iron and thyroid meds

hi there to each and all.... i have been browsing this forum for a while now, and love all the knowledge and know how that everyone brings to this forum.

i was diagnosed with hypo last year september and just in the last 7 maybe 8 months i have been regularly taking thyroid meds and have introduced iron to the mix... and that was the best thing i could have done.Adding the iron gave me back colour into my lips and cheeks and fatigue wasnt as bad, i had more endurance and energy( noticed i was dancing around the kitchen whilst waiting for the kettle to boil in the mornings) and found that thyroid meds were working better.... HOWEVER a month of taking the iron supplements i feel as if its lost its shine and the fatigue is back and the hair shedding is still bad . the meds i am on is naturethroid and the dosage equates to 100mcg. i am at a loss, what to do. i give it 4 -5 hours before taking iron supplements.

so any input of any sort will be much appreciated

18 Replies

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  • Have you have checked the usual suspects B12, Folate, Vit D, adequate iodine in your diet? (150mcg) Iron can take awhile to build up your levels and it is just as important to not get too much. 100mcg is about 1 grain and that is a low dose, generally speaking. If you are a young person with no heart problems then the usual dosing regime is to start with 1/2 gr. and increase by 1/2 gr. every 4-6 weeks until the symptoms disappear and you feel well. Since you have been reading on here keep in mind the symptoms of too much, or hyper, so you don't over do it. PR

  • love you!!!! thank you for replying so quick.... my doctor is useless. i feel i have to constantly push him to do things. i have asked for a vit d test as well as the usual suspects ( i get the results tomorrow) as for the iron, my iron levels were 12 then by taking thyroid meds it went up to 24 and then i half heartedly started taking iron (105mg) randomly here and there by then it was 34. since i have been taking it regularly, i have no clue how much it is now. honestly i am scared to ramp up the thyroid meds and i know i have to other wise it will be like taking a step back,but every time i have tried, i feel more hypo????.....

    mind you whilst i have been typing this it has just occurred to me, i haven't tried to increase my thyroid meds since i have been taking iron supps.

    maybe thats why they lost their shine?

  • 34 for iron still seems low to me but I have not supplemented iron so hopefully some of the others with more experience will comment. I take 4 gr. of Nature-Throid. Another aspect that is important are the adrenals. A salivary adrenal stress test is much more useful than the standard serum blood test. Adjusting thyroid by 1/2 grain steps, or 1/4 grain if you want to be extra cautious usually works well. As you have read on here, diet is also important. When you get your results you can post for comments. Did you test for TPO and TG antibodies? Hashimotos is the most common form of thyroid problem these days for men also. If you are dealing with Hashimotos then diet is extremely important. Also, as Rod pointed out in another post, low iron levels can cause high RT3 which might take awhile to normalize after iron supplementation. PR

  • hi there,(I'm female BTW :) )

    i haven't been for any adrenal testing as yet, I've only done the standard blood pressure thing(taking blood pressure lying down and again standing up) and my blood pressure went up by 10%. i think that's a good sign

    my diet is really clean - no sugar in any shape, way or form,no wheat or gluten and no yeast in any shape,way or form, i make sure everything i buy is soya free (for the last 10 years now). thinking about the blood test i don't recall my doctor suggesting for antibodies testing,or is it tested automatically ? I'm going to ask tomorrow.

    but wow 4 grains... was that not stressful? do you split them through out the day?

    this is so overwhelming for me as i am just starting out, there is so much to do and so many things to remember...

    but thank you for your input, reading your replies makes me feel like i am not walking alone in the dark

  • I originally worked up to 3 grains and no it has never been stressful but I am an outlier, probably some peripheral tissue resistance. And yes I do split dose. Yes you definitely need to test for TPO and TG antibodies so you can find out what exactly you are dealing with. Diet sounds very good and healthy. You do better than I do. You are not alone, there are many on the site that can contribute their knowledge as you progress. You probably need to check iron again to see where you are at. When you get your results post them and ask for input. We need to get some input from those that have dealt with iron problems. Hopefully you got transferrin and ferritin also done, the serum iron level by itself does not give enough info. PR

  • PS I just came across an article by Dr. Wentz (PharmD) on Hashimotos fatigue which might be of interest to you. It is on Facebook but her page is open to the public so you don't have to join to read. facebook.com/ThyroidLifestyle "Overcoming Hashimotos Fatigue" is the article, should be close to the top. She talks about various factors that need to be addressed. Her website also has lots of info. thyroidpharmacist.com/ A lot of what she writes about applies to all thyroid patients. PR

  • thank you so much for all the info and the links. i will look forward to listening to them and reading them.

    the diet is the best thing that i could have done,because all those things removed were additional things that were stressing the body, it was constantly in resistance mode and inflamed

    i don't think that the test involved an iron saturation test and i think i am going to have to ask him about the antibodies as well. you would think this would be all checked if your diagnosing somebody with hypothyroidism,because having blood drawn is not a nice experience and its delaying somebody from progressing in health and life.

    the thing is i know how well i can be - and when the medication works, i feel so well its overwhelming,i feel like nothing is a problem and i feel i can take on the world,and its liberating not being tied to a heater or extra layers of clothing, its wonderful feeling, so happy and not hating everyone, and i want to take on more responsibility because i can cope, and the icing on the cake is when people are drawn to you and random people start talking to you -but the problem is keeping that momentum going and that's where i get stuck because being well is an addiction in itself

  • i would suggest you simply need more NDT and keep up the iron tablets and a good multivitamin

  • hello, after communicating with pr4now i realised maybe i do need to increase my thyroid meds and took 1/4 more yesterday evening, and today i have woken up feeling better than i have in the last 3 weeks. i take a multi vitamin which is iodine free and have dropped the iron (105mg) to once a day. i know iron stops the body absorbing t4, but i am now thinking even if i waited 4-5 hours after taking ndt the iron is still in my system so the thyroid medication just wont be as affective as it should be. i think that's why even people with no thyroid issues get constipated and complain about weight gain on iron supps because they are not utilising their own t4,

    which needs to be converted to t3 to help with the whole metabolism.

  • without ferritin and folate being above halfway in the ranges you cannot utilise T4 in either thyroxine or ndt and convert it into the t3 your cells are screaming for

    the people i have known recover quickest are those in whom the low ferritin and folate was addressed first before they were put on thyroxine etc

    if you look at my threads on ferritin and folate you will see that even researchers realise iron levels are lowered by hypothyroid and that adequate iron levels are needed to convert t4 into t3

  • oh no i completely agree i take iron with folic acid, and when i started taking the iron supps, a month ago my thyroid meds seemed to be working more efficiently i was having more good days than bad. but the thing that is/was bugging me, if iron supps stop t4 absorption whether you have thyroid problems or not, would i then maybe need to increase thyroid meds to compensate - if that makes any sense

    lol

  • I dont think so

    You need more meds because of your failing thyroid not because you take iron 4 hours later

  • You don't say how long you have been on your meds, Have you an underactive thyroid problem or an overactive? Only asking how long, because it can take a few months and at least 3 lots of blood tests which should be taken at least 8 weeks apart in order to get you on the right dosage of meds. If you have only just started your meds over the last 3 months I would not supplement them with anything else whatsoever until your doctor says you are on the right dosage. Then give yourself time to adjust. If after 2-3months on the supposed correct dose go bak to your doctor for more advice. Like you I was on top of the world when I first went on my meds, SUPER WOMAN MOVE OVER, but they are new to your system and eventually you stabilise. I know the thought of blood tests do not appeal to many people, but I have never had anyone hurt me yet when taking blood. Maybe what you are taking does not suit you, as you say you are losing hair, try something else. May even be down to the combination of tabs you are taking.

  • hello,lucindajethol,

    i have an under active thyroid. i had given up smoking in feb 2012 after 15 years and that's when the symptoms bubbled to the surface,even then i tried

    to blame the lack of nicotine for feeling so crap. But its when i went to get my eyebrows threaded the lady asked if i had been using a tweezer in between appointments because i had missing patches of eye brow hair and that's when alarm bells started ringing. so back and forth to the doctors i was offical diagnosed in july 2012 and was given levothyroxine, made me feel worse, so i started take ndt, at first i was all over the place, and started getting acne on my chin, started feeling really moody, my periods used to be regular but they became so erratic. so i stopped taking ndt and started working on my adrenal glands. and sep 2013 is when i went back to taking ndt and having regular blood test. but since i have increased my dose to 1/4. i am feeling much better. i was hoping the hair shedding would ease up a bit -initially it did but then it came back

  • Sorry Broccoli to be so ignorant but I don't know what NDT is. I have only ever taken Levo presently on 125mcg which seems to suit me. I was initially worried about taking Levo as hair loss can be one of the side effects with some people, but so far so good after 15 months down the line and only 3 lots of blood tests taken. I should imagine you felt pretty edgy when giving up the ciggys as in a lot of ways nicotina seems to keep smokers on a high ( at least the ones I have worked with) so smoking may well have hidden the underactive thyroid problem for a while. If you are worried which you obviously are ask your doctor about the hair shedding again.

    Good Luck

  • sorry its me being an idiot its natural dessicated thyroid which has t4 and t3. i did speak to my doctor and as per usual he said my iron levels are fine which are now standing at 36 (they should be 100 and stay at a 100 for the hair shedding to stop and the regrowth to start), my tsh levels are 2.32 so now i am working on my iron levels which can take months to get up to a decent non shedding level.

    but as for the smoking i gave it up by accident (lol), i loved smoking and decided to research how i can keep smoking without stressing my body too much, and came to the conclusion vitamin b5 for adrenal glands which get stressed due to any addiction. so i started taking them and it took the shine of the, taste, the smell - EVERYTHING. every time i sparked up and took a drag it was like smoking a cigarette for the first time,(the coughing the spluttering,feeling sick) so i stopped. but i agree i think that the thyroid issues were always there but never detected.looking back the signs and symptoms have always been there.

    i wish so bad that i get to where you are with your levels of wellness and medication

  • Hi broccoli

    Is NDT prescribed by the NSH or is it something you buy over the counter because you know you have a Thyroid problem but can't get tested properly. If NDT is an over the counter product ie from a health shop, how do you know it is not causing your hair loss as these products do not forego the vigorous tests that NSH drugs do. I am sorry if I am barking up the wrong tree here, just need to get things straight in my mind.

  • Just in case broccoli isn't around this evening, I know the answer to some of this :-)

    NDT is a prescription only medicine, albeit one that is made of mainly natural ingredients. In theory it can be prescribed on the NHS, but it doesn't seem to happen often, probably mostly due to cost and some inaccurate information that gets bandied about. If you get it on the NHS it is done through the named patient process.

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