Thyroid UK
84,221 members99,222 posts

Dark circles - graves disease - low ferritin

Hi, I am a graves disease sufferer (15 years, diagnosed at age 21, male). I can keep my levels in range with armour thyroid and PTU and 200mcg selenium.

But one problem I have always had are very dark circles under eyes. I don't mean a shadow - I mean pigmented skin.

I was looking back at my blood test results and I see I have always had low FERRITIN. Could this be a cause?? or am I clutching at straws?

My latest results are: FERRITIN 36.17 ug/L Range (30.00 - 400.00)

This is low right? Should I be supplementing iron?

I have seen 2 ophthalmic surgeons who both told me they don't want to perform blepharoplasty as I am unlikely to get significant improvement. They don't want to take the job on even though I would be paying cash. I am 36 and have 1 - 2 mm proptosis.

Any thoughts / experiences on this would be appreciated.


8 Replies

Going by Google, yes iron deficiency can cause hyperpigmentation.

You need to get your levels up for good health. If iron is low it may be advisable to get B12 and Vit D tested too

1 like

Thanks, I am starting iron supplementation with floradix as of today. I remember I did this a few years ago on a whim but was not blood testing at that time.

- B12 is slightly above range - doctor told me to stop supplementation recently

- Vit D in upper quartile always (5000iu ed) + lot of time in spain

I will try my best to update this thread in the future to state 1) updated ferritin levels, 2) whether it helped the dark circles or not.

I also have patchy hair loss sometimes which doesn't seem MPB related, who knows - maybe it will help that too.....

1 like

Out of interest, what dose of Armour and PTU are you on?


1 grain ED

100mg PTU ED (split am/pm)

FT3 high normal

FT4 mid range

TSH negligible

Antibodies in the hundreds

Also tried LDN for 3 months. Did nothing positive towards antibodies.

Some people tell me to get FT4 to upper quartile but would it really make a difference? I guess I would have to go back to thyroxine instead of armour to do it.....

1 like

If it aint broke, dont fix it! If you feel well then you may have reached your sweet spot. Just make sure all your vits/mins do not become deficient.

BTW the low iron may be the cause of the hair loss.

1 like

Your ferritin in chronically low and will be giving you many symptoms of hair loss, low energy and muscle aches. Hopefully Floradix will improve your levels. Don't take iron supps at the same time as your thyroid meds as it affects absorption. Take them a couple of hours apart. Be aware that it takes several weeks to raise ferritin and then a bit longer for the symptoms to slow down so be patient. When you retest make sure you don't take iron for 5 days before the blood test so that stored ferritin is tested not what's just been taken.

You need good levels of ferritin for thyroid function

Good luck getting your levels higher :)

1 like

Thank you. That is interesting. I don't want to jump the gun but hopefully I can look forward to a better quality of life if I can get my ferritin up. Of course, my doctor says it's fine as it's "In range". But I call BS. Time will tell who is correct, I guess...

I am struggling to digest Floradix so have moved to "Gentle Iron" (Ferrous Bisglycinate), 20mg 2 XD

... any probs with this?

PS I forgot to mention that I donate blood every 3 months!! For the past 2 years! I am stopping this immediately as this has probably been leeching my iron stores along with the graves.....

1 like

I feel awful when my ferritin is low - it really is vital to get your level up. Have a read around but I think towards middle of range is enough. Too high can be bad. My hair loss slows down when I get the level up and then new growth starts a few weeks later.

I would stop the blood donating this will be draining you - you need to get your levels up for your own health. I think you have done your bit for others so now it is time to improve your own health.

I take iron and at the same time I take Vitamin C as this improves absorption and makes it more gentle on the gut.

Good luck getting the level up and hopefully in a few months you will be writing on here that some symptom have improved :)

1 like

You may also like...