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  • Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

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    Old 07-27-2008, 07:25 PM   #16
    flowergirl2day
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    Cathy,

    Quote:
    is there anthing natural you can take to stop this drug taking? I'm not much into drugs, prefer the natural stuff. Please let me know.... what exactly is your stomach problem? diagnosis?
    I have a sliding hiatal hernia and GERD with acid reflux. Before the Nexium, which I started to take last summer, I had nausea 24/7. It was pretty awful. I now have it only a few hours each morning, except for some days, when it lasts longer. I don't know the reason for it. No one's ever bothered to find out. I'd had no GI problems or nausea whatsoever before I started taking my meds for my problems about a year and a half ago. So who knows? They will be checking for any sources of internal bleeding. Personally, I think it's the meds wrecking my stomach and digestion. I take enteric coated aspirin - perhaps that is the culprit (in spite of the coating)?

    I am like you, Cathy, and prefer natural remedies whenever possible. Before I became ill I'd stayed away from all medications, even aspirin. I wish I could go back to those days. I am on these meds for life. I don't know if I can stop the Nexium and take someting else that will keep the nausea down. I can ask.

    flowergirl

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 07-27-2008 at 07:30 PM.

     
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    Old 07-27-2008, 08:12 PM   #17
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    I too decided I need to increase my lean red meat intake. My husband is excited I am buying something besides fish and chicken. I think I avoided those meats because it took so long to digest. Maybe low acid? Well I am going to try and put more in my diet along with the iron supplement. I check ferritin this week, keep fingers crossed. I hope I see some change. You need the positive reinforcement that your efforts are working. Right?

    I too read some about Nexium, etc...wow must be hard to live with all the nausea etc. The side effects seem large but I can see how you need relief. I read somewhere that it is a big money making area for the pharmaceuticals despite the bad side effects. I don't know how you go about treating it naturally though. Most meds seem to treat only symptoms. Our biggest problem with conventional medicine. I hope you get some answers and can eventually not need the PPI's(learned a new term).

    Thanks!

     
    Old 07-27-2008, 11:04 PM   #18
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    Takes a bit of catching up when you haven't been on the net for only 2 days!!!!
    Cant recall exactly who said what so i'll just lump everything together if that's ok.

    First of all for all those Hashimoto's groupies out there, the inability to absorb things, particularly iron and vitamin D has VERY strong links to Hashimoto's. Most of us suffer with that. I saw my doc today and he also said the higher your vitamin D the better your T3 will become. It basically helps your T3 along.

    Make sure you check for gluten intolerance as that will diminish the ability for nutrients to be absorbed too. On my gluten intolerance test i got and 18 and 15 was the max. My doc classed me as being a 'little' intolerant but even so advised me to ease off all things gluten or just eat very few gluten products. I found this cafe which does the yummiest gluten free orange/almond cake YUM

    Hair........... well we all want our hair back and it seems to be the most stressful thing to lose. I'd trade less energy for some real hair growth. Even though my ferretin got to 61 after 2 long years of trying, i still had hair loss (didn't know i had Hashi's then). Suddenly my hair stopped falling out for 1 good month. I couldn't believe it. I thought this was it, the end of hair shedding. Then after the 1 good month my hair began shedding all over again. I couldn't work out the mystery. Why stop shedding for 1 month then start again. Some months late it hit me..... Iodine. It had to be the iodine my doctor had given me 3 months earlier. I had used it for a few months and never got a repeat bottle of iodine as my levels had come up nicely.

    Well i didn't know at that time that i was Hashi's and didn't know that if i stop taking iron,iodine and vitamin D that my levels will drop either due to my thyroid or something else. My thyroid doctor has begun supplement me with iodine again as he did an iodine load test where you drink a certain amount of iodine and then collect your urine over a particular amount of time. They can then measure how much iodine you lose in a 24hr period. This test showed that for the time being i have to stay on my iodine drops till further notice. My hair is shedding closer to normal now, but i don't know whether it's due to the iodine or all the other things i've been doing in the last 3 months since having my thyroid treated. With hair you wont notice immediate results anyway. It usually takes 3 months or so to begin noticing a proper hair growth cycle after whatever has been fixed.

    As for reflux treatment and inhibiting iron absorbtion. A guy i work with had a reflux issue and one of his doctors finally put him on some prescription enzymes and his reflux has gone.

    I'm also on prescription digestive enzymes as my pancrease doesn't make sufficient enzymes to digest protein so it sits, ferments and inflames my thyroid. I've been on the enzymes since mid april and my stomach is better, no more bloating and i'm hoping that things are digesting better and i'm getting more nutrients.

    My previous doctor who treated my anemia and my thyroid doctor have both said that quite often malabsorbtion of necessary vitamins/minerals and digestive issues are connected to thyroid patients and they nearly always see low iron in particular and low vitamin D, digestive issues, metabolism issues eg: most often slow metabolism, hormonal issues, messed up monthly cycles, hair shedding, chronic tiredness and adrenal issues.

    My doctor did say that the hair shedding can be due to a hormonal imbalance (i have too much estrogen and a little too much testosterone), but it can very possibly be related to my digestive system not digesting protein, it can also be due to insufficient T3 for my thyroid. I've been on a T3 med since april and he started me off on a slow dosage and i'm responding well to it. Right now he has added a tiny bit .05mg of a Thyroxine tablet to the mix and in 6 weeks i'll have a blood test to see whether i'm responding. He said some people respond best with only T3 med's and don't do well when a T4 med is added, while others do best on a combo of T3 and T4.

    My doctor also has me drinking isolate whey protein every morning with breakfast to kickstart my metabolism and to add badly needed protein to my diet. Eventhough i was a big meat eater my body wasn't absorbing it due to the lack of enzymes i mentioned. You don't have to eat red meat every single day. 3 nights per week is good. Other nights you can have white meat or fish. You can get protein from pulses and nuts.
    A nice lentil soup is good. Also almond, brazil nuts and cashews when eaten together are a complete protein, just like meat. Iron from meat is likely the easiest for out bodies to absorb and we dont just get iron from meat, but a lot of other essential things.

    A lot of people also lack selenium in their diests. Too much selenium or too little can cause hair loss, but apparently 4 brazil nuts per day is all the selenium you need. The ones from brazil are actually supposed to be the best.

    With all things, whether it's vitamin D, iodine, selenium etc etc don't just start taking it of your own accord as overdosing on it can be as bad as not having enough. Get a blood test first and take it from there.

    There is always a reason for low ferretin. It is NOT normal for ferretin to take months or years to fix. Once you begin supplementing with iron and you do not see it rise considerably in the first month or 2 and it's taking forever to go up, then you have a BIG problem. Low iron that takes forever is always a symptom of something else. You need to find that something else.

    Last edited by Audrey-B; 07-27-2008 at 11:09 PM.

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 06:50 AM   #19
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    wow Audrey that was helpful!

    My question is how to test for gluten intolerance? Just the allergy test? I know about the celiac antibody test. I personally am trying to decrease gluten in general.

    The good news is I am on Vit D, selenium, iodine, armour and iron. In my iodine load test I was severely deficient in my spot test but then peed out a lot of the iodine I took, which means a NIS defect. So hard for iodine to get in. I seem to see a correlation of not converting T4 to T3, this defect on iodoine receptors and difficulty absorbing foods. Plus I have MTHFR defect which means I cannot break down folate. Suppose to be on B's for life to decrease risk of stroke, clots, etc. So it sounds like I dont break down or convert well. Enzyme issues. Speaking of enzymes I should probably add that to my list, right!

    I am going to have sex hormones checked to see if estrogen, etc okay.

    I eat lots of almonds, other nuts in my diet. I really avoid processed food. I am trying to eat what my body needs. The meat actually tasted good last night. I will try to keep that up 2-3 xwk.

    I agree having low ferritin and not raising after supplementation in a decent time frame means a bigger problem.

    Your doctor sounds great! What kind of doctor? I see a PA who will prescribes Armour and believes in treating adrenal fatigue. The supplement part of my treatment I get guidance from a compounding pharmacist and read a lot. I am a bit on my own...

    A big thanks! I feel like I am on the right track and that is is common with Hashi's to have these issues. We are so lucky!!

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 08:30 AM   #20
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    Thanks for that information, Audrey!

    Since these issues can get REALLY complicated, I wonder what type of a doctor would be best for sorting out the digestive/absorption/deficiency/intolerance/hormonal issues? It sounds so complex I am surprised anyone was able to figure out the causes, effects and their consequences.
    In my experience, a specialist will not listen to or offer an advice on ANY issue other than his/her specialty. Is there one doctor whose specializes in dealing with all of these types of issues? For a general physician, it could be very difficult to get the WHOLE picture. Who should a person be referred to?

    flowergirl

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 12:49 PM   #21
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    Jlt,

    thank you for your post. No one has raised any questions about the nausea - they just treat it without really being sure of its cause. I guess it's easier that way. I have some other unresolved issues. There always seem to be several good possibilities, making it either difficult, impractical or too costly to attempt to pin down the exact cause. Perhaps the tests I will be having in the near future will help get to the bottom of this. It would be nice.
    I hope that eating more red meat will help you build your iron levels up. I also hope that your hormones check out OK. Mine probably wouldn't, as I take a female-hormone altering diuretic that also helps prevent the loss of too much potassium. However, it is also associated with an increased risk of bleeding from the stomach and duodendum. Of course, this fact is not stated in the abreviated and (in my opinion) rather selective list of side effects on the pharmacy printout. It also causes tumors (as shown in lab testing - also not listed), and its long-term effects on people are not known, because they have not been studied. For this and other reasons, I think that at least some of my issues could be med-related. I just hope that this drug is doing me more good than harm.

    flowergirl

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 03:05 PM   #22
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    As to what doctors to see.... mine was trial and error. A lot of my issues were discovered when as a last resort i visited a Trichologist (hair/scalp specialist) and fortunately he also had a medical background prior to becoming a Trichologist. He also works in with and gets a lot of information from a leading thyroid expert in Australia. He also works in with other doctors who thankfully see "outside the square", some of them located here in Australia and others are overseas. If a patient has symptoms or things come up on test results which are out of his sphere then he sends them off to other doctors who he knows can help. Often he will use various doctors connected to universities who don't simply stick to results and ranges written on paper, but work with a patient's symptoms also.

    I got sick and tired of doing the rounds with doctors who were not interested in me and were only after their hourly fee.

    Apparently low vitamin D can cause infertility as well as a thyroid condition.

    With digestive enzymes, if you have a problem which is affecting your health, prescription enzymes are the way to go. The over the counter types you can buy in supermarkets and healthfood stores just don't cut it. I believe a gastroenterologist might be the doctor to see. Your gp should be able to refer you to somebody. I did a stool analysis test which showed up that i was not digesting protein. Some doctors might check out your stomach area with one of those Endoscopes (is that what its called???) Some might be willing to do a stool analysis first off.

    I agree, it's hard finding one doctor who will know the lot. My current doctor feels that in about 20 years time, when all these old doctors die off or retire, that a lot will change. He feels younger lecturers in university will teach medicine differently and we'll end up with younger doctors who will be more willing to help and "look outside the square", not just a number on a lab report. He feels the internet and people learning from one another on boards like these will also help push for better medical treatment. I hope he's right.

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 08:14 PM   #23
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    AudreyB--I wonder why my Endo doesn't say anything to me about all these issues as I too have Hashi's. He acts like everything is from other issues. I'm going to ask him all this the next time I see him. Although he said if I was having malabsoprtion and low ferritin, I should have further tests through my GI doc? I wonder if its not just the way they practice medicine in your part of the country. Perhaps they are much more advanced, I really don't know what to think.

    I get my thyroid tests done in about 2 weeks so I am hoping that I am no longer Hypo-T. If I am, you will be able to hear me scream from here!

    Your posts are really getting informative. Thanks again. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-28-2008, 08:54 PM   #24
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    I found endo's to be worthless. I spent 15 years with Hashi's and did not get what I needed from the endo's. In that time I would go from hyper to hypo and need dose adjustments of levoxyl or synthroid about every 6 months, followed by an increase hair loss each dose adjustment. I found a great website that talked about patient's not converting T4-T3 and figured it out myself. Found a family practice that will prescribe armour and don't plan to return to any endo's. They did not help me get well. I figured it out myself. So sad!

    Just my opinion.

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 08:10 AM   #25
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    jlt18--This is my story too. As you know, It's quite common with Hashi's patients to go Hypo and Hyper. I just went through this not too long ago 4.87 to 0.16 to 4.40. Now, the Endo is keeping my TSH too high at 4.40 and says it's fine. Well, I know better, I'm waiting to see what my next lab is. I am going to pitch a fit with him if he maintains this idea of everything is fine. He is about to be fired anyway.

    What test did you do to determine the lack of conversion? Did you have liver tests also? I have been going through this since 05' and never gave it much thought before my anemia. Now I am just beginning to learn about the thyroid function and disease. My Endo said it's nothing to worry about, so I didn't. I thought that I was anemic, when in fact I was really Hypo-T all along. This is how I was DX'ed with Hashi's. At this point I need all the help I can get to feel my best. Thanks for your post. FLFLOWERGIRL

    Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 07-29-2008 at 08:12 AM.

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 09:43 AM   #26
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    I figured out the conversion problem once I got off the levoxyl (T4 only)and started feeling better with Armour (which has all the hormones your thryoid produces-). No more hyper feeling. You want to suppress your TSH especially with Hashimotos- this will stop the hyper/hypo changes. Mine is very low (below normal) which does not mean I am hyper like the endo's want to say. There are some great books to read that will help you. I can't remember if we can post them here. I know I am not allowed to post a website.

    I don't think you will get what you need from the endo. They just don't treat the thyroid properly. They dose by TSH which is NOT reliable especially when you have Hashi's. Suppress TSH and get frees in upper third and you will feel better! Be sure to be on natural dissecated thyroid replacement. Check adrenals by saliva test. Selenium is helpful with Hashi's.

    My last big symptom is hair loss. All the others have disappeared. I am going to eat red meat, take my floradix, trying blood builder with it. I read that combing the different types of iron can help.

    My advice is to find a doctor who will treat symptoms vs labs. There are sites to search for a good doctor.

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 03:42 PM   #27
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    FLFLOWERGIRL - just like jlt18 said, most dose from TSH and my doctor doesn't believe in that as he said a while back that only looking at TSH does nothing as its basically just that TSH - thyroid stimulating hormone- and more to do with the pituitary gland as that is the hormone it produces (that's the best i can recall that conversation ) He prefers to look at the other thyroid figures as well as how your symptoms are going. He records ALL my symptoms on his computer.

    I don't think docotrs are any better here in Australia, just that i lucked on the right Trichologist who happened to know this particular doctor and he in turn is good friends with another doctor/proffesor (not sure of his title) who works in a university and is writing a thesis on this very topic and so they help each other.

    Having said that, my doctor is walking on 'new ground' compared to most of the other doctors out there and he has to be super careful he doesnt treat on someone's toes and they decide to put in a complaint about him. It's not that he is doing anything illegal, but he isn't following the route that "most" doctors out there are taking, which is strictly following "thyroid 101" and NOTHING else.

    He said that prior to 1973 thyroids were looked at via symptoms as well as a few inadequate tests they had back then due to all these blood tests not being availabe. Then along came 1973 and all these new forms of blood tests became available and more or less looking at "symptoms" has fallen by the wayside. Instead, doctors look at a figure on a lab report and work solely on that figure, not how you feel or what you the patient is experiencing. Quite sad really. I told him about the healthboard and how we are all supporting each other and giving a few doctors out there a HARD time in our fight for our thyroid rights He laughed and told us to keep up the good work

    ps: i started a thread on the thyroid board regarding Vitamin D. My doctor also told me that vitamin D (D3) is essential, not only for the obvious reasons, but vit D and T3 work together. having the right amount of vit D in your system, daily, helps out your T3.

    My T4 has fallen and now he has given me a prescription for some Thyroxine to add to my T3 medication. I take the T3 daily, but for now he wants me to only take half of the thyroxine tablet on monday, wednesday and friday. He feels that there are benefits in always starting patients off on extremely low doses and work your way up (if need be) in very, very small steps as he feels that is the best way of gauging whether a patient is responding to it and whether the dosage is right. I found an article where Mary Shomon interviewed a Dr Stephen Langer and he also advocates the small dosage to start with and only upping it by the tiniest amounts after each blood test. It's quite a good article and you can find it on the net.

    Off to work now. I so did not want to get out of bed!! Have a great night/day everybody

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 04:04 PM   #28
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    jlt18--I guess I will have to wait and see what my test results are like. I'm kind of afraid to change to T-3 drugs or add to the Synthroid. I have been really ill from my anemia, it caused heart and BP problems. I have read that you have to be really careful when it comes to T-3 if you have any of those problems. I hate to make changes until I feel normal again. I know that sounds a little silly, but I have been through a very rough time. I do wonder how much could be related to the thyroid. I will be discussing this with the Endo next visit.

    I though Endo's were the -Go To- docs when it comes to thyroid treatment. I do know what you are saying and I also have one of those great books too. I'm just scared of new or more drugs being added. I will read more.

    My doc WAS on the Top Doc list but was removed. I don't know if he did it or for another reason. I will also have to ask him about that. They said that's the only way to find out why, by asking your doctor. Some want to be removed because they cannot handle the patient load. Thanks again. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-29-2008, 06:31 PM   #29
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    Your heart problems could be adrenal fatigue which can be caused from T4 drugs over time, plus many other causes. I took them for so long and pooped out my adrenals. I was very sick. Heart racing, palpitations, panic in the middle of the night...I went to the cardiologist and all tests came back normal. That is what began my research for the answer. If you don't convert T4 to T3, which is common with Hashi's - all that T4 stays in your blood and doesn't get in your cells. You feel "wired tired". It is awful. I would be hyper one day and lethargic the next...I had terrible pain, heat intolerance, dry skin, all the symptoms. Read a little about adrenal fatigue and see if you have symptoms. You need to be sure your adrenals are good before starting T3. I just know that most people do better on a combined hormone treatment. Our thyroid glands produce T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. If you take synthroid it is a storage hormone. If you can't convert to T3 you will not get rid of your symptoms but your labs may come back normal. I tried the levoxyl and cytomel combo and got very hyper on it. I can't tell you the world of difference I felt on Armour. Endo's don't generally prescribe it. Bad stuff is being said about it by pharmaceutical reps. Synthroid is who sponsors many of the the endocrinology conferences. TSH is the gold standard too. Just know that your doctor may not treat by symptoms and may not use Armour. If you don't begin to feel better just know there are options. I suffered for 15 LONG years and would love to help someone avoid that...I have told my brother all of this and he continues to feel bad and not try something different(TSH=96, antibodies=924). It takes a lot of work to get what you need. You have to be willing to change doctors until you find one that will help. Audrey is right that doctors have to be careful. The gold standard is to keep TSH in range. The medical board could come down on doctor for prescribing meds to someone subclinical (TSH normal but all the symptoms). This way of treating is how it needs to be but not taught that way in school. Sometimes calling a compounding pharmacist can be helpful to get a recommendation of a good hormone doctor. This has helped me get what I need. I have 7-8 books on thyroid, adrenals, iodine. Knowledge is power. Keep reading and asking questions and you will get there. You can feel much better!!!

    Audrey, I agree with everything you say...we seem to be reading the same information and are getting what we need. I feel bad for all the sufferers out there. I am a physical therapist and see many patients, especially elderly, struggling with low thyroid symptoms despite being on meds. The TSH standard is not working!!

     
    Old 07-30-2008, 05:42 AM   #30
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    Re: Low Ferritin and Hashimotos

    Okay girls--I was dreaming all night about Hashi's. I think I'm stressed about this. I will be working, reading and thinking on this one. Thanks for your posts. FLFLOWERGIRL

    Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 07-30-2008 at 05:44 AM.

     
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