My Personal Experiences

I’m Not Getting on with Iron

I'm Not Getting on with Iron
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Following on from my post about the doctor starting me on iron tablets for my low iron levels, I haven’t been having a good experience with them.

After a week of starting them, I had a really bad migraine. It was the first migraine in about eight months, since I switched to NDT and stopped the contraceptive pill, which put a stop to my hormonal migraines.

I had to go home early when this one struck at work, but I thought it was just from doing too much that week as well as catching a nasty cold. However, I had another migraine attack three days later and another two days after that. I cut down to one iron tablet and still had horrid headaches. I cut them out completely, stopping the tablets, and all headaches and migraines stopped. I’ve also been having on-off diarrhoea (lovely, I know).

I read through the leaflet included in my box of iron tablets and it mentioned diarrhoea and constipation, but nothing on headaches or migraines. I searched online and didn’t find much there either. So I booked an appointment with the GP.

My usual doctor, the one who agreed that we’d try to raise my low iron levels, is on holiday at the moment, so I had to see another doctor. She was as I expected.

She told me that because my levels are ‘low but normal’, I’m having migraines from the iron tablets because I have too much iron in my body and don’t actually need the iron tablets. I asked to try another type of iron and she refused as she said I’d just have the same type of reaction to that, too. I explained that I and my usual doctor want my iron levels optimal, not just ‘in range’, and she told me there’s no evidence to support that getting them optimal helps us with symptoms of fatigue.

I said that there’s thousands of thyroid patients who say so from their own experience and then asked what evidence she has to prove that being in range compared to being optimal makes no difference to us, and she stumbled and changed the subject.

Just before I left, she also told me that such a TSH (<0.1) will put me at high risk of getting osteoporosis and other health conditions as I get older because of too much thyroid hormone in my body. But when I pointed out that my Free T3 and Free T4 were in fact in range and so showed I didn’t have too much thyroid hormone in my body, she was adamant that TSH is the one to go by but couldn’t explain why exactly.

I have ended up buying some iron bisglycinate instead. I’ll let you know how I get on with those.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

Have you had any issues with iron supplementation?

About Author

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts and at events about the many aspects thyroid disease affects and how to overcome these. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her bestselling books include "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate" and "You, Me and Hypothyroidism".

1 Comment

  • BP
    February 12, 2018 at 3:24 am

    Do body iron stores increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease?


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