Elevated Ferratin: I have was diagnosed with... - Thyroid UK

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Elevated Ferratin

AmandaM123 profile image

I have was diagnosed with Hashimotos about 10 years ago. I always felt tired despite being told I was adequately compensated.

Recently I was getting heat palpitations. It was quite a sudden onset (not gradually getting worse) they just seemed to appear, quite sever and lasting for hours at a time. Long story short, recent blood test showed quite low TSH and reasonably high T4 (I didn't note those results but both at the edge of the limits, but within normal ranges; TSH was about 1, T4 was about 4....I think).

Surprisingly ferratin was elevated (236). B12 is high but within normal limits. I'm vegetarian, have just gone through a stressful time (for a few months), seem to have hit menopause and my diet was awful (practically not eating at all). So I was taking supplements; B vitamins, and occasionally very high doses of iron tablets).

My question is, could the ferratin be related to the low TSH/high T4?

I am getting more blood tests done but ca't get a phlebotomy appointment for a week and a half! Its very concerning as my GP instantly started talking about genetic reasons for it. I have no history of hypothyroidism or genetic reasons for raised ferratin in my family.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

4 Replies
SlowDragon profile image

You should never, ever supplement iron without testing first

As for taking "very high doses of iron" ......is quite likely the reason the test result is high

No point retesting until say 6-8 weeks and better tell GP that you were taking high dose iron supplements

High levels of iron can affect Thyroid function

One of the many reasons not to supplement without test

Thanks for responding.

I was taking anywhere between 0 and 150mg per say depending on how I was feeling.

I asked the Dr if supplements could cause it and she outright said no. Didn't ask for any more details. She just told me it was most likely a genetic condition. I told her there is nothing in the family. She carried on anyway.

I had a diet heavy in eggs also (and not much else most days) and oranges. I now found out that we don't absorb the high levels of iron from eggs....one as we also have a correspondingly high vit C intake!!

I've just been compounding the problem.

I'll lay off all supplements and go for low iron foods for a few weeks.

Hopefully the palpitations, pressure in my neck and head and other symptoms will all subside. No wonder I've been thirsty!

I hope its that simple.

helvella profile image

I suggest you at least have a look here - even if just to rule it out:


Haemochromatosis, or GH (genetic haemochromatosis), is a genetic disorder causing the body to absorb an excessive amount of iron from the diet.

You will also come across the term hereditary haemochromatosis and may come across the US spelling as hemochromatosis, without the ‘a’. The meanings are the same.

If you have been diagnosed, you will have lots of questions and The Haemochromatosis Society can help.

As a result of the genetic condition, iron can build up in the body to toxic levels. This is termed iron overload and is potentially very damaging. Iron is deposited in various organs – mainly the liver, but also the pancreas, heart, endocrine glands, and joints.


AmandaM123 profile image
AmandaM123 in reply to helvella

Thanks. I have no history of this in my family at all so I'll be surprised if it's a chronic condition. But I am getting additional tests.

I went to the GP for heart palpitations. Had an ECG done and the GP hasn't even assessed it. It shows ectopic beats at rest...which could be another menopause symptom.

I was surprised the GP went straight for genetic reasons for raised ferratin when she hasn't even discussed menopause with me, and i told her there was no family history. I've checked out the websites on heamochromatosis. But also see many other reasons for high ferratin....menopause, it happens naturally with age for men and women, inflammation...and more. A review paper I found showed only about 33% of people with high ferratin had haemochromatosis. For many people it was a transient inflammatory response.

I've always been tired and with GPs not helping me I was left to work this out on my own. As a vegetarian with a diet that wasn't carefully thought through I assumed I would be lacking B12 and iron. But now that I'm tracking my diet I see that any time I added supplements I would have been significantly overcompensating.

I'm very annoyed at my GPs approach to this. I'm changing GP as a result as she is uncaring and I had to force the test results out of her. She told me they were normal until I pointed out the surgery sent me a letter telling they weren't normal. Very frustrating when left with support like that. It's been awful.

I've found st johns wort almost totally eliminates the heart palpitations. So it makes me wonder if that's related to the raised ferratin and if the ferratin really is just iron overload due to supplements.

I'm concerned the GP is blinkered and is looking own one route only.

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