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-   -   Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece? (http://www.healthboards.com/boards/thyroid-disorders/565423-quick-question-before-tomorrow-please-midwest-reece.html)

Lori123 01-02-2008 06:10 PM

Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Hi Ladies,
I need to have you answer a quick question before my endo appt. tomorrow, please. I had my ferritin checked out because I read ion here it could cause hair loss, and I am losing a lot of hair right now, the Ferritin level came back from the lab marked LOW with the level at 5. I don't know if you can even answer my question about what it should be at, because I requested a copy of the lab results and there wasn't any range on it at all. Also, my calcium is at 7.4, the lowest it has been and the surgeon wants the endo to deal with the numbers because he said the endo would be the expert on the numbers. Well, tomorrow I actually see the PA in the endo office. Is the Ferritin extremely low? What are the symptoms of low ferritin? It kinda scared me cause I looked it up a little bit and then got off there, cause it said, quite often people with low ferritin have colon cancer.....got off. Could you ladies or someone knowledgeable about Ferritin answer if it is dangerously low???
Thank you, Lori { I thought I was feeling good...??}

Reece 01-02-2008 07:00 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Good luck with the endo appt!

I don't know anything about ferritin,---I'm wondering if it's low iron?

I do know that I had low blood counts after rai, and that I was, according to my doctor, a little anemic at the time as well, and I have read that blood counts can drop after rai for a bit---but I have know idea if that's related.

I'm sure the doctor will be able to put all your numbers into perspective, just bring a list of questions with you.

talbet0729 01-02-2008 07:41 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Your Ferritin is quite low. Lab ranges vary from lab to lab, but I think the low end of the range usaully tends to be around 10 or 12. Ferritin is your iron stores. You can have normal iron serum levels, but have low ferritin. It is the precursor to becoming anemic.

Are you hypo? It is not at all uncommon for someone with hypothyroidism to have low ferritin. Mine is at 15. Try not to worry about it too much. There are lots of reasons for low ferritin besides colon cancer. A relative of mine had a ferritin level of 4 and it turned out that it was caused by GERD. It can also be caused by monthly blood loss through menses.

You want to aim to have your level of ferritin somewhere between 70-90. Raising ferritin isn't a quick fix. It usually takes time to get your levels back up.

I don't know all of the symptoms of low ferritin, but I have read that hair loss is one of them and fatigue also. From what I understand it can mimic many symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Hope that helps.

Heckofagal 01-02-2008 07:49 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
I agree that many people who have hypothyroidism also have low ferritin. I don't know much about it though as hemochromatosis genes are in my family so I need to watch out for too much! I know how easy it is to scare yourself with info from the internet, but try not to freak yourself out. I think it is a great sign that you've been feeling well, and I think once you get your iron back up you will be feeling even better!

Lori123 01-02-2008 08:16 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Thank you, Reece, Talbet, and Heckofagal,
I appreciate your responses. If I was seeing the DOCTOR {endo} tomorrow, I wouldn't have even asked, but since I found out I am seeing the "NEW" PA, I want to be informed. This is all still "new" to me, too. Yes, I WAS hypo for RA-I tx due to cancer tx, but my TSH which was checked 2 weeks ago, {due to missing a period,} was .17, and now it is .29 today, so I am no longer hypo. The surgeon said today that the endo will boost my Levothyroxine tomorrow to further supress the TSH, which I fully expected. I won't lose sleep over the Ferritin, I was especially curious if that is why my hair is falling out, I have thick hair, but I certainly won't at this rate. I never would have even known to ask about the Ferritin, so thank goodness, I read and educate myself through ALL OF YOU!! You are a very knowledgeable group and for that I am VERY thankful!! I never have even heard of Ferritin before. I'm sure the docs probably don't just routinely request it, so I am glad I heard about it on here. We'll see what the new PA has to say. I am reassured that I had a colonoscopy about 7-8 months ago, and all was fine. You just innocently come on the internet to read about low Ferritin, and all of a sudden I am reading about the HIGH incidence of colon cancer in pp. who have low levels of Ferritin. I got off, and decided to ask all of you, so I appreciate your responses so much!!
Lori

ChristineVA 01-03-2008 11:27 AM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
I had a ferritin of 5 which then made me anemic. I ended up having an upper GI and a colonoscopy. There was some bleeding found in the stomach which probably made things worse but my doc believes it is due to my periods, which can be somewhat heavy, the fact that I take PPIs, and then the stomach issues.

Low ferritin means low iron. The reason they worry about colon cancer is because colon cancers tend to bleed and cause the ferritin to drop.

Other things can cause low iron, like celiac disease. I have no thyroid gland, due to thyroid cancer, but have not been hypo in a VERY long time, so I know it is not due to that.

If you don't have enough iron storage your body will not synthesize the synthetic thyroid hormones well so it's a good idea to get your iron levels up with supplementation.

Also, many people feel REALLY crappy with a ferritin of 5. Optimum ferritin level for a woman is 70!!! I blamed my thyroid (or lack of thyroid) for years when it was really my iron stores.

Lori123 01-03-2008 01:49 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Hi Christine!!
Thanks for your reply. You have helped me so much in the past. Thank goodness I had a colonoscopy 7-8 months ago and all was well. The PA at the endo office just put me on Ferrous Sulfate 325mg. 3 x daily. I have to continue the 3000 mg. of Calcium daily, too. She ordered more bloodwork today. She is going to recheck labs in 4 weeks. I am going to post this out there to get opinions, but I will ask you directly, do you take Synthroid, or Levothyroxine-generic? I have been on the Levothyroxine 150 since after my RA-I 12 weeks ago. I am doing fine on it, there is so much controversy over brand name vs. generic. My endo said the generic used to not be regulated and now has been for years and they are equivalent. The Pharmacist said they are equivalent, and that is the "latest studies" He said they used to think they were not comparable, but anyone who doesn't know that they are now...has fallen behind on the latest and best research. Ok, so now the question...I saw the PA today and she said she would like to see me on the brand name, Synthroid. She wrote me a prescrition and wrote DAW dispense as written. The pharmacist was bothered by it a bit and said I should just stay on the generic, that the PA has fallen for the drug reps line, that Synthroid is superior. He also stated that the Synthroid Co. has changed hands 4 times since he has been a pharmacist in 12 years.He said his wife works in a dr. office, and the reps push for their brand, He stated again it has been PROVEN that Synthroid is no better than generic, and I will be paying more. I have read on here that everyone seems to like the brand name better. Any opinions or advice? Also, the pharmacist said the iron could make me constipated and nauseated...yea...he said some routinely take a stool softener. More med, more med. Do you have a hard time with the ferrous sulfate? Thanks. Lori

ChristineVA 01-03-2008 05:10 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Hi Lori--I hope I can answer everything!

My endo (who himself has had thyroid cancer) is happy with ANY of the brand name thyroid meds: be it Synthroid, Levothroid, Levoxyl. Pick one and stick with it. For many, many years I have taken Synthroid. I recently switched to Levoxyl (which is the same price as generic). I had to switch because I have a suspected allergy to a filler called povidone. Synthroid contains it, Levoxyl does not. I have been on the the Levoxyl for about a year now and my TSH is just as stable as it was on Synthroid and it's cheaper.

My endo STILL will not provide a generic. But, the only reason for that is that when you get generic you cannot be guaranteed the same manufacturer from month to month. If your pharmacist can absolutely guarantee that the generic he sells you is going to come from the same manufacturer then you can go for it. If not, do not even do it. I am a bit surprised that your endo is okay with the generic. While all the generics may undergo rigorous testing, they *will* vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. So, to me, it seems crazy to go with that. It would be similar to your doctor giving you Synthroid one month, Levoxyl the next, and Levothroid on the third month. All good meds, but there are variances in how you are going to react to them based on their fillers. Does that make sense?

Now, for the iron. I will tell you that actually most docs kind of freak out when they see a ferritin of 5. Some doctors will even send you to a hematologist for that because it pretty much means that your entire stores of iron are depleted. Some hematologists are know to give iron transfusions for ferritin scores of 5, even without anemia. I would never do that myself, but you can read ALL about it over on the anemia board :D. We have lots of ferritin discussions over there!

Ferrous Sulphate is the harshest iron out there but it is also supposed to be the most efficient. At 3 times a day, this is pretty severe and most doctors recommend that you work up to it gradually. One lady over on the anemia board ended up SOOOO sick from it that she had an inflamed GI tract for about 3 months. So please be careful.

I am taking a VERY low dose of iron because I don't tolerate the sulphate form well at all. I have GERD so that doesn't help at all.

Make sure that you take your iron tablets 4-5 hours AFTER your thyroid meds. Iron REALLY interferes with thyroid medications. Then you have to make sure you don't take the calcium and iron together because calcium inhibits iron absorption. Having fun yet??? It's a pain. But you really need to get that ferritin up.

osteoblast 01-03-2008 05:33 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Hi Lori- I too have been through low ferritin.But mine was 38 and my doc wanted it raised. As Christine said 5 is really low. I am also hypothyroid and even when I took the iron 8 hours away from thyroid med my tsh went from 1.5 to something over 3 . Be sure to check what is going on with tsh when you have taken the iron for a month or so. My thyroid med had to be adjusted while on iron and adjusted when I went off the large dose.While I took only one pill a day, I would think you would want to work into the dose slowly. Some people have alot of trouble with iron supplements. And, as Christine said this is a long term project things do not happen quickly. Long term could possibly mean over a year. Since you recently had the colonoscopy, maybe you could communicate the low ferritin to the doc who did that and see what they think. Good luck!

Lori123 01-03-2008 06:20 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Thanks Christine and Osteoblast,
But now I am worried. She didn't tell me to ease into it. I will start with 1 pill a day then, not 3. Wow. Thanks for telling me to space it all out, too. I said I thought I was doing well, and then all this comes up!!! Maybe the 5 is a mistake, no one else's is that low...the PA did say it is hard to tolerate and that we may have to do shots...we'll see. From being on NOTHING to taking a pill every morning and calicium 3000 per day and vit. D, now I have to add the ferrous sulfate,GRRR. Thank you for your support and replies, I truly appreciate it!!!
Lori

sparkles916 01-03-2008 07:16 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Lori 123: I wondered about your low calcium of 7.4. I have read that anything below an 8.5 mg/dL is considered hypocalcemia. I am interested in what your endo had to say about this. I am near the bottom end of the calcium range myself and wondered what role it plays in my persistent hypo condition. I know calcium regulation is connected to parathyroid function. I just wondered if it was a result of your RAI or if there is something else your endo had to say because i am to see an endo in the next few weeks and want her to investigate some potential endocrine function probelms. thanks!:cool:

osteoblast 01-03-2008 08:53 PM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Lori- Please don't worry too much. I have wasted alot of time worrying myself over various health issues and it didn't help. Also the worry side tracked me from clearly focusing on what I needed to do. I look back now and see that in my high worry times I was in sort of a fog. Maybe some of it was hypo symptoms , but some of it was just plain fear. Anyway, you have a project ahead of you and you will be starting it and moving on. Just wanted to add to what Christine said about the Anemia board , the folks there were a wonderful help when I was working on my ferritin.

ChristineVA 01-04-2008 04:05 AM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
[QUOTE=Lori123;3373806]Maybe the 5 is a mistake, no one else's is that low...the PA did say it is hard to tolerate and that we may have to do shots...we'll see. Lori[/QUOTE]

Lori--my ferritin was at a 5 when I first started checking it. And I had checked it about 6 weeks after I started some low dose iron. So you are not alone. There are others on the anemia board who have reported even lower ferritin numbers. But basically, when ferritin gets around 5, it means that all of your iron stores are depleted. If you go too long like this, then you will start to become anemic.

I don't normally advise people to go against their doctors, but *most* people are going to have a real hard time if they tried to take 3 325 mg Ferrous Sulphates in one day. You need to take one tablet for a week, then on the 2nd week take two per day, and if that goes well, work up to 3.

Believe me, with a ferritin of 5, even one tablet a day is really going to help you.

As for me, I take two Flintstone Chewables with iron per day and am working myself up to a higher supplement (I've been doing this for a year as I have a sensitive stomach). My ferritin did go up slowly but it is going up. I went from a 5 and then two months later I was at a 12, then 3 months later a 24. I have sort of leveled off now so that is why I am increasing my dosage.

famnd 01-04-2008 10:07 AM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
Hi Lori,

I had trouble with different b/p meds from different manufacturers. Finally found that Eckard Drug will speicial order generic meds from just one manufacturer if need be.

I have to take brand name Synthyoid because I'm allergic to yellow dye which is in most of the generic brands. Synthroid has one white tablet that I can cut into pieces without the dye. I know what you mean going from taking no pills most of your life to taking a ton. It's a pain but better than the alternative. :) Fam

Lori123 01-04-2008 10:26 AM

Re: Quick question before tomorrow, please Midwest? Reece?
 
[QUOTE=sparkles916;3373881]Lori 123: I wondered about your low calcium of 7.4. I have read that anything below an 8.5 mg/dL is considered hypocalcemia. I am interested in what your endo had to say about this. I am near the bottom end of the calcium range myself and wondered what role it plays in my persistent hypo condition. I know calcium regulation is connected to parathyroid function. I just wondered if it was a result of your RAI or if there is something else your endo had to say because i am to see an endo in the next few weeks and want her to investigate some potential endocrine function probelms. thanks!:cool:[/QUOTE]

Hi Sparkles,
When I had my TT the surgeon said one parathyroid came out with my thyroid and another was bruised, so we expected it to be low for a bit, but were hoping it would go up sooner than this. The surgeon told me 2 days ago that he is not as concerned about it as when I was in the hospital, because if it gets too low right after surgery you can have respiratory problems. Since the surgery, I have consistently been at 8.1, so this new LOW is not so great. He was reasurred because I don't have any of the previous symptoms of twitching fingers, and numbness around my cheek, nose, and lips. Plus, he taps my face every time I see him for the low calcium response and it is almost gone{your lips twitch}. He feels its my bodies way of adjusting to the bruising and it should kick in better soon, hopefully!! Good luck.
Lori


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