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Old 02-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Can low Ferritin cause hypothyroidism

Can someone please explain to me the low ferritin/ low thyroid function link? Someone on another health forum alluded to low ferritin levels leading to improper utilisation of thyroid hormones.
But would not utilising thyroid hormones correctly lead to a slightly raised TSH and low FT4?

I've posted these before but for reference:

02/2008: 2.63
05/2009: 1.25
08/2011: 2.52
02/01/2012: 2.88 FT4: 0.9 (0.9-2)
02/07/2012: 2.30 FT4: 1.2

RBC (2009 and 2012): 4.1 (4.2-5.1)
Hemoglobin (2009, 2012): 12.6 (12-16)
Hematocrit 38, 37.6 (35-47)

Iron (2011): 32 (34-165)
TIBC: 322 (250-450)
Transferrin saturation: 10% (15-50)
UIBC: 290 (110-370)

Vit D: 28 (30-100)

I haven't had my ferritin levels checked but it is pretty obvious that I am anemic, and have been my entire life.

Could my low iron levels be causing my less than optimal thyroid function?

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Old 02-19-2012, 10:10 PM   #2
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Re: Can low Ferritin cause hypothyroidism

I asked the same question when I began my Thyroid journey.

The answers I received all said that hypothyroidism is likely causing absorbption issues resulting in the low Vitamin and Mineral blood results. These deficencies are very common in thyroid disease and they should improve once adequate thyroid hormone level are reached. (Because the thyroid regulates the metabolism in virtually every cell in the body). .

On the flip side, low ferritin (anemia) and being low in the B vitamins can give you symptoms very similar to hypoT.

My ferritin level was around 10 at the time (should be at least 50). I also had really low Vitamin D (22) and B12 (323)

I began supplementing my iron (taken with vitamin C for best absorbtion), vitamin D-3, B Complex 50 and sub-lingual B12. B's were easy to get optimal, but I still struggle with the ferritin and vit. D. But I'm no where close to being optimized in Thyroid levels yet either.

Since you have labs stating you are low, I would start supplementing your iron now. Being anemic can cause you to feel quite tired, short of breath, weak muscles etc.

Hope this helped answer your question.

Edit: Please know you need to take any iron supplements a minimum of 4 hours after taking thyroid hormone.

Last edited by Administrator; 03-15-2012 at 01:12 PM.

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:42 AM   #3
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Re: Can low Ferritin cause hypothyroidism


Thanks so much for the response. I also had my B12 checked and it was over 1000, over the lab range actually but I had already been taking B Complex 50 for 5 months at the time. I did feel that taking B Complex improved my cycles and raised my progesterone levels to "normal."

I have not been diagnosed as hypothyroid, so am not on any medication yet. However, I am thinking of asking my Reproductive Endocrinologist if I can do a trial dose of T4 for a couple of months before starting fertility meds.

Strangely enough, the only time my iron levels were normal was when I was pregnant. No idea how that could be, maybe I was more vigilant about taking my iron pills.

I've also been taking 1400 IU since the beginning of time, basically, so that does make me wonder about the absorption issue.

Last edited by jaymee456; 02-20-2012 at 06:43 AM.

Old 02-20-2012, 10:09 AM   #4
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Re: Can low Ferritin cause hypothyroidism

I don't pretend to be an expert on iron and/or ferritin. But my basic understanding is this:
Hypothyroid people frequently have low ferritin.
The whole issue is sort of a vicious cycle. HypoT results in low hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which decreases iron absorption which reduces the ferritin level. Heavy menstrual bleeding associated with hypoT also reduces iron levels and in turn, reduces ferritin.

Thyroid hormone and storage iron need balance. When we are hypothyroid, very little else in the body works well.
"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." Abraham Lincoln

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Old 04-13-2012, 02:18 PM   #5
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Re: Can low Ferritin cause hypothyroidism

I am hypothyroid (just diagnosed recently) My ferritin level went from 14 in Aug to currently 7 . I also have fibromyalgia so I thought my symptoms were from that only worse.
My B12 309 and D30 are very low also. Since i am in menopause (I am 57) My doctor called me last night after he saw my current blood tests and is concerned that I am bleeding internally somewhere and wants me to get a colonoscopy and endoscopy.

Any thoughts?

Old 04-14-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: Can low Ferritin cause hypothyroidism

Just a quick interjection here I had a ferritin of 7 about 18 months ago. I was diagnosed as being hypo in December. My most recent level came in at 136 but it took me 20 months of taking prescribed iron tablets 3 times a day. I'm 34 and try to exercise as much as I can. Try not to worry too much about low levels they can be rectified it just takes a while.

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ferritin, hypothyrodism

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