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Ferritin and Thyroid Function

author image Joseph Pritchard
Joseph Pritchard graduated from Our Lady of Fatima Medical School with a medical degree. He has spent almost a decade studying humanity. Dr. Pritchard writes as a San Francisco biology expert for a prominent website and thoroughly enjoys sharing the knowledge he has accumulated.
Ferritin and Thyroid Function
A doctor performs an ultrasound on a patient's thyroid gland. Photo Credit: bojan fatur/E+/Getty Images

Ferritin is a protein in cells that your body uses to store iron for later use. Your ferritin levels are directly related to how much iron is in your body. The normal ferritin range for males is between 12 to 300 ng/mL, while for females it is 12 to 150 ng/mL, the University of Maryland reports. Ferritin levels are affected by conditions such as alcoholic liver disease, iron deficiency anemia and the like. According to an article in the 1992 issue of "Thyroidology," thyroid function also affects ferritin levels.

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Thyroid Function Tests

Thyroid function tests are endocrine tests used to evaluate thyroid function to facilitate the detection of conditions such as goiter, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, explains. Thyroid function tests measure your thyroid stimulating hormone levels. TSH levels are elevated when someone has hypothyroidism and low in people who have elevated TSH levels. The results of thyroid function tests usually require further testing when the results are abnormal.

Ferritin Metabolism and Thyroid Status

Ferritin level synthesis was reduced by 36 percent in rats suffering from hypothyroidism and increased by 38 percent in rats with hyperthyroidism, according to a study published in "Thyroidology." The rats were divided into two groups. Hypothyroidism was induced in one group and hyperthyroidism in the other. Both groups of rats had elevated iron in their livers. The results of the study suggest that increased ferritin synthesis in the liver of hyperthyroid patients is related to elevated serum ferritin. More research is needed to validate this assertion.

Ferritin and Hyperthyroidism

In one study, a 74-year-old woman who took both deforoxamine and propylthiouracil for hyperthyroidism evidenced a significant decrease in serum ferritin levels, reports the March 1989 issue of the “Japanese Journal of Medicine.” While under both medications, the woman’s serum ferritin levels decreased from 4,500 nanograms per milliliter to 440 ng/mL after 6 months of treatment. When medication was stopped, serum ferritin levels gradually increased to 3,100 ng/mL in 15 months. However, thyroid function remained normal despite the increased ferritin levels.

Ferritin and Goiter

The "International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research" published a study in 2002 that suggested a positive correlation between iron deficiency and goiter in Iranian children. The study involved 36,178 schoolchildren. Urine and blood samples were collected from 2,917 children and analyzed for serum ferritin, TSH and urinary iodine. Children with serum ferritin concentrations less than 10 mg/dL were more prone to goiter.

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