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Thyroid UK
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Anyone have experience with supplementing iron?

So in conjunction with my thyroid I also had low ferritin. Before I started taking thyroid hormone my ferritin was bottomed out 17 (30-300) and I’m a male by the way. so this is not normal (not bleeding from anywhere).

For a while I supplemented iron but it actually brought my ferritin down. The only time I’ve been able to get it come up is while on thyroid hormone. So lately I took double the iron supplements (probably way too much) and was taking 5 tabs a day with oral liquid at night. Tabs had 60mg elemental iron each and liquid was 150mg per 15ml.

Anyway these are my current iron labs

Iron 40 (5-30) umol/L

Saturation 74 (10-45) %

Ferritin 58 (30-300) ug/L

My question is how should I go about continuing to raise my ferritin levels (doc wants it around 100) but also keep my blood iron levels in check along with saturation? I’m just a little concerned about iron toxicity in this case as my saturation in the blood is already very high.

I believe that the thyroid hormone has increased my stomach acid which in turn has allowed me to start absorbing iron (and other nutrients) properly as outlined here: forefronthealth.com/hypothy...

My ferritin has not been at this level since 2006! Crazy stuff.

Appreciate any help! Thanks :)

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HardNut77 You can help raise your level by eating liver regularly, maximum 200g per week due to it's high Vit A content, and including lots of iron rich foods in your diet apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/in...

That's how I raised mine from 35 to 91, I couldn't tolerate iron supplements.


hi there, SeasideSusie,

Was that 200g cooked or raw?




I don't know if there's a difference to be honest. But that is a total maximum per week. 200g for one meal would be a very large meal. I ask the butcher for between 450-500g and I portion it, it works out between 120-140g per meal and I freeze it (making sure it came in fresh to the butcher not frozen).

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Okay - first thing - stop supplementing iron now! If I've done the arithmetic properly you have been taking 450mg pure iron a day and that is way too much. Apart from anything else, I'm surprised your gut can cope with it. The excess iron could be depositing in your brain, your heart, your soft tissues, and other organs. And the body has no automatic way of getting rid of it.

In most people taking iron, it will go, first, into serum iron, and when the body has enough serum iron it starts shovelling iron into ferritin. But your iron is going into serum iron and never going into ferritin. Your very high iron saturation shows that your blood is carrying far too much iron around your body.

I thought this problem of over-the-range serum iron and well in range ferritin was rare, but you are the second person in two days to post about it. I'll copy what I wrote for the other person I answered.


One possibility that I can think of for over-the-range serum iron and in-range ferritin is a methylation problem caused by having a gene defect referred to as MTHFR. This is something I struggle to understand myself, and I still haven't grasped it. Read this :


You clearly don't have haemochromatosis, the first possibility mentioned there. Your ferritin would be sky-high if you did. But you could have a methylation problem. The easiest link I've found on this subject is this one :


I like it because I can ignore all the detail and just read the protocol. If the protocol works for you then you would expect your serum iron to drop back into range, your iron saturation would decrease, and your ferritin might drop or rise, depending on how much of it your body is desperate for.

Sorry I can't give you more specific help.

Please note that I don't have any medical training. You would be better off trying to find someone who knows what they are talking about with regard to methylation and MTHFR. Some links :




Good luck. :)

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Thanks so much for the detailed advice.

I agree with stopping the iron supplements, which I already have. I have a strong feeling that I will be able to bring up my levels naturally now without the need for them anymore.

Well my iron did go into ferritin, I mean 18 > 58 in less than a month is a pretty big increase. I shouldn’t have taken so much iron, but because I was taking it prior to thyroid hormone at 200mg per day, and my ferritin went DOWN, I thought my body wasn’t absorbing any of it.

If I stop iron supplements will my body attempt to get rid of the iron in the blood? I’m going to get more labs in two weeks.

As for MTHFR, I’ve been tested. I have a heterozygous mutation (C677T) which my doctor says should not cause massive issues as this is pretty common. It’s when you get the double mutations you have issues.

Also, I think you can still have symptoms of haemocromotosis without ferritin being extremely high

I’ll check those links out, cheers :)


I don't know how easily your serum iron and iron saturation will decrease to be honest. You'll just have to suck it and see.

As for the MTHFR being heterozygous... I don't think that is any guarantee that your iron issue is unrelated or minor. My understanding (what there is of it on this subject) is that genes can get switched on and off throughout life, they aren't static. So you could have two different people with the same MTHFR gene problems, and one might be doing far better than the other.


Might have to look into MTHFR and iron status some more. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

I just think it’s a little more than a coincidence for the only time I’ve been able to raise ferritin in 11 years is while being on T3. A lot of literature supports that.

This study is interesting.

Serum ferritin as a marker of thyroid hormone action on peripheral tissues.


“Similarly, serum ferritin levels increased in all 12 hypothyroid patients with Hashimoto’s disease when euthyroidism was achieved with L-T4 therapy. Administration of 75 micrograms T3 daily for 1 week to 11 euthyroid subjects resulted in a 23-243% (mean +/- SD, 117 +/- 70%) increase in serum ferritin above basal values.”


I doubt that it is coincidence. But you should still try and do what you can to help your MTHFR issue. It won't just be affecting your iron, it will be affecting lots of things.

If you ever get the chance, and you live in the UK, watch Doctor In The House, Series 2, Episode 2. There is a man in it who is permanently exhausted. Although it is left vague, I think he has a MTHFR problem. He was fixed remarkably quickly just with vitamin B12 and folate in their methylated forms (methylcobalamin and methylfolate). Most people aren't helped so quickly and easily. Unfortunately the series isn't available on iPlayer at the moment.



Thanks :) appreciate it.

I’ve done heaps of reading on MTHFR in the past and have tried methylated B vitamins to help but they only made me feel worse.

I just don’t really know where to look to help MTHFR. Guess I gotta do more research.

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Try the Dr Myhill link I gave in one of my earlier posts above.

Although it is (again) something I know nothing about, there is an issue called over-methylation which causes problems too. But telling the difference between over and under-methylation? I wouldn't know where to start.


Methylation is very complex and controls a great deal of our biochemistry and body activities. Both undermethylation and over methylation have very bad side effects.

Undermethylation ie too little methyl (carbon group with hydrogen atoms) cause low serotonin which may lead to depression.

Undermethylation also leads to certain deficiencies throughout the body mainly reduced zinc and copper and is responsible for high histamine, a metabolic imbalance, high homocysteine levels, and reduces the body's ability to detox which leads to a build-up of highly toxic heavy metals.

Over-methylation: Too much methyl leads to “too much of a good thing.” This causes an overproduction of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain. In many cases, high serotonin levels can cause reduced motivation, reduced libido, weight gain, and confusion.

Symptoms can be confusing and may overlap with other conditions and they should not be the basis for diagnosis. They can be aggravated if you have a gene mutation and you are taking some prescribed medication such as benzodiazepines, HRT, or even over the counter's anti-histamine.

Blood tests and the help of a medically trained doctor will decide the methylation status in your body and the treatment.


Your transferrin saturation is extremely high and so are your blood-circulating iron levels. Ferritin levels fluctuate and they should not be looked in isolation of the other two factors.

You need to stop all iron supplementation as well avoid high iron content food for a period of time and seek immediate medical advice.


My doctor saw these results. He was concerned but said maybe reduce to 1 iron tab a day and stop the liquid. But I’m going to stop all together.

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I would test in 6 months and see what the new levels are and decide from there.


Eat liver in some way at least once a week and slways take st least 2000mg vit c every day


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