Log in
Thyroid UK
96,739 members110,553 posts

Test results help needed to interpret

I wonder if anyone could comment on the white and red blood cell results. My doctor says that the red cell count is fine which I don't think it is really. What would be causing this? Thank you in advance

11 Replies


I'm not sure about your cell counts but your folate is rather low. You would probably benefit from supplementing. Your ferritin is also a little lower than is ideal so you may find you benefit from taking an iron supplement too. You won't get these on prescription as they are within the normal range but they are low in the range so could be contributing to your symptoms.

I also notice that your T3 and T4 are low in range and your TSH is high in range. Are you currently being treated for hypothyroidism? If so you may find you benefit from an increase in dose.

All of the above that I've mentioned could be causing any symptoms you have. You may find that the other cell counts are transitory or settle down once everything else is optimal.

Someone else may be able to add to what I have said :)

Pink x


Thank you for this.

1 like

I am going to write a lot of information so take your time reading and rereading it until you understand it.

Your haemoglobin level is 117g/L. WHO guidelines state anyone with a haemoglobin level under 120g/L has iron deficiency.

The NHS uses a range starting at 115g/L mostly to save money and partly due to their being a few people with inherited blood conditions that lower their haemoglobin. Private labs go by the WHO guidelines so would flag you up as being iron deficiency anaemic.

You have a ferritin level of 42. An idea ferritin level is around 80+.

Your folate level, while in range is also too low. You want it halfway in the range.

Low iron levels can lead to low white cell counts including low neutrophil counts and so can low folate levels.

As NICE guidelines state that doctors only need to treat those who fall outside the lab range the only way you are going to raise your iron and folate levels is by self-supplementation.

For iron, due to having mild iron deficiency anaemia, take one ferrous fumarate tablet 3 x per day with vitamin C and water. Take it 4 hours away from thyroid meds and 2 hours away from other food, drink and supplements. This is to avoid interaction. You need a course of 84 or 100 tablets. You can get these from a behind a pharmacy counter e.g. Boots, Asda or independent pharmacy. I strongly suggest you use a pharmacist you don't get your thyroid prescriptions at as you need to tell the pharmacist something like - "I have iron deficiency anaemia and my doctor told me to get iron tablets. I was told they were cheaper to buy of prescription." Otherwise they won't give them to you. Alternatively buy your iron supplements on Amazon.

After the first course of tablets you MUST get your haemoglobin level tested to confirm it is higher than 120g/L. If it is not AND you have taken 90% of the iron tablets then post on a new thread for advice. Blue Horizon do such private tests.

Then you need to take a maintenance dose of one ferrous fumarate tablet twice daily for 3-6 months after this test to ensure your ferritin level is risen. You do not need not need to retest after this.

Beware that iron supplements have side effects while taking them, some are unpleasant. However if you do take the majority of the tablets your haemoglobin level should go up in 6-8 weeks. Also supplements such as Floradix do NOT contain enough iron to treat iron deficiency anaemia even if it is mild.

In the case of folate you need to first take a folate supplement to raise your folate levels, and when you finish that take a good vitamin B complex to keep it raised and your vitamin B12 level in check for ever. For the folate take a methlyfolate supplement. Solgar is a good brand to take, again from Amazon. The vitamin B complex you take after this can be any brand but preferably choose one with more than the RDA of vitamin B12 and folate. Also do NOT take one aimed at your gender as you need to keep the B vitamins balanced.

I will post links when I get on a computer.


Oh my word this is so amazing I can't thank you enough. I feel so well armed with information for my next appointment. Thank you thank you


You are not! Please read what I've written.


Not what?


You aren't armed for your next appointment as your doctor is following NICE guidelines.


Ah I missed that bit. But I can still tell him he's wrong just for the record ?


See below. ;)


NICE guidelines state that doctors only NEED to treat those who fall outside the lab range. You are within the lab ranges so the NHS has no requirement to treat you and the doctor isn't negligent.

You can look up the NICE guidelines yourself by using Google.

You may be able to convince the doctor to treat you if you point out the likely cause of your low neutrophil count is iron deficiency, but some doctors refuse to believe they are linked if you are within the lab range AND you have hypothyroidism.

You can print out the pages from the two links I've given you below tohelp argue your case. Patient.info is a site recommended by many doctors and the pages are the professional reference ones.


Iron deficiency anaemia - patient.info/doctor/iron-de...

Folic acid deficiency - patient.info/doctor/folate-...


Thank you I get it now I was over excited about the Who guidelines.

Many thanks I can't make sense of the links but will follow your more accessible/ understandable advice.


You may also like...