Thyroid UK
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ferretin and thyroid

Hi Everyone

I have now been on T3 for about two months and honestly dont feel better - perhaps even a little bit worse. I am on 90 mcg per day. Main concern is facial mxyedema and hands, extreme fatigue and muscle pain and stiffness. My ferretin is low at 23 and I am supplementing. I know that iron is important but will a low ferretin completely counteract the T3 and make it ineffective or am I maybe not at a high enough dose yet

11 Replies

As far as I know, your lack of ferritin doesn't stop T3 from working. But... Iron deficiency symptoms can be almost indistinguishable from hypothyroid symptoms. You might find many of your symptoms reduce once your ferritin is back over 70. Though the facial myxedema is a bit of a puzzle. Maybe 2 months isn't long enough for you to see a difference there. Are you keeping photographic evidence so you can compare?


Hi LilyMay. Yes the facial myxedema seems to puzzle alot of doctors. Labs for thyroid are all within normal range so it is possible that I have thyroid resistance. I suppose that perhaps I am just not at a high enough dose yet. I am keeping photo evidence from when it began just about a year ago until now and from when I started T3. There is a clear difference from one year ago but no change yet since starting T3.

My question was how iron affects T3 uptake and if being low iron or ferretin will inhibit the T3 from working. I understand that it is needed for T4 to T3 conversion hence why I am cautious about wanting to try NDT. I did for a few weeks but did not notice any change and was concerned that the T4 would not convert to T3 and that that T3 would be too low to make any real difference in signs and symptoms. I am considering following Dr Lowes protocol of a high dose T3 all at once as opposed to divided dosing.


my ferritin was 10 and had an iron transfusion over three weeks I understand how you feel I had to pay privately for it but ... well worth it my ferritin is now 147 tablets take up to six months to replenish so felt i had no option good luck I am on armour and pregnanolone to help adrenals too.


Hi Whiteheart. How much was the iron infusion if I may ask. I am in the US so it would be private. I am on iron bysgycinate taking it with 10 g of vitamin C to overcome the constipation. Oddly enough when I began to experience symptoms was during a high period of stress and no one caught that my iron stores were quickly dropping. I dont know if stress reduces iron or increases demand but this may be an underlying problem. I have just recieved a 21 day supply of Proferrin which I read is better absorbed. Hopefully this will help to increase the ferretin levels.


Hi i paid about £350 stress can cause all sorts of problems take a good magnesium supp 600 mg daily to help with constipation and bath in Epsom salts this will really help .

1 like

Hi, I am needing to arrange an iron infusion privately and am wondering whether you are in the UK and where and how you arranged this. Thank you.


Ah--found something that explains things better.

So there's more of a link than I thought. I've learnt something new today. :)


Thanks for this LilyMay. I look forward to reading it. There is always something new to learn isnt there!


Hi suzannai seems you have some good advice here - I wonder how you are supplementing iron - my ferritin was 7 and not picked up as haemoglobin was "in range" - think iron stores can be depleted if you are low to enable the body to deliver the iron where most needed.

I understand iron is required to utilise T3.

Do you know why your iron is low? Are you Hashi's ? If it is low in your diet you can add iron rich foods but if already doing that it seems to be an absorption issue - i.e. gut.

Blitzing it with artificial iron doesn't always help but improving gut help could be a way forward.

References might give some clues _

I was supplementing with NHS Ferrous Sulphate - awful for constipation, then they changed me to Ferrous Gluconate which was better but as others say SLOW to work. I then found Floradix Liquid iron supplement - much better to digest but buy from somewhere which has fast turnover as it can seem to lose efficacy over time.

I tried elemental iron Molybdenum with Vit C but it was too strong!

I now take Floradix tablet form x1 a day and Spatone x 1 a day and feel much much better.

NB I had an iron infusion after a postnatal haemorrhage 30 years ago and had severe joint muscle reactions which continued for 2 - 3 years ( NHS said post natal depression haha or Rheumatoid Arthritis both verdicts WRONG ) : either I was given the wrong dose or perhaps the reaction was as in the article referenced by LilyMay.

Best tip for me is to always take my iron with Vit C as this really helps absorption and utilisation.

I am doing really well now "getting my ducks in a row" as advocated by Stop The Thyroid Madness. Nutrition right Allergens Out

You will get better :-)


Thank you for this! I hope and pray that I will get better. I dont know why my iron is so low but I can only assume it is somehow related to either the hypothyroid or the stress that happened last year. Before that my ferretin was 70 and dropped very quickly in a matter of months to 24. I also was not eating very well at the time and due to stress was having trouble keeping what little food I could actually eat down or in. I honestly feel like the stress somehow put the brakes on my bodys ability to utilize thyroid hormone and everything else shut down metabolically.

I am currently taking 60 mg of iron bysglycinate with vitamin C. I also just recieved a sample of Proferrin which is Heme iron so I am going to add that in aswell and check in a few weeks to see if the levels have come up. Were you able to get your ferretin levels up with just the floradix and the spatone. I am aware of both but thought that they each only contained approximately 10 mg of iron a piece. If so, may I ask how long it took for the ferretin to rise. I am at 23 and know that I have a ways to go to get it up to 70. I dont think it was ever that high so it will be so interesting to see how I feel when that optimizes and if it will make a difference in how the thyroid hormone is able to work in my body. My B12 is good and I am a little low on D but am supplementing with that aswell.

And to respond; no, I am not Hashi. I have normal labs and normal antibodies but had a high cortisol on blood and urine but my salivary cortisol was normal. only other abnormal is an elevated ck level indicative of muscle breakdown which is commonly seen in hypo patients.


hi again there is a definite link to stress "putting the brakes on " your iron uptake. The cortisol levels which can be super high then drastically low will be effecting this see Adrenal Fatigue Dr James Wilson.

As far as I understand it although Spatone and Floradix are lower in content the form is more accessible so you actually absorb more. I was supplementing with Ferrous Gluconate too but it still took about 18months to raise the level from 5. I am trying to use the Saptone and Floradix to maintain the level and am due tests in about 5 weeks. My son is coeliac and uses Floradix only to keep his levels better - his gastroenterologist was surprised to find his levels are OK ( I think around 60 - good for coeliac).

It's good your Vit B looks OK although ref ranges can read low as it depends on Vit B available at cellular level rather than in the blood. Think you'll find Vit B threads on this site. Vit D supplementing needs to be in the form of D3.

If you know you are not Hashi it could well be the adrenal factor which is causing you problems and it can reduce thyroid production and uptake. Lots of adrenal links around so check out signs and symptoms. The more I read it seems adrenal fatigue can lead to Hashi's if not treated. I take Nutri Adrenal which realy suits me but we are all different - I need T3 balanced with correct Adrenal support to feel optimal.

It's acomplexpuzzle but piece by piece you will get better :-)


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