It's taken four years but bloods finally showing something! Should I bother with GP?

It's taken four years but bloods finally showing something! Should I bother with GP?

Hello all.

It has been a while since I posted as I have sort of been ticking along since seeing Dr P just over 18 months ago and taking Nutri Thyroid (urine test showed low T4 though T3 okay - but all bloods including TSH have always always been 'in range'). I haven't ever been fully okay but probably got back up to 40 per cent whereas before I was 10 per cent!

However recently my symptoms have intensified - sinus inflammation, pressure in my head, migraines, increased weight gain despite exercise and absolute, total overwhelming fatigue. But basically I more or less have every single symptom listed on Thyroid Uk to varying degrees. I also have abnormal liver function tests - just been to the doctors to check and my bilirubin is high and GGT. I am also very irritable - I can't stand my poor husband at the moment and have even said to him to stop breathing as it annoys me! "if you want to breathe can you please go into the conservatory!" Oh dear. This coincided with my Nutri Thyroid running out at Christmas and me being slow to replace it. Though I toyed with self medicating I have only ever taken NT as I was a little better and my bloods were always okay....

Anyway I decided to do the Blue Horizon test this week. And my results are back and my TSH is high though I appreciate not as high as some people's on here. Plus my ferritin is through the floor despite taking Floradix on a regular basis. I take B12 vits, Vit D3, folate, Coq10, Magnesium, Vit C and one or two other supplement. I have included a photo of my results.

I know I can go back to just taking the NT and seeing what happens but I really now do think I need some 'proper' medication. I'm not happy with just being 30-40 per cent okay. So what to do? My options are:

take these results to the GP and ask for Levo and for them to check my ferritin again (report from BH suggest I could be anaemic) and do a full blood count. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have been saying for ages that I think it is my thyroid and that my abnormal liver results are related to this also but the last time I raised it I left the surgery in tears (you can read my previous post on that!) Do I risk being traumatised again. I have also just been to the doctors about my headaches and am having an MRI in a couple of weeks (plus I need to go about a lump in my breast though I think that is a fatty lump, not sinister) so I am worried about going with this as well, will I just look a total hypochondriac? And I bet they will just say let's test again in 3 months. Also do I really want to take Levo? mmmn perhaps not but maybe I give it a chance??? That's if I get that far... I am worried that because my T4 is in range they will just dismiss me (albeit it's at the lower end)

My second option is to see if Dr P can advise, give me his protocol for NDT and buy it myself, though that does scare me. Also not been in touch with him for ages so he might not want to advise based on these tests.

My third option is to wait and see what happens. BH suggest testing again in 3 months as I could be about to go hypothyroid but sooner if symptoms appear or it could be general illness. As I feel soooooo bad though and have had so many symptoms for so long (I think it might be a problem with my pituitary rather than thyroid as Dr P urine test showed low T4 but normal TSH and T3) and have left it for so long that I think I am ready to start helping myself a bit more.

I know only I can decide but with all my symptoms and temperatures as low as 35.3 and heart rate 55 I sort of think now might be the time to act. But your input/advice is always welcome and appreciated.



11 Replies

  • Do you have any insight as to why your ferritin is so low? Floradix doesn't have much available iron so it's not the ideal thing to use. But at 55 you are probably no longer experiencing menstruation so why is iron so low? Is it diet or are you having blood loss from the GI tract?

    Even though your liver enzymes are elevated (usually caused by fatty liver), the ferritin is still low (usually inflamed liver cells leak and ferritin gets high). So something is going on here.

    It's not your pituitary. It's your thyroid. Because your pituitary is whipping your thyroid to produce.

    Get serum iron, transferrin and full blood count done to see what's going on with your iron metabolism. If your diet included foods rich in iron, and yet your body iron stores are low, you need to check occult blood in the stools.

  • Thanks for getting back to me. I do still menstruate (I am 46) and they only last 3 days so not massive heavy blood loss there. I eat a fair bit of red meat - two to three times a week and take folate supplements as well as the Floradix. I also eat lots of spinach! I don't have fatty liver - I have had a CT scan but I do have a positive ANA test so they have been monitoring for autoimmune hepatitis. I haven't noticed any blood in my stools. The only other thing is my bilirubin is high and that can be caused by the body breaking down blood cells too quickly but my bloods don't show evidence of that, they have said it is Gilberts syndrome. Dr P recommended the Floradix which I thought was high in iron - I will double check. What supplement would you recommend for raising ferritin (Liquid rather than tablet would be best)? Advice gratefully received.

    I should see about getting those other tests done. I am going back for another liver test in a couple of weeks, I might ring and ask if they can do these others.



  • Oh dear...... sorry. I think I read so many posts I got confused on age. (blush)

    One 'serving' of floradix contains 87 mg of ferrous gluconate. 10 mg of iron. Considering how much of that would be absorbed, you would only be holding your own, so to speak. That's not enough to increase iron levels just sustain them.

    Iron is so controversial. Optimal levels are a matter of contention. But yours iS low and causes fatigue, crabbiness and the whole nine yards of not feeling well.

    Back in the old days people would have a good feed of liver once a week. That would give them the B vitamins, vitamin A, copper and iron. Red meat from muscle is low in copper and higher in zinc. But these days so many women especially say 'yuk' to liver. Maybe because they don't know how to cook it well. Or they don't like that it has a stronger flavour. Soak it in milk first. That will reduce some of the iron content but it will still contain enough iron.

    Chicken and other poultry livers (duck) contain vitamin K2 as well so that's a bonus right there.

    If you opt for tablets, then you need to take them with orange juice or vitamin C because they cause constipation. Some types can cause stomach irritation. Ferrous gluconate and fumarate are good because they are better tolerated. Just that the actual amount of elemental iron in these is quite low. You'd need to take more than 1 tablet per day to increase your iron.

    I had low ferritin years ago. It was in the 20s. My doctor was useless. I didn't realize how bad this was. I was exhausted! We need iron for mitochondrial membrane enzymes which said mitochondria are what generate energy in our cells. I had some post hepatitis A digestive issues that took a few years to resolve. When digestion improved I decided to eat liver most weeks. Ooops. Overshot. Hemoglobin went up to 158/160. The docs were concerned I may have hemachromatosis. I haven't eaten liver for more than a year now and hemoglobin has settled at 147. But because of no liver, I occasionally take a B12 supp.

    Liver is really a superfood. Eaten with lots of vegetables and potatoes, you get a nutrition bomb on a plate (on in a bowl, take your pick).

    When iron is good, kidney is preferable because it's low iron but full of B vitamins and vitamin K2.

  • When you say 'lots of spinach', how much exactly is lot's? Do you eat great mountains of it everyday? Because, if you do, it may be having a negative effect on your thyroid.

    And why do you eat it? Do you eat it in preference to other veggies because you think it is rich in iron? Well, it is rich in iron, but the problem is that we humans cannot absorb the iron in spinach. Popeye was just a myth!

    But, whatever form of iron you take, you will absorb it better if you have a vit C source at the same time. Even your Floradix might do you more good if taken with vit C. And have thick-cut chips (cooked in dripping) with your red meat.

  • Hi there

    Thanks for posting. Lol! No I don't eat mountains of it so not quite looking like Popeye yet. I eat a normal amount the same as most veggies and because I like it not because of it containing iron. Can I ask, how will it have an adverse affect on my thyroid? MP x

  • Spinach is a goitrogen. Too much of it impedes the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland, thereby making it difficult for the gland to make sufficient thyroid hormone.

    But, as I said, you won't ever look like Popey (thank goodness!) nor will it raise your iron levels, because you can't absorb the iron. :)

  • Ah I see. I have wondered if there is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Is my TSH high because my ferritin is so low or are other things having an effect as well as my TSH has always been in range before and it was my T4 that was low - on the urine test at least. If I sort Ferritin out would that sort out the thyroid? The thyroid Is a minefield and I have spent so long being told by doctors that it isn't my thyroid that I am sort of brainwashed into believing them! If I am going to self medicate with NDT I need to be sure I am hypothyroid and it's not just a case of sorting other problems like Fertitin. can't believe I am questioning myself when I have always believed my fibromyalgia is down to my thyrpid! MP x

  • Low ferritin does not cause high TSH in and of itself. Low thyroid hormones cause high TSH.

    In actual fact, the TSH is pretty irrelevant, it doesn't affect the way you feel. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. It is secreted by the pituitary when thyroid hormone is low, to tell the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone - T4 and a little T3.

    But, the thyroid - for various reasons - can't always do that. So, the TSH stays high.

    You have low T3, and it's low T3 that causes symptoms. One of those symptoms is low stomach acid, which means that you cannot break down your food correctly to absorb the nutrients. You therefore develope deficiencies in things like iron and B12, etc.

    Nutritional deficiencies will mean that even if you give your body thyroid hormone, the body will not be able to use it very well - won't be able to absorb it and convert it. Which is why you need to optimise your nutrients.

    Also, nutritional deficiencies will also cause symptoms of their own. So, what with low nutrients, and low thyroid hormone, you will be come very ill.

    So, you have to work on both - the nutrition and the hormones. Unfortunately, doctors know little about either!

  • Thank you for such great info. I don't know why I am hesitating about dealing with this, I think it is just taking that step into either self medicating or trying to convince my GP I am hypo - bad experiences with GPs have put me off. I've been ill for so long but maybe my indecision is because I am so ill again and literally I can't think. I am veering all over the place. I think I will sort out my iron etc and in the meantime write to Dr P to see what he says, just for some reassurance that I would be doing the right thing by self medicating and then I will take the plunge. And then no doubt I will be back asking more questions! Thanks MPx

  • You're welcome. We all understand about the bad expériences with GPs, and the brain fog! It's difficult to make that final decision to start self-treating.

    But, working on the iron first isn't such a bad idea. And I'm sure Dr P will be able to set your mind at rest. :)

  • Hahaha don't worry about the age thing, I wasn't being precious, I was just saying my age to show I was still menstruating. Though I do feel more like 85 than just over 45!

    Thanks, this is all really useful. I am going to have a look to see if there is a link with high bilirubin and low ferritin though I think it does point to haemolytic anemia which I think an be an autoimmune thing though my bloods always say no haemolysis. Who knows I just know I need to get it back up! Didn't know low ferritin could cause irritability, thought my husband was just being more annoying that usual!

    I have to say, you are right. I absolutely detest liver, not just the taste but also the texture. I hate any offal so that is definitely off the cards, I will look at supplements. I have had iron tablets before after my daughter was born and they did give me constipation so I will see if I can find a more gentler tablet as you suggest of stick to liquid.

    And of course i need to decide how to sort my thryoid out, retest in 3 months, ask Dr P again and self medicate or risk seeing an unsympathetic doctor. I would loved to do a poll of everyone here to see how many of them got short thrift from their doctor based on similar results to mine !

    Thanks again