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Old 01-13-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
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hair loss

I recently i started losing alot of hair, and after a blood test it was revealed that i have low iron and a ferritin score of 26.
Iv been on the iron pills for one week, and there is still a significant amount of hair loss, i was wondering if anyone knew how long it will take for the body to absord the iron, and hair to stop falling out! Has anyone actually become bald because of low iron. My hair has only been falling out for about 2 weeks now, but i can notice thinning already. This is causing me alot of stress, if anyone can help, it will be muh appreciated
thanks

 
Old 01-13-2009, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: hair loss

Emma2829--This is diferent for everyone. I actually noticed my hair got a little better when I got up to 20 ferritin, I was a 2. My hair was all over the house, floor and even in my food, yuck!@! All you can do is get your iron up, hopefully you are on a high dose iron too which will help. I don't think that anyone has gone bald here from anemia and low ferritin, but we lost lots. I still have new hairs that stick out all over, at least they are there, right? I did that for several months but it slowed way down as my ferritin and iron went up. Best of luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: hair loss

flflowergirl- thanks for the reply.
was your hair loss noticable to others? how long did it take to get your ferritin levels up? apart from the vitamin C, are there any other tips to help the iron be absorbed?
2, that must have been horrible, i was at 26, and still had extreme fatigue!
emma2889

 
Old 01-14-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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Re: hair loss

I agree with flowergirl, this is definitely different for everyone. My ferritin actually sat at 0 for a long time (it's at 7 now thanks to weekly iron shots but hasn't been able to go up any more) and I do have hair loss, but it's not extreme.

I'm not sure if that's just because I have so much hair (I've got extremely thick, curly hair) or if I've just been lucky in that regard. I still lose a lot and find it all over the place, but it hasn't been noticeable to others.

I think the good thing is that they caught your anemia and that you are taking supplements, I'm sure once you start going up you will notice an improvement in the hair loss

 
Old 01-14-2009, 10:30 PM   #5
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Re: hair loss

thanks greengal.
this has been really helpful, i dont think that stress helps your hair aswell. which is what im trying to avoid, which is kinda hard. but u have helped to put my mind at ease!
thanks again

 
Old 01-15-2009, 08:53 PM   #6
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Re: hair loss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma2889 View Post
flflowergirl- thanks for the reply.
was your hair loss noticable to others? how long did it take to get your ferritin levels up? apart from the vitamin C, are there any other tips to help the iron be absorbed?
2, that must have been horrible, i was at 26, and still had extreme fatigue!
emma2889
emma2889--No, my hair loss wasn't noticeable to others, only I could tell. I have very fine hair, but it is very thick, I think this is what saved me. It is much thinner around the face area. I think that the texture has changed a little as well.

I am still working on raising my levels. The last time they were checked it was the 2 yr. mark and I am at 58 ferritin and take iron daily. My goal is to get to at least the 70's. I wonder if that is ever going to happen. Extreme fatigue seems to be the worst symptom that people report with a low ferritin. I think that I was anemic for a very long time before I knew it. At work during lunch I would walk around the building a few times and be out of breath. I was surprised because I had never been out of breath in my life from exercise. Not in this way.

They only other thing about iron/vit-C would be to add the Vit-C to a heme iron meal which would be red meat and C, it increases the absorption 6 fold. That sounds good to me, if I ate red meat. It is the quickest and easiest way to build your numbers by far verses supplements. Best of luck to you. Keep us posted. FLFLOWERGIRL

 
Old 01-17-2009, 01:31 AM   #7
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Re: hair loss

thanks, i didnt reaslise that eating food was better than the suppliments, im on FGF iron, is that an OK one? its been 1 week and im not noticing any change. i do realise this isnt a long time, but m still really freaked out about my hair, i cant seem to stop getting upset about it. iv completely lost my appetite, so im making myself eat to try to change the situation.
being in the 58 range, have you stopped losing your hair? and on the mend? altho i do feel more energetic than i have been in while, im hoping by the 2 week mark i will notice my hair will have stopped falling out. is this too optimistic?
emma

 
Old 02-12-2009, 10:19 PM   #8
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Re: hair loss

hello,
its been over a month since iv been taking iron, and at the month mark i had my iron tested again, and frm 26, my iron went up to 39, i was wondering if this is a good start? however it seems im losing MORe hair than before! after looking at other reasons for hairloss, thyroid problems seem the most likely. my doctor however says tht my TSH is fine, therefore my thyroid is fine, is this even a good indicator? or must you test for the t3 and t4 to find a prob? i feel so much less fatigue now, and have alot of energy! but its just the hair loss. no other symptoms, besides a racing heart at times, with anxiety. any help would b appreciated!!
thanks

 
Old 02-13-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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Re: hair loss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma2889 View Post
hello,
its been over a month since iv been taking iron, and at the month mark i had my iron tested again, and frm 26, my iron went up to 39, i was wondering if this is a good start?

This is a very good start!!!!

however it seems im losing MORe hair than before! after looking at other reasons for hairloss, thyroid problems seem the most likely. my doctor however says tht my TSH is fine, therefore my thyroid is fine, is this even a good indicator? or must you test for the t3 and t4 to find a prob?

Yes, you are supposed to have your TSH, F-4 and T-3's tested to see a full picture of what is happening, converting and such. However, my Endo doesn't do all that either. He only does TSH and FT-4. My hair falls out too. It was much worse with a ferritin under 10. I think this is what it was like pre anemia stage. Perhaps it is the TSH going up and down or an increase of the synthroid that I am working on currently. May even be low in protein. Perhaps your OBGYN could help you. They are the ones that found my Hashimoto's or even a Dermatologist. But your ferritin is way too low, so it may be from that. Sorry I wasn't much help.

i feel so much less fatigue now, and have alot of energy! but its just the hair loss. no other symptoms, besides a racing heart at times, with anxiety. any help would b appreciated!!
thanks
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Moderate Anemia (resolved) Low Ferritin-- Work in progress! Hiatal Hernia--GERD
Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 
Old 02-15-2009, 04:24 PM   #10
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Re: hair loss

Just checking TSH is definitely NOT the way to check for thyroid problems. Back in 2000 i even went to an Endo and i have sky high thyroid antibodies which indicated Hashimoto's, yet i was denied medication as he based things on my TSH. I began losing hair in 2000 and i wasn't even anemic then. I think back then my ferretin was in the 30's, which isn't high enough, but looking back now i believe my hair situation is to do mostly with my thyroid.

It took 8 years of hair loss and feeling awful to finally find a doctor who knew what tests to do and knew how to interpet them and used my symptoms as a guide too. So 8 years later i find out i ought to have been on thyroid medication all along. I was most unappy to say the least.

I have kept all my test results from 2000 and a couple years prior and i have looked at my TSH go up, down and around for all those years. I have read on the thyroid board that one ladies doctor told her that an unstable TSH can be one cause of hair shedding.

If your adrenal function is not healthy and you are producing too much/too little cortisol, that can also cause hair shedding.

If you are not getting sufficient iodine, that can cause hair shedding. You need adquate amounts of iodine and potassium for proper thyroid maintenance. In addition, you need vitamin A otherwise the thyroid gland can't produce thyroxin, which is a thyroid hormone that helps thyroid abosrb iodine. so you see, it's like a chain reaction, if you are low in one thing, then another thing wont work, which will in turn affect another.

Vit D and B12 are essential in transport and synthesis mechanism's in thyroid and adrenal hormone health. Also a lot of people who have lower ferretin often tend to be low in Vit D and B12.

I was also told that if the hair loss is due to thyroid issues i should look at my mineral balances.

Your thyroid hormones T4 and T3 should be in the upper third of your lab range. Yet getting a doctor to believe this can be hard to do. I'm not sure what your gp is like, mine referred me to an Endo quite easily, yet the Endo was hopeless. In some countries gp's wont refer you unless your results come back show you have a definite problem. If you do get to go to an Endo, you need to find out whether they only specialise in Diabetes or in both Diabetes and Thyroid. You need to find out whether they look at symptoms and results or results alone. Do they have target figures or simly look at "ranges". If the doctor wont do TSH, T4, T3 and Thyroid Antibodies then they are worthless in my opinion.

It's sort of like a jig saw puzzle really. You also can't rely totally on doctors getting things right. the thyroid board is rife with people who have suffered for years before getting medication. It shouldn't happen, but it does. I used to focus solely on my low ferretin and thought once i lift it from 8 that my hair would miraculously grow back and stop shedding. What i ought to have done and did eventually learn from this board, is that you need to look at what is causing your low ferretin and also research all the hair loss areas, learn what tests to ask for and if a doctor tells you your test results are fine, post them on a healthboard and get some help interpreting them and ALWAYS keep a copy of your results.

Somehow if your ferretin was 26 and has risen and you are losing more hair than ever, i'd say it is something hormonal rather than ferretin. I know a few people going through the same thing and their's is thyroid related.

 
Old 02-21-2009, 10:33 PM   #11
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Re: hair loss

hello,
thanks for all the good advice. i went back to the doctors and wanted all my hormones etc tested, but she wouldnt do it as she said my TSH was at a normal range. so frustrating. but she referred me to a hair and skin specialist, will they take the tests necessary in finding out why im losing my hair? i just want an end to this!
thanks again

 
Old 02-22-2009, 01:50 PM   #12
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Re: hair loss

Emma, so sorry to hear your doctor wouldn't do it, but that is to be expected as most of them simply don't believe that you can have a thyroid condition if your TSH is "within range".

I went to a Trichologist, (hair/scalp specialist) i was fortunate he actually had a medical background, but some of them don't. They do a type of basic course and then set up shop. I was lucky that mine knew precisely what to look for, what to test for and he is the one who discovered i did in fact have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. He then referred me on to a thyroid doctor.

I know back in the last 90's i had results of where my ferritin was 36 and i wasn't shedding hair. Even when my ferritin got over 70 this time round i was still shedding. This is why i know "my" particular case of shedding is due to hormonal imabalance from my thyroid, my adrenals, and my other hormones eg: estrogen, progesterone and tostesterone.

Ask this new doctor to do the full thyroid panel as well as your other regular hormones and good luck and keep us posted on what this new doctor does

 
Old 02-22-2009, 02:44 PM   #13
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Re: hair loss

The following posts may be of interest to some of you.

[url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=600379&highlight=hair+l oss[/url]

 
Old 02-23-2009, 05:50 PM   #14
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Re: hair loss

thanks.
im booked in for a few weeks time and see if he will then do the nessasary tests! audrey-B now that your diagnosed and on medication, are you 100% good now, with no hair shedding? i was also wondering what the other symptoms are of a thyroid condition? im taking a multi vitamin at the moment, which contains all of the vitamins you mentioned, is this enough?
i think my TSH was at 1.41?
emma2889

 
Old 02-25-2009, 03:27 AM   #15
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Re: hair loss

It can take a long time to get back to 'normal' once starting thryoid meds. It's also a very individual thing. Some people bounce back fast and others take longer. It also depends whether you simply have basic hypo or hyper thyroid condition or whether you have an auto immune thyroid disease as well eg: Hashimoto's or Graves or some unlucky people have both. I believe auto immune thyroid conditions are much more difficult to treat.

Symptoms are many and varied. I hardly had many of the 'classic' symptoms, mine appeared to centre more around tiredness, hair shedding and messed up monthly cycles as a result of messed up hormones. I never felt cold and i never put on weight like so many hypothyroid sufferers complain of. My TSH on my test results moved up and down, but was never so high that doctors were alarmed and this is why i went untreated for so long.

I began medication in May 2008 and i was responding nicely, then i went through some major stress in Sep 2008 and i went backwards and i've been working my way up ever since. Stress is a major negative factor as i've discovered.

My hair did stop shedding for a while, but 3 months after the stress it began shedding again. It can often take approximately 3 months after the fact for hair to begin shedding.

Thyroid issues are not black or white, there is a lot of grey inbetween. Even once you begin treatment you can't sit back and leave it all up to a doctor. It still involves research as you will want the best treatment as it's a life long condition. As the thyroid is a hormonal issue, hormones are difficult to stabilise. Other things can become affected too eg: adrenal function, gluten intolerance, malabsorption of nutrients, low iron/difficult to raise iron, low vitD are all common factors with people who have a thyroid condition and in particular with auto immune thyroid disease.

A multivitamin is good, but often it's best finding out what you are low in and supplementing just what you need eg: the amount of iron, Vit D or B12 is never enough in a vitamin pill as what it would be if you were taking that supplement on it's own as it would be a higher dosage.

I hope your doctor does run tests, but if your TSH is 1.41 they might not feel the need to to do further testing. A lot of doctors don't work with symptoms.

For some people, their thyroid might be fine, but if your other hormones eg: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone are out of balance you can end up with hair shedding too.

Best of luck with your doctors appointment.

 
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