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Old 12-07-2008, 10:28 PM   #2
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Re: Hair loss for 7 years - Ferritin, Thyroid? Please help!

Hi Rose - i can well understand how you feel as it took me 8 years to finally be told by a doctor "you have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis". I had hair shedding for 8 years, low iron and my ferretin came down to an 8, very low Vit D and iodine.

The thing is i visited a dermatologist, GP's, Endo and all to no avail. I tried chemical free shampoo's, supplementing with zinc, biotin and silica, also to no avail.

I knew it had to be something internal, you don't shed hair and end up with messed up menstrual cycles out of the blue.

The thing which really makes me see red is that back in 2000 i was and Endo. He tested my thyroid antibodies which were very high and my TSH. Due to my TSH being considered "normal" i was told my thyroid was fine. As i knew ZERO about thyroids or anything else i trusted my doctors. My then husband kept telling me i was losing hair as i was now over 30 and as women age they lose hair. I simply couldn't believe this. I then did nothing for a few years, lurked on the healthboards in hope of finding some little bit of information to help me in my quest.

One day on this hair board a lady mentioned low ferretin leading to abnormal hair shedding. I didn't get my ferretin tested as i thought eating a healthy diet, eating red meat i'd not be low in iron. Later when i did get tested it was down to 8. No wonder i had been tired.

I then searched for a Trichologist (hair/scalp specialist). With my new found knowledge i phoned up a few, asked them some trick questions about thyroid issues, what tests they believed should be performed and did they interpret tests by "within range" or did a person have to be at a certain figure for better thyroid health etc etc. I found myself a fantastic Trichologist and he helped up my ferretin and discovered other things i was low in. He also told me my TSH was high, my T3 and T4 low and then he discovered i had high thyroid antibodies. He then packed me off to a friend of his who i'm now seeing for my thyroid and my hair is shedding closer to normal i'd say and on the whole i feel better.

Now for your results. Well as you already know your ferretin is very low. Are you supplementing with iron daily? Have you visited the Anemia section of the boards? If not, please do, it is a great spot to start and loads of great help on anything and everything to do with iron. I found everybody so helpful and a font of knowledge. Did you also know that long term low ferretin levels can throw your thyroid out? So the higher your ferretin the better for your thyroid.

Your thyroid tests i can't help you with as i don't understand the lab ranges. I would post your results over on the thryoid board and see what they say. Different countries use different lab ranges. Not sure why the whole world doesn't use one simple range for everything. They do it for iron, why not for other things!!

So long as you don't give up, learn as much as you can, doctor shop if necessary (no need to be stuck with some inept no hoper doctor) and you will make it. So many of us have been where you are now. Actually there is a thread on the thyroid board about how long it's taken people to finally get diagnosed/medicated. It's so sad doctors don't look at symptoms, only at lab ranges, and they don't even know 'optimum' levels, just the standard comment "you are within range". Makes me so mad.

You take care and please don't give up. Don't overly stress either as that is so bad. I learnt that recently. I went through a short period of immense stress and my ferretin plumetted and my TSH rose, my T4 and T3 fell again. Now i'm working my way back up.
So research and learn, keep a little exercise book with informative notes about things you learn (and might not remember), lists of symptoms you might feel, things you can ask future doctors, keep all your test results in a folder in date order, find out new things to be tested for eg: B12, iodine, vitamin D, make lists and eliminate things. Believe me it sometimes becomes like a part time job delving into all of this stuff. I'm sure we could all graduate with a medical degree at the end of it

Your take care and wishing you all the very best