please can someone help me with my iron results... - Thyroid UK

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please can someone help me with my iron results.. struggling x

grumpyoldbean profile image

hi.. i have hashimotos.. been diagnosed a year. my problem, apart from my t4 taking time to kick in, is my iron levels.

i asked my doc in july to test my iron panel.. here are the results

iron 18 (5-33)

transferrin 2.77 (2.15-3.8)

% iron saturation 29 (15-50)

ferritin 37. (10-291)

folate 13.26 (5.4-24)

B12 338 (180-910)

ok, i see i have a problem here, my ferritin is virtually non existent! also my iron n B12 not so good.. so i supplement with solgar easy iron, vit c, taken at same time, b12 lozanges jarrow 5000mcgs... eating better, taking vit d and selenium but try at different times to my iron

got back frm docs with latest results.. this is just under 2 mnths later while on my vits

iron 9 (5-33)

transferrin 2.50 (2.15-3.8)

% iron saturation 16 (15-50)

ferritin 47.4 (10-291)

so u see my problem and why i am so disappointed.. all my figures have gone down except ferritin which has only gone up by 10!!!!!!

I know ferritin can play a massive part in hair loss.. mine is falling out so much now.. my t4 has stabilised at 14 and my tsh is 0.3

any ideas how i can drastically up these figures please? my doc says i am in range and ok!!

14 Replies
SlowDragon profile image

I don't know anything about iron or ferritin, hopefully someone else who does, will reply on that

Two things, you say you're taking vitamin D. have you had your Vitamin D levels tested? Common for us hashi's to be low in Vit D - we need it at a good level, around 100, but also must not go too high

How much Vit D are you taking? It's a good idea to also take vitamin K2 and often magnesium too.

Other suggestion. Are you on gluten free diet? Many of us find it helps. Worth trying for a few months at least. It may reduce symptoms and lower antibodies slowly over time. Being gluten free may help keep vitamin levels higher too.

Also lastly, if taking vitamin B12, then recommended on here that we also take a good quality Vitamin B complex - this would improve folate levels too

hi , thanx for reply, yes i am taking k2 with my vit d.. my levels were low. all my vits were low in fact,, D was64 (50-100) and my antibodies in the thousands.. i ignored my condition for a long time... just thought i was run down..also folate low so taking tabs for that too.. i take that coz if u take b12 i read it can compete with folate.. i am seein a gi and liver specialist tomoro but if he is anything like my endo.. i wont hold my breath .. xxx SlowDragon

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to grumpyoldbean

grumpyoldbean Your folate is not really all that low. It should be at least mid-range and with a range of 5.4-24 then that would be 14.7 so with your folate level at 13.26 you are quite close to mid-range. With B12 we should take a B Complex to balance all the B vits. If you change your folate supplement to either Thorne Basic B or Jarrows B Right you will get all the B vits you need including 400mcg methylfolate which will help push your folate level up. I got my folate up from bottom of range to top of range in 2.5 months with just Thorne Basic B.

Ferritin can take a long time to improve. In fact as you tested 37 in July and 47.4 in August/September that's quite a good improvement for just a few weeks. 1 x Solgar Gentle Iron is only giving you 20mg elemental iron. You can either increase this to 3 or 4 a day which will give approximately the same amount of elemental iron as 1 x Ferrous Fumarate (FF is what GPs generally prescribe but at 2 per day) and you can start eating iron rich foods. I have started eating liver and this has helped a lot, not something I would normally choose to eat but needs must.

You say "taking vit d and selenium but try at different times to my iron", well you know it must be 4 hours away otherwise the iron will affect absorption.

Are you following the recommendations for when to take your vits and mins? Vit D and K2 must be taken with dietary fat so the fattiest meal of the day. Also, Magnesium is another of Vit D's co-factors so you should be taking that, usually in the evening as it is calming. B vits in the morning, no later than lunchtime as they can be stimulating. Sublingual B12 any time as it goes directly into the blood stream but B Complex with food. Selenium is one generally recommended to take in the evening.

And you haven't said whether you are gluten free. Many members have found this helps enormously, no cheating though, it needs to be 100% gluten free.

SeasideSusie thankyou for your thorough reply. oh so am on the right track with ferritin?? thats good to hear.. its just am gettin so impatient with my hair loss.. it may not be iron but i feel its a factor.. also i do yes take vit d and k after fatty meal, but didnt take my b12 in the morn,but will from now on.

I just wondered why my ferritin is rising but everything else lowered? its so frustrating! i am so breathless and tired. i had anaemia as a child and when pregnant, feels the same.

I take ashawaganda at bed time..

As for the B complex, am glad you mentioned this.. i only take B12 .. does the thorne basic B not have B12 in ? i was worried about taking too much, but i have read that we cant really overdose on B12.. is this correct?

i have bought black strap molasses .. eurgh to taste, but high in iron?? and source of copper? i melt it with virgin coconut oil. hold my nose n chuck it down ...

I am really grateful for your advice.. its so hard isnt it?so much to remember..

I am definitley going to organise myself to go gluten free.. i tried it for a couple of weeks ,but had alot going on, so i gave up but the bloating went down quite quickly.. i tried to ask my gi and liver specialist some questions, but he sat in the next room on his computer talking t hru a door.. very rude.

Thanx again... xxx

SeasideSusie ps, just bought the thorne b complex and ff... i think from the reviews of it and what you advised, this may be better for me.. xxx

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to grumpyoldbean

grumpyoldbean The B Complex will make your pee bright yellow, don't worry as that is normal, it's the B2 Riboflavin. Watch out for constipation with the FF, some people are fine though.

SeasideSusie haha .. didnt see this message at first... it can be my partypeece lol ..xx

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to grumpyoldbean

grumpyoldbean Low ferritin is a cause of hair loss but so is hypothyroidism, so I'm wondering if you are yet optimally medicated. Do you have the ranges for your thyroid tests? I'm wondering where in the range your FT4 is.

Yes, your doing OK with the ferritin, it's a bit of a slog and I wasn't getting very far with iron supplements hence starting to eat liver. I'm afraid I don't really know enough about the other iron results, I think % saturation should be around 30%. Did your GP say anything?

I take blackstrap molasses and each 100g is supposed to contain 0.7 vitamin B6 (34 percent DV), 0.8 milligrams pantothenic acid (8 percent DV), 0.9 milligrams niacin (5 percent DV), 0.1 milligrams thiamine (3 percent DV), 1.5 milligrams manganese (77 percent DV), 242 milligrams magnesium (61 percent DV), 1,464 milligrams potassium (42 percent DV), 4.7 milligrams iron (26 percent DV), 17 micrograms selenium (25 percent DV), 0.5 milligrams copper (24 percent DV), 205 milligrams calcium (20 percent DV), 31 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV), 37 milligrams sodium (2 percent DV). So some iron but not mega high. Not sure how much 100g of molasses is. This is an interesting article . I don't use much, about a teaspoonful in warm water with some apple cider vinegar to help digestion so I don't get much of the minerals from it.

Thorne Basic B has 400mcg B12. No need to worry about taking too much, we pee out any excess.

I don't know much about ashawaganda other than it is an adaptogenic herb and is used for lowering cortisol.

Rude doctors seem to be the norm, sad isn't it? I don't think many of them care much any more :(

SeasideSusie i tried to tell my doc, and specialist.. u know the drill... IN RANGE! ..i wanted to scream!!

my t4 was way too high a few mnths ago .. he kept puttin me higher and higher and in the end at 175mcg and t4 22 the specialist told me to stop meds for 4 days.. and go back on 125.. now my T4 is 14 and TSH 0.3.. so he says i am in range.. i dont feel i am lol ... its been a massive rollercoaster for me.. in fact.. i have lowered to 100mcg and added in some T3.. not sure if i am gettin the balance right ... my ft3 was upper quarter of the range when my T4 was 22...i will get my blood tested again in a few weeks... so frustrating.. i need to send my saliva test back for my cortisol... but its finding all the pennies once we have bought the vits and good foods .. thanks for your reply xx

What are you taking for your iron? I have learnt on here that different brands that contain different ingredients can make a MASSIVE difference.

EleanorM-G hi EleanorM-G thanks for the reply... i am taking solgar easy iron, 20mg(iron bisglycinate) with a 1000mg vit c tab.. i take it away frm other meds n no milk.. i am guessing this is nowhere near enough? i have been to my gi and liver specialist today and he has requested i have the camera both ends ; (( ...i am so disappointed at my levels as i have been eating well, excercising gently and virtually cut out caffeine... any advice would b really welcome thanks xx

I am still pretty new at all this myself. About 5 weeks ago, it was suggested to me on here that I needed to raise my iron and they gave me the following suggestions:

1.To raise ferritin levels, take ferrous sulphate or fumerate capsules-it could take up to 3 months to feel better.

Ferrous fumarate 210mg x 2 per day from pharmacy (Tesco or independent) - tell pharmacist that doctor knows you are taking them and it was cheaper to buy them than get prescription.

Take with 1000mg of vit C to avoid constipation.

Take it 4 hours away from any thyroid medication and 2 hours away from other food, drink and supplements to avoid interaction.

If they give you a bad gut, try iron biglycinate (buy online). Things like Floradix aren't really strong enough to raise iron if it is low.

They all contain different amounts of elemental iron.For example, Solgar Gentle Iron (Solgar Gentle Iron being less harsh so hopefully no tummy upset and is supposed to be non-constipating.) is Iron Bisglycinate and contains 20 or 25 mg elemental iron. Ferrous Sulphate comesnin 200mg tablets and contains 65mg elemental iron.

Ferrous Fumarate 65-70mg elemental iron.

I would normally recommend one with good bioavailability like Thorne Basic B as it has all the active forms of the vitamins and I'd just take one, that will be fine. Jarrows B Right seems to be another good one.

I followed this info and my levels rose very quickly-much quicker than I was expecting, so I now I just one tablet of Ferrous Fumarate every other day with my vit C.

I see that @SeasideSuzie has commented-she has helped me so much with my vitamin supplements as the doctors knew very little. (I had to throw out the vits I had bought from Holland and Barratt that the GP recommeded, as they were pretty useless doses/quality.

It does look like you aren't taking enough.

EleanorM-G thankyou so much .. i learn more from people on here than my doc.. i just get poopooed... am sure we all do ... i just ordered the ff 210 off amazon.. i think this probably will b better for me... i was using solgar easy iron.. maybe i need summat a bit rougher my man!!.. hmhmmmm...

anyway, i just got so frustrated that my levels had gone DOWN apart frm ferritin.. grrr .. gonna tweak my regime and by buyin the thorne, i can reduce my tabs down, i take biotin and folate, but they are in the b complex so i wont rattle so much'

Do u feel better now you have sorted your iron out?

And yes, i was told the same about holland and barrat.. they are good if your needs are not severe, but i buy from amazon or bodykind.. solgar are a good brand . take care xx

I am feeling fantastic now! I have adjusted lots of things though. My T4/T3 doses, added vits for iron, B12, VIT D and general stuff to help the absorption of everything, so I can't say for sure which individual changes have worked the most-I have to assume it's a combination of everything.

My improvement happened very quickly, but from reading posts on here, that seems quite unusual, so don't be dis heartened if it takes a while for you to feel an improvement. This group is AMAZING, so make sure you keep posting, especially your blood test results and the ranges so people can help you out.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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