Thyroid UK
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Iron supplementation

Hi All,

Just a quick question, my iron level results are as below:

Serum iron tests:

Serum iron level 14 unco/L ( 10.00 - 30.00umol/L)

Serum TIBC 68 umol/L

Saturation iron binding capac 21%

I really don't understand the results and have started to bruise really easily which may suggest I need an iron supplement. Would the levels above indicate that I may need an iron tablet or two.

Sorry for all the questions, I am fiddling with my vitamin/mineral dosage at the moment, along with my thyroid medication..


6 Replies

its your ferritin level that is vital

get that done before you start taking iron plus at least 100mg vit c at least 4 hours away from taking levothyroxine



Supplements I take at the moment at 9.00 am are: B complex, B12, Vit D, Vit C, Selenium, Magnesium/Zinc/Calcium. I then take 5htp at around 3 pm.

Although I have switched from T4/T3 today to Thyroid S at 6.00 am - Supplements at 10.30 am.


take the supplements last thing at night they are much better absorbed that way and then cannot interfere with the absorption of thyroid-s


Ah brilliant! more convenient for me personally also. Saves having to lug them all into work with me and look like a right hypochondriac taking 7+ pills at a time ha ha..


I notice you haven't given the ranges for two of the iron tests you had done. Just for interest I thought I'd tell you the ranges I was given by Blue Horizon. A number with no context is unhelpful in my opinion!

TIBC – Total Iron Binding Capacity Ref range = 45 - 70 umol/L

Transferrin Saturation Ref range = 20 - 50 %

(I'm guessing that what you have described as Saturation iron binding capac is actually transferrin saturation. I've never seen the description you've given.)

Assuming the ranges for your tests would not be vastly different, it suggests you have low in range serum iron, high in range TIBC and low in range transferrin saturation.

If you look at the table on this page

it suggests you may be low in iron and will need supplementing. If you get your ferritin measured and it turns out to be low, then hopefully your GP will prescribe supplements. But if your ferritin is within range, or your doctor won't prescribe, you can get prescription strength iron from some pharmacies without a prescription. Ask about it here if the situation arises.

The difficulty comes when you need testing again, if you self-medicate. Iron is poisonous in overload, so testing is not optional. I supplement with iron, and pay for comprehensive tests from BH every few months.


Thanks Humanbean. That is really useful information. Unfortunately, they are all the results that my useless doctor gave me from my last blood tests in March 2014. I have an endo appointment on 22 Jan so hopefully he will be a bit more clued up..


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