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Thyroid UK
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Does anyone recommend private iron testing please?(have b12 jabs, tsh 6.28)


I'm wondering if anyone can tell me whether a private pinprick iron test could be useful please? I've just noticed my ferritin is bottom of the range again after having blood test for kidneys/inflammation due to water infection (no infection found but red/white blood cells) and 4 courses of antibiotics. I still have some symptoms, but remember having these when my ferritin got very low couple of years ago. I've taken supplements since, but it always seems to settle back to bottom of range once I stop them.

I'm having monthly b12 jabs(6 months), last thyroid result tsh was 6.28, so due to have it rechecked January. I've had low vit d, and folate dropped to 6 (3-15).

Just wondering if having iron, tibc and transferrin could through anymore light on the iron front? I've noticed medicheck do a test for £39?

Any ideas really appreciated many thanks...:)

25 Replies


Some people need to supplement a maintenance dose of iron to prevent ferritin dropping. If the finger prick test involves collecting blood in a microtainer then it will be fine. I'm not sure about tests which smear a little blood onto a card.


Thanks clutter, yes it's a tube collecting kit. I stopped supplementing last summer when ferritin reached 142, although I did have an infection at the time which may have increased it. It's tricky knowing when to keep supplementing isn't it. I know when certain symptoms appear it's likely low, but with having b12 and other symptoms some get a bit intermingled! :) thanks for your help.


I've just done that fingerprick iron status test with Medichecks and found it very useful. Ferritin checks your iron store only, the other tests will throw more light on your complete iron status.

Are you supplementing for your low Vit D and folate?

When you last tested 6.28 for TSH, did you have your Levo increased as your GP should have done?

I agree with Clutter that you may need to stay on a maintenance dose of iron. One very good way to increase ferritin and maintain it is to eat liver. Once a week increased my ferritin to a decent level.


Thanks seasidesusie, that's helpful to know you've just used them. Can I ask if it's just one little tube of blood please? I did the thyroid one in the summer with BH.

I supplemented vit d for a while, but felt it made things worse am the same on cod liver oil, but will prob have to retest and poss retry. I supplemented folate for 2 weeks and it went overange, so stopped again, may have to restart as I need enough for b12. Looks like my mean cell volume has gone back in range again now, Which could be because of b12 supplementation, but lower folate can also falsely normalise it can't it, all tricky stuff!:)

I'm not on any thyroid treatment, dr says its to be tested 6 monthly. I discovered it doing that private thyroid test as wanted to check antibodies, but dr refused. Tsh had been from low to top of range, so thought I'd watch it!

Yes I do eat the dreaded liver,lol, once a week and have now increased to twice.

Thanks very much for your time and help :) I'll give that test a go :)


Jo5454 Yes, it is just one little tube of blood, same size as the thyroid one I did with blue Horizon, collects about 5ml I think.


Thanks Seaside Susie for your help, posted the test off today, hope it's useable! Forgot about Black Friday sale possibility and saw it had £10 off this morning, Doh! :)

Glad the test was helpful to you...:)


Jo5454 I think you may have a problem with it being posted on a Friday. I am sure there wont be anyone at the lab to accept delivery and carry out the tests over the weekend. I know Blue Horizon make a point of telling you to make sure Thursday is the last day of the week to post, and if you do post on a Thursday to use the guaranteed next day delivery service to ensure it gets there on Friday. Blue Horizon and Medichecks use the same lab - County Pathology.

I'm not sure the sample will be useable on Monday but you could ring them and ask.


Hi SeasideSusie, thanks for your message, but not to worry, I asked on the phone when I ordered and they said it's fine as long as i let them know so that someone could go in to do it. Good service isn't it. The form said not to post on a Fri, so I did double check againand they said they were about to change their literature/leaflets. I asked about using a guaranteed service both times, but they said just to post in the yellow envelope...so fingers crossed! Thanks for your concern.


Oh that's good :) . I had my iron panel results back the day after I posted the sample, couldn't believe it as the email came through at 2pm!


Wow, that was great. So there's good hope mine may return tomorrow. Did yours show anything you could rectify?


Jo5454 I was actually re-checking my ferritin level so decided to do the full iron panel while I was at it.

I was delighted to find my ferritin had risen at long last to a very acceptable level. I struggle to take iron supplements so I started eating liver instead and I've had great success with it.

The rest of the tests didn't point to any problems, all in good places within their ranges, so I was a very happy bunny :)


That's great, happy liver munching :) I've found a nice way of disguising mine in a summery casserole with sweet pots, pots, courgette, leek, tomatoes, etc with garlic croutons on top!


Your TSH is high and you are probably suffering from horrible symptoms and that might affect iron stores etc, there is a product you can buy online called thyroid gold that is sold as a supplement but contains t4 t3, t1 and t2 so will bring that tsh right down or better still get your gp to prescribe meds because you are definately hypothyroid.


Thanks chrisbuy63...yes, I do have a lot of symptoms, but have been giving the b12 injections a chance to see what is caused by that, it's very difficult isn't it, as many overlap.

I was advised to get all these levels up and see what happens from there, but it seems difficult particularly with iron, folate and vit d to keep them high without constant supplementation. So I guess i could be something else like thyroid issues having an effect on this as well as perhaps absorption probs.

I'm underweight and for years have wondered if my symptoms of ME have been linked to overactive which my nan had, but seems it's pointing toward under active. I'm not due to be retested until Jan, so may well end up doing a private pinprick again. Dr seemed a bit more receptive toward thyroid treatment in the future, so hopefully it won't resemble the long b12 battle in anyway! Thanks again :)

1 like

Your TSH points to under active not overactive and although not as common not everyone is overweight with this condition. I do hope you soon feel much better. I went for blood test today symptoms that I have had both when I have been underactive and overactive are confusing to say the least. I hope the B12 evens things out for you!


Thank you, I hope you get good results from your blood test. It must be difficult going from under to overactive. My tsh has been changing from very bottom of range up to this 6, so will be intriguing to find out next time! Take care...


low folate will cause enlarged red blood cells - same as low B12 - its high folate that tends to mask this.

low iron will also tend to make red blood cells smaller so will tend to counteract macrocytosis caused by B12 and folate deficiencies ... so interpreting any results is going to be difficult.

the most common cause of B12 absorption problems is PA - as this results in lower stomach acidity it also affects absorption of other nutrients - so is quite common to have other mineral and vitamin deficiencies at the same time. You could try taking a little lime or lemon juice when you eat to see if that helps with the absorption


Thanks for correcting me Gambit62, I think I'll have to start drawing some diagrams to try to learn some of this!:) i should know that as my MCV increased and made the b12 deficiency more apparent when I supplemented iron for low ferritin stores.

I'll def try the limes/ lemon juice thanks. I used to start the day with a squeeze of lemon in hot water as suggested by a nutritionist but forgotten about it lately and they didn't mention it being good for absorption! Do you water it down and do you drink it before or during a meal please and how much? Appreciate your time and help thanks,


I tend to have it in a glass of carbonated water with at least one meal during the day. Also use it at night in the glass of water I have by my bed.

Best of luck


Thanks Gambit62 it's under trial:)


Low iron and B12 and thyroid issues could indicate a gluten problem. You might try a gluten free diet.


Hi, thanks for your reply. Yes, I have been on a gluten free diet for long lengths of time, but because I didn't feel much better gave up on it. Have since discovered the b12 def, plus these other deficiencies, so maybe now I'd notice further improvement if I omit gluten?

I'm already dairy free, unfortunately, due to chronic sinusitis and have a latex allergy which cross reacts with some foods so always really reluctant to lose scones, pastry and bread :)



Ah, well gluten can slowly and insidiously destroy your health. My mom, daughter and I have had a boatload of serious health problems that developed over years. It's related to over 200 diseases and medical conditions.

You don't have to be full-blown celiac. Many people have gluten sensitivity triggered by something as innocuous as a virus which slowly smoulders away, destroying your health.

Like I said, low iron, B12, and thyroid issues practically scream "gluten problem." It creates mucous coating the villi, and damage to Vikki over time, making it difficult to properly absorb nutrients. And, as long as 10 years after going off gluten, people still had nutrient deficiencies.

You may also want to have other nutrients checked, too, like iodine, RBC selenium, magnesium, and zinc, which are important for thyroid and immune function.

Try a Paleo Diet, there are lots of great cookbooks and recipes these days. I'm allergic to gluten, corn, quinoa, eggs, and milk, and don't even miss them eating Paleo.

Good luck!


Thanks Learner1.ive had magnesium and rbc checked but not the others, are these available on the NHS do you know please? You have to avoid a lot of things, but glad you've found a diet that's enabling you not to miss them.

When you mentioned mucus coating the villi, it came back to me that after a colonoscopy a number of years ago, my dr told me I had IBS because I had more mucus in my bowel than I should have. Will have to relook into that...thanks again...take care.


Gluten, dairy, soy, and corn could contribute to mucus production AND to nutritional deficiencies.

I've found life without them to be just fine, and if you've got a complex set if health issues, simplifying by avoiding potential problems is a good strategy.

Gluten and thyroid problems go together, and going off it 100% is likely in your best interest. A little bit occasionally can set off symptoms.


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