Thyroid UK
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Help with interpreting lab results

I have been having symptoms, and not feeling well, so I had blood work done. I would very much appreciate your input on my results. Can anyone share their insight? Many thanks!

Potassium 4,5 mmol/L 3,2 - 5,1

Magnesium 0,89 mmol/L 0,77 - 1,03

Iron 12,0 μmol/L 10,7 - 32,2

Transzferrin 3,8 g/L * 1,7 - 3,4

Transzferrin saturation 12 % * 16 - 45

Total iron binding capacity 96,8 μmol/L * 42,8 - 85,6

Ferritin 28,6 μg/L 10,0 - 120,0

B12 416,0 pmol/L 133,0 - 675,0

Folate 48,6 nmol/L * 8,1 - 45,3

Total 25-OH D-Vitamin (CLIA/LIAISON) 70,8 nmol/L

D-vitamin deficiency (< 25 nmol/L)

Lower than optimal ( 25 - 75 nmol/L)

Optimal level ( 75 - 250 nmol/

TSH 1,524 mIU/L 0,400 - 4,000

Free T4 8,17 pmol/L 7,75 - 15,21

Free T3 7,91 pmol/L 3,80 - 6,00

Anti-TPO <0,25 U/mL 0,0 - 9,0

9 Replies

SKISS, without more information, it's a bit difficult. Do you have any sort of thyroid diagnosis? Are you taking any thyroid hormone at the moment? At a guess, I would say you're on T3 only, because your FT4 is very low in range, and your FT3 a lot over-range.

So, if you're taking Thyroid hormone replacement of any kind, did you take it on the morning of the blood test? What time of day was the test? Did you get your Tg antibodies done?

Your B12 could be higher, but your folate is very high. I think you ought to take those results over to the Pernicious Anemia forum, because I don't know what that means.

And there's something not quite right about your ferritin, as well. Hopefully, someone who knows about iron - SeasideSusie? - will come along and talk about that. :)


Thanks for your reply. I am not taking any medication. I feel tired, stressed, somerimes panicked, my hair is falling out at a higher than normal weight, i have about 15kg of excess weight, bloating . I am forgetfull, walk into a room and forget why I went there....


Yes, I understand. Possibly you feel like that because your FT3 is so high. But, I can't see any explanation for it being high, that's the problem. Which is why I asked you all those questions.

So, did you get your Tg antibodies tested?

Did you ask on the Pernicious Anemia forum about your B12?

I really think you need to see a doctor with these results, get a referral to an endo. I think you need to have your pituitary investigated, and/or a thyroid scan.


Whilst your B12 is in range and not through the floor it's also below 500 which is when it is noted that people start to have symptoms. But yes as your folate is high I'd also recommend hopping over to the PA forum to ask them about it.


The PA forum can be found here :


Iron 12,0 μmol/L 10,7 - 32,2 ---- Low in range

Ferritin 28,6 μg/L 10,0 - 120,0 ---- Low in range

Transzferrin saturation 12 % * 16 - 45 ---- Low

Total iron binding capacity 96,8 μmol/L * 42,8 - 85,6 ---- High

Transzferrin 3,8 g/L * 1,7 - 3,4 ---- High

If you look at the table at the bottom of this page and compare your results :

you'll see that your results (which I've ordered the same as the table in the link) give a clear indication of iron deficiency. If you had a haemoglobin level or a full blood count I'm sure it would tell the same story and you are probably anaemic.

You have two choices - ask your doctor for an iron infusion or take iron supplements. The iron infusion would get your levels up in a few hours. Iron supplements could take months or even a year or two, depending on how well you absorb it. In the UK it's difficult to get an iron infusion because they cost a lot more than iron supplements. :(

You have several options for iron supplementation.

Iron salts

I'm giving the dose available in the UK. You may have to find the closest you can get where you live.

The most important thing for any iron supplement is how much pure iron each pill contains. I was prescribed 207mg of pure (ferrous) iron a day by my doctor, to be taken in divided doses. I would consider that to be approximately the safe maximum. If you aren't clear how much iron you are getting per pill don't buy it. The options available in the UK are :

Ferrous sulfate - dose varies, but usually contains 60mg - 65mg ferrous iron per pill

Ferrous fumarate 210mg contains 69mg ferrous iron per pill

Ferrous gluconate 300mg contains 35mg ferrous iron per pill

Ferrous bisglycinate - dose varies, but usually contains 20mg - 25mg ferrous iron per pill

There are also various liquids available and how much iron they contain depends on what you buy. They are usually quite low in iron. Strangely enough, the lower the dose of iron the more expensive the product usually is. Iron supplements are easily sourced on Amazon UK.

Iron tablets are supposed to be taken on an empty stomach. I was prescribed ferrous fumarate 210mg, 1 to be taken 3 times per day. My gut was in poor condition and I couldn't tolerate them. I switched to taking them with food which I could tolerate, but of course it reduced my absorption. But I was so low in iron that I had to get iron in me somehow.

Ferrous sulfate is generally considered to be the roughest and least well tolerated of all iron supplements, so probably best avoided.

Take each iron pill with 500mg - 1000mg vitamin C to improve absorption of the iron.

Another reason for taking vitamin C is - Iron supplementation frequently causes constipation. High dose vitamin C causes diarrhoea. Adjust your dose of vitamin C to keep the balance right between the two.

One of the ways you can speed up raising your iron (if you eat meat) is to eat liver once or twice a week. If you detest liver then mince it up and try to disguise it in some other meat dish.

There are other ways of raising iron, using heme (or haem) supplements, or ferritin supplements. They are much more expensive than iron salts, and I don't know much about them. They are also not easy to find, although iherb in the US used to sell them and maybe still does. Proferrin is one heme supplement I've heard of.

This document written by Helvella (one of the admins) is worth reading.

Good luck. :)

1 like

I forgot to tell you what optimal levels you should be aiming at with your iron supplementation. See this link :

You want your ferritin to be mid-range or a little bit higher. So with your range this would be about 65 - 90. But be aware that serum iron mustn't go too high either - see the link for the optimum amount.

An example of what might happen... I can get my ferritin to optimal, but my serum iron is still a bit low. I keep it like that rather than push my ferritin too high, because I know about the dangers of too much iron.

When you get your iron levels to a good place you will have to continue taking iron at a lower dose. You have to find the dose which keeps your levels as close to optimal as possible. I take one tablet of ferrous fumarate 210mg three or four times a week. It seems to work for me.

If your thyroid is being treated please take iron 4 hours away from thyroid meds, because iron reduces their absorption.

Iron is poisonous in overdose. Keep tablets away from children. Make sure that you get tested regularly to be sure that you aren't overdosing it. Until you know how rapidly you absorb iron you should get tested every 6 - 8 weeks, then you can adjust testing frequency accordingly.

If you make any dramatic changes to your diet or improve your gut health in any way then be aware your iron absorption may suddenly improve.

I went gluten-free and improved my absorption so much I nearly overshot my target levels. Always be cautious.

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Total 25-OH D-Vitamin (CLIA/LIAISON) 70,8 nmol/L

D-vitamin deficiency (< 25 nmol/L)

Lower than optimal ( 25 - 75 nmol/L)

Optimal level ( 75 - 250 nmol)

You need a higher level of vitamin D. Most of us feel at our best with a level of roughly 100 - 150 nmol/L. Your level isn't outrageously bad, so you won't have to supplement at high levels for very long.

You could take 5000 iU vitamin D3 per day for 6 weeks then re-test. (Please note - do NOT take vitamin D2.) If you've got up to the desired level then either cut down in dose to 1000 iU - 2000 iU per day, or continue with the 5000 iU but only take it 2 - 3 times per week. Assuming you get some sun in the summer you may need a lower dose of supplementation in the summer than you do in winter.

Taking vitamin D raises the amount of calcium absorbed from the diet. We want that calcium to go into the bones and teeth, not lining your arteries or depositing in the brain or heart.

To achieve that there are co-factors required to be taken with vitamin D, and they are vitamin K2 and magnesium.

Your magnesium test result looks okay, but it is a very poor and unreliable test. The body needs magnesium in every cell of the body, but when magnesium is low the body gives preference to having magnesium in the blood. So someone could have good levels of magnesium in the blood but very low levels in other cells of the body.

Take a maximum of about 300mg - 350mg of magnesium per day. There are many kinds of magnesium supplement to choose from. Find something that appeals to you in these links :

You should read some of SeasideSusie's posts on nutrients. Read what she has to say about vitamin K2 and choose an appropriate supplement.

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What time of day was your blood taken for testing? Had you eaten beforehand?


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