Ferrous Fumarate 305mg given to me for thyroid problems

Hi all,

Recently I had been told I had thyroid problems which I had been given medicine for 2 years ago. I didn't realise that I had to keep going to the doctor regularly for this. It caused me a lot of problems including stress, Depression, anxiety and irregular, heavy periods which have lasted 2 years. I went to the doctor two days ago and got blood tested for a number of different things. The blood tests came back today and I've been given ferrous fumarate 305mg tablets which I have to take 3 times a day. From what I understand, these are just iron deficiency tablets. If that's the case, I don't understand how they are going to help me or my thyroid problems get better.

I heard that thyroid problems can cause depression. I really don't want to live with that for the rest of my life. It's getting in the way of my teacher training. I've already been kicked out of a placement school because I "haven't made sufficient progress". I'm going insane and I don't know what to do. Every little thing isn't driving me crazy.

21 Replies

  • That is an absurdly high dose of ferrous fumarate.

    I think you should only take one, twice a day of them.

    The ferrous fumarate usually prescribed is ferrous fumarate 210mg, and that is prescribed three times a day.

    The ferrous fumarate you've been given sounds to me like Galfer which has 305mg of ferrous fumarate in it.

    The recommended dose for those for the treatment of low iron is, as I said, 1 capsule twice a day.

    See this link from the British National Formulary on iron supplements that doctors can prescribe :


    Click on the link to Galfer at the bottom of the page.

  • People with underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) have a thyroid which can't produce enough thyroid hormone for the body to work properly. Every cell in the human body needs thyroid hormone to work properly, and when there is too little any bodily system can go wrong.

    The list of symptoms goes on for ever, but luckily we don't tend to get all of them. Some symptoms are more common than others.

    This is a standard symptoms list :


    When the thyroid stops being able to produce sufficient thyroid hormone the only solution is to replace what is missing with thyroid hormone tablets. There are several ways in which thyroid hormones can be supplied but the standard one is Levothyroxine. The NHS prescribes this.

    It takes a while for the body to adjust to having thyroid hormone again. The usual treatment is to start on 50mcg Levothyroxine per day which is taken once a day. After 6 weeks blood tests are carried out and the likelihood is that you will need a higher dose. The dose gets increased by 25mcg per day, then testing is done in another 6 weeks.

    It continues like that - a cycle of taking a particular dose, re-test, then if dose is insufficient add another 25mcg per day. This is repeated in a 6 weekly cycle until blood tests show you are adequately medicated.

    It's appalling that you weren't told that you would need Levo for life and you've been left to rot.

  • Anaemia is a precursor to underactive thyroid. You need to make a complaint about your lack of information and treatment.

  • The iron supplements are quite common with thyroid conditions. Also if you are having heavy periods, you are likely to be anaemic. Ironically when you are anaemic, you bleed more and stress can make it worse too and more frequent.

    You will most probably find that the tiredness will get less. You are on quite a high dose, so make sure you get your GP/dr to check your liver function. It can also cause constipation and unpleasantly smelly black stools :( (Sorry for being so graphic)

    I am supposed to take two 310 mg a day of iron, but can only tolerate one for the above reasons. But also have to take folic acid and have B12 jabs.

    Hope the heavy periods ease off and that the iron supplements help in more ways than one.

    Take care :)

  • Try iron sulphate. It's easier on the digestive system. I've just added a half dose of iron bisglicinate on top, which seems ok, too.

  • If you want to maximise rate of absorption, take haem and/or ferritin alongside one of the more usual forms (sulphate, bisglycinate, etc.) Human guts have three entirely separate mechanisms for absorbing iron which appear to operate more or less independently of each other. Increasing the conventional iron could very well simply mean you are taking more that cannot be absorbed.

  • That's interesting to know, thanks Helvella!

    Glad I decided to get two types! :)

  • Trouble is, Leverette, that so far as I can tell, ferrous sulphate and bisglycinate are absorbed by the same mechanism as each other. There is one other mechanism for ferritin. And another for haem iron.

  • Thanks again!

    I'll look up getting one of those. I've upped my black kale intake to eating it on a daily basis, but believe vegetable forms of iron are not absorbed as well. NDT is as far as I can let my otherwise meat free diet slip. :-/

    vegsoc.org/iron so looks like heme's out.

    Is ferritin also meat based?

  • Have a quick look here:


  • Fab iron fish idea, I'm going to get one & two more for presents! :D

  • Sorry - missed that earlier. Afraid so...

  • I'm thinking about liver again!



  • I have never had it explained to me like that before helvella - Thank you. :)

  • Leverette, I think whether iron sulphate is easier on the digestive system differs from person to person.

    I tried ferrous sulphate and I felt like I'd swallowed red hot ball bearings. However I coped okay with ferrous fumarate.

    I've seen one other member expressing a preference for ferrous sulphate over ferrous fumarate, but it was ages ago and I can't remember who it was.

    Both sulphate and fumarate are worth trying, since they are the cheapest iron supplements available. And saving money on supplements is high on my list of priorities. :D

  • Ouch, that's nasty!

    I get sulphate on prescription, & asked to try it due to the fumarate upsetting my digestion, which was worsening. I bought the byglicinate at a reasonable price after my blood test results weren't as high as I'd like. I'm only taking one of the latter, rather than two, & both with fruit, The byglicinate also has added vitamin C & Bs. On top of daily greens & lentils, I'm hoping my ferritin & folate are improving leaps & bounds.

    Now I have an iron fish on my shopping list, too... :)

  • I'd love to know how much of a metallic taste you get with an iron fish. Perhaps you could write a new post with your experiences of it. I would definitely be interested anyway. :)

    You could test your iron with this finger-prick test - its more informative than getting just a ferritin test from your doctor :



  • I doubt it would be any different to cooking in cast iron pans. Mine are enamel, so there's no nutritional benefit, but I've used them in the past, & remember no taste whatsoever.

    Thanks for the info!

    I've just coughed up a lot of money for my increasingly expensive NDT, so I'm not in a position to pay for blood tests. My levels weren't low enough for concern, just not as good as possible.

  • Thank you for the info Leverette, I might just do that as I am struggling to get my iron levels up. When you say half a dose, how much is that?

  • The byglicinate B's & C packet said two tablets a day, but as I'm taking prescription iron sulphate, eat lots of fruit & veg, & use nutritional yeast, I thought I only need one for a wee boost. I'm careful not to take it with foods that reduce absorption. I felt wretched for months before my blood tests, & hadn't been eating as much of my food sources of iron: greens, lentils, etc, so I think that made my results worse than normal.

  • I suggest that you study the information on Thyroid UK and Thyroid Patient Advocacy websites.Post your results when you have them with the ranges for advice.

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