Is anyone suffering from a low thyroid and severe low iron and if so I there a link between the two?

I was diagnosed in Jan 2009 with a low thyroid and put on levothyroxine. To date I have felt no better on the medication and for a period stopped taking it as I thought what was the point. I am, and have been severely tired for the last few years, not being able to last the day without a nap and I am only 40 years old! The excuse being....well you have four young boys to run around after! I have just seen a Gp at my surgery who is now acknowledging that my iron is desperately low (7 when it should be more like 50), and apparently it was this low at the last test in July last year where another Gp suggested a multivitamin as a pick me up. I have now been put on a high dose of iron three times a day but I am wondering what is causing my iron to be so low when I eat healthy. Is there a link between the levothyroxine medication? If you have been affected i would like to hear from you and what you have done. Thanks x

4 Replies

oldestnewest
  • It's terrible that us mums get dismissed as just tired because we have kids to run around after! I'm glad they finally spotted your iron was a problem though. No wonder you were feeling so bad!

    Was it your serum iron or ferritin that was 7? Ferritin often needs to be above 70-90 for people to feel properly well.

    Iron deficiency, as well as other deficiencies, seems to be quite common in people with hypothyroidism. Quite often stomach acid is low if you are not treated or are inadequately treated and this means that it can be difficult to absorb vitamins and minerals. Once you are deficient it is difficult to get your levels back up without taking supplements. A multivitamin isn't going to cut it if you have a severe deficiency so it's good you've been put on a good amount now. Many people find that taking vitamin C and vitamin B complex along with the iron can help get the iron levels back up. Taking 1000mg vitamin B12 is also a good thing for many people. B12 is another thing that people are often deficient in and can have quite an effect on how you feel.

    Iron, ferritin, vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D levels are really important to keep up. Deficiencies not only mimic hypothyroid symptoms but they also make it difficult for the cells in your body to use the thyroid hormones. You may find that once your iron level is back up and your cells can use the thyroxine, you may feel much better.

    Just one other thing; avoid taking your iron within a few hours of your levothyroxine. It is best to take levothyroxine in it's own, away from food and even tea or coffee, so that it is absorbed better. B vitamins are ok to take at around the same time though, I believe.

    Sorry to bombard you with information. You may also find the main Thyroid UK website useful too; this page in particular thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/treatm...

    I hope this helps

    Carolyn x

  • It is quite likely that because of the hypothyroidism you might have malabsorption because of low stomach acid production but also you might be losing too much iron every month. the levothyroxine will not be causing the low level of iron.

    It would help to assess your thyroid status if you could tell us more about that - how much levothyroxine are you taking, what are your blood test results, along with the reference ranges (in brackets) as ref ranges vary from lab to lab.

    The anaemia will be enough to cause tirednesss by itself, but perhaps the hypothyroidism needs more attention also.

  • I recently wrote a blog identifying the importance of riboflavin in achieving a decent iron status:

    thyroiduk.healthunlocked.co...

    And I very much agree with the previous posters. Cannot emphasise too much how important it is to keep levothyroxine and iron away from each other.

  • Hi magreene,

    My condition is exactly same. I am syndroid (thyroid medication) since 15 years but I have never felt good. My all symptoms are same. My iron (iron and serum ferritin) is very low. My doctors are not able to identify why my iron is low. I have a healthy lifestyle. Did you get any solution to your problem?

You may also like...