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Does high iron but low ferritin point to heavy metal toxicity?

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by sk123, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. sk123

    sk123

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    Hi Everyone!
    I wanted to ask what could be causing high iron but low ferritin when I have not been supplementing with iron? Could heavy metal toxicity be the cause or is there something else at play here?
    Let me give a bit of a background. I have been struggling with low cortisol for almost 10 years now. I was diagnosed with celiac 8 yrs ago or so and I thought the adrenal fatigue was due to gluten but even after a strict gluten free diet, the low cortisol remained. I tried adrenal cortex and some HC off and on but every time I would wean from the HC I would be back to square one.

    I have struggled with low cholesterol far back as I can remember. All downstream hormone have been low as well. In 2015 , most hormones were barely registering on blood work. Pregnenolone which had been around 160 or so was less than 10. Saliva cortisol test was flatlined. I took the nutricology pregnelone 150 mg for almost a year but found out it was converting more towards testosterone as free testosterone was very high at 7.2 (upper range being 4.4) The pregnenolone was supporting the cortisol but had to go off of that last year. So now being off the pregnenolone for 3 months the free testosterone is down to 4.2 but still highish.
    I have had highish blood sugars esp fasting ( 118-130) which is not at all diet related. Ive struggled with low iron for as long as I can remember but now since last 2-3 years serum iron and percent sat has been high with low ferritin without any kind of supplementation.
    Recent blood work showed:
    hemoglobin 12.5 (11.1-15.9)
    RBC 4.3 (3.77-5.28)
    MCV 90 (79-97)
    MCH 29.1 (26.6-33)
    RDW 13.5 (12.3-15.4)
    HA1 c 5.9
    insulin is 12 ( this is up from 8 as I stopped the metformin as I was worried about it stealing b12. My diet is very clean so this is very surprising!)
    carbon dioxide is 21 ( so mitochondriae still not humming porperly..I would like to get around 25)
    potassium 4.4 ( 3.5-5.2)
    sodium 138 (134-144)

    Iron serum 160 (27-159)
    UIBC 156 (131-425)
    iron sat 51 (15-55)
    ferritin 65

    b12 >2000 (not getting inside cells as MMA was cell on OAT test)
    folate >20

    (All of this testing was done on day 22 of cycle)
    DHEAS 168 ug /dL (57.3-279)
    estradiol 132.8 pg/Ml (luteal phase 43.8-211)
    progesterone 7.8 ng/ML (luteal 1.8-23.9) ( im on progesterone cream from day 21 to day 26)
    testosteron free 4.8
    serum testosterone 37 (8-48)
    Pregnenolone is 113
    SHBG 44.8 nmol/L
    alkaline phospahe is 43 ( 39-117)
    AST 24 (0-40)
    ALT 23 (0-32)

    Free t3 3.7 pg/Ml (2-4.0) I have upped my t3 meds by a 1/4 after this result
    cholesterol 156
    homocysteine 5 ( I am hetero for all of the CBS SNPS..homocysteine decreased from 7 after I added in 200 mg of hydroxy and a pill of dibencozide as MMA was high on OAT)
    I have been takign 5 mg lithium orotate every day but would liek to get a baseline first. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TEST FOR LITHIUM please?
    vit d is 45 ( low yes but been trying to get in sun to get the vit D..was 55 last august)

    c reactive protein is 0.53
    So my pertinent question is if the high iron but low ferritin points towards heavy metals then which type of test is best to get for that? Hair? I see that doctors data and Great Plains both are the exact same in the hair metals test but doctors data says head hair only while great plains says head or pubic hair is fine. So can pubic hair give good results and is it ok to use with doctors data hair metals test? My head hair is dyed plus not crazy about having to pluck more hair out of scalp as I have been shedding a lot of hair with all these issues as it is. What is the best way to test for lithium as well please? I was taking 5 mg about 3 times a day but maybe im really low in lithium..I drink reverse osmosis water only. I am afraid to be on 5 mg of lithium every single day without having a base line. Could you please go through this with a fine tooth comb and let me know what pops out at you please? I will post more of the OAT results in next post.
    Thank you so much!
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
    Johnskip likes this.
  2. sk123

    sk123

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    Im new here so not sure how long it takes for a reply but I was really hoping someone could chime in. :)

    Which is the best test for heavy metals please? Is high iron low ferritin and bordeline low hemoglobin pattern that people have seen before and what are some things that cause this type of a pattern ?
    Thank you
     
  3. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi @sk123 ,

    I didn't see your post.
    To be honest, I wouldn't go any farther with heavy metals testing. Iron overload is very toxic, and it can deposit in any organ, joint, skin, etc., especially the brain.

    Iron isn't excreted very easily. Most metals are excreted through bile from the liver. Not iron.

    Iron can also be deposited in the pituitary. It's considered rare for it to interfere with ACTH/ cortisol production, but I'm not sure about that.

    There are conditions of iron overload without high ferritin, I don't remember right off.

    I have iron overload but with high ferritin, and I've been taking supplements to chelate it.
     
  4. sk123

    sk123

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    Hi Crux
    Thank you for responding.
    Ive always had low iron though so its surprising that its high now and has been for last 2 yrs i think. Hemoglobin is lowish and so is MCHV. So i am not able to understand how serum iron and percent sat can be high but hemoglobin be low? Is this a methylation issue? I have the 1298c SNP and I am hetero for all cbs snps. Homozygous for PEMT snp as well.
    Can you please explain why you said dont go any further with heavy metal testing?
    Thank you!
     
  5. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    Hi sk123,

    A Doctor's Data urine heavy metal test done with provoking chelators (EDTA, DMSA, etc.) would give the best results for heavy metals.

    I'm not so sure your main problem is iron...you may want to look at the charts the bottom of this page:

    https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/serum-iron/tab/test/

    This may sound odd, but have you been tested for chlamydia pneumoniae? IgG, IgM, and IgA? It can cause some of the results you're reporting.

    I have similar SNPs... your B12 and folate seem OK...

    Are you on mitochondria support? NT Factor, CoQ10, PQQ, magnesium, d-ribose, carnitine or ALCAR? And vitamin C and pantothenic acid? And how's your biotin level?
     
  6. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi @sk123 ,

    If you would tag me, as I've done above, I would receive an alert to your post, thanks.

    The reason I believe it's not necessary to test any further for heavy metals is that iron is the most damaging of heavy metals, and if it's found to be elevated in any way ; it's the suspect.

    Before this article gets withdrawn behind a paywall , have a look. It's hard to read - so many references - but scroll down to the list of diseases associated with iron deposition. It's massive. There's more research being done. This article is older, but seminal. Diabetes is , of course, included.

    http://bmcmedgenomics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1755-8794-2-2

    Here's an article that discusses some types of iron overload . In table A, near the bottom, it states that in cases of high iron with low ferritin, monitor it. I don't really agree after my own experience with iron overload.

    http://www.iacld.com/DL/elm/93/ironoverloadinhumandisease.pdf

    One really important factor that may be a cause in your iron dyshomeostasis is , copper deficiency. In copper deficiency, iron tends to accumulate in organs. It also is a cause of anemia. Copper deficiency is associated with glucose intolerance.

    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/copper
     
  7. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I would guess heavy metal toxicity based on the adrenal fatigue (and ME/CFS if you have that too.)

    I suggest only using the Andy Cutler frequent dose chelation protocol for testing and chelation. That means no provoked urine tests.

    See my signature link for more info in the Cutler protocol, the right hair test and how to get it interpreted, how to chelate, support forums, etc.

    This is what Cutler has to say about ferritin and iron - (go back up to the previous page to see the beginning of the section on iron):
    https://books.google.com/books?id=U...=onepage&q=andy cutler "low ferritin"&f=false
     
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  8. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are on the top 10 list of chemicals of most concern to health:

    http://www.who.int/ipcs/assessment/public_health/chemicals_phc/en/

    Metals, such as arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, and manganese, have been shown to accumulate in mitochondria and impair ATP production. For example:

    http://www.biochempages.com/2015/08/arsenic-poisoning-mechanism-and-targets.html

    People with hemachromatosis SNPs are likely to have increased lead levels:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18795173

    So, it would definitely be wise to test heavy metals, which may be a factor in the whole picture, aside from an iron problem.
     
  9. sk123

    sk123

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    Hello
    Thank you for responding. I am on all of the above except PQQ. I am on 100 mg of ubiquinol, 15 mg of NADH , magnesium citrate and malate, d ribose. I take 500 mg of ALCAR along with 500 mg of Doctors Best carninitine fumerate in AM right before bfast , and then another 500 mg carnitine fumerate at lunch , and then another 500 mg fumerate at dinner. Biotin levels are higher than average. I dont take biotin now but had in past. I also take B2 twice a day 50 mg, P5 p 50 mg in PM. I just started 50 mg 5HTP to increase serotonin but been having some vision changes like not seeing as clearly with this. Is this normal with 5htp? My b12 is actually functionally low as methyl malonic acid was high on the OAT test. I am prob low in folate too. In serum its looks fine but I dont think its getting inside the cells. I do have MTHFR 1298 C .I am hetero for most CBS SNPS so I am not sure how to go about supplementing with folate or gerneral methylation because of CBS SNPS. If I take too much methylcobalamin it seems like homocysteine decreases. Does this mean I am low in SAM E? Currently taking 5 mg of lithium orotate to increase b12 uptake into cells. In the meantime I am not taking b12 in sublingual form..just taking a mega foods b complex
     
  10. sk123

    sk123

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  11. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    It's pretty impossible to overdose on B12. If you react badly, look at your need for cofactors, and add them in one at a time.

    Homocysteine should be between 6 and 8 ideally. I have similar SNPs and have no problems taking methyl B12 and folate.

    I did have a methyl trap problem and got depleted in methionine, which caused my homocysteine to drop to 3. I added Seeking Health l-methionine and TMG, along with a lot of B12, and I had more energy and homocysteine went up to 7. SAMe made me extremely irritable and my doctor does not like using SAMe in anybody.

    Making and recycling glutathione is a problem for me, which had helped the heavy metals to build up over time.

    Also, with the MTHFR1298 and CBS SNPs, one can have a peroxynitrite problem, which can damage mitochondrial membranes. Taking NT Factor can help. One can take all the mito friendly supplements, but if the membranes aren't good, it's going to be difficult to make adequate ATP.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24669210

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005273613004070

    http://www.medicalinsider.com/cardiac3.html

    I've had issues with deficiencies of B6 and B2, both of which are needed in methylation, so I tend to take huge amounts of MB12 and P5P, a significant amount of B2, and some 5-MTHF and a little niacinamide. I also take B1, molybdenum, and taurine to support transsulfuration.

    Some of my need is made worse by chlamydia pneumoniae, which seems to exacerbate my genetic predisposition for low folate and B12.it can also impact iron and ferritin levels if active in the liver. You might want to check it - IgM, IgA, and IgG or a PCR test, it's a pretty common, but nasty bug.

    You might also want to try magnesium glycinate in the evening and skip the mag citrate. Be careful of magnesium supplements - many have arsenic.
     
  12. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    @sk123

    My two pennies worth is that blood tests are more accurate and should be tested by a doctor, preferably a hematologist . There are other blood tests which it looks like you haven't had that that might give your doctor more information about what is going on with your iron and ferritin.

    Good luck!

    Edit.

    Actually, it looks like you have had some of the more extensive tests. I missed them on first reading. Is UIBC the same as TIBC?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  13. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    The single most sensitive indicator of iron overload is transferrin saturation. >45% is considered to be highly suggestive of iron overload. If I had a result of 51% saturation I would be having follow-up iron studies, not worrying about heavy metals.
     
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  14. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    The CBS SNPs reported by Yasko and Genetic Genie are not capable of causing any problems, or even substantially changing CBS gene function, hence should have no impact upon decisions relating to methylation.
     
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  15. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    I recently saw a hematologist who was pretty useless, looking at my iron numbers with blinders on, and unable to account for the confounding factors, like B6 deficiency anemia, lead toxicity, vitamin C intake, and chlamydia pneumoniae in my liver. Very disappointing.

    A functional medicine doctor would be able to put things in perspective.
     
  16. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    The studies are, in fact, mixed. However, we all have CBS pathways, and for a variety of reasons they may be acting abnormally. This is why doing a test of what's going on, like a Genova Diagnostics NutrEval test, will help you identify problems and adjust supplement intake.
     
  17. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Nope. The only Yasko CBS SNP which has an impact is C699T, and +/+ and +/- have only been shown to be mildly beneficial.
     
  18. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    That much carnitine will shut down your thyroid. Carnitine is a treatment for hyperthyroidism. It's better to stick to 500mg/day than 2g/day.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15591013
     
  19. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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  20. caledonia

    caledonia

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    You only need to do a CBS protocol if sulfur foods and supplements bother you. About 1/3 of people with mercury toxicity have CBS issues. You may not know if you're having CBS issues until you try B12 and folate supplementation. The classic symptoms are a stress/anxiety response. I had this - it felt like a really rough week at work or the week before final exams. Butterflies in the stomach, feeling stressed, tight sore trapezius muscles, etc. I've heard of one person reporting a headache which turned out to be CBS.

    You may also be able to determine if you need to do it by testing with urine sulfate strips. If your numbers are consistently over 800, you may want to do it. Some people's numbers go up and down. I believe this means they are processing the sulfur. When I tested, mine was at 1200 and stayed there every time I tested.

    Anyway, if you did do the protocol, I found Cutler's free thiol list much easier to follow than just cutting out sulfur across the board. The thiols are the important things to avoid. Yasko suggests 75mcg of molybedenum per day, and I agree with that. Someone on here was taking 100mcg and having issues with it.

    The Heartfixer page has the best explanation of the protocol. I have links to that and Cutler's free thiol list in my signature link.

    I think Yasko uses the hair test to look at lithium. I don't know of another test offhand.

    Yes, you can use pubic hair.
     

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