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Okay I have had low ferritin for years, but haven't done much, resisted iron due to side effects. Last nov/dec 07 I got some answers from reading about my hypothyroidism/Hashi's ( hx=15 yrs) and how it can cause low ferritin, etc. I learned that I don't convert T4 to T3 and switched from synthetic T4 to Armour. I also found out I have adrenal fatigue. I learned that having a thyroid problem means I may have some vitamin/mineral deficiencies. I started taking Adrenal Support, B's vitamins, magnesium, zinc, Wilsons Adrenal Stress Formula, Vit C, sea salt, floradix, sublingual ferrous sulfate (may stop- it is staining teeth), Iodoral, hydrocortisone, Vit D, fish oil. I feel SOOOO much better, except:

significant hair loss and continued poor tolerance to exercise. I had labs done a couple of months ago and ferritin did not budge. I am thinking it is due to poor absorption. This is why we got a RX for sublingual iron-but now I think it is staining my teeth. I am thinking of adding Betaine to help with absorption. Sound right?

Any input? Oh and I take C with my floradix. I may switch to Proferrin ES although that made me bloat- could that mean poor absorption? Would taking Betaine help. I am desperate to get my levels up. I hope to get in next week to draw labs. How many days to I stop the iron to get accurate test? 3 days? Any other labs that would be helpful? I think I have a lot covered with the supplements. I use to only take levoxyl, now I take lots and feel so much better. This ferritin has me stumped though. I would love to STOP losing hair, it is scary.

Thanks!!
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
Yes, the low ferritin has been going on for more than 20 years. Bad diet is the culprit. I decided to try a funky vegetarian diet and stopped eating meat. Bad idea, very bad. At 24 my hair was starting to fall, I'm 50 now, shows you how long it's been falling. No one suggested I take iron pills, since I moved around a lot, I had no good family doc to keep track of me and it just got worse. I worried about it alot but didn't know a thing about the hair/iron connection. There was no internet in those days, so I didn't know what I know now. However, I developed hashis also, which brought me to thyroid meds, then I recentl discovered the armour thing.... it took a while before I discovered the right dosage. When I'm too high I get diahrea, hair falls, etc. I have to be careful. Don't let others discourage you. Take the iron with vitamin C and lysine on an empty stomach everyday and make sure you have stong stomach acid, that's supposed to help. Eat meat when you can, even liver....I never thought I'd get it to 100 but I did.. I just wish I kept it up there.... but I was really sick of taking pills. I guess pill taking will be a way of life for me. But with my hair, it either seems to be a thyroid dosage problem, or low iron....cb :-(
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.
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.
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:)
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:)
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.
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 :D 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 :D
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:)
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!!
Hi Marilla - i'm not sure about magnesium so can't answer that particular question as i've never taken magnesium. I eat a lot of bananas and i like them before they are too ripe and they contain a lot of magnesium at this stage. The riper the banana the less magnesium, but bananas do have some of the B vitamins among other things and they are good for people with thyroid conditions as well as those with high blood pressurel, so it's a healthy fruit.

I think my doctor quote 500mg of vitamin C at least should be either already in your iron supplement or you should take it together with your iron supplement.

No, Vit C will not make your auto immune system worse and wont make your thyroid worse. It's not 100% known what precisely makes your immune system attack the thyroid for us Hashi's sufferers (actually the immune system attacks the protein in the thyroid). Most times it's genetic, so if you have it, one of your parents or grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, likely have it too. They think major stress can cause it or a viral condition you may have had at some point. I do know that low long term ferretin or anemia can affect the thyroid. They have been able to link major hormonal changes to Hashimoto's eg; puberty, pregnancy, menopause. The only one of those conditions i've had is puberty, but not sure how long ago the Hashi's started for me, i'm thinking at least 7 - 10 years ago, but definitely took 7 yrs to diagnose. My father has some type of thyroid condition (it's enlarged) he suffers some of the symptoms i have, but he refuses to even go see a doctor to get treatment. His brother had his thyroid removed years ago and his brother's grandaughter has it, while her mother had childhood diabetes. Seems like autoimmune conditions run on my dad's side of the family.

If anything, taking regular vitamin C and keeping your other things eg: B vitamins, vitamin D, ferretin at the right level will help your immune system. It's winter here now and it's so far the first year i've not caught a cold or virus in the autumn/winter stage. One more month of winter to go so will keep my fingers crossed, but normally i would have fallen ill by now. I think it's helped by boosting everything, particularly my ferretin as healthy ferretin helps in soooo many areas, even your thyroid needs healthy ferretin.
Just a word about hashi's . My antibodies (thyroid antibodies) went away when I drank noni and mangosteen juice. My doc was shocked when he realized that my count was 0 in the antiboides column of my blood test. Now the question is, can I get my thyroid working again after 8 years of thryoid replacement? don't let anyone tell you that you will have hashi's for life.....
FLFLOWERGIRL - I rarely pamper myself like i suggested in my post as there always seems to be something else more important to do, so it only ends up being a 2 or 3 times a year thing. If i do anything it might be a quick exfoliation, throw on a mud mask and let it set while i'm doing ironing or something else mundane, then i forget to wash it off and it's dried on so well that it takes forever to wash the darn thing off and only stresses me out more with all the effort it takes. I then need a lie down to get over the entire exercise LOL :D Seriously though, i think we'd all be a lot better if we did treat ourselves to a little self indulgence on a regular basis. My self indulgence is more like what you did........SHOPPING :)

Great idea ChickieLou - one of the ladies over on the thyroid board actually did go back to school after having to do most of her own research on her illness. I think her doctor is employing her as an assistant (can't recall actually what she'll be doing or what course she did). However, i too couldn't face the thought of doing any form of study. I feel as though my poor brain has had it and at times i think it needs to be pensioned off
or at least traded in for a newer model :D It's bad enough having to remember all the stuff i have to remember for my work and then they keep changing the policy and procedures!! It's a shame, i used to remember things so well and wanted to advance into a management role and had such an interest in my work. Now it's often a battle to get through the day even though i'm a lot better than prior to starting my thyroid meds.

As for getting rid of Hashi's for good......... funnily enough, my doctor feels that certain Hashi's conditions can be reversed providing ALL other areas affected (eg: in my case, adrenals, pancreatic enzymes, liver) are all corrected also. I think it might depend how far your Hashi's advanced, what effects it caused, what is actually happening with your thyroid. He made some comment to me at one of my early visits that he doesn't see why i couldn't make a full recovery, but it would take a few years, but believed i'd be medication free in the end. I also don't see how they can stop the immune system from destroying the thyroid. I thought once it begins it's journey of destruction that it couldn't be stopped. I've not asked him about it since, but maybe i should at my next visit.
AudreyB--I'm reading again:) about Hashi's and Low ferritin. I read that Hypo can result in a lowered production of hydrochloric acid leading to malab. of iron. Lowered body temp. causes you to make less RBC's. Anything else? Did your doc discuss this acid reduction with you? When I add the Nexium what is left to break down and absorb iron, probably very little. So, basically low iron and your thyroid function is ~skewed~ if you know what I mean. I'm very concerned that my Endo acts like nothing is related to iron???? I get my thyroid and liver labs done tomorrow. I can't wait to see what they are, but I will have to wait a little while for those answers. Will chat later. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
jlt18--Also, I never ate red meat and never took vitamins because they bothered my stomach. I drank tea and red wine and had heavy periods at that so I was bound for iron deficiency anemia. I would love to stop the Zegerid (same as Nexium) but I don't see how and my Mom has BE so I'm scared to use other natural approached as they do not heal the erosions formed by the acid that constantly goes into the esophagus. That to me is another big risk that I'm not willing to take at this point. I have only seen two Endo's the first was a good doc, unfortunately he passed shortly after I saw him. The new one is just a really nice guy, too bad that doesn't cut it. I appreciate your posts jlt18. It's made me open my eyes a little more concerning my thyroid. Thanks for that! FLFLOWERGIRL:)
Thanks, I think these boards are great. We can learn from each other. I don't know much about reflux, etc. I think we tend to learn more about the things we are dealing with personally. I probably make weaning from those meds sound easy and I don't mean to. I have read lots on hypothyroidism. I am so glad I have figured out what will help me. I think many people are suffering with low thyroid symptoms that are on T4 only meds. I wish endo's were more aware of how low thyroid function plays a role in other deficiencies. I may have addressed them earlier myslef had they informed me. Thank goodness for places like this for us to share what we learn.
I second that......... Thanks for starting this thread jlt18 :) I think the anemia section needs a thread like this for those suffering from both thyroid and low iron levels.

My doctor didn't actually explain that hypo can lead to lowered acid levels, which leads to malabsorbtion and lowered body temperature etc etc. My Trichologist and my thyroid doctor only stated that they have seen a lot of ladies with a thyroid condition which accompanied difficult to raise ferretin, as well as digestive issues which particularly concerned digestion of protein. Getting the right amount of protein is important for the thyroid, iron, hair/skin/nails, and the liver, which are the areas i'm familiar with and having problems with.

A lady in a healthfood store guessed that my blood group was type A. She said type A's tend to have less stomach acid for digestive purposes and you need those if you are a meat eater in particular. My current doctor guessed prior to any testing that the majority of my hair loss was due to a form of malnutrition due to the lack of certain vitamins/minerals due to the malabsorbtion issues. He said a lot of people have this and don't know it.

I do know that my hair shedding wouldn't have been solely related to one thing, but taking into consideration the protein issue (as well as my low iron and low iodine) it's likely no wonder i was losing so much hair. It's slowed in the last couple of months, but it has done that in the past during the coldest part of winter and then resumed shedding once the weather hotted up. Very unusual that it stops during winter. Will see what happens once we get into spring. I have had a lot of new growth and my mother says my hair looks like someone took a pair of siccors to it and took a few strands here and there and chopped them off into various lengths. I don't need a hairdresser to layer my hair. It kinda managed to do that all on it's own :D Makes me look a bit wild an woolley at times :D

Not sure if i mentioned it on here or the thyroid board, but a guy i work with had reflux issues and his doctor put him on some prescription enzymes and he said it fixed his reflux issues.

I found learning about anemia much easier than learning about the thyroid as the thyroid encompasses so many other areas and it gets very technical. On the thyroid board i tend to feel like a fish out of water. No matter how much i read i tend to find it hard going. Are any of you on adrenal med's for low or high cortisol levels? I've got low cortisol so am taking medication to help my adrenal fatigue as this also tends to go hand in hand with Hypo. Last night i decided to look up a little more information on the adrenals and refresh my mind on what can go wrong if your Endo has simply stuck you on thyroid meds and not checked out your adrenals and it is SCARY!!!!

Marilla - i'm not sure about Hashi's being in/curable. I think it depends on your doctor, how much he/she knows or is willing to do for you, what situation your thyroid is in at the moment and a heap of other things. I'll be seeing my doctor in about 4 or so weeks time for a new blood test. I'll ask him about some Hashi's success stories.

FLFLOWERGIRL - fingers crossed you get a positive outcome with your test results. I know how VERY important it is and how it's such a BIG thing. I don't think anybody but a fellow sufferer can know just how big a deal it is to have these repeat tests done and how much we pray for an improvement on past results. Be brave and wear that little bandaid with pride once it's over :D
Yes Audrey I am on hydrocortisone due to adrenal fatigue. It has made a huge difference in how I feel. Getting a saliva test is very helpful for those who have had thyroid issues. There is a lot of information on the net to learn about this...I am so grateful we can go and do our own research and not just rely on a doc for all our health questions.

Thanks!
cathy57 - i'm like you, my hair shedding was uniform and from all over my scalp and i never went "bald" or "alopecia-like". My Trichologist did say that anemia or other illnesses which cause hair loss can bring on early alopcea if it is genetic. Thankfully i didn't have that to worry over as well. It's bad enough losing so much of it, but if i ended up with the alopecia that would have just added to my woes.

The other thing which seems to run in the thyroid family is gluten intolerance. My doctor has advised me to eat as little as possible of any gluten products.

Getting sufficient sleep is also important.

My BIG thing at the moment is staying away from anything to do with soy.
Hashimoto's is an "auto" immune DZ. There is no cure...only lifelong treatment. It may "stabilze" however cure is not possible. It functions in a similar way as arthritis does............. Only it attacks and destroys the thyroid vs joints etc. It is essentially hypo-thyroid. Have you had the biopsy and ultrasound to see the amount of destruction? There are good endos out there, and I too went thru a few characters to get to a great one. Best wishes.
Hey Audrey, Have you have a gluten test? Apparently I'm negative but these tests are often "false negative" I do have some allergies, like casein, I have to avoid milk products and cheese. I find I have fewer coughs and colds when I avoid dairy. Also, I get really flatulent with eggs. How's your digestion? Do you get gas too? Are you into holistic healing? Do you use herbs, etc? What's your ferritin level like right now, what are your other issues? Are you allergic to soy? I just do wish this hair would stop falling out, I have to keep it so short... I've been to so many naturopaths about this.... I'm beginning to think it's not my thyroid after all..... It's just so darn constant.... but always gets worse in the summer, blast!!cb
[QUOTE=webdiva;3688028]Anyone have sudden rapid pattern hair loss due to hyper-, hypo-, Hashi's, or poor conversion? Cortisol is high and testosterone is slightly high.

Thanks for any help.[/QUOTE]

I have Hashi's and have always had hair loss to some degree (a little noticeable shedding) nothing too awful.

When I was anemic on the other hand, it was terrible:(. I had hair all over my clothing, floors and it would get into my food, that was the worst besides the scare this caused me. Iron loss has been my main reason for a large amount of loss over a period of time. As far as the continued small amount of hair loss it must be thyroid related, I really don't know for sure. My hair sheds evenly. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
I just read over on the thyroid board that someone's doctor said that hair shedding can be attributed to TSH levels fluctuating up and down. Once the TSH stabilises so does the hair shedding. Interesting theory and one i've not come across before, but i suppose it does make sense, although i do believe ferretin levels hav a lot to do with it too.
cathy57 - Yes i've had a gluten test. The maximum range was 15 and i got an 18 so my thyroid doctor told me i could have gluten products, but to be careful how much. I don't have any noticeable side effects from gluten i eat, i'd say it may lead to some malabsorbtion issues though. It's more of a 'silent' issue with me and i'd never know i had any gluten issues otherwise. This could partly be the reason why my ferretin dropped.

My digestion............. basically i have not been digesting protein as i've not got sufficient pancreatic enzymes. This could be a big part of the reason why my ferretin dropped and it would have added to my hair shedding woes. I'm now taking prescription digestive enzymes with all my main meals and i feel so much better. No more bloating or feeling super tired after meals. I used to be able to eat a horse and chase the jockey before as i'd be STARVING all the time but i didn't really ever put on much weight and most people would marvel at how i could eat so much and not gain weight. Now since i've been on the enzymes i eat normal meals, don't feel starving 24/7 and i'm sure the badly needed protein will be appreciated by my body, energy levels, hair, metabolism, thyroid and liver and whatever else needs it.

My thyroid doctor has me on 'isolate whey protein' at breakfast time to boost my slow metabolism. Yes, i have a slow metabolism courtesy of my thyroid, but can't believe how i never put on the weight with all the food i ate. Admittedly i do eat very healthy, but perhaps never put on the weight due to malabsorbtion issues leading to a semi-malnutricious state i suppose.

Eating protein at breakfast also helps your 'coping skills' and decreases our stress levels, which in turn is good as you wear out much sooner with Hashi's and we need all the coping skills and decreased stress levels we can get :D

I do not go near soy products if i can help it, but it's in everything these days from bread to chocolate. Soy is not good for the thyroid as far as i'm aware. I think this mostly came about after genetically modified soy came onto the market as it's so cheap. I have heard some say you can have soy in 'this form' but not 'that form' if you have a thyroid condition. I simply keep away from it as i have enough issues without causing more. I read the ingredients on anything shop bought and virtually everything has Soy in it. Sometimes you think something doesn't contain soy, but the manufacturer disguises the 'soy' in other wording eg: vitamin E, vegetable oil, vegetable gum.

No wonder so many of us are sick. It's bad enough with the pollution, chemicals in the water and hormones they feed to the animals we eat or milk we drink and then you have to be super vigilant when it comes to things you buy in the supermarket too!! This is why i cook most things from scratch and i'm lucky my mother still keeps hens and she gives me lots of fresh eggs from hens which haven't been fed hormones. Her hens run around on a farm totally free range.

You asked about sleep..... basically if i don't get enough sleep i'm simply tired, but there are times i've only had 6 or 7 hours sleep and i feel 'wired'. I just make sure i get to bed earlier the following night. I did start to get good and bad sleep phase cycles about a year prior to being diagnosed with Hashi's. Since beging medicated i notice my sleep patterns are a lot more uniform these days, which is a blessing.
On a thyroid board it is recommended to not take Armour 12 -18 hours before labs. I believe it can make your free T3 look too high. I take my last dose of armour (I dose throughout the day) at noon the day before my labs and then take my morning dose right after blood draw.

I wonder if that is what is happening. How do you feel? What is your temperature?

I understand the hair loss worry!!! Good your ferritin responded fast!
I have Hashimotos and my doctor said the same thing, that it could initially cause hair shedding but that should stabalize. My thyroid issues have been stable for a long time but I still have a ferritin of 4-5, even after taking iron supplements for almost a year. Colonsocopy, endoscopy shows nothing wrong.
Hi there
I just read Audrey B. posting and wanted to say thanks for all the info. I posted some of what I am about to say somewhere, so if I am repeating I apologize-not to sure if it is on the same board. I have Hashimotos and have had a ferretin of about 4 for almost a year now. Iron supplements do not help. They have done a colonoscopy and endoscopy and stool test and all negative. What I do not understand why my endo, after he found the iron so low (he had gotten my Hash. and thyroid under control as it was underactive) just sent me back to my gp as he says he does not deal with iron issues. When I read your post Audrey, I read so many things that were done with you(iodine issues and tests) to find the problem. It is almost a year, I barely function but yet. it seems not much is done. I think my absorption is ok- not sure-says my saturation is low(not sure if that is different than absorption) my iron, ferritin, RBC and HCT is low. My gp sent me to an oncologist, (this was before I did the colonsocopy and endoscopy)-I did not even really know why, the oncologist said that we have to first do the colonoscopy and endoscopy to see if something is wrong there. The oncologist felt it could not be cancer as I am not loosing weight- she did however say that if the colonoscopy and endoscopy is negative I should come back but now my gastro. first wants to do the camera endoscopy. Meanwhile, I just live with a very low ferritin. I have always been a big meat eater, just thought I should mention that.
Sorry for the venting, just that the fatigue and other issues sometimes get the better of me and any insight or comments will help. THANKS
prokureur--Have you had a test for Celiac or PA? These are both AI diseases (you are at a greater risk for developing another because you have Hashi's) that will cause low numbers and impair absoprtion. Did you have your B-12 checked?

If you are taking in the right amount of iron (not a small dose or with food) and not absorbing this is when you see a Hematologist/Oncologist. You might need IV iron therapy.

The small bowel is the test that is usually done last, and this is what you will be having so it is the right procedure to follow. Sorry that you have been going through this so long. As far as the Endo goes. I feel like you. AudreyB is very fortunate that her doctor is treating her so well. My Endo also found my iron problem and sent me to the PCP, that is how it works here is the US. Some Endos will treat their patients for low iron. I have also asked Audrey WHY we don't get this type of treatment? I think when it comes down to it that the thyroid people/Hashi's might ALL have the same problem going on with malabsorption. Perhaps this has just always been treated with iron and nothing more? Who know's? Good luck to you and keep us posted! FLFLOWERGIRL:)
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.
Cathy - my doctor advises me not to take any meds for 12 hours prior to my thyroid blood tests. That means no thyroid meds and no other meds or supplements of any form. When he rechecks my cortisol levels for my adrenals i have to fast for 12hrs and no med's of any sort, only water is allowed. All blood tests i do are required to be done by no later than 8.30am.
Cathy - i am on thyroid meds for both T3 and T4, but i don't take any meds on the morning of my blood test, not even any vitamins. This test gets done first thing in the morning too.

Not sure if you have had your adrenals checked out, but the retesting i do for my adrenals get's done first thing in the morning as early as possible. For this test i fast and take no med's what so ever until the blood test is over.

In the past no doctors ever told me optimum times for blood testing. It is only my current doctor and the Trichologist who i used to see that have told me that all hormonal forms of testing should get done early in the morning.

I agree, that Trichologist's site has some great info. Finding his site on the net and combining it with stuff i learnt from others on the healthboard is what convinced me to go with him. I'm not sure whether he still does, but he used to either have a practice in Virginia or was in some way connected to something there. I was sorting out a heap of paperwork and i found one of those 'with compliments' slips amongts it all and it said something about 'Trichology of Virginia'. Not sure whether that is the case any more as i dont see the Virginia address on the later slips he gave me. I do know he goes overseas and he lectures and i think he also teaches people. He is extremely knowledgeable in a lot of the issues most of us are having, just here in Australia he isn't seen as an actual "doctor" and can't write out prescriptions or pathology requests. I would have to get a letter from him, take it to my GP and then get a pathology request from my GP and then go to pathology for the blood draw. In the USA he is able to do all that himself. I guess different countries have different laws.

That's odd about your hair shedding from different sides of your head according to your meds being too high or low. I've never heard of that before. My shedding is always uniform.

ps: thought i'd look up that Trichology of Virginia and yes my previous doctor is the clinical director there. Not quite sure what that means, whether he actually has a practice there or not. Will check it out later when i have more time.





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