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Old 08-31-2008, 12:19 PM   #1
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Question Low ferritin and hair loss

Just wondring if anyone has a success story for raising ferritin levels and noticing hair regrowth?

I have been to see a trichologist who has diagnosed me with hair loss due to low ferritin and Im now taking 210mg of Ferrous Fumarate 3 times per day with vit C. I have been taking this for 2 months but recently the hair shedding has increased. I am getting my levels checked again this week.

Would really like to hear from someone who has managed to reduce their hair shedding.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

 
Old 09-03-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

Hi Welshgirlie2 - i had a ferretin of 8 and also visited a Trichologist who helped me up my ferretin levels. We raised it to 61 and i was still losing hair. He found out i did have a thyroid problem called Hashimoto's, my hormones were out of balance, my monthly cycles began getting messed up. It took me 2 years to raise my ferretin, my vitamin D was extremely low as was my iodine. Also i wasn't digesting protein due to lack of pancreatic enzymes. Apparently all of this was connected to my thyroid issues.

A good place for you to start would be over on the Anemia Board as there are a lot of people with your situation over there.

My hair has slowly stopped shedding abnormally and i think it's shedding at a normal rate at the moment, but i wont start celebrating yet as it's early days yet. I do feel if my thyroid issue had not been discovered, no matter how high my ferretin got, i think i would have been shedding like crazy.

Do you know why you have low ferretin? If it's simply diet related due to you not eating meat, or getting sufficient protein, then that is easily fixed. If it's not that, then it's harder to pin point, but low ferretin or difficult to raise ferretin is always a symptom of another health issue.

Have they checked your B12? People with low B12 are usually anemic.

My Trichologist said ferretin needs to be 70 and over for at least 3 - 6 months to notice correct hair cycle growth/shedding pattern. He puts his information on the net if you would like to read more about low ferretin, hair loss and other related issues. His name is Tony Pearce.

Taking Lysine with your iron supplements helps speed up the transportation of iron too.

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-03-2008 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Don't post "How To" search instructions. Ms_Mod

 
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:35 AM   #3
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

Hi Audrey B, thanks for your reply.

Im not sure why my ferritin is low. I didn't eat meat for over a year so I think that will have contributed, however, I had started eating meat again for about a year when this all started so not too sure if that is the culprit.

I was also on dianette and my trichologist mentioned that this affects the absorbtion of iron so that may be why it dropped so low. Perhaps it was just a gradual downfall. I have now stopped taking dianette as it was also giving me cramps in my feet so I know I can expect to shed more in the next couple of weeks. ButI have tried to minimise this by changing to another pill.

My B12 is normal and my thyroid test also came back normal:
Serum free T4 Level: 8.5 (normal-7.86 - 14.41)
Serum TSH Level: 1.37 (normal-0.35-5.50)

I have also been taking L-lysine. So I think I am doing everything right. Its just horrible waiting for the shedding to stop.

My trichologist said that all I can really do is wait and if increasing my ferritin doesn't help my hair loss then we can look into what else might be causing it.

It just seems to be a horrible waiting game as I am loosing about 400 hairs on wash days and its so depressing.

Thanks again for your advice and Im glad your shedding has now decreased. Hope it stays that way for you.

 
Old 09-06-2008, 01:16 AM   #4
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

The reasons for hairloss are a real mystery to a lot of people. There most definitely appear to be a lot of people around who don't have anything much wrong with them and the only link appears to be birth control pills. This would indicate the hair loss is due to hormonal reasons. Has your doctor done a test to check your estrogen, progesterone and tostesterone?

I guess all you can do is include meat and other proteins in your diet to help boost your iron, take a good iron supplement which also contains vitamin C. Even once your ferretin does rise it can take a few months to notice hair growth improvements.

The only other things i can think of are endometriosis and PCOS.

Wishing you the best of luck

 
Old 09-06-2008, 10:26 AM   #5
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

Thanks again for your reply.

The doctor did test my hormones and found I had low testosterone and quite low estrogen. Thats another reason I decided to come off dianette as it is an anti-androgen. Dont think my progesterone was checked.

My ferritin has only increased from 22 to 29 in 2 months so I will keep up with all the iron supplements and vit c. At least it is moving in the right direction I suppose.

I need to get it up to at least 70 so I dread to think how long its going to take.

Thanks for your help!

 
Old 09-13-2008, 04:49 AM   #6
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

When you first start moving the ferretin upwards it's slow going. It's taken me 2 and a half years to now be at 78. I got test results back yesterday. I was 61 on 28 June 08 and now i'm 78 so i'm really excited. My doctor wants me up over 100 and then he'll get my on some low dose iron so that my levels don't drop.

I was just having another look at your test results and noticed they didn't test your T3 or thyroid antibodies. A lot of people have been known to have TSH, T3 and T4 within range, but to have really high thyroid antibodies which would cause symptoms. This was the problem i had way back in 2000, all normal, but high antibodies and they still wouldn't medicate me. 8 years of hair shedding until i found a doctor who felt that high antibodies were sufficient to medicate.

 
Old 09-13-2008, 08:04 AM   #7
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

Congratulations on getting your ferritin levels over 70. It just takes time really doesn't it.

I hadn't realised that there was further tests for the thyroid so thanks for that, I will have to mention it to the docs the next time I go.

My doctors dont really have a clue when it comes to hair though, they just wanted to put me on antidepressants as it making me depressed but I have heard that they can also cause hair loss so I am staying clear of them. The only thing that would really make me feel better is for my hair to stop shedding so much and to see some new growth. I suppose its just going to take time.

Thanks for your help x

 
Old 12-18-2008, 10:19 AM   #8
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

I have had some results back from my latest blood tests and my ferritin came back at 165.

I was in complete shock as it had been barely moving for months and then all of a sudden it goes from 30 to 165 in 2months. I haven't really been doing anything different. I was taking 3 iron tablets per day and having plenty of vit c as usual. Does this sound right? It just seems like such a big jump. I thought my doctors receptionist must have been interpreting the results wrong when she told me.

I just hope I see some improvement in my hair soon. I did change pills in Aug and then October as I couldn't find one to suit me and this did cause a huge shed so I still have to recover from that too.

Has anyone out there got any opinions on this?

And how long does it usually take to get regrowth after changing pills?

Thanks

 
Old 12-21-2008, 12:07 AM   #9
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

Wow, that was a fast move up!! Congratulations now that your ferretin is high it will take 3 - 6 months (and for some 12months) to see proper hair cycle growth return. You can stop taking the higher dosage iron supplement and maybe take a small daily dose just to keep you from dropping back down low again. Did you find out why your ferretin dropped?

On the other hand, if your hair shedding is not iron related, you will need to start eliminating things and having more tests done. Someone on the thyroid board mentioned that their doctor believed that hair can shed if your TSH levels are not stable. My TSH is always high, average, but not where it ought to be. My shedding did stabilise, but it's shedding a little more now. I went through some mega stress recently and my TSH rose and at my next test it had risen again.

I'm low in iodine and that can cause higher levels of hair shedding too. I had a 24hr iodine load test to determine how much i was losing in a 24hr period and my doctor then began supplementing me with iodine. Looking at all my new thyroid test results he feels my iodine supplementation might not be sufficient so i'm doing the 24hr iodine load test all over again. Correct iodine levels are crucial for your thyroid and a heap of other things, but never self supplement. You need to be tested first before taking supplements.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 10:52 AM   #10
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

Hi Audrey-B,

Thanks so much for your reply. I will bare all those things in mind if I see no improvement in my hair in the next couple of months.

I have never had my iodine checked but all other tests I have had done have come back normal, including my TSH. Well, normal according to my doctors anyway! The only thing that was low was my testosterone and my estrogen was slightly low. I have changed my pill now though so that may have helped in that department.

My trichologist said my old pill was stopping me absorb iron as well as I should be so changed but that also caused a big shed so part of my hair loss is also due to that and I have heard that hair loss due to the pill can also take up to maybe 12 months to regrow so I guess I play the waiting game now.

So you dont think that was a false reading for my ferritin result as I couldn't beleive there had such a big increase?

Thanks again for your help

 
Old 12-23-2008, 01:38 PM   #11
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

I keep hearing more and more about hair loss and birth control. Not sure what's with that, must be something to do with disrupting/messing up certain hormones. Also you need to be taking a multi vitamin B as birth control depletes that too.

I'm not sure about your ferretin reading. It does seem an abnormally fast move. I've not seen anybody move that fast in that amount of time on this board yet and we've had some fast movers. You can always get another test i guess to determine whether it's correct.

 
Old 12-24-2008, 02:15 AM   #12
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

Yes I was thinking its a bit too fast. Think I will wait a couple of months and then have it retested. That way theres more of a chance of my doctors letting me be tested again.

Yes, I wish I had never started on BCP really but now I feel a bit trapped. I don't want to come off as I have heard of the huge shed it brings so I am hoping my new pill will help stabalise my hormones start and that can only help my hair I suppose.

My trichologist was a bit shocked that the ferritin had gone up so high but she said its because I changed the type of iron I was taking. I was originally taking ferrous fumerate but switched to ferrous sulphate just over two months ago so it does coincide with the big increase. I also tolerate the iron really well and have had no problems with it at all as I have heard many people find it difficult to tolerate.

She has now told me to cut down to one iron tablet per day and get it retested in 3 months. Although, I am worried about cutting down to one tablet just incase it was a false reading.

She also said, I shouldn't be too worried about the hair I am still shedding as that will eventually die down and I should expect to see some regrowth in the next couple of months.

How are things with you? Are you still shedding?

Thanks for your help

 
Old 12-26-2008, 08:46 PM   #13
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

For now, i'd take your doctor's advice and take one supplement daily and see how you go in 3 months time. It could be that the particular supplement you are on has made you rise faster than if you had been on the other type. I was on a high strength supplement which a previous doctor had his own chemist formulate the supplement and it was not available over the counter. I rose very slowly on that one, but now that i'm on a different brand and taking digestive enzymes to help digest my food my iron is rising faster. Not as quick as yours though yours would qualify for the olympics!!

My hair was shedding at a more 'normal' rate, but i've noticed recently that i'm shedding more. I went through major stress a few months ago when i bought my own place. The entire process was a mess and everything went wrong. I thought i was going to have a heart attack at one point. Prior to this my thyroid and iron were all going in the right direction. After the move and all the stress, my next blood test showed that i had gone down like a rock. So it was back to destressing and getting my levels back up.

My thyroid TSH, which was close to where my doctor wanted it, ended up rising high and my T3 and T4 fell low again. I've heard on the thyroid board that one person's doctor had said that if the TSH is not stable then the hair shedding wont stop.

I'm thinking i'm in a better place now than i was this time last year as at least now i'm on meds and i also found out i wasn't digesting protein properly, so wasn't getting sufficient protein. Now that i'm on meds and taking digestive enzymes, i'm hoping that any hair loss will be balanced by new growth. It's still a wait and see approach as i have spent a good 7 years losing hair while undiagnosed and unmedicated. Now this has been the first year that my ferretin has been up higher and i've been on thyroid meds since about may. So time will tell how things will go for me.

In your case i too would be afraid to come off the pill incase i lost hair in one huge hit. Are you taking a multi B vitamin? has your doctor checked your B12, Vitamin D and your hormones? Has she checked that the type of pill you are on is the right one for your hormones and your personally? These are all important.

I just recalled, you can be low in certain things due to being gluten intolerant. Maybe next blood test if your doctor checks your for gluten intolerance. It's just a basic blood test.

Hoping you are having a lovely Christmas. I'm sure it's cold where you are. I'm in Australia and it's so hot right now. I hope we get a storm and things cool down. New Years Eve is supposed to be a minimum of 33 degrees so we'll be sweltering. You take care and Happy New Year, hoping 2009 brings good results for all our health issues and lots of new hair growth

 
Old 12-27-2008, 12:13 PM   #14
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

Funny you should say that, I was just tested before Christmas for a gluten intolerance so maybe it could be that. I will get the reaults in the next couple of weeks. At least if it is that, I will know why my ferritin dropped.

Its good that your on all the right meds now. Hopefully you will only continue to improve from now on. And yes its very important that you relax over the next couple of months to give your body time to get back to where it was.

I really hope the shedding decreases again for you soon. Im sure it will once your TSH is back to where it needs to be.

I have just started taking Vitamin B tablets. My b12 was at a good level but I will keep taking the supplements anyway just to make sure it doesn't drop.

My hormones were a bit out. My testosterone and estrogen was low but my trichologist said my new pill yasmin would help with this. She thinks its the best pill to be on so I will see how it goes.

Wow, that is hot. Im in the UK and it was -5 degrees here last night. It looks like it is going to be another cold one here again tonight.

I hope you are having a lovely relaxing Christmas. Hopefully, next Christmas we will both have lots of new hair! Take care and keep in touch.

 
Old 12-31-2008, 08:45 PM   #15
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Re: Low ferritin and hair loss

Unfortunately ferretin is an odd thing and can drop for so many reasons, just like hair loss can be from so many reasons. There is sufficient evidence to connect gluten intolerance or Celiac to inability to absorb iron. I still eat some gluten foods, but have minimised it a lot. It's not that wheat is bad for you, it's more a case of wheat being in simply everything out there, from ice cream and sweets to sauces and your general stuff like pasta, bread and biscuits, so that we get an overload of wheat and you can imagine what it's like when you start consuming wheat as a baby. by the time you become an adult it's no wonder 1 in 4 are gluten intolerant, but a lot dont know it. You really have to start reading labels and you will find wheat is used in virtually every processed food item there is. It gets very disheartening, but so long as you can cut out half of it that is a start and a big help.

My cousin flew in from interstate and is staying with me. She was having the depo provera (sp?) injection for birth control and has been on it for some years. She's off it now and her hair has shed in a very big way, it's scary. It also causes bone loss and her bones are quite fragile now. a lot of these drugs sound like a good idea at the time, but there can be some scary side effects.

Yes, it's been so hot here. I hate extreme cold/heat. I think we should trade each other some hot and cold weather and we'll both be just right

Best wishes to you for a healthy and happy 2009

 
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