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Old 03-06-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
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Question iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Has anyone heard that low iron can interfere with synthroid uptake for hypothyroid ?? I am so confused and hurting so bad, today I can hardly walk. The pain is from my forehead to my toes. The lower back, hip, and butt pain are excruciating. I have been on 100mg. synthroid since 1994, and everything was fine until 1 1/2 years ago. Hair loss , fatigue, insomnia and pain started again. My reg. dr. did TSH test, which came back normal range. Finally I got a referral to endocrinologist, he did more tests.

TSH 1.65 normal range .34-5.60
Free T-4 normal range 8-15
Free T-3 normal range 3.0-6.8
I got these results only to find out that i would not get to see endo. for 2 months. So I decided to see a Naturopath. Naturopath looked at the results and asked me to go back to my family dr. and ask for a renewal for higher strength synthroid.
He reluctantly gave me a perscription for 112 mg. He said we don't go by the T-4 and T-3 tests, only by the TSH, and as far as he is concerned the TSH is high and the dose should be less than 100 mg.
With in a week of that, the endo. office called , they could fit me in earlier than the predicted 2 months. He said my synthroid was to low and gave me a perscription for 150 mg. I did not tell him that I had harrassed my regular doctor for the other perscription one week earlier. Also gave me a perscription for iron. Now I have been on this new program for three weeks. These last few days have been unreal, with symptoms of thyroid problems. I am not sure if I am hypo or hyper now. Which doctor is right.??
Is the synthroid working better for me now that I am taking iron supplements??? And Maybe my dose is to high NOW !!
Maybe my family doctor is right?? I needed to lower the dose.
I know I will not get an appt. with endo. for another month and I do not know what to do .. Should I quit taking the higher dose.??
Thank you to anyone who has help for me.
Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Thank you . this is a very helpful site

 
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:07 AM   #2
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Your labs (the right ones) will tell your story.

Please post your most recent FreeT4, FreeT3 and TSH results then we can help you sort things out.

Just so you know, hypothyroidism can cause low iron.....and, iron supplements should not be taken within 4 hours of synthroid since they can impede the absorption of the synthroid.

Also, knowledgeable doctors do NOT use TSH (pituitary hormone) for dosing purposes. Instead, they look at the actual thyroid hormone levels (FreeT4 and FreeT3)....makes sense since synthroid is a T4 med (and you need to make sure that the T4 - storage hormone- is being converted properly to T3 - the active hormone, the one we feel)
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Last edited by cd37; 03-07-2011 at 07:09 AM. Reason: typos

 
Old 03-07-2011, 11:10 AM   #3
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

My family doctor did not ask for Free T4 or T3 tests, so all I have from May 2010 is
TSH 0.75 mIU/l ref: range ( 0.34 - 5.60) Back then I was taking (Synthroid 0.1mg ) per day. And had been on that dose since 1994. Everything was fine until the middle of 2009, the fatigue and pain, just got worse and worse. My doctor just would not believe me. In March of 2010 I visited a Naturopath who thought my adrenals were low. I was on a natural product called Tribulus. It did not help.
Ferriitin 31 ug/l ref: range (20 - 160) om May of 2010

My endocrinologist asked for these tests in January 2011:
Ferritin 30ug/l ref: range (20 - 160)
TSH 1.65 ref: range (0.34- 5.60 m1U/L)
Thyroxine Free 8 ref: range ( 8 - 15 ) T-4
Trilodothyronnine Free 2.7 L ref: range ( 3.0 - 6.8 ) pmol/L
Endo. has upped my synthroid to 150 mg . and added iron and after 3 weeks I just crashed. Horrible pain ( am barely walking, cause of pain in my lower back, hips and down my legs into my feet.) bad fatigue, insomnia, and depression.
thank you so much for helping. Barb

 
Old 03-07-2011, 01:41 PM   #4
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Sorry you're feeling so poorly - I've been there and it "ain't purty".

Please realize that our bodies are not static - you are very fortunate that the same dose "held" you for 15 years - that isn't too common.

Your endo ran the right tests in January - Thyroxine Free is FreeT4 and Triiodothyronine free is FreeT3.

As you will note, your FreeT4 was scraping the bottom end of the range and your FreeT3 was below-range.

Most people feel/function best with both levels towards the high end of the range.

Since your symptoms came back with a vengeance after 3 wks on the dose increase, that is a big red flag that you need a dose adjustment.

I suggest getting new labs to see where they're at...

And, please, take the iron supplement at least 4 hours away from the synthroid.
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Thank you so much for the info. This is the problem, I will not get an appointment with the endo for another month, and there is no sense me going to fam. dr. cause he was totally against raising the dose. He claims that the dose should be lowered,
1.)cause the T-3 and T-4 just are not revelant.
and 2.) you use less synthroid as you get older, now I am 67.

I cut down to 50 mg. for the last 2 nights and am a little better today.
I am so bloated, I can't button one pair of pants. even my face is fat. I have so much gas, the pain that was in my cheeks and jaw bone is now also in the forehead, and the same with the pain in the lower back has increased now to the chest area. I feel like I might go to the emergency ward and see what they do wiht me.

I am waiting for hair analysis to come back from the lab, in two weeks. that is at my Naturopath Dr.
Interesting now, I have been reading on this site about vit B12 levels and vit D. I will get all that checked as soon as possible. I have also noticed that the people taking desicated thyroid seem to be doing better. I want to learn how to go about finding it and getting the dose right. I am very limited here where I live. One Endo. in the whole town and no doctors taking new patients. So I will have to leave my town to find more help
Thanks so much for your concern. Barb

 
Old 03-07-2011, 02:24 PM   #6
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Finding a good doctor can be quite elusive (I'm on #5)

I'm not so sure that cutting your dose back to 50mcg is a good idea at all. It was very clear from your January labs that you needed to INcrease the 100mcg you were taking.

Do you go to a pharmacy for your meds? If yes, you might want to ask your pharmacist for contact info for doctors that Rx dessicated thyroid and/or Cytomel (T3 med that knowledgeable doctors Rx)

Best of luck to you in your quest for good health!
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:29 PM   #7
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

I just talked to my Endo. He said that my severe pain and bloating and fatigue cannot be due to the increase in synthroid. He said you don't get pain from hypothyroidism. CAN THIS BE TRUE?? I am going to go now and get the new blood tests done. (Three weeks early) I will get a copy of the results and maybe can figure out what is going on. I am so sick. I have just gained 8 inches around my waist in the last week. The bloating and gas are unreal.
Thanks to all ..... Barb

 
Old 03-08-2011, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Sorry to say, so many endos are truly clueless about thyroid disease. When you think about the fact that they mostly treat the ever-increasing population of diabetics, it would probably be best for thyroid patients to take their business elsewhere.

Sometimes, after a dose increase, the body gets a bit confused in the presence of more thyroid hormone and it lowers its own production of hormone. This will cause a temporary increase in hypo symptoms (such as severe pain, bloating, fatigue and more).

If the dose is correct, the symptoms will ease.

I suggest you Google hypothyroid symptoms and look at some of the lists - especially those complied from patients' experiences. One list has over 70 symptoms on it.

Here's a link to the personal stories section on here wherein the very first person to post shares many of her symptoms:

http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=106131

If you read other threads on here, you will read many stories about "Budda bellies" and extreme pain and fatigue.

Heck, you can read my short summary of the symptoms I had when my levels were just below mid-range:

http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=838352

Don't let a doctor tell you you don't know what's going on with your own body - you are living in it.

If you get your thyroid hormone levels up to the top of the range which is the "most commonly comfortable" place and still have symptoms, then and only then, it's time to look elsewhere for possible causes.

The thyroid is the master regulator of all body systems. An out-of-whack thyroid can bring on a myriad of symptoms. Fix the thyroid....and fix it right.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Results from yesterday's tests:
TSH 0.13 (0.38 - 5.5 0 mU/L
Free T4 17.9 (10.5 - 20.0 ) pmol/L
Free T3 4.1 (3.5 - 6.5 ) pmol/L
This result is compatible with hyperthyroidism (that is what it says on the result sheet)

FSH 53.4

Luteinizing 19.9

Prolactin 4.7

Thyroperoxidase Ab results are pending.......

Am feeling a little better today. Last night I did 150 mg., night before 50mg. night before that 0 .. Still don't know what to make of all this. Will wait to hear what doc. says I guess. I will do more research though.
Thank you so much for your help , you are an angel XOXO Barb

 
Old 03-09-2011, 01:48 PM   #10
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Yikes - even your LAB thinks low TSH means hyperthyroidism????

Please realize that TSH is a pituitary hormone - it should not be used to determine thyroid status.

And, if you read that thread I linked for you about TSH, etc., all TSH bets are off once a person starts taking thyroid hormone replacement meds

The numbers to look at are the actual thyroid hormone levels - FreeT4 and FreeT3.

While many people would feel pretty good with your FreeT4 level, I don't know a soul that would feel well with your FreeT3 level since it is below mid-range.

You most definitely needed that dose increase (if these labs reflect you taking 150mcg since January)....in fact, after your next set of labs, if your FreeT3 level hasn't risen, you might want to consider adding a T3 med such as Cytomel.

Cytomel was my "missing link" as far as feeling fabulous is concerned.

Glad I could help.....I hope things start to settle in for you sooner rather than later.
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Last edited by cd37; 03-09-2011 at 01:49 PM. Reason: typos

 
Old 03-09-2011, 02:28 PM   #11
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

I read your post about 'when you know things are good'. PRICELESS!!! . It reads like you were reading my mail. LOL. I read up to page 8 of the case histories, very helpful, thank you. , but I have not found the bit on TSH. I am assuming that your lab has a different way of analyzing the 'normal range' of tests.

Just for the record, I only changed doses of Synthroid, 3 weeks ago. Even tho my tests were done in January, you wait for the Endo to call you, for appt. It was on Feb. 15th and I did not even get started on new persc. right away. So, I was quite surprised when he returned my call yesterday morning and said go ahead and get the new tests done, they were not supposed to be done till end of March.

I started on the iron at the same time. I felt pretty decent this morning until about 11 am when I took my iron and then the old chest pains and other stuff came back. I will try to go without the iron for a few days and see if that makes a difference. As I understand that a bunch of this stuff is due to non-functioning thyroid. As I never had high blood pressuer or high cholestral , or low iron before. Well not that I know of, I guess if you feel good and don't got to doctor for years, you have to believe everything is fine.
Looks like the results of one more test still to come , (thyroperoxidase AB )??? i will google it and see if it pertains to thyroid.
This is cool now to go on line and get your results the next day. WOW,, Who'd of thunk it.?? The gal at the lab was very informative, ya , she said there is a doctor who specializes in thyroid ,(she says he is very good), and comes to our town once a week. I will call that office in Victoria now and see what I can do about an appointment. Even if I have to drive there, I can , it is only 2 hours.

Thank you again for all your support and cheer leading me through this very difficult time. Cheers BArb

 
Old 03-09-2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

You know what? TSH is NOT a thyroid test.....it is a pituitary test.

Many doctors look at low/below-range TSH and declare hyperthyroidism....that is because, in many cases of hyperthyroidism, the TSH is low/below-range because the thyroid hormone levels are elevated and over-range.

My lab does not make diagnostic statements on its reports - it will just indicate "H" if the result is above the normal range and "L" if the result is below the normal range.

Bottom line, please try to embrace what I've been telling you about TSH - ignore it

If you read other threads on here, you will hear this same statement made by those of us who have researched thyroid disease extensively and learned that TSH should be ignored.

I have never taken iron supplements so am unable to advise you re the experiences you are having.

And, most definitely, hypothyroidism can cause all sorts of symptoms and health issues.

I've been very fortunate in the sense that I've been blessed with relatively good health. I do get an annual physical and get whatever else is supposed to be checked on whatever schedule it is supposed to be checked My thyroid problems were detected during my annual physical so I never really suffered with symptoms until AFTER I started seeing clueless endos

So, if I am reading your post correctly, you were taking 150mcg for 3 wks. before these most recent labs. If that is correct, your next set of labs will most definitely tell you what you should do.....stay on that dose.....possibly add T3.

No matter what, please do not change your dose "mid-stream" without having labs first. This is a cardinal thyroid "no-no". Symptoms can be confusing - labs don't lie

Thyroperoxidase AB is a measurement of antibodies that the body produces and can cause inflammation of the thyroid. We can develop these as we age. And, in the case of Hashi's hypothyroidism, the level can be in the thousands. No matter what your result, there is nothing to worry about. You have hypothyroidism and are being treated.

I am very happy to help - think I told you I am paying forward all the help I received from thyroid forum members during the earlier days of my journey. Doctors don't make things easy for us - thank goodness for the internet

Best to you
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Last edited by cd37; 03-09-2011 at 02:51 PM. Reason: typos

 
Old 03-09-2011, 02:54 PM   #13
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

And, I obviously had an "oops" moment....I didn't link the thread about TSH....here it is:

http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=597479&page=8
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:43 AM   #14
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Hi again: The other test result came in.
Thyroperoxidase Ab A 694 range <35 !U/ml Not sure what that means. I will look it up when I get some time.
I have very good news. I have an appt. with Dr. in Victoria, for Monday noon. I had to have a referral, so I called the girl at my M.D. office , she set it up in that short of time.
I am pretty impressed. Considering it takes 2 months to get into the endo. in town.
I have been feeling somewhat better, I quit the iron pills for now and the chest pains have eased alot. I am still on the 150 mg. Synthroid.
Thank you for encouraging me to continue with that dose, when I was so sick.
Barb

 
Old 03-12-2011, 11:54 AM   #15
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Re: iron deficiency and hypothyroid

Great to hear from you.

I explained what that test was in my earlier post. Your elevated level indicates a lot of thyroid inflammation which is common when thyroid hormone levels are too low for the body's needs.

You just might want to ask your doctor to check your selenium level and, if it's below mid-range, start supplementing with 100-200mcg/day. Selenium has been proven to lower TPOab - the level you just asked about.

Best of luck with the new doctor - please let us know how things go!
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