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jlt18 - i'm in the same boat as you. Suffered with extremely low iron and took 2 years to raise it and that was when i found out that i had Hashi's.

A lot of thyroid sufferers have low iron problems. It is also very common for thyroid sufferers to have very low Vitamin D. Your doctor should check that also. Both iron and vitamin D malabsorbtion can be cause by gluten intolerance. Has anybody checked whether you are gluten intolerant? It's a simple blood test. Once again, us thyroid sufferers often have varying degrees of gluten intolerance.

With the vitamin D, when i was told to take it i began taking the basic 1000IU measurement (one gel capsule) as per instructions on the container. Next blood test i hadn't moved much and then my doctor issued me with some vitamin D drops which i drop 7 drops (4500IU) of onto my tongue each night after dinner. My vitamin D has moved up a little bit faster after taking a higher dosage. My doctor said taking vit D at night after dinner is more beneficial as its more likely i would have eaten meat and the vit D absorbs better. maybe this is due to the protein. He said vegetarians have a harder time absorbing vit D (and it has to be D3, not the other D).

I also have problems retaining iodine in my body. I lose more than i ought to and iodine is necessary for a healthy thyroid too.

I too have the adrenal issues. My doctor put me on Cortate tablets to help with my low morning cortisol levels and i'm so much better now. Are you only taking vitamin type supplements to help with your adrenals or are they actual medication what you are on?

If you were taking your iron along with the T4 you were on before that would make the T4 less effective and would also mean the T4 wouldn't be giving you the full benefit of making you feel better. You can take iron and other supplements alongside T3 med's but not T4. I believe i was told to not take iron or other vitamins 2 hours prior and 4 hours after taking your T4 meds. This is going to worry me next week as i've only been on a T3 med (triiodothyronine) and as of monday my doctor will be starting me on a little T4 (thyroxine). I'm juggling enough med's and supplements as it is and it frustrates me having to spread things out so that one thing doesnt inhibit another.

My medicinal listing and time frame is fast resembling a train time table :D It's ok if you are at home all day, but i work full time and remembering and taking time out to take this, eat food prior to taking certain things, take one thing and wait before you can take another is driving me nuts. The thing is, nobody at work understands. They simply think thyroid issues are like a headached, you pop one pill and hey presto problem solved. They don't realise how much stuff i actually take and how tired i sometimes get. maybe it's because i'm so good at hiding how i feel and just put on a happy face!!

Just incase you didn't know, zinc should not be taken until either 2 hours prior or after taking your iron, just like caffeinated beverages, red wine and dairy products inhibit iron absorbtion.

I'm not sure what Betaine is. I was taking a formula which my doctor's chemist especially made for him and its not a commercial brand, but there are a variety of commercial ones which people on these boards have a had decent success rates with. If your iron constipates you there are stool softeners you can buy. If it causes irritable bowel then you can take iron phosphate which calms the the stomach/bowel.

It's quite a long road and so many of us have been room mates here on the anemia board for quite some time (a number of us have thyroid issues too). So be prepared to bunk down for a while, but you are in good company :D
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 :D

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.
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!!
prokureur - The reason my doctor is doing everything for me is that he works in a University and he deals with small groups of "problem patients". By 'problem', i mean people who are doing all the right things, yet are having problems raising their ferretin and have a diagnosed thyroid condition. It also helps that this doctor is a Hashi's sufferer himself and relates to all we are going through. I'd say it's more like my guardian angels were looking after me as i did a heap of research on here, then as a last resort found a Trichologist for my hair loss (i had given up on all other doctors) and he diagnosed my Hashi's, helped lift my ferretin and he is the one who knows my current doctor and referred me on. It was more like an unplanned chain of events.

I agree with FLFLOWERGIRL, gluten intolerance and low B12 are often causes of low iron as well as all the other things eg: internal bleeding, heavy periods, vegetarian diet etc. My current doctor wants my ferretin over 100 and even up to 125. A higher ferretin is very beneficial for the thyroid too. I guess if you have had one of those biopsies (or whatever they do) to diagnose gluten intolerance or Celiacs and it's come back that you dont have that then that rules that out. It's probably good to get the biopsy done as blood tests can give false positives and false negatives. You should get your B12 checked too.

In my case, i'm not sure how much of my slow rising ferretin is due to gluten and how much to not being able to digest protein. I've been reading up on malabsorption issues and it's amazing how the inability to digest certain things can cause quite a lot of different side effects ef: edema (swelling anywhere in the body), dry skin, hair loss, anemia, easy bruising, dehydration, fatigue, vision problems. Taking those symptoms into account, who knows just how many things could be/were affecting my hair shedding.

At the end of the day, no matter what your doctor is or isn't doing, you need to do as much research, learn as much as you can and make lists, find out who can do more tests and then start ruling things out. I guess it doesn't help when doctors say your tests came back 'normal' just because the test results are 'within range'. That's why boards like this are great as there are a number of people around who really know their stuff and can help with test results.
Audrey, :)

I am seeing a surgeon tomorrow to schedule an endoscopy. I will ask about the biopsy to test for Celiac disease an gluten intolerance. I read that they do the biopsies during this procedure. I am just not sure whether one has to ask for them, or if they are done automatically, or only if something looks suspicious.

Thank you for the information and the good wishes! I plan to enjoy myself for a week. That will be my time away from doctors and anything medical. You guys take care!

P.S. We had a rack of lamb for dinner. I ate just the meat and some green beans. Did I get some iron that way? I hope so!!! :)

flowergirl





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