Thyroid UK
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Vitamins etc

Hi I am feeling very unwell with swollen lymph glands, tight feeling in neck, upset stomach, salty taste in mouth, breathlessness, bone pain, tinnitus, flashing spots in front of eyes, dizziness, memory loss, feeling cold, headaches. Thanks for reading

Ferritin 22 (30 - 400)

Folate 2.1 (2.5 - 18.7)

Vitamin B12 273 (190 - 900)

Vitamin D 26.7 (25 - 50 deficiency)

6 Replies

Do you have an appointment booked with your GP to discuss these results?

To state the obvious:

Ferritin - below the reference range

Folate - below the reference range

Vitamin B12, within the range, tho' recommendations here suggest it could usefully be higher in the range

Vitamin D - you've managed to totter across the line from severe deficiency into the deficiency category.

I'll add in some useful suggestions about these from SeasideSusie's many comments on these topics a littler later if no-one else comments first. :)

Other reasons aside, that vitamin D level might be contributing to the bone pain. If you're anaemic (can't tell without iron panel and FBC to accompany that ferritin level) that might account for breathlessness in addition to other factors.

1 like

Iron is below range as is MCV on complete blood count. No appointment yet


As per Seaside Susie below - you need an appointment to discuss all of this with your GP. Iron and MCV both being low would indicate iron anaemia but as your folate is also low, it needs a GP to determine whether or not you need some further investigation as these deficiencies can start to present a picture that is quite difficult to disentangle.

As a cold read tho', and with Seaside Susie's analysis, it's not surprising that you have the symptoms you list and you have my sympathies as it must be very uncomfortable and debilitating.


Jadel I am assuming that you are not prescribed or supplementing with anything as you would have said so.

Ferritin 22 (30 - 400)

Ferritin is recommended to be half way through it's range, with a minimum of 70 for thyroid hormone to work.

As yours is below range ideally you need an iron infusion so ask for one, but you may only be prescribed tablets which will take months to raise your level whereas an infusion will raise your level within 24-48 hours. You should ask for full blood count and iron panel to see if there is any anaemia.

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


Folate 2.1 (2.5 - 18.7) Vitamin B12 273 (190 - 900)

You are folate deficient and your B12 is too low. Check for signs of B12 deficiency here and if you have any you need to post on the Pernicious Anaemia Society forum for further advice

I have read (but not researched so don't have links) that BCSH, UKNEQAS and NICE guidelines recommend:

"In the presence of discordance between test results and strong clinical features of deficiency, treatment should not be delayed to avoid neurological impairment."

And an extract from the book, "Could it be B12?" by Sally M. Pacholok:

"We believe that the 'normal' serum B12 threshold needs to be raised from 200 pg/ml to at least 450 pg/ml because deficiencies begin to appear in the cerebrospinal fluid below 550".

"For brain and nervous system health and prevention of disease in older adults, serum B12 levels should be maintained near or above 1000 pg/ml."


Vitamin D 26.7 (25 - 50 deficiency)

As you are just 1.7 away from severe deficiency you should ask your GP for loading doses of D3. See NICE treatment summary for Vit D deficiency:

"Treat for Vitamin D deficiency if serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are less than 30 nmol/L.

For the treatment of vitamin D deficiency, the recommended treatment is based on fixed loading doses of vitamin D (up to a total of about 300,000 international units [IU] given either as weekly or daily split doses, followed by lifelong maintenace treatment of about 800 IU a day. Higher doses of up to 2000IU a day, occasionally up to 4000 IU a day, may be used for certain groups of people, for example those with malabsorption disorders. Several treatment regims are available, including 50,000 IU once a week for 6 weeks (300,000 IU in total), 20,000 IU twice a week for 7 weeks (280,000 IU in total), or 4000 IU daily for 10 weeks (280,000 IU in total)."

Each Health Authority has their own guidelines but they will be very similar. Go and see your GP and ask that he treats you according to the guidelines and prescribes the loading doses, if he gives you just 800iu it wont be enough and will never raise your level, you need the loading doses. Once these have been completed you will need a reduced amount (not a paltry 800iu) to bring your level up to what's recommended by the Vit D Council - which is 100-150nmol/L - and then you'll need a maintenance dose which may be 2000iu daily, it's trial and error so it's recommended to retest once or twice a year to keep within the recommended range. You can do this with a private fingerprick blood spot test with City Assays

There are important cofactors needed when taking D3

D3 aids absorption of calcium from food and K2-MK7 directs the calcium to bones and teeth where it is needed and away from arteries and soft tissues where it can be deposited and cause problems.

D3 and K2 are fat soluble so should be taken with the fattiest meal of the day, D3 four hours away from thyroid meds.

Magnesium helps D3 to work and comes in different forms, check to see which would suit you best and as it's calming it's best taken in the evening, four hours away from thyroid meds

Check out the other cofactors too.


Just had her dose Levo reduced by **** endo in August from 200mcg to 100mcg

Hence this result


Oh god, another clueless endo, why do they do it??!!


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