Thyroid and Vitamin tests update. Advice needed... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

128,505 members151,085 posts

Thyroid and Vitamin tests update. Advice needed for Newbie

Ellelove_postRAIgirl profile image

Hi friends, I have done some more detailed tests as advised here. Please find attached the results. Will appreciate your advice.

Currently on Levothyroxine 175mcg for the past two years as my only treatment. I feel fine except for shortness of breath atimes especially at night likely due to low iron/anemia.

17 Replies

My ferritin level is the very worrisome. What foods can I use to boost this? Or should i supplement? With what? Trying to eat as clean and chemical-free as possible so i'm not sure how to manage this.


Black and white text

I probably need more sunlight to boost Vit D.

Black and white text
humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to Ellelove_postRAIgirl

Be aware when reading up on vitamin D that there are two different units of measurement used in different parts of the world, ng/mL and nmol/L, and you need to take that into account when deciding what your healthy levels should be.

With a result of approx 32 ng/mL you need to raise your level to 40 - 60 ng/mL.

SeasideSusie has written a post about how to supplement to improve vitamin D :

I should point out that not everyone can raise their vitamin D with sunlight. One member of the forum lived in Crete for many years and stayed deficient in vitamin D. So I would rely on supplements, personally.

Folate, VitB12, and full blood work.

Will appreciate all the advice I can get.

Thanks so much.

Black and white text - test results
PurpleNails profile image
PurpleNails in reply to Ellelove_postRAIgirl

if you put all these new results in new post members who can help will comment. Adding to an older post can get missed by others who can help.

Ellelove_postRAIgirl profile image
Ellelove_postRAIgirl in reply to PurpleNails

Thanks. They are all on a new post. I used replies to attach the various results as I couldn't attach them in a single post

humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to Ellelove_postRAIgirl

Your folate isn't too bad but could be better. I hate those reference ranges that have no upper limit. They are not informative at all. In your shoes, with a range like that, I would want my level to be about 15 - 20.

Please avoid folic acid to raise folate for the reasons given in these two links - there are better supplements available :

Your B12 isn't too bad, but some people prefer it to be top of range, or around 1000. The choice is yours whether you supplement or not. Some links on the subject :

humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to Ellelove_postRAIgirl

For info on your full blood count (click on the + signs for more info) :

Your white blood cell count is under the reference range. I'm not knowledgeable on what the causes of this might be, but I suspect it might make it harder for you fight infection with this problem. Or it could be low because you are already fighting an infection?

The six results (with the % at the end of the name) after your white cell count are showing you the proportion (as a percentage) of your white cells which are neutrophils, lymphocytes etc. If you add up the results they total to 100% and always should do.

The actual levels of your neutrophils, lymphocytes ate are shown with the # at the end of the name.

The condition of having low (under the range) WBC is called Leucopenia :


Your Red Cell Count and your Haemoglobin are below range which confirms that you are anaemic. With such low ferritin as yours this isn't surprising.

You can read more about the other results with the labtestsonline links I gave above.

With such low ferritin (and assuming your iron is low too) it isn't surprising that your Full Blood Count (FBC) is not as good as it could be. Hopefully if you improve your iron and ferritin your FBC will change. Whether it will improve every result in an FBC is something you will have to find out with more testing.

Note that improved vitamin and mineral levels can make quite a big difference to thyroid hormone levels. This is what happened to mine :

Good luck. :)

Please see my replies above for the other test results. Thanks.

pennyannie Buddy195 humanbean greygoose

pennyannie profile image
pennyannie in reply to Ellelove_postRAIgirl

Hey there again :

I don't quite know how you are still standing with these very low vitamins and mineral levels.

A ferritin of 7 needs immediate attention and a full investigation actioned now and then if ' all clear ' an iron infusion - how are you coping - what is your doctor doing about this ???

Vitamin D needs building to around and folate to around 20 and your serum vitamin B looks ok but try and get active B12 run in future.

I don't know much about this second picture but your white blood cell count is under range and this needs to be monitored as I remember mine at the bottom of the range when diagnosed Graves and a doctor saying this was dangerous before treatment, let alone after taking RAI thyroid ablation.

With vitamins and minerals so low this high dose of T4 is having little effect as your body isn't able to fully utilise or convert the thyroid hormone replacement.

You are in an ever increasing circle of vitamin and mineral deficiencies which all need immediate attention through your doctor - supplementing yourself with a ferritin that low is not going to solve the problem.

So sorry - but please - you need professional, medical help to find out why your ferritin is slow and by put o the most appropriate replacement - probably starting with iron infusions.

Ellelove_postRAIgirl profile image
Ellelove_postRAIgirl in reply to pennyannie

Thanks pennyannie. I haven't even shown my doctor the results yet but I will since its urgent.

I think you didn't complete what you were going to say here:

"Vitamin D needs building to around ..."

Pls whats the range you meant to say for vitD?


pennyannie profile image
pennyannie in reply to Ellelove_postRAIgirl

Oh, sorry, if that's the only thing that doesn't make sense - I've done well today !!!

Vitamin D should read to around 100 - for the UK :

Always check against the ranges with each result as labs differ as do countries.

Ultimately ranges are just a ball park reference and take no account of the person's health history.

Just a guide to the doctor as to when to intervene with supplements - and you could be on your knees before anyone picks anything up.

Aim for at least 50% through any given range and like Free T4 medication results, top quadrant likely to be better still.

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to pennyannie


Vitamin D should read to around 100 - for the UK :

That is only when the unit of measurement is nmol/L.

Your unit of measurement is ng/ml and the recommended range for that is 40-60ng/ml according to the Vit D Council, Vit D Society and Grassroots Health, with a recent blog post on Grassroots Health recommending at least 50ng/ml.

So aim for 50-60ng/ml. 100ng/ml would be heading for toxicity.

pennyannie profile image
pennyannie in reply to SeasideSusie

Thank you - as always !!

humanbean profile image

Given how low your ferritin is, it would be a very good idea to get an iron panel done as well.

It doesn't happen often, but it has been known for people with low ferritin to start taking iron supplements, and instead of it raising their ferritin it ends up raising their serum iron which is something to be avoided. Excess free iron in the blood can end up being deposited in various organs including the brain, and there is no mechanism in the body for getting rid of iron in this situation.

If you have an iron panel done - something like this :

and it turns out it shows evidence of low serum iron and low transferrin saturation as well as the low ferritin, you would probably be best to get an iron transfusion (if they are available to you), because otherwise you might end up like me - I took iron supplements at maximum dose for nearly two years because I absorbed it so poorly. I got my ferritin up to mid-range after all that time, but my serum iron was still well below optimal. I continued to take iron at a (lower) maintenance dose to keep my ferritin at mid-range for years afterwards, getting tested a couple of times a year to check where my levels were and to reduce or increase my dose as appropriate. After several years my ferritin suddenly shot up, so I stopped taking iron altogether.

I wish I had paid for an iron transfusion right at the beginning to speed up the whole process of getting over the low levels of iron and ferritin.

If you optimise your iron levels (or get as close to optimal as you can) with an iron infusion you should keep tabs on your levels every three months or so, because you may end up with levels dropping really quickly. At some point as your levels drop you should start taking iron supplements to try and maintain the benefits of your iron infusion.

I see you live in Nigeria, and I don't know anything about the options you have for buying iron supplements there or getting iron infusions. I wrote this reply to a UK member on which iron supplements are available in the UK and hopefully you can adapt the information to what is available to you :

If you struggle to tolerate iron supplements then I would suggest you take them with food but, naturally, it will slow down absorption. But if it is the only way you can get iron into you then you don't really have a choice.

Knowing what I know now I would supplement with ferrous gluconate 300mg or ferrous/iron bisglycinate, at least for a month or two to see how well I absorbed it. If it started to raise my levels then fine, but if my levels didn't go up, then I would switch to ferrous fumarate 210mg, and take one tablet, 2 or 3 times per day.

Make sure to spread out your iron doses, and to keep a four hour gap between any thyroid hormones you take and any iron supplements. Iron prevents absorption of many medicines and other supplements.

Once you improve your iron and ferritin your breathlessness/air hunger should disappear or at least reduce noticeably.

Good luck. :)

Thanks. I haven't even shown my doctor the results yet but I will since its urgent.

I think you didn't complete what you were going to say here:

"Vitamin D needs building to around ..."

Pls whats the range you meant to say for vitD?


pennyannie profile image
pennyannie in reply to Ellelove_postRAIgirl

Think I've just batted back this one - and please read SSusie reply as I got it wrong !!

You may also like...