Thyroid UK
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Ferritin Levels

Hi folks,

My recent blood test shows that my ferritin levels are quite low

52.2 ug/L (30.0-400). Does anyone know where I can get a supplement to improve this, and if so, what? I did try my local health food shop, but they were unable to get any for me.

On a brighter note, feeling much better on the lower dose of Carbimazole (2.5mg)!

Arab 😊

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Take iron, that's how you raise ferritin, which is the bodys iron store.

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Hi Poshpenny,

Thanks for you reply. Any particular type? It would be good to have something that's easily absorbed. Any recommendations welcome. 😊

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I couldn't tolerate ferrous fumerate or ferrous sulphate - got palpitations amongst other things. Doctor recommended Spatone - comes in sachets. My ferritin went up from 34 to 46 in 2 months. I am still taking Spatone and will have another test in another 2 months.

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Thanks keziablue. That's another alternative. 😊

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Go to a pharmacy - I've bought from both Lloyds and Tesco pharmacies - and ask for :

210mg ferrous fumarate in a box of 84

This is enough for three tablets a day (separate doses, not altogether) for 28 days, and the last time I bought from Tesco a box cost me £4.14

Don't go to Boots because they insist on a prescription.

Take each iron pill with 500mg - 1000mg of vitamin C which helps with absorption of the iron and also helps to reduce the risk of constipation which is very common with iron supplements.

Many people find iron supplements hard to tolerate, so start with 1 per day, go up to 2 after a few days, then go up to 3 if you cope okay. If you don't tolerate ferrous fumarate there are several other choices available over the counter, so ask for suggestions if necessary. Other options tend to have lower iron content and cost more.

You might absorb lots of iron, you might absorb very little. It isn't a good idea to guess though, since iron can be poisonous in overdose. Get iron/ferritin levels tested in 2 - 3 months to find out how well you are doing. Please don't forget!

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Thanks Humanbean. I'll do that. In the past (quite a few years ago) when I was first pregnant, I was prescribed an iron supplement, ferrograd folic, but didn't tolerate it well - it gave me the runs! Typically difficult patient. Maybe the supplements are different now. I'll have a chat with the Pharmacist. 😊

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I bought from 210mg ferrous fumarate in a box of 84 from ebay cheaply. Raised ferritin from 30 to 250.

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How long did it take for your levels to rise that much, cc120?

And has it dropped since?

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Hi humanbean, starting ferrous fumerate approx mid 2014, ferritin 30, and by Sept 2014 ferritin had risen to over range: 250. Took with Vitamin C to aid absorption. Last ferritin test 2/1/15 Ferritin was still up there at 293 (13-150).

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:o

Wow, that is worrying. I'm assuming your doctor is aware? Has he/she tested you for inflammation? ESR? CRP? Has the GP made any sensible comments about the situation at all?

Perhaps you could ask to be seen by a hematologist (although, to be honest, I'm not sure what they do and whether they would be the appropriate person to see.)

I know that in cases of hemochromatosis that people give blood. But I don't know how that is diagnosed. I'm sure there is more to it than just high ferritin.

In contrast to you, my ferritin took 18 months to go from 21 to a smidgen under 70. I've been paying for thorough blood tests along the way - full blood count and full iron panel, and my levels have stayed annoyingly low.

According to the British National Formulary, this is what ought to happen :

"Therapeutic response

The haemoglobin concentration should rise by about 100–200 mg/100 mL (1–2 g/litre) per day or 2 g/100 mL (20 g/litre) over 3–4 weeks. When the haemoglobin is in the reference range, treatment should be continued for a further 3 months to replenish the iron stores. Epithelial tissue changes such as atrophic glossitis and koilonychia are usually improved, but the response is often slow."

Source : evidence.nhs.uk/formulary/b...

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GP and Endo put it down to slightly raised inflammation, ESR 32 (1-20) and CPR 4mg (0-5MG), other from that endo was completely uninterested. I'm hoping to get a referral to another endo who gives a damn. My heamoglobin is 131 (115-155).

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Have you read this link before?

irondisorders.org/anemia-of...

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Yes I have humanbean and showed endo, who turned up his nose, saying something like: 'oh that refers to people who mumble mumble mumble'. Very unhelpful man.

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The medical profession just make me despair. :(

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He would make you tear your hair out : )

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I notice that the quote I gave above refers to haemoglobin level. When my ferritin was very low in range my haemoglobin was 22% of the way through the range and it rose to the dizzy heights of 30% of the way through the range after 18 months of iron supplementation. Bah!

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I've started to take Floravital, a liquid iron supplement as my ferritin level was 11. From what I've read this is easier on the stomach than iron tablets as it is a liquid preperation is more absorbable. It is also gluten free.

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Thanks ClareLH. That sounds more like the type I was thinking of. Now I think about it, I was recommended Floradix at that time. 😊

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I've had succes taking Ferrex-150 and Ferritin Bioavailable Iron (5mg). Both of these are available on Amazon as well as other vitamin sites.

FYI - I prefer the Ferrex-150 in the bottle rather than the blister packaging (very difficult to get the pills out of the blister packs).

I started out taking one each per day along with 1000 mg Vitamin C (helps absorption) and at times would take 2 a day. I take them mid-day so as to not interfere with my thyroid meds.

My ferritin levels rose from 17.7 to 49 in 6 weeks (!). These are the ONLY supplements that helped me. On other iron supplements my levels continued to decline. I do not have any stomach issues with the Ferrex-150 and Ferritin Bioavailable Iron but can experience constipation if I try to raise the levels too quickly by taking too many supplements, meaning, initially I took 2 each and it was too much for my system to handle. I don't seem to have issues if I first start off with one each then increase to 2 each after about a week.

Since I exercise regularly (cardio and resistance training), I need to have levels above 60 in order to feel good. Recently, I had to stop supplementing for 8 weeks (per Gastro request to rule out any issues) and my levels dropped back down to 38. I felt like crap! I'm now supplementing again and will be tested in a little over 3 weeks from now.

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Thanks milk woman note taken! 😀

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You're welcome! :-)

Wanted to add that Ferrex-150 is 150mg elemental iron in ONE capsule, which is FANTASTIC. Most supplements contain only a small amount of elemental iron so you have to take many pills to see ANY results which can get VERY costly.

NOTE: With supplementing, one has to watch out for iron overload. In my case, my serum iron level, transferrin and % sat are currently within normal ranges, but they have shown an increase with supplementation. My thought is eventually I will try taking just the Ferritin Bioavailable Iron and see if that is sufficient to keep my ferritin levels in a good range for me (>60 min...will judge by how I "feel") without sending serum iron and % saturation through the roof.

As a curious side note...was just reading some studies that link low ferritin levels with RLS (restless leg syndrome). My husband has RLS so he is going to start taking the Ferritin Bioavailable Iron supplement and see if that helps it. Although he's complained for years to his GP regarding his RLS symptoms, he's never been tested nor treated for it. He is a runner and many runners suffer from anemia and/or low ferritin without knowing it.

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