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Thyroid UK
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Ferritin levels

Hi I was diagnosed with hypo thyroid late 2016. I’m currently taking 100 mg of thyroxine and my TSH is 1.02 (0.2-4.2). The TSH has increased lately from being under the range even though my thyroxine remained the same.

My ferritin levels are low at 13 (12-233) and I wondered whether that was why my general malaise was still just as bad as before diagnosis and am still 2/3 stone heavier than ever before.

Thanks in anticipation

7 Replies

With that Ferritin level your GP should be doing a full blood count and iron panel to see if you have iron deficiency anaemia. It will certainly be the cause of fatigue.

And because your Ferritin level is so dire, you should have B12, folate and Vit D tested, us Hypos are often low or deficient in all of them. Optimal levels are needed, and ferritin needs to be at least 70, for thyroid hormone to work.

Do you have FT4 and FT3 results as well? Have thyroid antibodies been tested?

Were your tests done at the same time of day? TSH is highest early morning and lowers during the day so if your latest test was done early morning and the previous test in the afternoon that might explain the difference. Also eating lowers TSH.


Thanks seaside susie

My haemoglobin was done last year in nov and was 12.6 (12-16). My white blood count was 11 (3.6-11)

It seems like I’m just borderline!

I’m currently taking high dose vit D in prescrption and my b12 was within range.

I’m also showing men’s pause in my bloods ( I’m 45 and this is unusual in my family )

Generally I feel a mess, overweight, no energy, cold all the time and depressed. I wake every 4 hours during night feeling like I’m ill and weak and end up having to get up needing a sugar fix.

Prior to my health deteriorating I was very active size 10 !

It’s been nearly 4 years now and my life is existence not living.

Thanks again x


Your ferritin is absolutely dire and your GP should be doing something about it. You can help raise the level by eating liver regularly, maximum 200g per week, but you may also need iron tablets. Certainly if you have iron deficiency anaemia you need treatment. Did your full blood count include MCV, MCHC, MCH? If MCV is low and MCHC is high then that suggests iron deficiency anaemia.

What was your B12 level? In range doesn't tell us anything, it should be at least 500 and ideally at the very top of the range, around 900-1000.

What about folate? Was that tested?

What was your Vit D level and how much D3 are you taking?

Your GP won't know, because they're not taught nutrition, but when taking D3 we also need it's important cofactors vitamindcouncil.org/about-v... Magnesium helps D3 to work and K2-MK7 directs the extra uptake of calcium from food to bones and teeth where it is needed and away from arteries and soft tissues where it can be deposited and cause problems like calcification of arteries and kidney stones. D3 and K2 are fat soluble so should be taken with the fattiest meal of the day, and D3 should be taken 4 hours away from thyroid meds, magnesium should also be taken 4 hours away from thyroid meds.

GPs can ask for FT3 to be tested but generally it's the lab that decides whether it's done. Mine gets done if TSH is suppressed but very often it doesn't get done. If you can't get it done through I suggest you do a home fingerprick test to include TSH, FT4, FT3, and thyroid antibodies (unless already tested and you know that you have autoimmune thyroid disease aka Hashimoto's). Both Medichecks and Blue Horizon are recommended and many members use them.


I meant menapause!

Doc never tests ft3 I’ve asked before. I’ll ask her this week.



Men's pause was good too. :)


You are unlikely to get free T3 tested in the UK on the NHS by a GP so you will need to do a private test.

It would be worth you writing a new post with all your blood results with ranges you have had so far so you can get clear advice about what tests are missing, what ones you should have, whether the supplements you are on are sufficient and whether the NHS will do the tests you require.


For full evaluation you ideally need TSH, FT4, FT3, TT4, TPO and TG antibodies, plus vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 tested

Just testing TSH is useless when we are on Levothyroxine. You need FT4 and FT3 tested

Suspect you may have high thyroid antibodies which is Hashimoto's. Low vitamins are very common

See if you can get full thyroid and vitamin testing from GP. Unlikely to get FT3

Private tests are available


Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should be done as early as possible in morning and fasting and don't take Levo in the 24 hours prior to test, delay and take straight after. This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results

Link about antibodies


Link about thyroid blood tests


List of hypothyroid symptoms


See Box 1. Towards end of article

Some possible causes of persistent symptoms in euthyroid patients on L-T4

You will see low vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 listed



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