Treating low ferritin : Does anyone know of a... - Thyroid UK

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Treating low ferritin

boxesandplanes
boxesandplanes
14 Replies

Does anyone know of a more effective way to treat low ferritin than with ferrous sulphate please?

Mines sitting at 16 (15-300) and I think it's causing some symptoms, but when I've tried in the past the ferrous sulphate gives me diarrhoea and also doesn't really get my number up very high (30 at most)

Thanks

14 Replies
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Marz

If you are on a phone scroll down and down to the heading RELATED POSTS. There you will find at least 10 similar posts with - hopefully - some helpful suggestions. 😊 5th one down looks good ....

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bluebug

Ferrous fumerate - which is the next cheapest salt some people do better on this than sulphate

Then ferrous gluconate or ferrous bisglycinate (solgar gentle iron) . They are more expensive e.g. £10 per jar and you have to take twice as much of them.

In addition to taking the iron supplements with vitamin C you need to eat liver and other red meat regularly. You should also stop drinking coffee and don't drink tea, red wine, eat any dairy products (calcium) and take any supplements with magnesium or zinc in them within 2 hours of taking the iron supplements to increase absorption.

Also be aware even in women without thyroid disease it takes months to raise ferritin levels as keeping haemoglobin levels up takes precedence.

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boxesandplanes

Thank you. I'll try and get the doctor to prescribe one of these then. Solgar sounds good.

Off to buy some paté!

My haemoglobin is always high, so it doesn't really make. Would I experience symptoms with high haemoglobin and low ferritin?

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SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator
in reply to boxesandplanes

I couldn't tolerate even the tiniest dose of iron in a supplement. I raised my ferritin by eating liver once a week and still do because my level goes down if I don't.

Pate contains a very small amount compared with liver so won't be enough on it's own. I believe no more than 200g liver is recommended per week. I eat around 120-150g as a meal but it can also be minced and put in casseroles, cottage pie, curry, bolognese, anything with meat.

Many people say they can't possibly eat liver or "yukkkk" without trying it, but sometimes needs must. As a previous demi-veggie who only are chicken and fish, I had to do something. Finding the right way to cook liver to suit your own taste is the answer, I really enjoy my liver and onions now.

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bluebug

The only ones your doctor will be allowed to prescribe on the NHS are ferrous sulphate and ferrous fumerate. Side effects with iron supplements are common so are ignored by doctors and lots of posters on here have been met with shrugs when they complain, so if you cannot take either of the first two then you have to buy your own gluconate or bisglycinate. (Solgar gentle iron is easily brought of Amazon.)

You can have any combination of high ferritin and low haemoglobin, high haemoglobin and low ferritin​, and low ferritin and low haemoglobin and feel the symptoms of iron deficiency. Most doctors do not recognise low ferritin levels can do this so ignore them. Doctors who do have a clue about ferritin have their own cut of point when they will not prescribe iron supplements. So even if you find you can cope with either ferrous fumerate or ferrous sulphate you may find to get to a level mid-range you will be buying your own iron supplements​ and private test(s).

Finally when you do get your level up you need to work out your own maintenance dose of iron. This may be taking 2 tablets a week OR eating liver once a week. It depends on things like age and menstrual cycle.

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thyr01d
thyr01d
in reply to bluebug

Bluebug, thank-you, this is very helpful.

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leoopard

Many people find Ferrous fumurate easier to tolerate. Do be sure to take it both with Vitaimin C and with food.

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JOLLYDOLLY

How much is the dose you take? I take one 305 mcg and my sister takes 210 mcg. I was on 2 x 210 mcg and I could not stomach it (excuse the pun) because it gave me a upset tummy. I find the one tablet on the higher dose is just right for me. My sister seems fine on hers but her iron deficiency is mild. I have a B12 deficiency too. Have you been checked for B12 deficiency?

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boxesandplanes

This is all really helpful, thanks everyone.

I was taking 200mg x 3/day but even taking only 1 x200mg I get diarrhoea, and worse, my ferritin levels don't go up much.

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JOLLYDOLLY

That seems a lot boxesandplanes!

Have you had a liver function test recently? I am not surprised you get diarrhoea. I would have it double checked. The reason I say this is because my GP put me on 3 tablets a day about 18 months ago, because I was severely anaemic. My liver count went through the roof and she went into panic mode. Ended up having a abdomen scan. I knew it was the iron doing it, so put myself back down to one tablet day and my liver count went back to normal range. Ironically I am not anaemic at the moment.

I would seek a second opinion my lovely or at least reducing it :)

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boxesandplanes

This was a dose prescribed years ago when I was in hyperthyroid mode and really ill. My ferritin was also 16 then. I managed to get it up to around 30. Then I tailed off taking the iron due to the of the diarrhoea. I haven't actually taken any for a few months as even 1tablet upsets my stomach.

My thyroid is now stable (adrenals are a problem) but I'm still having symptoms like chest pain, very painful muscles with the slightest 'exercise' (holding a hairdryer up, Reading a book to my kids, walking up stairs - all hurt the muscles involved) and feeling like I just can't get enough oxygen!

I haven't had a recent b12 test but it's always been ok on the past however I've stopped taking that supplement.

I am sure I've had my liver tested at some point, but like I say I'm not worried because I haven't been taking the iron reliably.

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boxesandplanes

And then my most recent test shows my ferritin down to 16 again so if I don't keep taking it I go backwards.

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JOLLYDOLLY

I have B12 deficiency as well. I know when I am due for a jab as my muscles ache. I find that it difficult to hold things up and have been known to lose grip of things too. So frustrating! :(

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Flowers2

Ferrous Fumerate worked well for me. Kinder to the stomach too I believe.

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