Could it really be that simple, an iron deficiency the cause of all my problems...?

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Systemlord

Member
As many of you know I have had a lot of strange symptoms since I started TRT, from red burning itchy dry skin, rashes or hives on legs, decades long chronic cough with inflammation in the upper respiratory tract. It seems the higher I push my TRT dosage, the symptoms keep piling on, diarrhea, then bloating (IBS), followed by fatigue, then very stiff sore burning legs muscles (RLS) and even mental confusion during these episodes.

Today it all happened in this order, metallic taste in mouth, incredible fatigue, minutes later diarrhea, 10 minutes later IBS or extreme bloating, legs cramping, burning and became very stiff, had very low cognition and was confused and couldn't form complete sentences, even stuttering words and just layed there in a daze.

Everytime I research these symptoms, only one link kept popping up, iron deficiency on every single one, even the chronic cough I've had for about 20 years, iron deficiency is linked to weak immune function and is linked to autoimmune disorders.

Also recently Mike at Defy noticed my MCV and MCH were barely in range and hinted I may be borderline iron deficient and wanted to test ferritin and serum iron. Apparently when MCV and MCH were higher, Total T and Free T was higher. Now that MCV and MCH are bottomed out, Total T and Free T is lower.

It was more than two years ago I had a couple of iron tests and while I know there are old and awaiting new labs, doesn't anyone see a problem with my previous iron labs, note I had low testosterone back when these iron labs were drawn.

Iron = 61 mcg/dL - 59 - 158 mcg/dL
Total iron binding capacity 425 mcg/dL - 250 - 425 mcg/dL
Iron saturation 14% - 20 - 50 %

Test ordered:
Ferritin
Iron and TIBC
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B9
Vitamin D, 25-hydroxy
 
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Defy Medical TRT clinic doctor
When I've aggressively tried to raise my iron and I talk really only about Ferritin, which has been subterraneanan in the single digits, nothing good, or bad, came of my trying to raise it. When i've managed to get Ferritin in to the 30s or 40s, still very low by most standards, I wasn't doing better in any way.

Though I've had a long history or stomach and gut issues that probably led to malabsorption of minerals like iron. Then I've been forced in to this ridiculous phlebotomy cycle so I get griped at about my ferritin and iron tests, so I take iron, my HGB/HCT (seemingly) are spurred because of using an iron product like "blood builder", forced back to the blood bank and it starts all over again. It's a vicious cycle that has been discussed with my clinic but they still force the phlebotomy on me.

Start taking some iron and see how you do, I recommend this ferrous sulfate 325mg, add 1-2g of Vitamin-C, and consider some L-Lysine, both are purported to assist in absorption of iron.
 
I discovered an iron deficiency 9 months ago. I had a shitty visit with a local endo, but one of the tests he did was ferritin and it came back at 18 ng/ml (range 24-336). I went back to my PC doc and had a full iron panel (also at the same time I got my initial labs for Defy). At that time my ferritin came back at 34, in range although my PC recommended iron supplement, so my insurance stopped paying for any iron testing at that point.

I was working with Mike at Defy who was watching my iron results. After the initial test he only wanted to see ferritin results to monitor progress. My ferritin went up roughly 5 points each month of supplementing. I just stopped my iron supplement 2 months ago. At the end of Jan my ferritin was 76. In Sept he wants to check ferritin again and see if it drops any.

I have a theory based on no medical training or studies. Somehow I think TRT is related to my iron deficiency. Maybe the increased RBC production uses up the iron. My RBC test was always in range before TRT but now it is consistently slightly over the top of the range.
 
I discovered an iron deficiency 9 months ago. I had a shitty visit with a local endo, but one of the tests he did was ferritin and it came back at 18 ng/ml (range 24-336). I went back to my PC doc and had a full iron panel (also at the same time I got my initial labs for Defy). At that time my ferritin came back at 34, in range although my PC recommended iron supplement, so my insurance stopped paying for any iron testing at that point.

I was working with Mike at Defy who was watching my iron results. After the initial test he only wanted to see ferritin results to monitor progress. My ferritin went up roughly 5 points each month of supplementing. I just stopped my iron supplement 2 months ago. At the end of Jan my ferritin was 76. In Sept he wants to check ferritin again and see if it drops any.

I have a theory based on no medical training or studies. Somehow I think TRT is related to my iron deficiency. Maybe the increased RBC production uses up the iron. My RBC test was always in range before TRT but now it is consistently slightly over the top of the range.


I have noticed whenever I push my Total T >400, all of these symptoms start to occur and with greater intensity the higher the Total T. These symptoms were far worse when I was on my daily protocol, restless leg syndrome was the most intense it has ever been as I had very stiff leg muscles and visual pumping at the knees and the while lower legs were cold and tingling. Blood clots was ruled out.

It seems low iron is also a cause for tinnitus which is also a problem the higher my testosterone. The only symptoms that remain as of right now is fatigue, tinnitus and stiff sore legs which will change after I inject T today and symptoms today and worse symptoms tomorrow.

On a positive note it seems I've lost 7 pounds (240-->233) in less than 3 weeks since increasing my dosage 20-->24mg EOD with no exercise whatsoever. The 20mg EOD had my levels at TT 406 and Free T at 16.0 pg/mL.
 
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New labs are in and I'm not sure what it all means, it worlds seem the iron in my blood is too high. I only supplemented for one day and doubt it could have made a this large of an impact.

How in the world do I treat this problem?

Ferritin 35 ng/mL 25 - 336 ng/mL

Iron = 395 mcg/dL - 59 - 158 mcg/dL
Total iron binding capacity 543 mcg/dL mcg/dL - 250 - 425 mcg/dL
Iron saturation 73 % - 20 - 50 %
 
New labs are in and I'm not sure what it all means, it worlds seem the iron in my blood is too high. I only supplemented for one day and doubt it could have made a this large of an impact.

How in the world do I treat this problem?

Ferritin 35 ng/mL 25 - 336 ng/mL

Iron = 395 mcg/dL - 59 - 158 mcg/dL
Total iron binding capacity 543 mcg/dL mcg/dL - 250 - 425 mcg/dL
Iron saturation 73 % - 20 - 50 %
You said you supplemented iron for only 1 day. How long before the test did you take an iron supplement?
 
According to my research iron overload can make it appear as though a person is suffering from liver disease since the liver must deal with the excess iron, my red itchy dry skin problems are more than likely related. Lately I've had a metal taste in my mouth which usually happens when increasing testosterone >400, usually it subsides a little after 6 weeks.

I was prescribed Prevalite for higher bilirubin levels that my doctors attributed to the itchy dry red skin, strange considering high bilirubin levels has no symptoms other than yellowing of the skin and eyes.

I have had to increase the Prevalite dosage a couple of times to ward off the symptoms and it just not enough anymore.

I'm starting to feel strange sensations in my shins followed by discolored skin, it feels like someone is drilling into my shins right at the bone on both legs. My teeth are hurting and metallic taste in mouth is not pleasant.

T gels would be very bad for me do to my iron uptake problem, in theory a surge of testosterone would send my iron into the sky in fast order, or would it?

Diagnosis and treatment of a 16-year-old Chinese patient with concurrent hereditary hemochromatosis and Gilbert's syndrome
Gilbert’s syndrome and hereditary hemochromatosis predominantly affect Caucasians with a low incidence in Asians. Here we report the case of a 16-year-old Chinese boy, who was admitted with hepatalgia, jaundice, hyperpigmentation, and splenomegaly to our hospital.

After excluding chronic hepatitis, autoimmune disorders, and alcohol or drug injury, genetic analyses of the patient and his parents revealed simultaneous manifestations of Gilbert’s syndrome and hereditary hemochromatosis, though his parents did not develop related symptoms. The presented case indicates that diagnoses of Gilbert’s syndrome and hereditary hemochromatosis should be taken into consideration when chronic hepatitis is suspected without a clear etiology.

Hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder caused by mutations in the high iron Fe (HFE) gene, which leads to exacerbated iron uptake and storage. Gilbert’s syndrome (GS) is an autosomal inherited disease that manifests as intermittent unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia.


Dysmetabolic iron overload syndrome
A new iron overload syndrome, characterized by hyperferritinemia and increased liver iron concentration in the presence of a normal transferrin saturation From the start it was observed that hyperlipidemia, glucose intolerance, increased body mass index and hypertension were frequently present in subjects with this unusual presentation of iron overload. More recently analysis of the mutations of the HFE gene, the gene associated with GH,3 showed that in this population the frequency of mutations was significantly higher than in normal controls
 
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I seem to be transitioning from coughing, burning skin and then burning legs. I have never had burning legs and coughing at the same time. I also noticed my sinuses seem wide open and other times will close quickly as these symptoms transition in severity, it happens instantaneously like a light switch.

I haven't coughed all day and legs were burning most of the day, now that my legs are no longer burning, cough has returned and skin is starting to burn a little. My tinnitus tone has changed to a lower tone instead of a higher one.

My legs earlier had a brown mark on my shin, not there's in indentation where the brown mark used to be, very strange.
 
auto immune response? @Systemlord

You might be right.

My thinking was these fluctuations that occur during the first 6 weeks of a dosage change are what's causing the iron levels to fluctuate, as it rises symptoms are at their worst, trough are when symptoms are less.

After I reach 6 weeks these symptoms flatten and remain unchanging including the cough whereas now the cough is ever changing with all the other symptoms.

I'm thinking since liver has trouble processing bilirubin that maybe the liver has trouble processing iron as well and this is why I have iron overload. I've always had this cough and it's no different now, I've always had iron overload when testosterone is elevated.

I've been referred to a hematologist for further testing.
 
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Isn't copper important for iron absorption? When I checked my RBC copper, it was at the bottom of the range. Low copper is likely more widespread as zinc is added to everything.

Vitamin C will help iron absorption.

I will also recommend drinking sea salt with your water for the trace minerals. Also, ginkgo biloba will help mental sides.
 
New labs are in and I'm not sure what it all means, it worlds seem the iron in my blood is too high. I only supplemented for one day and doubt it could have made a this large of an impact.

How in the world do I treat this problem?

Ferritin 35 ng/mL 25 - 336 ng/mL

Iron = 395 mcg/dL - 59 - 158 mcg/dL
Total iron binding capacity 543 mcg/dL mcg/dL - 250 - 425 mcg/dL
Iron saturation 73 % - 20 - 50 %

I had the same problem. Google “iron avidity”. You might be having the same issue. Testosterone suppresses hepcidin. You end up absorbing more iron. You donate blood ferritin gets low. You supplement iron and serum iron gets too high. I was able to control all this by:
1) lowering my dosage
2) stop donating blood
3) stop any iron supplements
4) adding IP-6 to my supplements list

If you search some of my posts you will see more details on this subject.
 
New testing is showing severe iron & vitamin D deficiency, it's no wonder whenever I tried to increase testosterone beyond 400 ng/dL symptoms worsened, fatigue, bloating and edema.

I was driving iron vitamin D dangerously low, every test is showing lower and lower iron levels. Bowel movements are slow to a crawl, everytime I eat, bloating occurs as I'm eating, edema follows.

These vitamin deficiencies are driving slow bowel movement, fatigue, bloating and edema. I always wonder why I felt so amazing the first 6 months on TRT, then it was like the rug got pulled out from underneath me.

I'm willing to bet it is because it took 6 months to burn through what iron and vitamin D reserves I had left, once I became deficient, these problems started spiraling out of control. One could even argue the reason for low testosterones is....

I'm having a colonoscopy Friday and an ultrasound on the kidneys the following friday.

Latest Iron & Vitamin D testing:

Iron 40 mcg/dL 59 - 158 mcg/dL

Ferritin 24 30-300 ng/mL

Total Iron Binding Capacity 474 mcg/dL 250 - 425 mcg/dL

25-Hydroxyvitamin D 12 ng/mL30 - 100 ng/mL
 
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