Thyroid UK
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Test results and iron question

Anyone here knowledgeable about iron levels? I have TED (currently stable) with an underactive thyroid, on 50mg Levo a day, had a prob with iron for years (my body doesn't store any excess) now on 400mg a day, latest tests -

Serum folate level 3.1 ug/L (2.7 - 15.0)

so pretty low, surely that isn't right when on 400mg a day? doctors not bothered. Permanently fatigued, brain fog, the lot!

They were also supposed to test my anti-bodies (formally positive) and TS3 and TS4 but looks like not been done?

They only did TSH, B12 and folate

Serum TSH level (XaELV) 2.3mu/L (0.35 - 3.5) what is that?

6 Replies

Yikes, I've just realised, Folate is not iron, its folic acid, so that's low and they haven't even test my iron (Ferratin) ... have I got that right?


You're right, Catalonia. Folate is low but in range so NHS won't prescribe. What is your B12?

I think you're undermedicated on 50mcg Levothyroxine. TSH should be just above or below 1.0. Scroll down to Guidelines and Treatment Options to read Dr. A. Toft's comments in Pulse Magazine

If you want a copy of the article to show your GP email

Ask your GP to test vitamin D too, as hypothyroid patients are often deficient/low and this can cause musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and low mood similar to hypothyroid symptoms. Post your results with the lab ref ranges (the figures in brackets after your results) in a new question and members will advise whether supplementation is required.

I'm not sure it's worth requesting ferritin (stored iron) as you are already supplementing. If you've been supplementing iron for some time you ought to have a blood test to check you aren't over range.


Thanks Clutter :)

B12 was 619ng/L (130.0 - 1100.0)

They said there is no point testing vit D as I'm on Calcichew-D3 Forte tablets - equivalent to 10 micrograms Vit D3 daily

Been on 200 mg ferrous sulphate since 1990 ish as body does not store excess iron, upped to 400mg a day last year as could not give blood as iron too low. Clinical note said I had a chronic iron deficiency.

I know they should have tested anti-bodies this time but should they have done FT3 and FT4 as well or is TSH enough?

Thanks also for links, will have a read x


Catalonia, B12 looks good but I think you might supplement folic acid for 3 months to improve your folate.

I think it's reprehensible if your iron dose was increased last year but you haven't had a follow up iron test. How do they know whether you are over or under medicated?

10mcg vitD (400iu) is a very low dose indeed and if you were vitD deficient when you started it you're levels are unlikely to have improved and may have become worse. The fact you are taking Calcichew is not a good rationale for not retesting vitD and as it has calcium in it they should also be testing your calcium levels periodically. I'm taking 5,000iu (125mcg) vitD3 daily and will be retested in December.

Unfortunately, many GPs/labs are cost cutting by not testing FT4 and FT3. TSH is a pituitary output and FT4 is thyroid output so I think FT4 is essential. Most labs decline GP's request to test FT3 unless TSH is suppressed <0.03.

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thank again Clutter, I've had enough of my doctors, think they are pretty useless tbh, on the form requesting reason for bloods they put 'former thyroditis' - that's the one thing I've NOT had, and is the reason why the hospital ruled out Hashi's!

Have another apt tomorrow with different Dr. (mine (who said no point in testing Vit D) not avail for 2 weeks) will see how that goes, think I have to either change surgery or use my private insurance!


progress! new doctor (sadly only there for 3 months) has ordered re-tests to include anti-bodies, FT3 and 4 and celiac and has upped the Levo to 75mg per day :) and she won't be putting 'former thyroiditis' as the reason for tests. She would not presc for folate though as it is within the levels, even though its right at the bottom so will go buy some folic acid myself and apparently my iron was done in June and is fine. I forgot to ask bout vit D


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