My ferritin was tested and was found to be 47 (15-200). I am clutching at straws now, but could this be the cause of my symptoms? EXTREMELY dry, itchy skin, hair loss, tiredness, forgetfulness/brain fog, aches, restless legs etc etc. My other results were:

T4 11.4. (9.0 - 24).

TSH 2.51 (0.2 - 4.5)

Vit D 71

B12. 466 (180 - 910)

Folate. 8.8

Doctors refusing to test anything else as everything in range. I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease about two and a half years ago after a nine year struggle with symptoms.

I have just been reading an article about Coeliacs having low ferritin but I have been gluten free for over two years so would this still be a cause for me? I am so confused!! I have just bought some iron supplements but have also read that it can be dangerous to take too much iron so I don't know what to do now!! Can anyone advise please?

31 Replies

  • Low ferritin is associated with restless legs as is hair loss and tiredness. Your t4 is a little low,shame you don't have the t3 results but I guess they wouldn't check. For your hair loss your ferritin should be around 90. Yours, I guess is not too bad but maybe could be a bit better. Hopefully someone will come along with more help. x

  • Thanks polly3. The doctor said my ferritin was fine and as far as he is concerned, no further investigations are needed. But then, he's not the one living with the symptoms, feeling awful every day!!

  • Ahhh yes! And he would say that if your ferritin was 16! I get what you, just keep on, they don't understand. x

  • See my response and link below.

  • Hello

    My ferritin is also 47 and I am exactly the same as you! Hair loss, horrid dry skin everywhere, low energy, foggy. It gets you down some days. My doc is the same, ferritin is fine, nothing wrong with me...All the usual.

    I've recently gone gluten free to see if that helps and I do take an iron supplement. Doctor told me to stop taking it what with me being "in range and fine" but I still do.

    I keep looking for what the problem could be which can sometimes make you stress more I think.

    As we are exactly the same level with the same symptoms then it must be related.

    My tsh, T4 and D levels are also very very similar to yours.

    It helps to know we aren't alone!

  • Hi wally10. How lovely to find someone who understands! I feel very stressed at the moment but I know that the stress is purely caused by the frustration of feeling so bad but with no-one listening to me!! It took nine years for my Coeliac Disease to be diagnosed, and the thought of feeling like this for another nine years is too much to bear. How long have you been taking an iron supplement? And does it help?

  • I know! None of us are alone here that's for sure 😊

    I am exactly the same, I go through periods of intense stress and upset but I find that is worse when I am searching so hard for an answer. I've been told by 2 doctors that I am depressed, I'm not, but my mood is very low due to as you say feeling that no one is listening or prepared to help.

    My hair loss was sudden and intense which is what made me go to the docs. Ferritin was originally 41, this was when hair was coming out at a frightening rate of speed, doctor gave me iron and ferritin crawled up to 47. I have to say my hair is still coming out far more than normal but not like it was so it has obviously helped a little. It's also gone really dry like my skin.

    I haven't found an answer really but just try not to put pressure on yourself as that really can make it worse.

    I have been having acupuncture which has been so relaxing. She told me when the aches and pains come just to acknowledge it and say oh well and move on. I know it sounds silly but it actually does help.


  • See my response below.

  • You are HYpothyroid No matter what your doctor thinks and thats why ferritin is low too

    Coeliac and hashimotos go together

    and you may even have Central hypothyroid hence why t3 is important

    Your TSH should be less than 1 and your free t4 nearer 18 or 20 than 14

    I suspect your cholesterol is high too

    If your gp refuses to test for thyroid antibodies and free t3 and recognise hypothyroid then you will need to selftreat with NDT

  • It will need to be a good endo as many of them are as useless as GPs

  • Can someone advise on my ferratin please; it was 13 (10-150) when last tested & this seems very low though I was told it was in range. What supplement should I be taking please?

  • See my response and links below.

  • chickenmitch,

    Wether you are thyroid hormone medicated or not, you seem to be experiencing hypothyroid symptoms.

    The following link shows how important iron is for healthy thyroid function.



  • This is a helpful link:


    On the following it says the ideal ferritin ideal range is 40-60 ng/ml.

    We have to be careful as too high a level can cause problems too.

  • Oh it's so confusing. When I first came on here with a ferritin of 47 I was advised it needs to be in the 80 s for hair loss to stop, now from reading this article, is that to high?? It's so confusing to know what to do.

    My GP also refuses to see my thyroid is a problem, I have also been advised by my local nhs endo that my results were fine.

    Where are us people in this boat to go? Self treating with ndt sounds frightening. How on earth do we do that?

  • Text taken from link above supplied by Shaws.

    *AS FAR AS THE 70-90 RANGE FOR FERRITIN: there were five scholarly articles on the net referring to this 70-90 range from 2004 to 2012…but they have all disappeared i.e. the websites disappeared from the net. So most of what you will see on the internet are websites which saw this range HERE on Stop the Thyroid Madness (and fail to give STTM credit), and we at least had studies or articles to prove it. Now we don’t.


    I see your confusion and this has confused me too so I will post as a new question for others to comment.


  • Thank you flower.

    Funnily enough, when I started taking iron which slightly raised my ferritin is when my inflamed joints started!

  • Chicken and Wally: if you think of 'self-treating' as gaining self-knowledge of your body and its foibles it's not so scary.

    We thyroidees - on this and other forums - have found that we have to question what our doctors (Endocrinologists as well as GPs) tell about our condition and how we are. They are not interested in how we feel: they are interested in where our results fall on their charts. Personally, I am astonished at the 'range' that the docs consider optimal: who decided them? They seem completely arbitrary and in most cases unhelpful. If our results fall 'within range' they are 'normal'. For a lot of people with thyroidism that will work, more or less. For a lot more (us) it really won't. Welcome to the won'ts.

    Inform yourself as much as you can, bit by bit, website by website, about your thyroidism. Don't allow yourself to become overwhelmed. You are in this for the long haul. You can afford to take time and get it right. You will learn what questions to ask your doctor, what treatments apart from T4 are available, what the blood test results mean and loads of other stuff which will help you improve your health.

    If you aren't taking a panel of vitamins and minerals, including but not exclusively Vits D3, B12 and C, mins zinc, selenium and magnesium you may find them helpful. Also helpful will be to supplement your Adrenal glands. Prolonged stress and ill health easily exhausts them and it is difficult to get any thyroid meds to work when they are being dragged back by exhausted Adrenals.

    Feel better :-)

  • Stomach Acid ? Low acid levels in the stomach prevents the breakdown of foods and the ensuing absorption of vital nutrients....see the link posted by shaws from Stop the Thyroid Madness. So important for everyone....do the Bi-Carb test and see how things are ....

  • Marz

    I just tried the test, no burp still 10 mins later! I've never buried my whole life though, could probably count on one hand hiw often I have.

    I tried drinking apple cider vinegar before meals in the past but it wrecked havoc with my tongue, red raw and deep fissures yuck!

  • Did you dilute the apple cider vinegar?

  • I did yes, with warm water. I didn't mind the taste just made my tongue bad. Will maybe try it again.

  • Is something else making your tongue especially sensitive?

    Could you have B12 deficiency (which can cause raw tongue) but it only gets bad when aggravated by the ACV?

  • I do suspect a b12 issue as I've been having symptoms I.e pins and needles which doc has referred me to neurologist for. My b12 levels were good, 690 but folate was also high, 21 ugl range 2.00-19.00 which I've read can mean I'm not able to use it? This was as usual completely dismissed by doctor. Could be the acv agitating it. It was so painful I stopped using it which stopped the redness but it's now got a white coating but at least not so painful!

  • Your TSH is too high, your FT4 is too low - you are hypo.

    Your vit B12 and folate are too low - optimal is 1000, never mind the inadequate range. Try supplementing with 1000 mcg sublingual methylcobalamin daily, together with a B complex containing methylfolate - not folic acid - and that should bring your folate up. Your doctor won't tell you this because - as you know - the results are 'in range'. But just being 'in range' isn't good enough, it's where in the range it falls. You have to be your own doctor, now, I'm afraid!

    Hugs, Grey

  • Hi. If you have Restless Legs syndrome - have you checked the symptoms and do they fit? then in the UK the advice is that you have to get your ferritin over 60. However in Johns Hopkins in the states they will take your ferritin over 100. (google their RLS pages, they are very good. One woman on this forum went up to 130 before her RLS stopped. So your GP is wrong even under UK guidelines.

    All the research points to low brain iron as the main reason for RLS. Raising iron levels in the blood doesn't mean that iron levels in the brain rise as quickly. Brain fluid is protected by a barrier from the blood, in case of baddies getting across. I read that the brain gets iron last of all the organs in the body, and gets tiny amounts of it.

    If you are sure your symptoms fit with RLS, then you definitely need to get your serum ferritin levels up.

    Hair loss is certainly associated with low iron.

  • OMG I am even more confused now. I understand that my ferritin is low. I also understand that this could be the reason for my hair loss. I don't have restless legs the whole time but do experience this once or twice a week. Does this mean that my problems are all to do with iron levels and nothing to do with my thyroid? How would I know? My doctor has assured me it's not my thyroid and he could be right. Couldn't he?? I feel like I'm going round in circles. I have thought it was thyroid because everything fits but I am sure the symptoms probably fit with other things or could all be separate issues. AAAGGGHHH!!!!!

  • chickenmitch,

    It is your thyroid indirectly.

    We point all responsibility towards inadequate thyroid hormones because they are required by every cell so a short fall can have devastating effects all over our bodies.

    Low iron in a person with thyroid issues is generally caused by malabsorbtion issues in the gut. This in turn is caused by too little stomach acid disrupting healthy gut health flora. This in turn is caused by an inadequacy of thyroid hormone.

    Another reason is nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin C needed for iron absorbtion and inflammation which encourages iron to go into storage and ferritin levels to raise disrupting the iron balance. (I have this.)

    Optimal iron levels are important as iron helps the enzyme thyroid peroxidase convert T4 to T3. Iron is present in the adrenal cortex and helps synthesis cortisol also required for good med conversion.

    Iron carries oxygen from tissues to our heart and supports the immune system and brain health.

    Most people find if they ever manage to get their thyroid meds right, a great many other health problems just rectify themselves.


  • Thanks for that, Flower. I think I understand lol through the fog!!! I have bought the 'gentle iron' that has been mentioned on here to try to raise my ferritin level but I am scared to take it now as I don't want to take too much and make myself ill the other way!!!

  • Chickenmitch, you're aiming for 100 which is halfway through your range. Gentle iron contains very little elemental iron. It may not improve your ferritin much let alone overmedicate you. Have a ferritin test 6 months after supplementing to check levels. Stop supplementing 1-2 weeks prior to testing.

  • Ok Clutter. Thanks for that. I will give it a try then x

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