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Old 08-08-2008, 09:29 AM   #1
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What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

Hi There,

I recently had some blood work done to determine the cause of my excessive hair shedding. My results only show one thyroid test and a couple other hormone tests and, according to my Dr., all appears to be "normal". I am wondering if these results are indeed normal and if there are any other thyroid tests I should be requesting. Any advice you can offer is much appreciated.


Thyroid Function
TSH - 1.66 (0.30-5.50) mU/L

Reproductive & Gonadal
Testosterone - 1.7 (0.5-2.6) nmol/L (Centaur Chemiluminescence)
SHBG - H - 162 (18-114) mol/L (Immulite 2000 Chemiluminescence)
Calc Free Testosterone - 9 (<70) pmol/L
Note: New methodology: Method of Vermeulen for calculated free testosterone.
Note: Change in reference intervals

 
Old 08-10-2008, 03:07 PM   #2
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

A lot of doctors seem to think that only the TSH is sufficient. They ought to be at least checking your T4 and T3 as only TSH does not give a really good picture of what is going on. Not many doctors will do a Thyroid Antibodies test unless your TSH, T4 or T3 are way out, but a lot of us have had 'slightly' out figures and have had very high Thyroid Antibodies. This is why i would always ask for the thyroid antibodies test to be included as well as T4 and T3.

 
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:31 PM   #3
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

Low ferritin also causes hair shedding. That isn't the same as low iron. MDs often test for iron levels but not ferritin. Both are important.

 
Old 08-11-2008, 02:24 AM   #4
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

What's a source of ferritin?

 
Old 08-11-2008, 11:01 AM   #5
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

Hi midwest1,

I actually posted my ferritin results on the anemia board, as I have been told that low ferritin can cause the shedding. I was told on there that, although I am not anemic, my ferritin is on the extremely low end of normal. My result was 21 (15-200) ug/L and my Dr. simply said it was within "normal" range. (I can't stand that word! ) I have been told a few times on this site that 50-70 is ideal for a proper, healthy hair growth cycle.

I just want to make sure I am covering all my bases with this. I have lost way too much of my hair already and can't stand the thought of losing any more. I am going to start taking a 27 mcg tablet of chelated iron daily and go back to test my ferritin again in a few months. I will continue to take the iron and test my ferritin until I get it up to 50 at least.

I would like to get all the possible thyroid tests done, as many people have said that thyroid disorders can also cause shedding. I've had the TSH done; "normal". I will be requesting the T4 and T3 at my next appt, and will be pushing for the Thyroid Antibodies test as well.

Is there anything I'm missing? Like I said, I'm trying to cover ALL my bases.

Thanks,

 
Old 08-12-2008, 04:21 AM   #6
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

ericanicole25 - i thought i recalled your name from somewhere, i think i may have replied to your post over on the hair section of the boards. I'm glad you are looking for more help and i hope you are able to get your doctor to do some more tests. I agree, the word "normal" i very frustrating. The problem is how to tell your doctor knows normal from "normal".

You mention that you are going to take 27mcg of chelated iron. That amount doesn't seem like much. You can give it a go for a month and see how you go. If your ferretin doesn't move up by much then you will need to get a higher dosage iron supplement. Some people absorb iron easier than others. I'm on 105mg of iron equivalent to 325mg of dried ferrous sulphate, i eat a healthy diet and do all the right things and i still find it takes time for my ferretin to elevate. It took me two years to get from a ferretin of 8 to 61. The moment i stop taking my iron religiously every day my ferretin begins dropping again. I've been told it's often connected to being Hypothyroid.

I guess all you can do is take the iron supplements ( the ones you have you could even take 2 per day as the dosage isn't high at all) and get the remainder of the thyroid testing done. If your doctor says it's normal i'd still get a copy of the results and post them on the thyroid board.

I can't recall whether you had your other hormones tested eg: estrogen, progesterone and testosterone? My hormones are all a mess and it's also been attributed to my thyroid. Unablanced hormones can cause hair loss too.

 
Old 08-12-2008, 04:23 AM   #7
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

Eagle - by 'source' do you mean what foods contain iron?

 
Old 08-12-2008, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

Quote:
I was told on there that, although I am not anemic, my ferritin is on the extremely low end of normal. My result was 21 (15-200) ug/L and my Dr. simply said it was within "normal" range.
Right! That's the trouble with doctors. "Apoferritin" is a complex of an iron molecule and a protein molecule which stores iron atoms. If there isn't enough of that protein, there won't be enough iron in storage. That will give you the symptoms of anemia, even if there is adequate circulating iron in your bloodstream.

I don't pretend to know a lot about anemia, but that's where I'd focus first in your case. Not saying at all thyroid can't be the issue, because it still could be; but in the face of a 1.66 TSH, it isn't the most likely cause of your hair loss.

Last edited by midwest1; 08-12-2008 at 09:17 AM.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 11:49 AM   #9
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

Thanks for the info Midwest1. I will still get the additional thyroid tests done; just want to rule it out completely for my own sanity. Like I mentioned, I will be addressing the low ferritin issue by taking an iron supplement and getting regular blood tests to monitor it.

Audrey-B, yes it's me, ericanicole25 from the hair loss board. I just wanted to say that you have truly been a great help to me so far with all of this . I didn't even think to post my results on the other boards for more help until you recommended I do so, and since then I've received a lot more help and answers to my questions.

You mentioned that the amount of iron I was going to take wasn't very much. This amount was recommended to me by someone on the anemia board. I haven't actually picked it up yet, so do you think I should try a higher dose than 27mcg of chelated iron? I want to bring my ferritin up to between 50-70 as quickly and safely as possible, so what would you recommend?

You also asked if I had been tested for other hormones. Based on my results (below) it looks like they only tested for testosterone. I think I remember the Dr. saying something like it was pointless to test for estrogen & progesterone because I am on the pill...is that true?

Reproductive & Gonadal
Testosterone - 1.7 (0.5-2.6) nmol/L (Centaur Chemiluminescence)
SHBG - H - 162 (18-114) mol/L (Immulite 2000 Chemiluminescence)
Calc Free Testosterone - 9 (<70) pmol/L
Note: New methodology: Method of Vermeulen for calculated free testosterone.
Note: Change in reference intervals

Thanks again! You strangers are proving to be the light at the end of my tunnell.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 03:50 PM   #10
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

Hi ericanicole - glad you are able to get a bit more information

With the ferretin, just get the one you were going to get and in a month or so get your ferretin retested. Some people respond well to iron supplements, while others can take iron supplements for a month and see no difference on their next blood test results. If you fall into that last category and are not responding well to the iron you have been taking then i would definitely go to one of a higher dosage. I started on one which was 18mg and it did nothing. It was only when i went to something stronger eg: over 100mg that i began noticing a difference, but it still took some time. Don't worry about that at this stage, the main thing is that you begin taking something and your next blood test will show whether your system is responding readily to it.

In addition to taking iron, you should get some Lysine. Lysine helps speed up the iron transfer in your system and it helps with the hair side of things too. The Trichologist who i used to see for my hair/iron got me taking lysine with my iron. I also have a nutrients book at home which links lysine to hair growth.

I was doing some reading on malabsorbtion as i wasn't absorbing protein due to not having sufficient pancreatic enzymes. What i read backed up what my doctor said, which is that malabsorbtion of protein will lead to a number of things, one of them being hair loss. My situation was discovered via a stool test where they can tell how well you are absorbing protein, carbs and fats as each one plays a role and if you aren't digesting each one correcting you will end up with various side effects.

Yes, testosterone excess will lead to loss of scalp hair. My testosterone was above what it ought to be. I was supposed to get less than 90 on my results and i got 95. I don't know what the "optimum" figure should have been. My estrogen was double what it ought to have been and my progesterone was out, but forget how much and whether it was low or high.

It would be good if your doctor could approve more than just a basic TSH test. I still think if your TSH rose to 3 point something and then went back down low again, something is going on. As i said before, mine was up down, up down. Every year on my blood test it was something different. It's hard in that case getting a doctor to test for other things as they will only look at your last result and if that looked decent they wont test further and most doctors do not take other symptoms into account.

It has to either be iron or thyroid or hormone or possibly lack of protein related. I do know diabetics can shed hair, but i gather you aren't even remotely diabetic? I wouldn't have a clue what else it could be.

 
Old 08-14-2008, 03:19 PM   #11
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Re: What additional Thyroid tests can I request?

Thanks Audrey-B!

I will pick up the iron and lysine and will start with that.

I'll also be requesting the other thyroid tests at my next appointment, and perhaps I'll see about getting the stool test too.

I am not diabetic, but I was a borderline gestational diabetic and diabetes runs in my family. I also consume more sugar than anybody on earth! I'm horribly addicted to candy, but I am working on cutting it out...eventually completely.

Thanks for your advice. I'll post my other thyroid results here when I get them, and my ferretin results in my thread on the Anemia board. I'll also post it all in my thread on the Hair Loss board.

In the meantime, if anybody has any other advice to offer, please do so.

 
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