Monday, February 26, 2024

High Ferritin And Thyroid Cancer

Why Is Iron So Important For The Thyroid

How to Lower High Ferritin

Iron is required for the production of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3 in the thyroid gland, the conversion of T4 into the more active T3, and iron is required for the utilization of T3 inside the cell. So you can see how devastating low iron stores can be on the thyroid gland as it affects the production, conversion, and utilization of thyroid hormone.

Even if the TSH, Free T4, and Free T3 all look normal, low iron stores will impair utilization of thyroid hormone in the cell at the receptor level thus creating a picture that all your numbers are normal but you still donât feel well. Additionally, low ferritin levels can increase the production of reverse T3 which is an inactive form of T3 that binds to T3 receptors thus blocking T3 from binding.

Low ferritin levels can increase TSH levels which gives the picture of hypothyroidism but it is really just low ferritin levels.

Low ferritin levels have also been linked to the formation of goiter in children according to this study. This is because iron deficiency has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of iodine supplementation and we know that iodine deficiency can lead to goiter. This means that in order to prevent goiter properly, iron and ferritin levels should also be checked to be sure those levels are adequate for effective iodine supplementation.

To learn more about the ferritin level test itself and how to improve your ferritin levels, read my detailed article here on the ferritin level test.

Tests For Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer may be diagnosed after a person goes to a doctor because of symptoms, or it might be found during a routine physical exam or other tests. If there is a reason to suspect you might have thyroid cancer, your doctor will use one or more tests to confirm the diagnosis. If cancer is found, other tests might be done to find out more about the cancer.

Iron Modulation As A Cancer Therapy

Several iron modulators, which were initially developed for other conditions, are being repurposed to treat cancers. Iron chelators are summarized in Table 2 along with their mechanism of action and clinical testing status in the context of cancer.

Table 2. Iron chelating agents under clinical development for treatment of cancers.

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Conditions Associated With High Ferritin Levels

Conditions listed below have been associated with higher ferritin levels. Some of these associations are causal while others are not. The list below is by no means exhaustive.

If your ferritin is high it doesnt mean you have any of the below-listed conditions! Work with your doctor or another health care professional to get an accurate diagnosis.

How To Test Your True Iron Status

Thyroid patients have learned a LOT about optimal iron levels! http ...

Ferritin alone doesnt tell you everything you need to know, such as how much iron you can actually store in your bloodstream.

For this you need to also test for transferrin saturation.

Transferrin saturation is a lab measurement that accounts for both your blood iron levels and the how much room there is available for you to store more.

So, if your ferritin is normal, and your transferrin saturation is high, then your blood is very saturated in iron, a sign of iron toxicity.

On the other hand, if your ferritin is low and your transferrin saturation is low, then this can be a sign of true iron deficiency. You have both little iron in the blood and youre not storing much either.

Now, the recommended reference range for transferrin saturation can vary.

Both low ferritin and low transferrin saturation can be a sign of true iron deficiency that should be treated.

But also keep in mind that both low and high iron are dangerous.

Transferrin saturation in the upper or high end of the reference range has been associated with increased cancer rates.

The lower normal transferrin saturation reference range is ideal.

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High Rt3 And High/low Ferritin/iron

I no longer have a thyroid and I take 1.75 grains WP-Thyroid 1x/day. I finally found a doc who did the labs I wanted. Labs were done 8 hours after taking my meds, and were as follows:

TSH: .04

RT3: 20.1

Ferritin: 116 ng/mL

TIBC: 347 ug/dL

% Transferrin Sat: 21%

Doc thinks my numbers are fine, except for the elevated FT3, but I’ve heard that RT3 should be below 16 and, according to STTM, my ferritin is high while my iron is low. I feel like I still have some hypo symptoms and am thinking that I may not be converting well. Do these numbers reveal anything?

Also, does RT3 remain constant or does it change throughout the day like RT3 does?

The ideal RT3 is zero, there is no good reverse t3. It is just nobody can get there ever, and thyroid medication users have to have real good iron or the replacement hormones do not work.

Things that change the iron panel results making them invalid can include birth control pills and consuming lots of meat before the lab, or taking iron in multivitamins before the labs, etc.

While your ferritin is fine the % sat is horrendous low, you want that around 33% minimum for thyroid hormones to work better. It can vary widely perhaps and there are not good studies for us specifically. I suggest 33% but some like it 35% etc. But not 21% which is not a good area for us.


Confused about the ferritin number, though, as some think it’s too high while others say it’s fine. Does it matter if I’m post menopausal?

The Thyroid And Ferritin Connection

How does proper thyroid gland function factor in with low ferritin? Iron is absorbed in the small intestine. Women with thyroid dysfunction often have a chronic infection of some type that can be driving the thyroiditis.

In fact white blood cells that fight infections can sap iron stores in the body which could lead to low ferritin. Also, parasites can take iron from the body and cause low ferritin and anemia-like symptoms.

These are the same types of infections that can contribute to irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.

In my clinic, I not only test my patients ferritin levels, I understand how to interpret the total serum iron, total iron binding capacity, % transferrin saturation and other tests to find what could be contributing to low iron stores.

Its not enough to look at one marker on a lab test and say that everything is okay. Its impossible to get a complete picture of iron metabolism by just checking serum iron alone.

Some common causes of low iron storage could be: iron deficiency anemia, pregnancy, severe protein deficiency, cancer, antacid use, chronic blood loss, copper deficiency, vegetarian and vegan diets, and heavy menstrual flow.

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Iron Supplements And Iron Toxicity

Most people get plenty of iron, often too much.

Yes, iron absorption can be impaired when stomach acid production is inhibited.

But we cant jump to conclusion without proper testing.

On the other hand, there are many people who are getting toxic levels of iron without even knowing it.

Sure, supplementing iron even in excess will increase your ferritin.

Theres no doubt about that.

But, heres why excess iron is so dangerous

When you get too much iron, your body has a very difficult time getting rid of it.

So, it ends up being stored in your organs, such as your liver, heart, and brain.

This puts you at increased risk of:

  • Neurodegenerative brain diseases
  • Vitamin E deficiency

Since your body cant rid itself of excess iron, it continues to deposit into your organs, which over time can kill you.

While we need iron to live, as with everything, balance is essential.

Its kind of like exercise

Exercise can be healthy, but in excess can be deadly too.

Many look at marathon runners as in great shape and super healthy.

Yet, they put such extreme stress on their bodies, that they can literally experience heart failure and drop dead shortly after a race.

Many have raised concerns of iron toxicity simply from the many foods today are fortified with iron.

Collection Of Blood Procedures And Definitions

High Ferritin – Causes and Treatment

Blood samples were drawn from all patients in fasting state in the morning during their regular visits. Thyroid function was evaluated by measurements of serum-free triiodothyronine , serum-free thyroxine , thyroid-stimulating hormone , antithyroglobulin and antithyroid peroxidase . Iron load status was defined by serum ferritin level that was estimated from pre-transfused blood sample and pre-chelation therapy and subsequently every 3 months.

Serum TSH, FT3, FT4 and ferritin were measured by chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay methods on Architect 2000 System . TGA and TPO antibody titers were measured by RIA.

Thyroid dysfunction was defined as follows: overt hypothyroidism: low FT4 and/or FT3, increased TSH levels and subclinical hypothyroidism: normal FT4, FT3 and increased TSH concentration . A central hypothyroidism was defined as an inappropriately low serum TSH concentration in the presence of subnormal serum T4 and T3 concentrations.

Lipid profile, blood pressure and metabolic parameters were also assessed. In particular insulin resistance was determined by the homoeostatic model assessment insulin resistance and calculated according to the following formula: ×serum glucose )/22.5 .

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How To Alter Iron Absorption With Foods

When working with clients, Ive never once recommended an iron supplement, regardless of iron status.

Instead, we use foods to increase or decrease iron absorption.

For example, when consuming an iron rich food, orange juice can be used to increase the absorption of iron from that food. Coffee on the other hand can be used to block the absorption of iron.

In most cases this isnt even necessary.

In most cases, using adequate thyroid hormone is an easy way to correct low ferritin.

If that alone doesnt work, then first consider whether youre thyroid hormone resistant.

Have you tried supplementing thyroid hormone ?

Have you noticed no difference in body temperature, pulse, etc?

If so, then this should be explored too.

If youre not using the thyroid hormone youre taking, then you likely wont see a change in your ferritin either.

Keeping an eye on your ferritin and transferrin saturation is a good idea.

But jumping to conclusions based on a ferritin lab alone is a big mistake that can put you at high risk for many deadly diseases including cancer.

If youre going to get tested, you should always do it right.

Hypothyroidism And Ferritin: Why Youre Not Iron

Have you suspected that you were iron deficient?

Maybe youve had your ferritin tested and started using an iron supplement thinking it was safe?

Theres a lot of misinformation out there on hypothyroidism.

I wont deny that.

The idea that you can test your blood ferritin levels to diagnose iron-deficiency is a not just a BIG one.

Its misinformation like this that can lead to serious health complications, and even kill you over time.

Ive seen many thyroid advocacy websites claim that thyroid sufferers should always get their ferritin tested.

Then, they claim that if you dont fall within a specific test range you should start blindly supplementing iron until you do.

This is a big mistake.

Or how about the ones that tell you to supplement iron based on symptoms alone?

I see it all the time

Common symptoms of iron-deficiency include chronic fatigue, hair loss, irregular heart rhythm

What you might find interesting is that these are also symptoms caused by iron toxicity .

They are also well known symptoms caused by hypothyroidism.

So, if youre supplementing iron based on symptoms alone thats like playing Russian roulette with your health.

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Link Between Iron & Thyroid Medication Response

Now, what is ferritin? Ferritin is a marker in the iron family that tells you, essentially, the functional iron status in your body. Its tied in with anemia. And for women who are suffering with hypothyroidism, there is a lot you have to contend with when you go on the internet. There are many theories and philosophies. Much of this is well-intentioned. A lot of it also unfortunately is speculation. So having evidence to help you parse the litany of claims can help you get to interventions that will have the highest probability of helping you.

In this case, while the results here are preliminaryonly really one good study, maybe two others that hint at thisbecause this is a nutritional intervention, its something I would certainly consider if youre a woman or a man on levothyroxine for your hypothyroidism. If youre not feeling well, have your doctor run your ferritin.

Heres the twist. 100 is not considered the cutoff for normal to abnormal. I believe some labs will have it around 25 or even 10. So the cutoff for ferritin is actually quite low on most labs. This is a case where a more nuanced examination that your blood work can be helpful.

What Kind Of Long

Optimal labs STTM

In addition to the usual cancer monitoring, patients should receive an annual chest x-ray as well as blood checks for calcitonin and carcinoembryonic antigen levels. Serum calcitonin is very useful in the follow up of medullary thyroid cancer because no other cells of the body make this hormone. A high serum calcitonin level that had previously been low following total thyroidectomy is indicative of recurrence.

Carcinoembryonic antigen is a protein that is usually found in the blood at a very low level but might rise in certain cancers, such as medullary thyroid cancer. There is no direct relationship between serum calcitonin levels and extent of medullary thyroid cancer. However, trending serum calcitonin and CEA levels can be a useful tool for doctors to consider in determining the pace of change of a patients medullary cancer.

Under the best circumstances, medullary thyroid cancer surgery will remove all of the thyroid and all lymph nodes in the neck that harbor metastatic spread. In this case, post-operative calcitonin levels will go to zero. This is often not the case, and calcitonin levels frequently remain elevated, but less than pre-operatively.

These levels should still be checked every six months, and when they begin to rise, a more diligent examination is in order to find the source.For a general overview of the different types of thyroid cancer, read our article, and you can also visit our to learn about thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatments.

Also Check: Thyroid Cancer Follow Up Guidelines

Understand Your Ferritin Test

1. Why You Have to Do the Test

A ferritin test serves many purposes:

  • To make sure the causes of high ferritin: The test can show if you are suffering from diseases such as anemia, hepatitis, restless legs syndrome or adult stills disease, etc.
  • To monitor a medical condition: If diagnosed with an illness or disorder, the ferritin test can help your doctor monitor your treatment for effectiveness.

2. The Normal Values of Ferritin

This reference chart is only a guide. Only your doctor can tell you whether your level is normal.

Type of Individuals

Patient Clinicopathological Features Of Ipmn With And Without Invasive Carcinoma

Next, we compared clinicopathological features between IPMN patients with and without invasive carcinoma . Most of invasive carcinomas were MD type and mixed type . In addition, invasive carcinomas had a larger pancreatic duct diameter than noninvasive carcinomas . In addition, patients with invasive carcinoma had higher serum CEA and CA199 levels than patients without invasive carcinoma . Abnormal CA199 levels were also more common in IPMN patients with invasive carcinoma than in those without invasive carcinoma. However, no significant difference was found in abnormal CEA levels between those with and without invasive carcinoma. Diabetes, lymph node metastasis, extrapancreatic expansion and the presence of mural nodules were more common in patients with invasive carcinoma .

Table 2 Clinical data in IPMN with and without invasive carcinoma

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Medical History And Physical Exam

If you have any signs or symptoms that suggest you might have thyroid cancer, your health care professional will want to know your complete medical history. You will be asked questions about your possible risk factors, symptoms, and any other health problems or concerns. If someone in your family has had thyroid cancer or tumors called pheochromocytomas, it is important to tell your doctor, as you might be at high risk for this disease.

Your doctor will examine you to get more information about possible signs of thyroid cancer and other health problems. During the exam, the doctor will pay special attention to the size and firmness of your thyroid and any enlarged lymph nodes in your neck.

The Truth About Hypothyroidism And Ferritin Labs

Iron Overload- How to lower Ferritin to normal in 4 weeks

If you follow much of the misinformation out there, Im sure youve heard that a ferritin test can tell you if youre iron-deficient.

Ive had plenty of clients take iron supplements based on ferritin labs alone.

Then, after we test their true iron status, we often find they are not deficient at all.

Some have been building up toxic levels of iron for no reason at all.

Ill show you how to test true iron status in a minute.

True iron deficiency does exist.

Its just not all that common.

Typically, iron deficiency anemia occurs due to excessive bleeding, internally or externally.

Women absorb iron much more efficiently than men, so normal menstruation is never a cause of concern, although excessive menstrual bleeding can be.

Its the same with B12 deficiency anemia.

Many people take large doses or injections of Vitamin B12 because they are fatigued.

They believe they have B12 deficiency anemia.

Yet, the doctors giving out these mega doses of Vitamin B12 are not considering some important research.

Im referring to the research showing that elevated B12 levels are highly associated with your risk of cancer.

If its not iron-deficiency or B12 deficiency, then what could it be?

Its time for the truth.

Low ferritin is a common sign of hypothyroidism.

Take a look at this study

When they gave these patients T3-only thyroid medication, their ferritin levels increased even more, by 23-243%.

Heres why

This too leads to anemia and low ferritin.

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