Thyroid UK
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How to raise ferritin levels?

My daughter has been taking 25mg per day of Solgar Iron Bisglycinate for 9 months and despite this, her iron is still low and her ferritin level has not improved at all, still only 28.4, down from 30 a year ago.

She has also been eating really well, lots of meat, fruit and vegetables. I honestly don't know what else to do to try to get her iron levels up. I'm wary of increasing her iron supplements as she already suffers from constipation.

Any ideas and suggestions would be much appreciated.

5 Replies

Josiesmum This is the problem I have :(

Obviously she is not getting anywhere near enough elemental iron. If she was able to take Ferrous Fumarate each tablet contains 65-70mg elemental iron compared to Gentle Iron's 25mg but the constipation would be even worse.

What I have done is to tackle the constipation in a couple of ways, some may be suitable for your daughter, mix and match if necessary:

For a laxative effect (which isn't the best solution long term):

Vit C, however much it takes without causing upset tummy. I take L-ascorbic acid powder (I use Nutribiotics) made into a drink with orange juice. 1000mg at a time, three times a day (it can be more). Dr Myhill recommends 2000mg ascorbic acid at bedtime to produce a bowel movement the next morning. It will be obvious when bowel tolerance has been reached.

Magnesium citrate (again I use the powder form).

Non-laxative help:

NutriAdvanced Psyllium & Apple Pectin. This is fibre so gets the gut working rather than being a laxative ( I have it on Subscribe & Save to make it cheaper, you can cancel at any time with no problem). I don't need as many as it says on the pack.

Psyllium husk is a possibility but that tends to be rather gloopy and not always easy to get down.

Linus it Gold is another possibility Some people grind the seeds.

Ortis Fruits and Fibres Be careful to ensure it's that one, it doesn't list Senna which the other one does.

Also look at probiotics. There are many different strains which all do different jobs but here's an interesting article

So there's a few ideas for the constipation.

For the iron I have started to eat liver regularly. Not something I've done for many years and probably wouldn't be my first choice for a meal, but nicely cooked I now eat it about once a week and my ferritin level is now rising.

I hope that helps in some way.

1 like

You didn't say if your daughter is taking iron w vit c but not only will that help her absorb better but as SS said above it should help w bowel function.

Can I ask if she is hypothyroid, and if so is she optimally medicated? Constipation only went away when I added some t3 to my levo, but even on a good dose of levo (t3 and t4 high in range, tsh below 1) I still had a problem.


Thanks. She does take iron with vit c 1000mg. She isn't diagnosed hypothyroid but has low in range T3 and T4 and lots of symptoms, and poor adrenal function, but not low enough to warrant treatment. Also has CFS.


Does your daughter take B12? This seems to have been the key to me being better able to absorb the iron. I took iron an hour before food, which might not suit her if she feels sick from it, but works best for absorption. I then took B12 (sublingual), Q10, D3 and K2 with my breakfast (now that I have got my ferritin levels up - after at least a year - I don't leave the gap until food, but also don't take iron daily anymore). I also take Chelated Magnesium at night which has helped with constipation. Magnesium Citrate is good for alleviating constipation, but you will not benefit from the Magnesium in it as it flushes straight through. Magnesium has certainly helped with bloating - I believe that it takes excess fluid from you tissues and brings it to the bowel, so helping with regularity, but others on here know far more than me!

1 like

Thanks for the tips, yes she does take B12 (with iron and other supplements) actually her level was >2000 so I assume that means she needs to cut down. She also takes magnesium citrate (Natural Calm) at night which helps with constipation. She's having quite a bit of hair loss again which is very upsetting and I'm sure is related to iron deficiency.


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