Thyroid UK
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hypothryoid and low folate and ferratin

I have been on levothyroxine for about 5 years starting on 25mcg but now on 100mcg - my initial bloods weren't too far off normal but I had antibodies and symptoms so my GP started treatment - however I have never really been completely symptom free - went back to GP as symptoms had got worse again - really constipated, dry skin,weight gain, hands going numb/pins and needles at night, dry skin, brain fog, etc - got my results back today and my TSH and T4 were still in normal range but were 3. something as opposed to 1.23 ? last time - when I felt better - eventually managed to get GP to increase thyroxin to 125mcg. But GP also told me my ferratin and folate were low - they want to repeat bloods next week and then start treatment - she never mentioned that the low folate and ferratin could be related to my hypothyroidism?

I also had a partial parathyroidectomy 22 years ago age 24 for a parathyroid adenoma - I was getting annual follow up by chem path but then for various reasons I missed an appointment about 9 years ago and got discharged - wondering if I need to ask for a referral back to chem path or endocrinology. Don't know if this makes sense? What are peoples thoughts?

4 Replies

Hi Ali, Ferritin and folate are important and especially for you since you are taking levo which is only T4. Your body has to convert that to free T3 to work on your symptoms and keep your metabolism normal. This list shows optimal values to strive for. Your B12 is probably low as well. Some people add T3 to their T4.


Welcome to our forum

I am sorry you are hypothyroid and I would ask to be referred back to the Endocrinology re your parathyroid gland.

You certainly have clinical symptoms of hypothyroidism and your TSH is too high for someone whose been diagnosed. The aim (but many doctors appear unaware) is for a TSH of around 1 not 3. Ask for an increase in levothyroxine. We can also be deficient in B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate and if any of these haven't been done request them. Also ask for a Free T3 blood test. If it isn't done you can get a private one. Read about FT3 in the following:-

Always get a print-out from now on for your blood test results, including the ranges. for your own records. Labs differ throughout the country so the ranges are important.

When you have a blood test get the earliest appointment and fast (you can drink water) leave about 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the test and take levo afterwards.

We have to read and learn and ask questions on the forum if we've to get better and it is possible when on the optimum and correct thyroid hormones. The aim should be to alleviate all of our symptoms and that needs an optimum level. Not 'somewhere in the range' as many doctors believe. They also only diagnose upon the TSH whilst ignoring or giving 'other' prescriptions for the symptoms rather than a decent dose of levothyroxine.

"II am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions"


In your shoes I'd take the opportunity to see an endocrinologist, for many of us that's not an option even though we would be helped, because the GPs think they know as much and won't refer.


Since you had a thyroidectomy i suspect that you will need NDT in order to feel well

and yes ferritin and folate and b12 and vit d3 are all interelated and vital

for many many people no amount of levothyroxine resolves the symptoms


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