PLEASE help solve my thyroid mystery: I was... - Thyroid UK

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PLEASE help solve my thyroid mystery

Eshep
Eshep

I was wondering how a low Ferritin level contributes to low free t3? My iron is 91 (40- 150) and iron binding saturation is 29% (10%-35%) are normal, and my CBC is normal, but my ferritin is 16. How can my ferritin be so low, but all other iron related blood work be well within range? And how would the low ferritin contribute to hypothyroidism?

I do exercise 3 x’s a week pretty intensely (and within the last two months I have increased the intensity) for 70mins (aerobic) which I thought could be using up my ferritin faster. Because my ferritin level at one point was in 30’s.

I have been slowly reducing my Synthroid dose since being pregnant a year ago. And 8 weeks after each .25mcg decrease (started at .75mcg) So each time I decrease my Synthroid, my levels stay the same. So basically, I’m weaning off of my last .25mcg dose currently and will get labs done in 8 weeks to see if they remain the same.

Like I said, each time I’ve had my blood drawn after waiting the 8 weeks or more between medication weans, my thyroid numbers are basically the same, and well within range. My most recent bloodwork on .25mcg of Synthroid were reverse T3 10 (8-25), TPO’s 2 (<9), thyroglobulin antibodies were <1 (<1). The only thing that is a problem is my free t3 is low at 2.5 (2.3-4.2). My vitamin D is well within range at 70 (20-100). TSH 1.6 (.4-4.0) FT4 1.1 (.8- 1.6), total T4 7.4 (5.0-11), T3 uptake 31 (22-35),

Free T4 Index (T7) 2.3 (1.4 - 3.8)

The only difference between my prior labwork when i was on the .50mcg, was my reverse T3 was higher at 15 (8-25). So lowering the Synthroid to .25mcg lowered my reverse T3 and increased my TSH from 1.5 to 1.6 (basically no change) and all other labs were the same as above.

Another mysteriously part, when on T3 medication (which I am currently not and haven’t been for 2 years) it made me feel worse and didn’t raise my free T3 when blood taken in am after not having the medication for 12 hours. I cannot handle being on high doses of T3 and it simply does not help me. I’ve tried it a thousand different ways, dosages, and types.

Some docs think my original doc never should have put me on thyroid meds to begin with. So, my question is, is it possible once the Synthroid is out of my system, my body will be able to do a better job converting my my own T4, since clearly it does not respond to Synthroid?

I had better free t3 numbers before I ever started taking any thyroid medication. And all my other numbers were within range too. So really I have no idea why I am on the medication in the first place, besides I had unexplained lethargy. So they thought it could help.

Could just having a low ferritin cause low free t3?

And could taking synthetic T4 when I didn’t need thyroid medication to begin with, be causing the conversion issue? Like I mentioned, before thyroid medication my ft3 was at least above 3.0 (2.3 - 4.0).

Thanks for reading this entirely too long post. But I just don’t get it!!

54 Replies
SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator

Low ferritin does tend to lower TSH healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Taking any replacement thyroid hormones lowers TSH.

Lower TSH tends to result in reduced conversion of Ft4 to Ft3

Eshep
Eshep in reply to SlowDragon

Yes, but my labs have been like this since on thyroid medication, even when Ferritin was higher, in 30’s and 40’s).

OK, let's start at the beginning, shall we. :)

You say that you're weaning off Synthroid after the birth of your baby, right?

But, it would appear that you were on Synthroid long before your pregnancy, is that right? We really do need a more or less correct time-line, here.

So, do you have your lab results from the time you started taking Synthroid?

The only difference between my prior labwork when i was on the .50mcg, was my reverse T3 was higher at 15 (8-25). So lowering the Synthroid to .25mcg lowered my reverse T3 and increased my TSH from 1.5 to 1.6 (

Well, that's just following logic. The less T4 you have in your blood, the lower the rT3 because there's less T4 to convert to rT3. And, the less thyroid hormone in the blood, the higher the TSH will get, but it moves slowly.

The rT3 is a pretty useless test, anyway. It doesn't give us any information that we can't get from the other tests.

Could just having a low ferritin cause low free t3?

More likely having low FT3 has caused your low ferritin. But, can't say for sure at this point, not enough information.

Have you had your B12 and folate tested? They're pretty important for conversion, too.

I do exercise 3 x’s a week pretty intensely (and within the last two months I have increased the intensity) for 70mins

This could be part of the problem. Your FT3 is far too low to sustain exercise of that intensity. Just gentle walking or swimming would be far more appropriate.

Not only that, but doing all that activity uses up your calories, and you need calories to convert. So, if you're using them all up on exercise, your not going to have enough to convert.

And could taking synthetic T4 when I didn’t need thyroid medication to begin with, be causing the conversion issue?

No. Pretty sure it wouldn't have that effect. But, with such a low FT3, the last thing you should be doing is 'weaning off' Synthroid, because it will just get lower. Hormones are not drugs that you can just 'wean off' and everything will get better.

So, my question is, is it possible once the Synthroid is out of my system, my body will be able to do a better job converting my my own T4, since clearly it does not respond to Synthroid?

No, pretty sure it won't. I really don't think it's the Synthroid the problem. But, until we get a lot more information, it's difficult to say what is. :)

Eshep
Eshep in reply to greygoose

Thank you for responding so quickly!

I was put on T3 originally for low energy. It didn’t help, so they added T4, because the T3 medication lowered my T4 too low and they thought I needed some. Then I still didn’t feel well, so there has been a lot of changing of dosages prior to pregnancy. But no relief. I was on .75mcg during my pregnancy, but was in the process of weaning off (under specialized pituitary endocrinologist). But since I got pregnant, we had to stop the wean, just to be safe. So since I had the baby I have resumed the T4 wean. She wants to see my baseline thyroid function.

I am perplexed because after each dose decrease, my free T4/T3 and Total t4 stay the same and so does my TSH. My T4 levels are not getting any lower and neither is my T3, and TSH only changes by .1. It is staying the exact same. So staying on Synthroid is doing absolutely nothing for me. When Synthroid dose was at its highest, my free t3 always stayed the same between 2.5-2.6.

And at one point during all of this I know my ferritin was at least 30 something (which I know isnt all too high and is still probably too low) but it didn’t change my free t3 numbers.

My folate and b12 are good. B12 even on higher side.

So exercise uses up ft3? I eat plenty, so I know that’s not the issue.

tattybogle
tattybogle in reply to Eshep

"after each dose decrease, my free T4/T3 and Total t4 stay the same and so does my TSH. My T4 levels are not getting any lower and neither is my T3, "

If someone's thyroid is capable of producing enough thyroid hormone, then this is what you'd expect to happen .

Dose decrease ... less T4 in blood.

pituitary notices, then increases TSH.

TSH prompts own thyroid to increase t4 to compensate.

Pituitary notices t4 level now increased. and then normalises TSH again.

Thyroid carries on producing T4 at that level.

if thyroid is not capable of producing enough hormone then ...

Dose decrease... less T4 in blood.

etc ...

but damaged thyroid doesn't produce enough additional T4 so TSH stay's high . to keep asking for more.

Did you ever have a raised TSH or low fT4/3 before you took thyroid hormones ?

Eshep
Eshep in reply to tattybogle

Highest my tsh ever was was 2.1 without thyroid medication. Lowest free t4 was at that same time at .8. And lowest free t3 was at that point was 2.7. I was going through an extremely difficult time when they started me on thyroid medication. I had just had a baby, and just lost my 3 year old son in an accident with his babysitter. So I was grieving (still am, always), stressed postpartum hormones, with newborn, and very anxious. But immediately I thought it was my thyroid because I wanted something to be wrong so I could fix it so I wasn’t struggling to survive. But i think it may have all just been the horrific grief of losing a child that brought on endocrine issues.

Had I given my self time, my thyroid would have done it’s job of asking for more T4, like it was clearly doing because my TSH had never been over 1.8 in my life. So my tsh was asking for more T4. But a few months before that with no medication my tsh was 1.8 and free t4 1.0 and free t3 3.1.

tattybogle
tattybogle in reply to Eshep

I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through. That's a lot to handle.

Pregnancy on it's own can cause post partum thyroiditis , which sometimes does fix itself within a year /18 months .

Grief too, can cause thyroid issues to worsen.

It does sound like it is right to try and see how your thyroid system can manage on it's own now, and the fact that your TSH is not rising as you've been reducing your dose is encouraging.

Be gentle with yourself, don't push the exercise too much, see what happens over the next few weeks while you (i think?) are now taking none.

......and give your body time to get used to it and rebalance itself. Hopefully once you've come off completely and had a repeat blood test 6 weeks later, you will stay stable with your own thyroid producing enough for you.

Slow changes and stability and consistency are what the thyroid system does best on.

So give it time.

tat

x

Eshep
Eshep in reply to tattybogle

Thank you so much for your response. It makes the most sense to me. I will update with my lab results once I retest in a couple of months.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to tattybogle

Thanks 😊

Tuscansun
Tuscansun in reply to Eshep

Very sorry about your tragedy. my guess is your low energy had nothing to do with thyroid and much more likely related to your adrenal.

greygoose
greygoose in reply to Eshep

I was put on T3 originally for low energy. It didn’t help, so they added T4, because the T3 medication lowered my T4 too low and they thought I needed some.

Without testing your FT3 first??? Yes, I know they do that in the US. Crazy idea. And, yes, it would lower your FT4.

She wants to see my baseline thyroid function.

Well, that should have been done in the first place! lol But, better late than never, I suppose.

When Synthroid dose was at its highest, my free t3 always stayed the same between 2.5-2.6.

What was your highest dose of Synthroid?

And at one point during all of this I know my ferritin was at least 30 something (which I know isnt all too high and is still probably too low) but it didn’t change my free t3 numbers.

Well, it wouldn't. Ferritin has no control over T3. Who told you it had?

So exercise uses up ft3? I eat plenty, so I know that’s not the issue.

That is not what I said! I said exercise uses up calories, and you need calories to convert.

How many calories a day do you consider you eat? 'I eat plenty' tells me nothing. One man's idea of plenty is another man's idea of famine. I eat plenty for me, but compared to other people, I peck at my food like a sparrow. We have to be more concise when talking about these matters - especially if we're talking to doctors - not that I'm a doctor, but still... lol

My folate and b12 are good. B12 even on higher side.

We need numbers, not opinions. Results and ranges. And, that's just what we haven't got in your case. Surely some blood tests must have been done during this time. So, what we need, to get a clear and concise idea of what is going on, is this:

Date (time of blood draw if you remember it)

TSH result (range)

FT4 result (range)

FT3 result (range)

TPO antibodies result (range)

And, the same for the nutrients.

Then we might be able to see a pattern forming. :)

Eshep
Eshep in reply to greygoose

Folate 15 (2-20)B12 1,000 (200 - 900)

I eat at least 1,800-2,000 calories a day, if not more. I eat a solid breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I snack every two to three hours. I try to limit dairy and gluten. I eat a lot of meat, veggies, and veggie substitute pasta (lentils) for carbs, and a lot of broad beans. I substitute almond milk for diary. And almond flour as a substitute for normal flour. I eat oatmeal. I eat a lot of spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Maybe I need more carbs. I don’t know.

I have doubled my iron supplement since finding out about the low ferritin and started eating oysters twice a week and more red meat, and added 15mg zinc.

I take, omegas, COQ10 100mg, selenium 150mg, 4,000 vitamin D, 240mg magnesium at night, and a daily vitamin.

I plan to retest thyroid in 8 weeks and see where I am as far as levels and I will post.

Also, please see my response to tattybogle for more detail about past thyroid levels.

greygoose
greygoose in reply to Eshep

OK. So low calorie intake is not the reason for your poor conversion.

and a daily vitamin.

Do you mean 'multi-vitamine'? Did you see what I said about multi-vits? What do yours contain?

Why the oysters?

So, you can't tell us anything about your past blood test results?

Eshep
Eshep in reply to greygoose

Oysters are high in iron, zinc, selenium, and iodine.

My past labs have been the same while on T4. They do not change. Those are the only tests I’ve had since having the baby. Before baby I was on T3/T4 combo and actually felt worse and lower energy than now. When I got pregnant the new specialist took me off the little T3 I was on, saying she doesn’t prescribe T3 during pregnancy to anyone.

But prior to pregnancy while on .50mcg t4 & 10mcg T3 combo my tsh 1.7, free t3 2.6, free t4 1.1 (same ranges for all).

Eshep
Eshep in reply to Eshep

Oh and daily vitamin is Naturelo women’s daily

greygoose
greygoose in reply to Eshep

Oysters are high in iron, zinc, selenium, and iodine.

Yes, iodine, exactly. And, you probably don't need that. You will be getting plenty of iodine from your Synthroid. I doubt low iodine is causing your problems.

bBut prior to pregnancy while on .50mcg t4 & 10mcg T3 combo my tsh 1.7, free t3 2.6, free t4 1.1 (same ranges for all).

TSH 1.7

FT3 2.6 (2.3 - 4.0) 17.65%

FT4 1.1(0.8 - 1.6) 37.50%

Those are very strange labs considering your dose. And would have suggested that you needed an increase in T3. Your FT3 wasn't high enough to keep you well. I think it was rather short-sighted of the specialist to have taken you off T3 at the beginning of your pregnancy because whilst the baby probably needs the T4, the mother needs the T3 to keep her well. Possibly the baby needs T3 as well, but opinions are divided on that one.

Anyway, you were certainly hypo at that period - TSH too high and Frees too low. But, whether or not you were at the time you were first put on T3 we can only tell by seeing the labs from that time - labs without any sort of thyroid hormone replacement.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to greygoose

I will double check labs when I get home. But that is what I’m saying, it is strange. But each time after I reduce the Synthroid I start to feel better around the 6 week mark. Like I have way more energy now than when I took the T3.

I just can’t figure out why my free t3 never appears to go up. And all I can come up with, since without any meds my free t3 was higher (3.1) and all the other levels the same, is that I don’t need thyroid meds. My body does not like thyroid medication and that was never the reason for my lethargy. I just needed to increase my ferritin.

greygoose
greygoose in reply to Eshep

I just can’t figure out why my free t3 never appears to go up

I should imagine you just weren't absorbing it very well. How did you take it? On an empty stomach, leaving at least an hour before eating etc. just like you would Synthroid?

It could be that your lethargy was just down to low ferritin. But that begs the question: why was your ferritin so low?

By the way, the best way to increase ferritin is to eat liver once a week.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to greygoose

I did look back at my bloodwork and my tsh was .7 when taking just the T3 but free t4 was only .7 and free t3 2.6-2.7. So they added the Synthroid. There were so many adjustments to my medications. But it will be two years since I have been on any type of T3, and before my ferritin got so low this last time, I was feeling the best I had in a long time.

I was taking my Synthroid in the middle of the night when I woke up to use the bathroom, so several hours after eating and several before eating.

Ferritin could have gotten so low due to my increased work out intensity and duration. It does take a lot out of me.

I have had two babies in the last 3 years too. So I don’t think it’s ever really recovered.

greygoose
greygoose in reply to Eshep

Some docs think my original doc never should have put me on thyroid meds to begin with. So, my question is, is it possible once the Synthroid is out of my system, my body will be able to do a better job converting my my own T4, since clearly it does not respond to Synthroid?

Ok, so above is your question. And, my answer to you is: who knows. Without seeing labs done before you started any thyroid hormone replacement - levo, T3, whatever - we can have no idea if your doctor should or shouldn't have put you on it. Telling me what your FT3 was on such and such a dose, cannot answer that question.

Therefore, we can have no idea if your body will do a better job of converting your own T3 once the Synthroid is out of your system. We don't even know if you body is going to be capable of producing it's own T4. Depends how hypo you were in the beginning, what caused it and if it's got any worse.

So sorry, no, I cannot clear up your little mystery due to lack of information.

Ferritin could have gotten so low due to my increased work out intensity and duration. It does take a lot out of me.

I really, really don't think it could, no. I've never heard of intense exercise using up ferritin. And, if that were a thing, I think we would have heard of it by now. It's just that you're not absorbing it very well, due to your low T3. Absorption doesn't always improve when hormone levels are improved.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to greygoose

I asked you to read my response to Tattybogle. It has my levels before medication.

I will copy and paste it.

“Highest my tsh ever was 2.1 without thyroid medication. Lowest free t4 was at that same time was .8. And lowest free t3 was at that point was 2.7. I was going through an extremely difficult time when they started me on thyroid medication. I had just had a baby, and just lost my 3 year old son in an accident with his babysitter. So I was grieving (still am, always), stressed postpartum hormones, with newborn, and very anxious. But immediately I thought it was my thyroid because I wanted something to be wrong so I could fix it so I wasn’t struggling to survive. But i think it may have all just been the horrific grief of losing a child that brought on endocrine issues.

Had I given my self time, my thyroid would have done it’s job of asking for more T4, like it was clearly doing because my TSH had never been over 1.8 in my life. So my tsh was asking for more T4. But a few months before that with no medication my tsh was 1.8 and free t4 1.0 and free t3 3.1.”

Eshep
Eshep in reply to Eshep

I don’t appreciate your sarcastic tone. No need to respond anymore. Thank you for your help.

greygoose
greygoose in reply to Eshep

I'm so sorry, this is all getting so confusing.

I take is that the ranges are the same for those results?

TSH 2.1

FT3 2.7 (2.3 - 4.0) 23.53%

FT4 0.8 (0.8 - 1.6) 0%

Well, those labs look hypo to me, despite the low TSH. And, that's just the point, the thyroid might have been doing its job but the pituitary wasn't. Your TSH should have been a whole lot higher with an FT4 at 0%.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. Without the right levels of TSH, the thyroid cannot make enough hormone. Nor can your body convert T4 to T3. TSH is a pituitary hormone, and, I have never heard of a pituitary sorting itself out just because you come off synthriod. If anything, it's likely to have got 'lazier'. But, stranger things have been known, and you will only find out by trying. But, it seems to me that your problem is Central hypo - a problem with the pituitary or the hypothalamus.

I very sorry for you loss.

Have you ever had an Epstein Barr test (glandular fever) as if you had the virus without knowing this, low energy is a symptom.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to Sewit1

I have and it indicated I’d had it in the past, but not a current infection.

My iron is 91 (40- 150) 46% of the way through the range

iron binding saturation is 29% (10%-35%)

CBC is normal

ferritin is 16

I've tried to pick out the bits of your post that are related to your iron and ferritin. Unfortunately, you are in the US and I'm in the UK. I'm not familiar with the reference ranges in the US. Do you have the reference range for ferritin?

"Normal" for your CBC is not very informative. It just means your results are within range. But some of the components of the CBC can provide useful information even if they aren't out of range e.g. hemoglobin can tell us whether you are close to becoming anemic. MCV is also helpful. RDW is often high when people are anemic.

For helpful information on the results of a CBC see this link :

labtestsonline.org/tests/co...

You can also search on the same site for further information on individual components in the CBC.

Note that there are several versions of the Labtestsonline site. In English, they have a US, a UK and an Australian version. There is a lot of duplicate information between the sites, but they aren't identical, and sometimes you can strike lucky and find some info in one of them that isn't available in another. For a list of the sites available are see this link :

labtestsonline.org.uk/globa...

Edit : I've just checked and it turns out the three English sites have diverged quite a bit since I last checked, so it is worth checking more than one site for info.

Batty1
Batty1 in reply to humanbean

Im in the US and my doctor says ferritin must be at least 30 anything lower needs iron supplements. Her iron is low.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to humanbean

Range for ferritin is 12-190

Hemoglobin 12.8 (11.7 - 15.5

Red blood count 4.1 (3.8-5.1)

Hematocrit 38 ( 35-45)

MCV 91.1

Reference Range: 80.0-100.0 fL

MCH 30.7

Reference Range: 27.0-33.0 pg

MCHC 33.7

Reference Range: 32.0-36.0 g/dL

RDW 11.7

Reference Range: 11.0-15.0 %

PLATELET COUNT 349

Reference Range: 140-400 Thousand/uL

Hope that can help you some.

humanbean
humanbean in reply to Eshep

Iron 91 (40- 150) 46% of the way through the range

iron binding saturation is 29% (10%-35%)

ferritin 16 (12 - 190) 2% of the way through the range

Hemoglobin 12.8 (11.7 - 15.5) 29% of the way through the range

Red blood count 4.1 (3.8-5.1) 23% of the way through the range

Hematocrit 38 ( 35-45) 30% of the way through the range

MCV 91.1 fL (80.0-100.0)

MCH 30.7 pg (27.0-33.0)

MCHC 33.7 g/dL (32.0-36.0)

RDW 11.7 % (11.0-15.0)

PLATELET COUNT 349 Thousand/uL (140-400)

Based on the info in this link

rt3-adrenals.org/Iron_test_...

plus patient experience, it is often suggested that optimal levels are :

Serum iron : 55% - 70% of the way through the range i.e. 100 - 117 with the range you've given. Yours is not bad at all compared to many I see, but could be slightly improved.

Iron binding saturation : I'm puzzled by this one and don't know how to interpret it. I've read about "Total iron binding capacity" and "Transferrin saturation". The reference range you've given is a percentage which is what I would expect for Transferrin saturation (TSat). In the UK the reference ranges I've seen for TSat have been either 15% - 45% or 20% - 50%. The link above suggests optimal is 35% - 45% which is above the reference range that you've given, so isn't helpful in this case.

Ferritin : Optimal is usually given on this forum as 50% of the way through the range or a a little bit higher. For the range you've given this would be about 95 - 130 (approx). Clearly yours is much too low.

---

The results from your CBC are mostly not too bad.

Hemoglobin : Anemia is defined by the World Health organisation as a hemoglobin result below 120 g/L (= 12.0 g/dL) in non-pregnant women, but it varies with pregnancy status, age and gender. See Page 3 of this link for more info :

who.int/vmnis/indicators/ha...

Your hemoglobin shows that you aren't officially anemic. If you improved your iron your hemoglobin would probably rise.

---

Red Blood Cell Count : Yours is well below mid-range. Improving iron levels may increase this.

---

MCV = Mean Cell (or Corpuscular) Volume = a measure of the average size of your red blood cells.

If MCV is low in range or below range then your red blood cells are small. This occurs when iron levels are low.

If MCV is high in range or over the range then your red blood cells are large. This occurs when vitamin B12 and/or folate levels are low.

If iron is low and B12/folate are low then MCV could be close to mid-range and you wouldn't realise there was a problem if you just used your MCV for information.

The above is a simplified explanation - there are other possible reasons for low/mid-range/high MCV :

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_...

---

MCH and MCHC are both dependent on your Hemoglobin levels, so all three tend to suggest the same interpretation.

---

RDW is partly dependent on your iron/B12/folate levels. Your RDW is quite low in range which I think is good. According to Labtestsonline :

"Increased RDW indicates abnormal variation in RBC size. Can indicate iron, B12 or folate deficiency or bone marrow disorders." Low in range RDW isn't specifically mentioned as a problem.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_b...

---

In your position I would want to do the following :

1) Check levels of vitamin B12 and folate. Optimal for B12 is, depending on source,

a) a minimum of 500ng/L

b) Upper half of the reference range

c) Top of range

d) Around 1000 ng/L

For folate, optimal is upper half of the reference range.

2) I would want to increase ferritin levels, while also checking regularly (every 6 - 8 weeks or so) that serum iron didn't go high in range or over the range. The safest way to make sure that levels don't (usually) go too high is to rely on food to raise levels rather than supplements. You may find this website of help :

dailyiron.net/

If you have no success in raising levels with food, then this post discusses iron supplements of a type that are available in the UK. They are also available on Amazon US although the choice isn't great :

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Please be aware that iron is poisonous in overdose so regular testing is absolutely essential.

See this link for some issues that can occur with supplementing iron :

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Good luck.

Hello,

Grief has a great impact on our bodies and you've suffered a great loss. I'm truly sorry.

Ive struggled with a low free t3 for years and it gets worse whenever my ferratin is midway or lower. Like clockwork my free t3 increases as my ferratin levels improve. I'm unable to take iron supplements, so I've resorted to eating lamb liver four times a week for up to 6 weeks. This always does the trick and gets my levels up. I went from a ferratin of 30 to 80 in about 7 weeks. When I had my last bloodwork in Dec and it was at 80 I stopped the liver because eating too much liver isn't good. It is extremely high in vitamin a and copper, so I backed off.

Give liver a try it's a nutrition powerhouse.

Mino40
Mino40 in reply to LadyHypo

I wouldn’t recommending eating any liver, 4 times a week. This could lead to vit A toxicity, leading to bone fractures and liver damage.

LadyHypo
LadyHypo in reply to Mino40

I've mentioned that its high in vitamin a and copper already but that it works for me because I have a gastritis condition. Nothing else was able to raise my ferratin. If she chooses she can incorporate it and have it less frequently.

Also, I forgot to mention that I alternate 1 week on of eating and one week off. I'd eat 4 days a week, take the following week off and then eat 4 days again. Kept repeating this cycle for 6 to 7 weeks and it always works for me.

PavlovaDog
PavlovaDog in reply to LadyHypo

Molasses and dried apricots contains iron.

LadyHypo
LadyHypo in reply to PavlovaDog

Thnxs for the suggestions

Eshep
Eshep in reply to Mino40

Thanks for the info. Def don’t want to end up with any vit a toxicity. I think for now I will do a beef liver every week or two and continue my iron supplements which are 12mg heme iron from bovine, and 40 ferrous glucarate

Eshep
Eshep in reply to LadyHypo

Thank you! I actually had a 4oz beef liver tonight. Was hard to get down, but managed.

LadyHypo
LadyHypo in reply to Eshep

Lamb is milder and less chewy. Plus try it in a stir fry with onions and spices. Hope your levels come up soon.

Iron is required for production of T3 and T4 in the thyroid gland; conversion of T4 to T3; and utilization of T3 in cells. I'm not a biochemist so I can't tell you exactly why, but that is what a knowledgeable doc (who does ferritin testing; many docs don't) will tell you. If you pay attention to what Izabella Wentz says, she states that an optimal ferritin level is about 90, and my doc agrees with that. So your level of 16 is a red flag. I was in this situation before I removed gluten from my diet; I finally went on a chelated iron supplement to bring it up. My last level was 91. However I cannot give you any example from my thyroid levels of how iron affects them, because my previous long-term bout with Hashimoto's totally destroyed my thyroid, so I am on a levothyroxine-liothyronine combination to keep me euthyroid.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to Eddie83

This is very informative. Thank you. My ferritin has never been over 40 something since I began testing 4 years ago, when the tiredness came on. Mostly it stayed in the 20’s and 30’s. But this time it’s entirely too low. I need to bring it up quickly.

Low ferritin prevents the conversion of T4 to T3.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to PavlovaDog

Thank you. I thought this was indeed true. Another user was telling me that ferritin had nothing to do with free t3 production.

on the subject of 'nice liver recipes' this might offer inspiration healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

and on the subject of grief and Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Thyroid axis , i found this which may help in understanding of how it is possible that grief could impact your TSH/fT4ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2...

"Secretion of other hormones also is altered by stressful situations. Testosterone decreases during stress. 43 Sowers and colleagues 74 found that physical and psychological stress related to diagnostic procedures and surgery was associated with decreased thyrotropin and thyroxine and with increased prolactin, growth hormone, cortisol, and luteinizing hormone, with no evident effect on follicle stimulating hormone........//......

(note 'Thyrotropin' is the other name for TSH)

Animal studies have shown that stress, especially uncontrollable or inescapable shock, causes many changes in norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine concentrations in peripheral blood and in different parts of the brainstem, hypothalamus, and limbic system. 68 Although the link between these neuroendocrine substances and the hypothalamic-pituitary axis has not been completely elucidated, a relationship certainly exists. The "helpless-hopeless syndrome" seen in animal studies of inescapable shock situations appears to have special effects on endocrine activity that may have some potential relevance for studies of human stress, including bereavement."

Eshep
Eshep in reply to tattybogle

Wow! This is right on. Because at those times during the worst of the stress and grieving/hopelessness, my prolactin, growth hormone, and cortisol were all high.

Thank you very, very much for sharing this information. I have always suspected it was related to the overwhelming sense of grief and the catastrophic loss that came with losing my little boy. And I feel like when I have bad “grief waves”, I tend to test my thyroid because I am so scared and don’t know what is going on with my body and energy levels. I search for a problem. But it’s really just deep sadness and longing for my child. I think if someone could tell me that, I could calm down a bit, and at least my endocrine system could begin to better regulate itself. It causes me intense worry and obsession when I start feeling badly, and it’s like a cascade of testing and trying to treat something that is basically untreatable. Which would make sense that at almost 6 years out from my son passing away, and having had two children since, that my body was actually beginning to normalize until I started feeling sluggish again, and realized my ferritin was so dang low. I think I will focus on raising my ferritin, and trying to remain focused on that, and not start to freak out that I may have central hypothyroidism, as greygoose suggested, which has now put me in a tailspin in that direction, researching. I just need to try to calm down, continue to increase my iron intake and retest in 8 weeks, having had no Synthroid in that time. Im able to exercise, and actually, it helps me. I stay active, I have just felt more sluggish as of the last month or so. So I checked everything. And my ferritin is like non-existent. Shouldnt I start there, before thinking central hypothyroidism? I mean my tsh does rise and fall according to free t4.

But I find it so interesting that in the times when taking increased T4 my body single handedly shunted it to reverse T3 instead of increasing my ft3. And when my T3 was increased with T3 medication, my body was very quick to make sure that i didn’t respond well to it. It honestly felt like my body was rejecting the T3 that helps so many people on here. My body was and sometimes still is in survival mode when my grief gets triggered. I don’t know. It’s all very interesting and definitely related. Because the effect of losing my child has had such a profound effect on every single aspect of my life, mentally, physiologically, emotionally, and physically, it stands to reason that it has had to manifest itself somehow in my body’s ability to function.

And even though this May will be six years since my three year old, Beckett, passed away, the grief and overwhelming sadness is always there. It’s not like any other kind of loss. It doesn’t heal with time. It almost gets more difficult with time, you just get stronger, but sometimes out of nowhere you can be brought to your knees with such deep yearning for your child that you don’t know if you can physically survive.

tattybogle
tattybogle in reply to Eshep

I think you are on the right track with your thinking...

I have never had to do anything as hard as you have to.. but if it can help you at all, here's what i think,

a terrible pain like you have is always going to affect you, and you have to continue life while you figure out ways to live alongside it.

It makes perfect sense to me that there will be times when keeping your head/health straight is like when walking a tightrope and you start to wobble... the only way to do it without falling off is "Don't look down (or get distracted sideways), and keep walking as steadily as you can, while you allow the rope to stop swaying."

So understanding that grief is capable of being a real physical cause for when you feel 'off' will help with not freaking out and just keeping going steady.

I agree , getting into a 'search pattern' over ? central hypo is likely to do more harm than good.

I find ,once i have an understanding of HOW something works ,i can deal with what it brings much better, and i honestly believe your grief is an explanation for an awful lot of this, and stability, calmness, and having faith in your own body's ability to find balance again is the 'best looking' path to help find your way through it.

I have another theory too.... The human regulating system is way more complex than we understand (which isn't much , we don't even understand how soil actually works yet)

So what's to say your body doesn't have a reason for not letting you 'up your T3'

The body reduces T3 levels for good reason sometimes ....maybe your 'control room' is determined to keep the levers set to "calm" whatever 'you' try and do to your T3 level.

If it helps, i'll tell you what my grannie once told my mum " there's no point worrying yourself in knots trying to solve the riddle.... by the time you have found the reason, it will have solved itself anyway ,and life will have presented you with a different riddle"

And i can't argue with my grannie... she survived being taken away from her children, locked in an insane asylum for 5 years, given electric shock treatment, and yet still... went on to be a headmistress and went to Oxford and gained a history degree with honours at the age of 50. And outlived the lot of 'em who put her in the asylum.

I hope you can see yourself in the future....,

there WILL, after a long long time, be times that you can sit on a hill in a sunset, and feel Beckett beside you and feel joy as well as pain.

You just have to keep going steady as you can till you get there.

With love, and respect for someone who's dealing with more than most of us can imagine.

xx

tat

LadyHypo
LadyHypo in reply to tattybogle

You are one amazing human for taking the time to respond with such empathy. I'm truly sorry to read about what your granny endured.

tattybogle
tattybogle in reply to LadyHypo

Thankyou for your kind words .. as for what my grannie went through , i don't think i know the half of it . She wrote it down , but my mum burnt it after she died ,cos it was too horrible..... i just remember a really lovely strong minded woman, with a twinkle in her eye, who used to play at being doggies with us , who had a mischievous streak a mile wide, and once stood up to my mum and dad for me when i wouldn't eat my dinner..... and she let me cook cabbage for my teddies in a frying pan on the fire in the living room. She was ace,

LadyHypo
LadyHypo in reply to tattybogle

She sounds amazing. By continuing to live, love and show love your granny demonstrated the resilience of the human spirit despite facing such adversities. May we all face our life struggles with such grace through the help of God.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to tattybogle

Tattybogle, you really are an exceptional human. I do not think I’ve ever received a response more reassuring, validating, empathetic, and hopeful in my life, and definitely not since my son has passed away. I truly appreciate your words and wisdom. And I’m honored you shared your grannies’ wisdom. She too, sounds like an exceptional woman. You put so well into words, exactly how I feel and the mindset I am trying to maintain, because I do not want to go down that horrific worry/testing/no answer road, when I know my level of stress is directly tied to my issue.

Thank you Tattybogle, for your kindness and taking the time to look into grief and it’s impact on the endocrine system. Like my own friends wouldn’t do that. You are amazing.

tattybogle
tattybogle in reply to Eshep

:)

Just 'passin it forward' ... old woman to young woman who becomes old woman and round and round she goes.... it 'll be your turn when you're old , and you'll be good at it too. xx

Hi,

Another thing to possibly consider is that you haven't been able to tolerate t3 medication because of your adrenals. Adaptogens are great at helping regulate them. I've been using them for years and they have been a great help.

Our body is a complex system and to get to the root of a health issue is never simple and straightforward. More importantly, the root can stem from several things rather than one simple answer. Difficult as it may be, we have to try to approach it in a manner of seeking answers without allowing it to stress our mental and physical state. It's easier said than done at times, I've been there and can really understand the frustration.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to LadyHypo

Right. I think that would go hand and hand with being stressed and grieving. Like trusting my body and not frantically testing and searching for answers, may just relax those adrenals a bit, so that everything else can realign. The body always strives for homeostasis.

Eshep
Eshep in reply to LadyHypo

What Adaptogens would you recommend?

LadyHypo
LadyHypo in reply to Eshep

Most ppl do well on ashwagandha. Its great for stress in general. I would suggest a supplement that has a combination of adaptogens and I use one that has a few of them instead of relying on one adaptogen alone. If your body is sensetive then trying only one adaptogen at a time might be better.

My body is a little sensitive to supplements in general but I found a supplement that has worked amazingly well for me. It's called Ortho Adapt vegan. The combination of adaptogens has been stellar for my body. It says to take 3 pills but I only have been taking one pill a day at lunch every day for a couple of years. The only issue with Ortho Adapt is that it has licorice root which is great for stress and adrenals but terrible for blood pressure and a few other conditions. They always reccomend deglycyrrhizinated licorice root because its safer. Maybe you can look at the ingredients of Ortho Adapt and then try to find in another supplement that contains no licorice root or the very least deglycyrrhized licorice.

Btw, try drinking large cup of water with 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt because it's great for the adrenals. Vitamin C is also fantastic for the adrenals.

Great source of knowledge:

Dr Mark Hyman

Elizabeth Wentz

Kris Chesser

Dr Berg

Stop the thyroid madness website

The reason I spoke about licorice root for a bit is because my medical doctor recommended it to me as an adaptogen. Just in case you're hesitant to try it out, I did some searching on Amazon and the closest brand that I found that had similar ingredients without the licorice is called Pure encapsulation Phyto ADR. I have used this brand for several years as well. It's a little bit more expensive but I like that they use minimal ingredients without additives. If you prefer you can try a supplement with a lower dose of licorice root and its called Thorne phytisone.

Here's a small study done on ashwagandha and hypothyroidism

pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/288...

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