Thyroid UK
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Anaemia and Ferrous Sulfate

Hi, I'm sorry I don't have a thyroid condition but this seems to be the only good place for discussing blood results? :/

I have a couple of long-term health conditions including brittle asthma, and cluster headaches.

Since about a year ago now, I've had mild anaemia. My most recent results, from a couple of weeks ago, are as follows with the normal range in parentheses:

Total white cell count: 12.7x10^9 (4.0-11.1)

MCV: 75.1 (76-100)

MCH: 23.1 (27-32)

MCHC: 308 (310-360)

RBC distribution width: 15.8% (10-15%)

Neutrophil count: 8.6x10^9 (2.0-7.5)

microcytic RBCs: 9.8% (0-2.1%)

% hypochromic cells: 9.9% (0-2.1%)

It has steadily gotten slightly worse, with things which were previously in range now being out of range, and things which were out of range being further out.

I do have ferrous sulfate tablets but they didn't really do much if anything, and actually made me far more tired and gave me GI issues :/ I take it periodically but always with the same results. I haven't mentioned this to my doc: I am aware I need to but I keep forgetting 😅

I've just been to the hospital to have serum ferritin, B12, D3, folate, and coeliac screen blood tests done to investigate further. I had a B12 deficiency at birth and a severe D3 deficiency some years ago but both resolved with treatment and the past few checks, my D3 levels have actually been high..could they be related?

Sorry this was so long and I'm sorry it's not thyroid-related but really what I'm wondering about is why the iron supplements make me even more tired than the anaemia? :|



9 Replies

Welcome to the forum, Gantsdacier.

You need to take the iron tablets regularly until your iron and ferritin levels are good. Ferrous Sulphate is very rough on the gut, Ferrous Fumarate 210mg may be more tolerable. It will be cheaper to buy FF over the counter than to ask for a prescription. For iron deficiency you will need 3 x 210mg daily. Take each iron tablet with 1,000mg vitamin C to aid absorption and minimise constipation.


I did take them regularly for a solid 6 months and they barely changed anything when they should have normalised :/ certain aspects decreased even while on it. I did try the fumarate form for a month but again that just made me even more tired :(



There are other FSulphate and FFumarate are both high iron but can be hard on the gut. There are other forms of iron like bisglycinate which is more expensive but easier to tolerate.

1 like

I could definitely ask my doctor. I'm just confused about the fatigue thing..surely iron should help it lol not make it worse!



NHS will prescribe the cheapest iron available ie Ferrous Sulphate and Ferrous Fumarate. I don't know why taking iron should make fatigue worse.


Neither do I 😣

They can prescribe other forms though, if the cheaper ones don't work properly :) I'll wait on the outcome of the tests I had today first though, they should be through by tomorrow or Thursday


Hi gants, we recently had the opportunity to view The thyroid Secret. There were 9 episodes and many contained the very doctors who are treating Hashimoto patients. Mary Shomon was one of those who has advocated for twenty years. She had a problem supplementing with iron and said that when she added manganese, she finally raised her ferritin levels. Izabella Wentz may still have some of this information on her Facebook.


The blood test for coeliac is notoriously unreliable. Are you having endoscopy?

Even if test is negative for coeliac, it won't pick up non-coeliac gluten intolerance. So you might do well to try strictly gluten free for at least 3-6 months once testing is complete

Have you had full Thyroid testing - TSH, FT4, FT3 AND BOTH thyroid antibodies

Gluten intolerance is connected to many autoimmune immune diseases, but especially Thyroid- called Hashimoto's

Do you have to always take maintenance dose of B12, Folate & vitamin D to keep levels stable?


Yes, I agree with this. Don't rely on coeliac testing to rule it out, as often unreliable NHS website even states blood test is not conclusive) so if they don't test positive, only way to know for sure is to remove from diet for at least three months - maybe longer to know for sure although you should hopefully see improvements before then if it is your issue. Must be 100% gluten free to work including cross contamination so read up a little on it.

You could try iron infusion if you're still having trouble getting your levels up as bypasses stomach. It would be good to see your other results you've just had as only treating one if you're deficient in many can sometimes not help as you're trying to force your body to work in one area when it hasn't got the back up or other elements needed to do so. Ferritin would also help determine if your body is forcing into storage for some reason or other for example. Or it could just be that it's just too much for your stomach and causing extra problems if you do have stomach/absorption issues and not taking any of it in anyway but having the side effects.

Any tests I have done at the hospital are often available the next day over the phone from my GPs receptionist :-D


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