Vitamin/mineral results: Following on from my... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

112,018 members130,264 posts

Vitamin/mineral results


Following on from my first post here are results for vitamins and minerals. Had to leave 2 jobs due to underperformance caused by tiredness, brain fog, poor memory/attention/concentration and also muscle weakness and poor stamina. It has been said I am suffering from a mini nervous breakdown/stress/major depression, family have been worried about me looking unwell. Previous GP sent me away with a leaflet about receiving mental health support and told me result for folate only minimal and vitamin D not shockingly low.

Any advice about results would be appreciated.

Serum ferritin - 13 ug/L (15 - 150)

Serum folate - 3.6 ug/L (4.6 - 18.7)

Serum vitamin B12 - 188 pg/L (180 - 900)

Total 25 OH vitamin D - 50.1 nmol/L (50 - 75 vitamin D may be suboptimal and long-term may lead to clinical effects. Advise on safe sun exposure and diet. Supplementation may be indicated)

23 Replies

I'm no expert but from all symptoms you seem to suffer from thyroidisum have you had tests done for your thyroid Levels? ? I've got all your symptoms plus more and I suffer from overactive and under active thyroid graves disease. Sorry not seen your first post.

Everyday feel like I'm on verge of breakdown. It's awful.

Lizbeth1986 in reply to Yazz1

Hi yes I take 50mcg, current results below:

Serum TSH - 5.41 mIU/L (0.2 - 4.2)

Serum Free T4 - 12.5 pmol/L (12 - 22)

Serum Free T3 - 4.2 pmol/L (3.1 - 6.8)

Anti TPO antibodies - 471.5 kIU/L (<34)

Saggyuk in reply to Lizbeth1986

I had all the same problems, but most dissppeared after going gluten free - have you tried this yet, definately worth a shot. And yes, you definately need an increase in your dose going by your labs, although I had to drop my dose by a third when I did go gluten free as became hyper :o)

Lizbeth1986 in reply to Saggyuk

Thanks for reply. I think GP is checking me for coeliac because my digestive symptoms have increased over the past few months since eating more pasta/bread.

Saggyuk in reply to Lizbeth1986

If they come back negative for coeliac (like mine), it is still worth doing :o)

Anthea55 in reply to Lizbeth1986

If you have digestive problems it's worth checking for low stomach acid (most docs only know about high stomach acid). See this link

You can be wheat intolerant even if you are not coeliac. Maybe you can cut back on the extra pasta/bread anyway once he's done his tests. I'm sensitive to wheat, oats and potatoes, but previous tests didn't find gluten a problem.

You are also under-medicated. How long have you been on 50 mcg?

I have been taking the 50mcg since September this year.

You should have been retested six weeks after starting that dose, and your dose increased by 25 mcg. I think you should ask your doctor for a retest immediately. Patients shouldn't be left on starter doses for more than eight weeks.

When you go for your next test, make sure you get an early morning appointment - as near to 8 am as possible - and fast over-night. Leave 24 hours between your last dose of levo, and your blood draw. :)

The good news is, you seem to be converting very well.

Thanks. I have other results that say I don't covert well at all on higher doses.

Ah. So, you have been on higher doses of levo, then? Why did you decrease?

The endo asked me to decrease because of suppressed TSH and symptoms she believed were of over medication. It was in my first thread I think.

Ah yes, just gone back and read it. Another ignorant endo! Well, at least now you know that a suppressed TSH does not automatically mean you're over-medicated! As for symptoms, they wouldn't know one if it got up and slapped them in the face! However, if you start talking about new symptoms, they will automatically assume that they are from over-medication, and rush to reduce your dose. It's a knee-jerk reaction.

In any case, you are now under-medicated, and need to increase your dose.

Can you post the results that suggest you don't convert on a higher dose?

And I have no idea why they are not treating you for iron deficiency as mine (GP and endo) always do on those levels of ferritin. Folate is below range so no idea why this is not being done either. B12 is really low too, if they wont treat, then treat yourself x

Lizbeth1986 in reply to Saggyuk

Thanks for reply. Endo said what level my ferritin was is not her problem because she is only interested in thyroid test results and GP should be dealing with it. Everything is being redone in the new year because my new GP wants to see where I stand health-wise.

Saggyuk in reply to Lizbeth1986

Well I might say - what a crap endo!!! Mine always treats me for these things, how can you get the thyroid right with all these other issues on top!!!

No, you are not suffering from a mini anything, you are suffering from starvation! What did your useless doctor say about these results? He should be doing a full iron panel, to find out why your ferritin is so low. And he should be testing you for Pernicious Anemia, with that low B12. Even your vit D is too low - it should be up around one hundred. Supplementation certainly is indicated - for all of it, and probably a lot more.

I think you should go back to him and point out that all your nutrients are too low, and that is why you are so ill. Nothing to do with depression, which is a symptom, not a disease. :(

Thanks. The GP I now see hasn't seen these results and wants them rechecked. Previous GP said folate was only minimally out of range and vitamin D wasn't really shockingly low. As for ferritin no comment was made about this.

Their ignorance is shocking! That's why we have to learn as much as we can, and insist on getting the treatment we need. But, we have to have the arguments to back up our claims. I hope your new GP is more clued up!


You need a more competent GP.

Ferritin is deficient which can indicate iron anaemia. Your GP should arrange iron panel and full blood count tests to check iron and red blood cells.

Folate is deficient and your GP should prescribe 5mg folic acid for 2-3 months until the deficiency is corrected. You can buy 400-800mcg folic acid without prescription and self medicate.

B12 is bottom of range. Ideally your GP will check intrinsic factor antibodies to rule out pernicious anaemia. If PA is ruled out you might still benefit from B12 injections rather than methylcobalamin supplements. Ask for advice about B12 and folate deficiency on

VitD isn't shockingly low but it isn't optimal either. I recommend you buy 5,000iu D3 and supplement until end of April and then restest vitD.

You are under medicated on 50mcg Levothyroxine. The goal of Levothyroxine is to restore the patient to euthyroid status. For most patients that will be when TSH is 1.0 or lower with FT4 in the upper range. FT4 needs to be in the upper range in order that sufficient T3 is converted. Read Treatment Options in Email if you would like a copy of the Pulse article to show your GP.

Thyroid peroxidase antibodies are positive for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's). There is no cure for Hashimoto's which causes 90% of hypothyroidism. Treatment is for the low thyroid levels it causes. Many people have found that 100% gluten-free diet is helpful in reducing Hashi flares, symptoms and eventually antibodies.


I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

Lizbeth1986 in reply to Clutter

Thanks. New GP is rechecking thyroid, ferritin, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, complete blood count and TPO. The above tests were all done by a previous GP. Because additional testing for pernicious anaemia hasn't been arranged I don't know how willing my new GP would be to add this to the list.

Clutter in reply to Lizbeth1986


It's worth asking if it can be added to avoid having to go back for a separate IF test.

Arrange your thyroid blood test early in the morning when TSH is highest and fast (water only) as TSH drops after eating and drinking. Take Levothyroxine after the blood test.


Lizbeth1986 No, your Vit D is not shockingly low, but it's nowhere near the recommended level of 100-150nmol/L.

You need to supplement with D3 (a softgel is my choice), 5000iu daily throughout the winter, retest in the spring and if you've reached the recommended level then reduce to 5000iu alternate days.

When taking D3 we need it's important co-factors K2-MK7 and magnesium -

Vit D aids absorption of calcium from food and K2 directs the calcium to bones and teeth rather than arteries and soft tissues. D3 and K2 are fat soluble and should be taken with the fattiest meal of the day. D3 should be taken 4 hours away from Levo.

Magnesium comes in different forms, check here to see which would suit you best and as it is calming it's best taken in the evening -

As Greygoose has alread mentioned, Ferritin, B12 and Folate all need further investigation by your GP.

Optimal levesl (though doctors know nothing about this as they're not taught):

Ferritin needs to be half way through it's range, with a minimum of 70 for thyroid hormone to work, and I've seen it said 100-130 for females.

B12 - very top of range, even 900-1000

Folate - at least half way through range.

You may also like...