Does anyone know what ferritin levels are okay ... - Thyroid UK

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Does anyone know what ferritin levels are okay for treating hashis?

momo33
momo33
31 Replies

Hi everyone,

Really trying to get a handle on my health this year, so am going to try to ask my gp for iron supplements. My ferritin level was 25 in November (it was 15 the previous year and 5 when it was first taken, the year before that). So it goes up by about 5 points a year. I currently take Solgar gentle iron (20mg a day) as I tried to usual tablets from my previous doctor a few years ago and they had such nasty side effects that I had to stop taking them.

Anyway, I would like to get my iron levels up by taking ferrous gluconate (which is supposed to be easier on the stomach with less constipating effects). However, i'm worried that because my ferritin is in range that my doctor won't prescribe them. Does anybody have any evidence that they can send me that states that ferritin levels should be higher than 25 in order for levothyroxine to work properly?

Also, if he does prescribe them when should I take them as I've read that iron supplements interfere with levo absorption?!

Many thanks!

momo x

31 Replies
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SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator

I think that if your level is within range your GP isn't obliged to prescribe. In range is all they're bothered about, not "optimal".

If you can't get it prescribed, it's cheap on ebay

m.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-x-Ferrou...

And eating liver is great for increasing Ferritin level, also liver pate and black pudding.

1 like
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momo33
momo33
in reply to SeasideSusie

Hi Seasidesusie, in that case I'd rather take iron bisglycinate (as I know it agrees with me), but my question is how much should I take a day and also when should I take it to absorb it properly? I want to get my ferritin levels up to 70 ideally (from 25!! not easy!)

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momo33
momo33
in reply to momo33

should I take two 50mg tablets a day (so 100mg a day). Would that be too much or not enough? Thanks so much :)

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SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator
in reply to momo33

Have you had a full blood count and iron panel? With it being as low as 5 and 15 in the past you should have been checked for iron deficiency anaemia, even with it at 25 it would be a good idea to check.

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momo33
momo33
in reply to SeasideSusie

Hi SeasideSusie, my doctor is very reluctant to carry out any other blood tests. He was really mean to me last time I saw him and I doubt that he's run an iron panel. When I saw him and it was 15 I think he said it was great (because it was in the reference range!). I doubt he'd agree to run the tests

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momo33
momo33
in reply to momo33

I was anaemic after having my children a few years ago, but nothing was done about it as the tablets they gave me didn't agree with me so I just went about feeling shattered until I bought and took my own iron suppements!

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SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator
in reply to momo33

Iron is complicated.

A full blood count will show if there is iron deficiency anaemia. An iron panel, which includes Ferritin, serum iron, TIBC and transferrin saturation, will show if there is a different type of anaemia.

With your history of extremely low levels, you really should pursue this with your GP and get properly treated after proper testing. If necessary see a different doctor.

Here is an article on low Ferritin

restartmed.com/low-ferritin/

If you have low Ferritin and high serum iron then taking iron tablets could push your serum iron too high.

An article, with a section on "Why You Should Test First: Too Much Iron Is Dangerous" is here

universityhealthnews.com/da...

I can't, and don't, suggest iron supplementation for this reason, I don't want to be responsible for suggesting the wrong thing.

1 like
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momo33
momo33
in reply to SeasideSusie

Hi SeasideSusie, thanks for your reply. I understand why being cautious is the best route to take. I'll try to ask my doctor for a full panel, but if this fails will look into getting one privately. I'm determined to get this sorted though, so will keep moving forward!

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SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator
in reply to momo33

Medichecks to an iron panel, called Iron Deficiency Check - I do this when I want to check my ferritin level and nothing else. £39 normally, I've managed to get it on offer at £29 once, but code THYROIDUK gets 10% off if it's not on special offer.

I really don't understand why doctors don't take iron more seriously, but then again am I surprised? Sadly no!

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momo33
momo33
in reply to SeasideSusie

Thanks very much!! It sounds great; I had no idea it was possible to order an iron deficiency check. Sounds like a great alternative to my hopeless doctor :)

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Redrosegirlie

I would say approx 200mg per day will increase your level. See if you can get Sytron prescribed. That’s more easily tolerated than ferrous sulphate or fumerate.

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momo33

Thanks Redrosegirlie, this is an ongoing issue for me and I will keep that in mind when (or if) I find a doctor who can help!

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Marymary7

This is an excellent resource recommended yesterday by a helpful person on health unlocked . Really useful info on an extensive site and lots to read and then I read what the author took and it struck me I'm in need!

stopthethyroidmadness.com/j...

I certainly think I need more. Trouble is I want to test blood and somewhere I read leave off iron meds for a week before bloods so now I think I will have to do that. I've only been taking one Solgar iron tablet a day and as I don't eat meat I think Janie is correct in saying I need more and indeed lots of us may do.

Good luck 😀

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momo33
momo33
in reply to Marymary7

I also take one solgar a day! Seems to work so slowly.... It's only a 20mg tablet and I'm sick of feeling weak, dizzy, tired, etc! Hopefully the problem can be resolved for botg of us at some point. Fingers crossed!

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momo33
momo33
in reply to Marymary7

That's interesting that you should not take iron for a week or so before a test...I'll bear that in mind in future! :)

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PiggySue

My GP is quite switched on with ferritin levels and knew that a ferritin of 30 was making me ill.

She did say that they had had a talk from a haematologist, and the current research suggests that iron can block it's own absorption (as it does with levo etc), so you should take it every other day for best effect.

Taking iron with Vit c can help with constipation and absorption.

Can you see a different GP at your practise? As Seaside Susie says, taking too much iron can be poisonous for you if you have a condition such as haemachromatosis. Although if you have low ferritin, you are not storing iron in your system, so I am not sure that you can suffer from both. However you do need the doctor to confirm you need iron, so get another opinion, change doctors if you cannot see another doctor within the practise.

You maybe should also be tested for pernicious anaemia, although most doctors don't understand it. I found that taking B12 with iron and vit C helped my absorption, but once you take B12 you won't be able to get a true reading on blood tests for pernicious anaemia.

Good luck

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momo33
momo33
in reply to PiggySue

Thanks for the useful info PiggySue, I have been trying to ignore this problem for so long, but have decided to finally try to deal with it.I would love to get a full iron panel done but my doctor won't even test my free t4, and always kicks up a stink whenever I ask for a blood test... Think he's trying to cut back or something. I'm so fed up of being sent away with no help, but am determined to keep trying. Last time I had my b12 checked it was okay, so I don't think that's an issue. I eat a good amount of meat and take vit c with it as well as a 20mg iron tablet everyday but it creeps up so slowly. In two years my ferritin has only gone up from 5 to 25!

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posthinking01

Hi there - I totally agree with Seaside Susie - please be careful taking iron - I know you are low but it can be harmful to the liver and us Hashis already have issues with the liver. It may be that your adrenals are grabbing your vitamin C to keep them going and if you are low on C then iron cannot be absorbed - try taking one I would recommend Vega 1500 mg (not chewable or will ruin your dentine on teeth) C - I have stomach issues and it works for me. Also C is needed to make the stomach acid we are low on - in fact the reason we are low is because it is being grabbed for the adrenals in the first place - if that makes sense. The adrenals have the highest requirement for Vitamin C. Here is some more info on iron and a product that is less difficult on the system. But..............once again err on the side of caution with iron.

Ferrochel Iron Chelate - Ferrochel® Iron Chelate is a potent iron supplement that is extremely well tolerated by the gastrointestinal system. Ferrochel® is a premier chelate from Albion Advanced Nutrition. It is safe for use by pregnant and lactating women, teenagers, and adults. Unlike most iron preparations, it will not result in constipation or gastric upset. This amino acid chelated iron has very high absorption.*

Ferrochel® is a patented iron in the form of iron bis-glycinate, providing 27 mg of elemental iron (150% of RDA). Unlike common forms of supplemental iron, this form of iron carries no electrical charge, making it easier to absorb and less likely to block the absorption of other nutrients, such as vitamin E, ascorbic acid, and calcium. Because Ferrochel® is a neutral, fully-reacted molecule, it does not break down in stomach acid and is delivered intact to the intestine, where it is easily absorbed. Inorganic iron supplements, such as ferrous sulfate, have low bioavailability and often produce unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, constipation and gastric upset. The form of iron in Ferrochel® gives clinicians a better alternative.

Clinical Need

Iron is an essential nutrient in human health. It plays an important role in tissue oxygenation, immune function, connective tissue integrity, cardiovascular health, and cognitive development. Iron is a constituent of hemoglobin, myoglobin, ferritin, and a number of endogenous enzymes. While iron can be found in fresh green leafy vegetables, corn and beans (soybeans, kidney beans), its bioavailability from plant sources is poor. Iron from meat is much more bioavailable, but many people have such substandard digestive health that they avoid meat due to poor tolerance. For these, as well as other metabolic reasons, the World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 billion people are suffering from iron deficiency anemia worldwide. It is more common in females, particularly those with heavy menses, and accounts for a significant amount of chronic fatigue and lethargy.

Clinical Usage

Ferrochel® can be used to replete iron in cases of deficiency due to dietary factors, such as improperly managed vegetarianism, or in cases of malabsorption due to gastrointestinal diseases, such as Celiac or Crohn's. More functional forms of gastrointestinal mucosal damage and inflammation, such as food allergy, dysbiosis, and the use of various medications, can also negatively alter absorption. Ferrochel® is the optimal form of iron to correct iron-deficiency anemia. However, underlying causes of iron-deficiency, such as heavy menses, ulcers, gastritis, stomach cancer, or other causes of chronic bleeding must also be evaluated in addition to supplementation. Studies in children have shown supplemental iron to improve nutritional status, physical fitness, and cognitive performance.

Safety

While iron is critical for proper metabolism and tissue perfusion, too much can also be a problem. Ferrochel® has been found to be safer than typical iron salts found in foods and dietary supplements, and does not produce any pathological side-effects in animals, even after long-term feeding. Various clinical trials have shown that iron bis-glycinate's (Ferrochel®) absorption is controlled by body iron stores, with greater levels being absorbed by individuals with lower iron status. Albion has qualified Ferrochel® (iron amino acid chelate) for self affirmation as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by producing an extensive array of independently run toxicology studies, and having them reviewed by a panel of food safety experts. These experts concluded that Ferrochel® met the appropriate specifications to be considered GRAS for food fortification. The panel found Ferrochel® to have a NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level) of greater than 500 mg of iron/kg bw/day. This is an astounding safety level for any iron ingredient, let alone one that has been shown to have the high level of bioavailability and effectiveness seen in the research on Ferrochel®.

Ferrochel® Iron Chelate by Designs for Health was selected by our staff due to its popularity in the Women's Health, Energy Boost, Vitamins & Minerals categories of high quality supplements and vitamins. View one of the following links to learn more about the ingredients used in Ferrochel® Iron Chelate, read Ferrochel® Iron Chelate reviews or browse related articles. See all products by Designs for Health

Hope this helps

R

3 likes
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momo33

Wow! Thank you for all that helpful and informative information! I had no idea that there were so many alternatives for iron other than the awful ones the doctor first prescribed a few years back. Really grateful thanks!

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posthinking01

Pleased it helped - you can buy it from here - I have just ordered some more.

Make sure you only order 14mg - I had to write to the USA company to find out the distributors in the UK and these are the people they recommended. They are Dolphin Fitness in Brighton.

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pennyannie

Hello there momo - my iron came in at 22 when I was very unwell. I was unable to tolerate Ferrous Fumarate iron tablets at the time and was not offered anything else.

I was refused an iron infusion, as in range.

I purchased Spatone liquid iron but the differential of iron level content was considerable. I therefore added Solgar Gentle iron as well and started eating liver on a weekly basis.

Within 6 months I was at 49 and after one year I was up in the 70's and feeling so much better

I still incorporate liver in my weekly shop, it's just something else to keep an eye on.

SeasideSusie is my goto for all things vitamins and mineral so, I'd follow her advice

and get informed and probably get iron " on board ".

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momo33
momo33
in reply to pennyannie

Thanks pennyannie! Yes, Seasidesusie has recommended a private iron deficiency test for me so there's hope yet. I tried Spatone on it's own too, but gave up when I still felt bad and switched to solgar. I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better at 70 for ferritin. That is interesting about the liver... I wasn't aware that there was anything else that I could add that would help other than red meat

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LAHs
LAHs
in reply to pennyannie

You are lucky pennyannie. I was concerned that all of my iron levels were pretty low last year so I decided to go on an iron project to raise my ferritin levels. My ferritin was reading 31 on a scale of 22 - 211 (sorry I forget the units). So for a year I took an iron supplement. I had an iron blood test just last week (after begging for one and for writing long e-mails to "support my case"). And waddya know! After a year of dedication to this cause my ferritin came in at 39. Whoa, a whopping 39! That was very disappointing. My doc said, "Well it is up from last year, that's very good". NO IT ISN'T, my 10 year average was 38, 39 doesn't even break the margin of error.

Well, so what now. I think I will obsess on a Ferritin supplement this year and look for a palatable iron pate, see how that goes.

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MiniMum97

I have struggled to get my ferritin levels up. I am currently trying to add l-lysine in as I have read this can help to increase ferritin (and zinc) levels. Not sure if it’s working yet but will report back.

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MiniMum97
MiniMum97
in reply to MiniMum97

Lysine: The addition of L-lysine to iron supplementation resulted in a significant increase in serum ferritin concentration in some women with chronic hair loss (telogen effluvium), who failed to respond to iron supplementation alone [R]

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Kitten44
Kitten44
in reply to MiniMum97

Can you let me know the source of that info? That sounds interesting.

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MiniMum97
MiniMum97
in reply to Kitten44
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MiniMum97
MiniMum97
in reply to MiniMum97
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MiniMum97
MiniMum97
in reply to MiniMum97

Here’s the full text:

pdfs.semanticscholar.org/8c...

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Kitten44
Kitten44
in reply to MiniMum97

Thanks a lot!!!

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momo33
momo33
in reply to MiniMum97

That's helpful! Thanks very much for the tip :)

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