I would like to explore with folks their experiences on the Thyroid-Ferritin connection, and to elicit any much appreciated thoughts or insights. My history goes back a bit: After complaining ad nauseum of fatigue, weight gain, course hair and hair loss, always feeling cold, muscle aches, heart palpitations, waking up frequently during the night, dry skin... my GP offered to put me on Prozac (sound familiar?). He eventually ordered blood tests including TSH, which indicated my cholesterol and TSH were a 'little high' - 6.5. On a follow up visit, his covering colleague tested me for Thyroid Antibodies - positive - and put me on .05 Synthroid. I got my weight and cholesterol down with diet and exercise and started taking vitamin supplements. In a subsequent follow up, I pointed out to my GP that the hollow in my throat had disappeared. I was referred to an Endo who immediately referred me for a radio active scan and to a Surgeon who diagnosed Thyroiditis and the largest goiter he had ever seen. In 2004 I had surgery to remove my entire thyroid and lymph nodes. While I have managed to work with the endo, eventually getting my TSH to level off at 1.8, I had been stable on .15 Levoxil, excercised daily, watched my diet, took my vitamins and my weight stabilized - I felt quite good. Interimly, I became complaining of very heavy, very frequent menses. I found a gynecologist who said I was Perimenopausal and sent me for an ultrasound - which indicated Uterine Fibroids. He recommended an iron supplement - Ferrous Gluconate. I soon began to again complain about feeling tired, hair loss, feeling perpetually cold, severe problems with memory and focus, headaches, heart palpitations, sharp chest pain, waking up during the night. As my fatigue increased I was excerising less frequently, kept forgetting to take my vitamins, and I gained weight! Add to this that I started experiencing frequent urinary tract infections. My Endo then referred me for an ultrasound which indicated a large Kidney Stone and Gallstones - now waiting on a referral with a Urologist. After a 'normal' ECG and blood work up, my endo indicated my hemoglobin was a 'little low'. Interimly, I found a new GP who works with an NP, who ordered additional tests for B12 ('normal') and Ferritin - which came back at 18. She put me back on an iron supplement, ferrous gluconate and I will follow up in 3 months - the goal is to get my Ferritin up in the 50 range. And I have started exercising more regularly and leaving my vitamins in plain sight. A couple of additional bits. I learned that the 'new' range for TSH is between 1 and 3; and the importance of taking my Levoxil on an empty stomach, particularly not with Calcium or Iron Supplements - at least two hours apart - understanding that both bind and interfere with Thyroid meds; that Hypothyroid and Low Ferritin present very similar symptoms. Thanks for taking the time to read this - I really appreciate these forums where I feel heard and appreciated. I suppose my hope is that this might, at least, resonate with some folks. And if anyone has any additional insights, I am all ears!
I also have low ferritin- between 9 and 14 and TSH like yours.
There is supposedly a connection because converting t4 to t3 requires sufficient iron. And some say being hypo changes the acidity of your GI system causing decreased absorption of iron.
But, I wonder what came first, hypo or low iron? It's like the chicken or the egg analogy! LOL
No doctor seems worried about my low ferritin. They say it's low because I menstruate! I would love to know the best way to get it higher, but I get no advice. I believe it is partially the cause of my symptoms, since like you said, they can be similar.
I also would like insight and really would love references to medical journals that discuss the relationship. I have searched and searched to no avail.
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