Hypothyroid - How to best supplement with iron - Thyroid UK

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Hypothyroid - How to best supplement with iron

ak_83
ak_83

I am a hypothyroid 35 year old male, 72 kg 6 ft living in New Zealand and I currently take T3 only medication (looking to switch back to NDT though).

My Iron panel shows sub-optimal values. As it is my last mineral to get right in order for thyroid medication to work, I would like to get advice on good option for Iron supplementation. Ideally I would bring my levels up as quickly as possible, but safely.

Iron Panel

Serum Iron: 15 umol/L ( 10 - 30 ) - Low - Optimum: 21 - 24 (men 24)

Ferritin: 128 ug/L ( 30 - 500 ) - Low - Optimum: 265

Transferrin: 2.4 g/L ( 2.0 - 3.2 ) - Optimum: N/A

Transferrin Saturation: 25 % ( 16 - 45 ) - Low - Optimum: 35 - 45

* Optimum results on the right are from: rt3-adrenals.org/Iron_test_...

Helpful Supplemental Results

Haemoglobin : 149 g/L ( 130 - 175 )- Mid range

CRP : < 3 mg/L ( < 6 ) - Low inflammation

In my previous post (healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...) I lay out my quite detailed blood tests. I wanted this post to specifically ask about Iron though.

So far I understand that it's possible to take up to 200 mg of elemental iron spread through the day and 4 hour away from thyroid medication and possibly taking it with lots of vitamin C to help with bowel movements. There is also Iron infusion (IV).

What are the best protocols / options that apply for the results above in a bit more detail?

27 Replies
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Hidden
Hidden

If you don’t mind me asking how much cytomel/liothyronine are you on? What are thyroid levels like? Based on your hemoglobin you don’t have iron anemia but your iron levels indicate iron insufficiency.

ak_83
ak_83 in reply to Hidden

I'm on 30 mcg of compounded Slow Release T3 (SRT3) twice a day and planning to go back to 180 mg of compounded NDT. Only compounded T3/SRT3/NDT exists here in New Zealand.

I've had iron panel tested 6 months ago while I was on 200 mcg of T4 only. The results were basically the same as above. So I don't think the level (or type) of Thyroid matters for my iron panel results.

Heloise
Heloise in reply to ak_83

Aren't you going from the equivalent of two grains of NDT (60 mcgs of T3) to three grains of NDT which is quite a leap? Or are you going to take smaller steps to achieve three grains?

Hi ak, you aren't terribly low which makes me think you are probably not metabolizing iron efficiently. I recall Dr. Kharrazian saying that if that's the case, you will also have difficulties metabolizing any supplement you take. This is often due to not enough acid to do so. It makes sense to make sure you have enough acid by using Betaine HCL and eating iron rich foods. Can you eat liver?

ak_83
ak_83 in reply to Heloise

I suppose I could eat liver, but that might take quite some time to get levels up if at all.

I was thinking a rapid approach, such as iron infusion. But I don't know if the doctor would let me do it as I'm not that low.

Another is getting a supplement that's very bioavailable. One that has been recommended a while back by my clinic is Thorne Bisglycinate (thorne.com/ingredients/iron...). Says it metabolises much better as it passes the stomach (so acid issues don't matter). Not sure about practical success with it though. I think the tablets have 25 mg of elemental iron, so I'd have to take 8 tablets per day to get 200 mg - quite a lot.

Heloise
Heloise in reply to ak_83

I do respect Thorne products. That sounds like a huge dose. Who recommends that?. I was more concerned with your aldosterone being at the bottom of the range. These are the side effects; Many patients with symptoms of fatigue and often salt-craving, “cognitive fuzziness”, dizziness or lightheadedness on standing, or palpitations have low blood levels of aldosterone.Sep 13, 2003

ak_83
ak_83 in reply to Heloise

Yes, I'm supplementing with Fludrocortisone (Florinef), but it's not enough obviously. Will talk to my doctor to increase medication for that. Ultimately though, I feel that it's just a side effect of being hypothyroid for so many years.

Heloise
Heloise in reply to ak_83

Let me check that out. Also, did you say you had the 4 point cortisol test? This is active cortisol so a better test than a blood test.

Seriously, these are side effects of your pharmaceutical steroid and have you needed to take it most of your adult life?

Common side effects include high blood pressure, swelling, heart failure, and low blood potassium.[3] Other serious side effects include low immune system function, cataracts, muscle weakness, and mood changes.

I don't think this is a way to heal your adrenals.

Heloise
Heloise in reply to ak_83

ak, increase it? I would think you should try to get off it. Doctor's tend to keep you on a drug forever as if your body is defective. It is not.

ak_83
ak_83 in reply to Heloise

True. Since it hasn't actually done anything for my aldosterone anyway, I might go off it.

Heloise
Heloise in reply to ak_83

I think strengthening your adrenals might be a better strategy. Often a prescribed drug will interfere with the normal function of the organ. It's better to find out why you are not producing sufficient aldosterone and that's what functional doctors do. I know you've taken cortisol as well but I agree with HLAB35 and it may be due to low magnesium intake, we know half the population is low and your adrenals must have massive amounts of it. Or it could be some micronutrient you are missing which possibly works with magnesium. It might be molybdenum. Who knows?

I wish I could locate a good functional doctor myself.

ak_83
ak_83 in reply to Heloise

Yes. Maybe 100 years from now medicine would advance enough so we can do cellular diagnosis and address the root problems. Right now, I feel that reliable scientific testing is just not available. There are all these functional tests, but with questionable reliability and there a LOT of people trying to make money like that on the internet too. So it's difficult to know what to believe a lot of the time. Sorry, vent over.

Heloise
Heloise in reply to ak_83

You're probably right. I was listening to Garry Gorden a researcher from the past and he said you could go to the Mayo Clinic and pay 6000 dollars and find out what bad shape you are in and it will probably be true. Dr. Bergman boils it down to making sure your body is receiving what it needs. I've been touting something I learned from another successful doctor that you have to get out of the sympathetic state if you ever want to heal. This has a lot to do with cortisol and the hypothalamus.

Heloise
Heloise in reply to ak_83

youtube.com/watch?v=SDphVgA...

Oh my goodness. That was an amazing video. Well worth the watch.

I haven't found one that wasn't worth watching and he has many. Be sure to watch the one on the nervous system which is ultimately what is also being harmed.

Heloise
Heloise in reply to ak_83

Here is a thread that might interest you. healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

This is just something that I've recently discovered, low Magnesium correlates with low iron (get hold of Carolyn Dean's book 'The Magnesium Miracle' from a library). Low Magnesium also correlates with poor adrenal function. By getting a lot more Magnesium (and by that I mean properly absorbed forms as the poorly absorbed forms prevent iron absorption) my iron levels crept up rapidly. I take it mid-morning, late afternoon and at night and I no longer take iron. This may just be a massive coincidence, and more of a 'life hack' than a clinically proven result, but I'd never got my iron levels to the top of the range beforehand (Taking slightly over 450mg of Magnesium a day - middle-age female, 11 stone).

You've not mentioned symptoms, but you've possibly had low Mag symptoms (having autoimmune disease is one of them) for years - prior to being hypothyroid. This is actually (according to Carolyn Dean) as critical to your total recovery as sorting out your iron and b vitamins. Serum Magnesium levels are unreliable as the body tends to try to heal itself by releasing more Mag from cells into the blood stream when there's a deficiency.

nutritionalmagnesium.org/ma...

I have been supplementing with Magnesium Aspartate complex for the last 3 momths. It is bio available and provides 250 mg of elemental magnesium per day. Given my iron panel looks the same as 6 months ago, magnesium shortage is probably not me.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

HLAB35
HLAB35 in reply to ak_83

Taking that dose for only 3 months may not correct a deficiency, I'm afraid. I was taking about the same for several years with my iron stubbornly below optimal for someone with hypothyroidism / Hashi's. I had listened to all the advice to take iron with vit c and away from tea/coffee etc. and to have a diet with lots of haem iron (liver) I also, mistakenly assumed that I should take iron away from magnesium as most information on magnesium is based on Mag oxide which is very laxative and interferes with iron absorption. It was only when I bumped up my dose by taking it at intervals in soluble citrate as well as tablet form (one of them was WITH iron) that my iron very interestingly shot up.

ak_83
ak_83 in reply to HLAB35

Sounds very tricky. What is the best test for magnesium?

HLAB35
HLAB35 in reply to ak_83

A Red Blood Cell Magnesium test - very rarely done, I'm afraid.

Also re: Magnesium Aspartate - I looked it up in my book, because I don't take that form. (Page 134 of 'the Magesium Miracle') I'm afraid it's not recommended, as aspartate is an excito toxin (it's used in artificial sweetener) - the magnesium should override the effects of the aspartate, but she seems a bit cautious about it....

N.B. I don't buy the author's own Magnesium Product (which she obviously endorses ;-) ) just Mag Citrate.

You may want to try Maltofer Iron. I think it’s 100g per tablet my daughter takes this and it’s gentle on the stomach. You may also want to look at the condition called POTS as you have some similar symptoms to my daughter who has recently been diagnosed with it and has just started Florinef. She has lots of other stuff though also going on.

ak_83
ak_83 in reply to Mandyr1

Thanks. I'll research it.

Mandyr1
Mandyr1 in reply to ak_83

Your welcome 😃

HLAB35
HLAB35 in reply to ak_83

If you suspect P.O.T.S look at Dr Weil online. Magnesium is mentioned to relieve symptoms (up to 500mg) in divided dose. It will also help relieve anxiety. You probably have low electrolytes in general. So taking a generic electrolyte mix with extra Mag could help you. Also you could introduce B5 and B6 (p5p) to support adrenals and cognitive function but go low at first as B6 has a diuretic effect.

HLAB35
HLAB35 in reply to Mandyr1

Good call. Suspect low electrolytes. I replied to the op. :-)

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