Is there a connection between hypothyroid and low ferritin?

I had Graves in 1987, radioactive iodine in 1989, hypo ever since, and pretty stable for years on 175mcg thyroxine. I started feeling really rough in Dec 2014. GP thought I was maybe my dose was a little high, symptoms did suggest it eg exhaustion, fast pulse rate. Lowered the dose several times.. in the end to 100. He did so many other tests, even an ECG, and nothing seemed to show up. Then Vit D test... it was 18 (range 50-120) Had high dose Vit D, it's now at a very good level. Increased thyroxine again as by then had hypo symptoms - now back up to 175! But I still feel shattered after doing much, brain fog, some hair loss, cold, restless legs. I even cancelled my holiday in September. GP says it's not an iron problem, but Ferritin was only just in range.

Does anyone have experience of thyroid / iron / ferritin connections?

Dec 2014 T4 20 (8 - 21) T3 4.2 (3.8 - 6) TSH 0.03 - (0.35 - 3.5) HB 142 (120 - 150) FERRITIN 56 (23 - 300)

Jan 2015 T4 19 T3 4.8 TSH 0.06 HB 146 FERRITIN 64

Oct 2015 T4 TSH 0.27

Please... does anyone have any ideas for me? I go back to GP in 2 days for latest thyroid and iron results. Is this too low for ferritin? I've been anaemic on and off since about 12 years old. And the symptoms feel like that. Should I ask for iron treatment? I can't go on much longer feeling like this.

Sorry this is so long!

7 Replies

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  • You need to have a look at hemoglobin and the rest of the complete blood cell examination. Ferritin, at 64, should not be so symptomatic.

  • TaraJR, Hypothyroid patients often have low ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate due to low stomach acid reducing absorption of nutrients. Ask your GP to test vitD, B12 and folate if they haven't been tested in 6 months.

    Ferritin is optimal >100 to halfway through range. It's not uncommon to have hairloss and palpitations when ferritin is <70. NHS doesn't prescribe when results are within range but you can buy Ferrous Fumarate 210mg over the counter and supplement. Take each iron tablet with 500mg-1,000mg vitamin C to aid absorption and minismise constipation and take iron 4 hours away from Levothyroxine.

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    I 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.

  • Ferritin

    Folate

    B12

    Vit d3

    Must all be at least halfway in their ranges otherwise your body cannot utilise the levo and convert it into t3 that every cell needs to function

  • reallyfedup123, thanks for your interesting reply.

    My folate was high = 17.2 (2.7 - 15) B12 = 583 (130 - 1100) Vit D3 = 245

    So just ferritin low range 56 (23 - 300) I thought maybe T4 wasn't converting to T3. But T3 = 4.2 (3.8 - 6), which doesn't look bad. I still feel like I'm hypo, but have hyper results eg high T4 and very low TSH

    Oh I feel this has been such a muddle this whole year :-(

  • Your t3 is too low it should be in balance with the t4 so low ferritin is to blame

    plus because you had GRAVES originally your body was sensitised to very high levels of t3 and now simply cannot cope on low levels

    its old swedish research my husband and i were told about when he was in same boat as you

    many post graves /rai/thyroiectomy patients are better on NDT than levo

  • My ferritin was low (37) but my iron was normal-high (25) at my last test. I believe there is a connection, maybe the body uses more iron while hypothyroid for some reason - we don't actually know the extent of the thyroids regulation on all our body systems. And therefore it hauls out all the stored iron and keeps levels high in the blood, to maintain oxygen levels. I have to take iron regularly to keep my ferritin up. I use the solgar bisglycinate, its very good. Of course there are also a million other factors as people have described above, so I think low ferritin is more a symptom than a cause.

  • That's really interesting, thank you. I'm seeing my GP tomorrow for latest results, and now feel I have better info to discuss with him, after several very helpful replies.

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