Ferritin and Phosphate

Hi Guys,

I have been supplementing for 3 months with Solgar Iron Bisglycinate as i can't tolerate anything else. My levels have come up from 8 ug/L to 17ug/L. I am quite disappointed as i had been trying really hard with all the things to help absorption vitamin c, away from calcium, caffeine, levo etc.. The bottle says 20mg and to take one a day but i have been taking 4 tablets 80mg after researching that this is safe. I know it can be a very slow process but i am desperate to get it up as i am feeling worse on the Levothyroxine than before i started taking it and am sure that my iron is playing a part. Additionally my labs came back with low inorganic phosphate 0.75 mmol/L (0.80 - 1.50mmol/L). It is only slightly under and the report says no action required but feeling so lousy i am obviously trying to analyse everything carefully. I have never had this before its always been in mid or upper part of range. Does low phosphate ring any bells with anyone? Thank you!!!

21 Replies

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  • If your phosphate is low you need to check your Vitd, calcium and parathyroid levels in case Hyperparathyroidism is the problem.

  • Hi Bantam, My calcium is on the low part of the range serum adjusted calcium conc 2.26 mol/L (2.20-2.60 mol/L) and my vit d is 82 nmol/L (50-200nmol/l). I have no clue about parathyroid levels but i did think that high calcium play a part in hyperparathyroidism so i guess that rules that out for me. I supplement vit d september through to march usually. Thanks for reply.

  • hw7342 I have trouble trying to raise my ferritin too. I can't handle even one Solgar Gentle Iron, nor even Ferritin 5mg, and Spatone gives me the runs for some unknown reason. I am now relying on eating liver once every week or two and taking organic blackstrap molasses which contains a little iron.

  • Blackstrap molasses good idea thanks. I am not sure i could do the liver but it sounds like you don't have many options available- its so frustrating! Have your iron levels affected the efficacy of thyroid meds at all?

  • hw7342 I didn't think I could do the liver either, especially as I had been a non-red meat eater for donkeys years, just chicken, fish, turkey. But needs must, I gritted my teeth and tried some lamb's liver and didn't find it too bad. Chicken liver is supposed to be the one with the highest amount of iron and also the mildest taste, and easy to make into pate I believe. However, my butcher never seems to have it in and I wont buy it from the supermarket as it is imported and I'd rather have British.

    I imagine my iron levels may have affected the efficacy of thyroid meds, but there are other things going on which are all added into the mix to complicate things.

  • It took me at least 6 months to get my ferritin up on solgar and most improvement was made after switching to ndt, that may have been a coincidence though? I know that after 3 months my levels had gone up from rock bottom to about 40 something I think but then began to drop again. It sounds like you are doing everything right so may be time to ask for a change of meds?

  • Dr thinks i am fine thyroid wise on 50mcg Levo... TSH 1.76, FT4 13.9, FT3 4.4. Been on it 6 weeks only and TSH has come down from 5.1 but other levels have not changed at all and as i said i feel worse. Its nhs so no trial of ndt. I had pinned my hopes on the fact that i know low iron can hamper the use of the levo so if i can get it up it might improve but its chicken and egg scenario really. Thanks NatChap.

  • Your TSH could still be lower. My Gp let me get down to 0.6 on levo. Unfortunately I still felt unwell and 125mcg was as much as they would allow me to take so I switched to NDT (self medicating). But you are right that ferritin needs to be optimal for thyroid meds to work most effectively. It really isn't an easy illness to treat is it?!

  • I too have low Ferritin at 13 & am on 100 of Levothyroxine & NDT, I've been prescribed iron pills. Are yours on prescription? I'm assuming if they're on prescription they'll be stronger. I read Ferritin should be around 70 if hypo. Rather depressing to see it takes so long to get iron levels up, I've only just started supplementing. Do you have more frequent or heavy periods too? It could be due to blood loss. I get bad fatigue, even sitting up knocks me out sometimes so I have to lie down a lot. No idea about phosphate I'm afraid.

  • Hi Limbolass, Yes they did prescribe some fumerate but i can't tolerate that at all so i have bought bisglycinate from health shop which is supposed to be gentler. At the moment its the fatigue that is bothering me the most out of all my symptoms so i can relate. No one seems to get it. Its shocking i can't remember anything. I have problems with my periods yes sometimes they are heavy but its not so much continuous but just sudden bloodloss. Not every month is like that. My main problem since November has been spotting most days but not enough to cause iron problems. It was weird because when i started supplementing the spotting stopped completely for a month and i thought that it was the iron causing it but no it came back unfortunately. That 70 mark you mention is definitely where i want to be iron-wise... it seems so far away... Best of luck to you, you might absorb better?

  • Yeah similar here re memory loss & sudden blood loss, I'm on for 3 days every 3 weeks but much heavier on those days, before I was hypo I was on for 5 days but lighter every 4 weeks. Do you get indigestion?

  • Have had bouts of quite bad stomach problems including indigestion. ok at the moment but always have a lot of acid and soreness in my stomach. Camera in my stomach just showed 'gastritis' so who knows. I came off all of the stomach meds after i realised i was anaemic because they completely stop all of your stomach acid production which obviously you need to absorb the iron etc. My mums stomach problems are so bad she can't get off the tablets unfortunately and she has low iron too. Its a vicious circle. Going back to periods i have started getting mine every 3 weeks lately... its hard to know where it starts and ends with so much spotting...

  • But if you had too much acid did you need to come off them? How do you handle your stomach probs & indigestion now? I've just found out my indigestion meds (Lansoprazole) could be causing low Ferritin as well as the blood loss. There's an endoscopy clinic at my surgery so will ask for it to see my acid levels before I decide to come off Lansoprazole. If it's low acid, I'll ask about HCL tablets. It sounds to me like you do have too much blood loss if you are menstruating 3 weekly & you shouldn't be spotting throughout the month.

  • Well i have never been sure which i have had.... too much or not enough. I never tried betaine but apple cider vinegar did not agree with me which should help if you do not have enough acid. I had an awful 6 months of barely being able to eat and lost a lot of weight back in 2014 because of it.. it felt like i could not breathe and all the usual oesophagus ulcer symptoms but i eventually recovered after no caffeine, no booze, no sugar, no gluten... then after it improving for a few months ended up back to normal eating again. Have had varying degrees of it since including swallowing difficulty and food getting stuck in my throat which the doctor said was mucus from inflammation. I was not totally sure but i think it might have improved when i went gluten free for second time after november and now i am dairy and gluten free. It is a lot better at the moment although i do have to eat little bits all of the time to keep it at bay. Yes you are probably right re the 3 weekly menstruation. Your plan sounds sensible x

  • I've tried apple cider vinegar off & on but not stuck to it, will try it more. Apparently the yeast in it disagrees with some people. Glad that's got a bit better for you anyway. Someone just recommended this supplement too landyschemist.com/viridian-...

  • Thanks. How come you are on Levo and ndt? Do you self medicate or see someone privately?

  • Cos I still had symptoms on Levothyroxine so added NDT, I get Levo on prescription but NDT I have to buy off Amazon. I didn't notice much difference after taking NDT, a slight improvement but nowt major, tho my verrucas did disappear quickly. I know Levo helps me cos if I miss it for a few days my indigestion returns. (This happens when Boots mucks my prescription up.)

  • have you tried taking probiotics b4 bed at night,can be very helpful

  • There is far more iron in prescribed meds than over the counter. Each 5ml (teaspoonful) of my prescribed ferrous fumarate (syrup) contains 45 mg elemental iron and I am to take 20 mls a day, you could compare that with what you are taking. Even on this bringing up my level is very, very slow.

    Best of luck

  • Good point thank you

  • For information on inorganic phosphate this link might be useful :

    labtestsonline.org.uk/under...

    If you notice on that page there are references to "At a Glance", "Test Sample", "The Test" etc ... Click on each one and read the info given. The link I've given describes what might cause low or high phosphate. Surprise, surprise, hypothyroidism is given as a cause of low inorganic phosphate.

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