bitter taste)

My levels seem to be increasing by 10 points a month so I am assuming that by now I am approx at the 80'ish level. I have been told that when you have enough iron and are still taking supplements that you will get a metallic taste in your mouth - is this true?

To confuse matters even more I have a loose tooth (yet another one) so I don't know if the taste in my mouth is down to this (the tooth is not infected) or my now much improved iron levels. I don't want to have the tooth pulled out on a "just in case" basis as gum disease has robbed me of quite a few already and I would dearly love to hold on to the ones I still have

If it is a sign that my iron levels have reached an optimum level and I stopped my iron supplements how long would it take for the taste to go away?

Moggie x

23 Replies

  • I cannot help you with the iron levels, but I saw your post and wanted to say that I once had an absolutely dreadful metallic taste in my mouth a few days after having a crown - turned out it had not been properly fitted and there was something nasty going on. It might be worth getting those teeth checked out too, just to be sure!

  • Thanks for that - the thing is I have only just been to the dentist last week and its since he cleaned my teeth that the tooth has become loose.

    Looks like another visit is in order - was hoping it was my iron levels and not the tooth as I want to keep as many as I can for as long as I can.

    Moggie x

  • Probably not the teeth then - just thought I'd mention it!!

    It is important not to take too much iron (my friend's dad did, and ended up with liver failure), so you should check this out anyway too.

  • Sorry Moggies I have no idea :-) ..but I do know huge amounts of VitD helped my gums. No disease but just weak in certain areas. Expect you are taking it though - just a thought !

    M x

  • Thanks Marz - taking 3,000iu daily but still struggling to get level to "optimum". Did question my GP the other day as to why I am having to take three times the normal maintenance dose but she didn't answer me, typical.

    Moggie x

  • Go and be a devil and up it ! M x

  • Trouble with that is my calcium levels are near top of range so reluctant to go up to 4000iu daily.

    Moggie x

  • soon as I typed the post I remembered your heart issues - life just ain't fair ! M x

  • You can say that again.

    Moggie x

  • this is true, however one can have calcium levels at top of range because they 'leak' it from the bones who are 'desperate' for vitamin D! 'vicious circle' you see! were you diagnosed with any parathyroid problems? (only discussing of course, not saying what you should be doing)

  • Sorry missed this one - yes my parathyroid levels were out of kilter for over a year. They always read high and only ever came back down when i had a high hit of vitD but once the vitamin D dropped again then the parathyroid went back up. I joined a really good parathyroid forum and gained lots of knowledge but then I read that high prathyroid and high ALP levels are common in Pagets patients and seeing as I can trace Pagets back for generations in my faimly - starting from my poor mum who has it in the head and spine - I then started looking into this - but that last stupid endo I saw dismissed it and told me it was VIRAL and not genetic - its no wonder I lost my temper with her.

    I am now on 3,000iu VitD daily to keep my prathyroid within range.

    Moggie x

  • Hi Moggie, Not sure but some thoughts.

    I asked my pharmacist yesterday whether I need to take iron for life.My ferritin was at 5 April 2012 and now about 70. He said maybe as I've always had an iron issue to some extent . Also he said Ferrous Gluconate, if I tolerate it is best for the stomach. - might be worth asking for a change from Sulphate or looking into Floradix or Spatone.

    Any dental work seems to trigger more problems for me. Aloe Vera mouthwash from healthfood shop - pricey but lasts forever has been helpful. Toothpaste without Lauryl Sulphate eg sensodyne pronamel helpful and I alternate with a Flouride free Aloe Vera toothpaste.

    Seems you're not absorbing Vits or minerals properly so I wonder about food /gut problems see Izabella Wentz Your Thyroid Pharmacist - google. She also has written a book re Hashimoto's root cause.

    Hope the taste goes soon and you can save your tooth.

  • Thanks for your thoughts Sarah.

    I did not take any iron yesterday and the taste seems to be far less this morning so hopefully I'll be able to keep my tooth, but will keep an eye on things. I to wondered if I would need iron for life so will be having regular checks as far as my levels are concerned.

    Also I have my first appt with a gastro on Monday as, like you, I feel that my gut is an issue with so many of my vitamins being low. It will be interesting to see what her views on hashi's and the gut are as, for some of us, there is a definate link. Will also be asking her about my iron and see what she suggests.

    Will also look into the mouth wash and toothpaste you have suggested - anything that will extend the amount of time I can keep my teeth has got to be worth looking at.

    Thanks again as I found your comment and suggestions very helpful.

    Moggie x

  • Hi again Moggie, am now on a proper machine better than my phone:-

    Aloe Vera mouth wash was a tip from a friend whose dentists had told her to use it post dental surgery - the hospital were amazed at how quickly she healed!

    Avoid Lauryl Sulphate is from my Hygienist and certainly I seem to be avoiding mouth ulcers since swapping toothpaste :-)

    I am familiar with the iron taste especially after I had an iron infusion due to a post partum haemorrhage foll lowing the birth of my son 30 years ago - seems I couldn't absorb it them!

    Would love to know have you get on the the gastro - good luck !

    I am on the candida attack and also trialling gluten free options adding them in gradually - we'll see.

    Sarah X

  • Hope it works for you - I went gluten free for four months earlier in the year and it made a huge difference but got disheartened when my stupid GP left me under medicated for a while and I put on 3/4 of a stone in two weeks. Have had to continue eating gluten because I know she is going to want to do tests (I cancelled them as I wanted a consultation with her first) and, as you may know, you have to be eating gluten for the tests to show anything.

    Will let you know how I got on tomorrow - I think my first question to her is going to be "what are your thoughts on auto immune illness and gut issues" and see what she says. Hopefully it will be a positive reply.

    Moggie x

  • Also, very important:

    one can have normal ferritin levels but still have too much iron on board..the best is to have an 'iron studies' blood test to look at transferritin saturation (which ideally should be no more than 50%), serum iron and iron saturation. Your GP can do this.

  • Hi NBD - my last saturation transferrin was only just in range at 17% (15 - 50) and my serum iron was 12 (6.6 - 26) but that was two months ago so will ask gastro tomorrow to do a full iron study and see what it shows up.

    Thanks also for the links, will have a read later, am now going to go and mow the ruddy field I have of a garden (last cut of the year Yaaaa). Was also going to tell you that the new T4 I am on is allowing me to go up to 150mcg's a day with no heart palps!!!!! Have taken 150mcg's for the last two days now with no ill effect so hopefully my heart will allow me to stay on this dose - couldn't havedone it without your help so thank you very much.

    Moggie x

  • Nice to hear you're better x

  • Thanks nobodysdriving and Moggie. I have written to my endpo and GP asking for the transferrin tests we'll see!! Good Luck Moggie thinking of you tomorrow.

  • Thanks - hopefully she is as nice as she sounds and is a forward thinking gastro - not like some backward thinking endo'

    Moggie x

  • did I put endpo ( freudian slip again!!) here's hoping !

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