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Low Iron, folliculitis

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Old 06-19-2008, 01:12 PM   #1
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babygurl77 HB User
Low Iron, folliculitis

So i just came back from the dermatologist, as I have been having some hair thinning for quite a while now..i did come off the pill in about 5-6 months ago too..
I do have low iron (last blood work came up as 19) i have been taking floravit for bit now..however, this nutritionist i saw said that taking iron could also cause hair loss ..IM SO CONFUSED!
I have been thinking that i have androgenic alopecia (due to my pcos)...and also thought i had miniturization..but after the derm looked at my scalp he said it wasnt androgenic alopecia because of the pattern of the thinning..he said that the pattern for androgenic alopecia is shown at the top...he said the top of my hair looked good..but i had thinning on the sides..which he said is due to my low iron..
i also showed him some bumps that i have on my scalp and he said it is folliculitis..he gave me scripts for tetracycline and clindamycin..i dont want to take either of these!
im frustrated because one specialist tells me i need to stop the dht and the other tells me something different..i dont know who to believe or what to do..
i dont even know what shampoos to use..
im getting married and this is the last thing that i want to worry about!

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Old 06-22-2008, 01:33 AM   #2
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Re: Low Iron, folliculitis

One thing i can tell you for sure is that if your ferretin level is at 19 there is no way you will lose your hair by taking iron supplements. The only time you would possibly lose hair is if you had iron overload and for that your figures for ferretin would have to be roughly over 150 or there abouts. My doctors both wanted my ferretin over 100 and close to 125 if i can.

You don't simply take iron for ever and never get tested. You can take iron for a month, then get tested. That will indicate how much improvement has been made in one month. If the improvement isn't that big, then you can keep taking the iron and get retested in about 3 months.

The hair loss can be as a result of the iron or due to some other reason. Have you had everything else tested? eg: Thyroid, other vitamin levels, hormones,celiacs(gluten intolerance) etc? as people don't normally start losing so much iron unless they have eliminated meat from their diet and have gone vegan. If you eat a healthy diet which includes meat, then your iron loss is due to something else and it can sometimes be difficult to come off the iron supplements until you find out what is causing your iron loss.

If the hair shedding is due to your low iron, it can take 3 - 6 months for your hair to begin correcting itself, but only after your iron has risen substantially. Different doctors have different so called 'magic' figures for ferretin. Most are happy for you to be within the range that the lab sets, but other doctors believe getting at least to 70 and above is more beneficial for the body and for a proper hair growth cycle. If you need iron information you can get a lot of help over on the Anemia section of the boards and if you have thyroid results you can post them on the Thyroid section. Sometimes with the thyroid doctors will say it's fine if you fall within range, but your thyroid can be out by a bit and you can suffer symptoms too.

If you are low in iron you could be low in other things to. Did they check your B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, magnesium and selenium?

You also mentioned coming off the pill 5 - 6 mths ago, did the hair begin shedding a little after coming off the pill or while you were on the pill. If you hormones are out of balance then that can lead to hair shedding also. The pill also depletes your B group vitamins. For some people the pill is fantastic, but for others it can actually mess up your hormone balance rather than correct. Have you had all your hormones tested incase it's hormonal hair shedding?

Congratulations on your wedding and i can totally understand that you don't need this sort of stress leading up to your special day. All the best.

Old 06-23-2008, 07:24 AM   #3
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babygurl77 HB User
Re: Low Iron, folliculitis

Hey! Thanks for the informative reply!
I am going to get my iron checked again to see where I am at. I hope that it has gone up! I have heard that it can take a long time for iron levels to rise?
I have had my thyroid tested and it came back fine, but I am seeing a nutritionist and she did some testing on me (live blood analysis, and some other tests) and it indicated low thyroid..I also did a basal body temperature and that also indicated a low I am taking some homeopathic remedy for it...not sure what else i could take..
I have had certain vitamins tested but not many...
in regard to hormones, they have been checked and my testosterone and androgens were 'within range' going to have them checked again too..
funny that you mention celiac, i had a biopsy done last summer to check for celiac, i am not celiac but i am gluten does this relate to hair loss?
i do eat a healthy diet and i do eat im not sure the reason for the low iron level
ive only had my b12 checked and they said it was fine..
no other vitamin checks
The hair thinning I have noticed in the past couple years...but i definitely saw a major increase in shedding about 2-3 months after coming off the i pretty much started noticing it a lot in march/april...
By July 5, it will have been 6 months exactly since coming off the pill...i know people say this can happen, but for how long? I havent seen it slowing down at all either..
They have tested my hormones and they say everything is fine...
its just sooo frustrating cuz obviously everything is not fine..its not normal to lose this much hair...on a daily basis! so there has to be something going on..
I am taking a whole bunch of supplements it is:
flaxseed oil (alternate during the month) *been using for almost 2 months
evening primrose oil (alternate during the month) *been using for almost 2 mt
b12 & folic acid *using for almost 2 months
digestive enzymes *using for almost 2 months
b complex *using for several months
acidophillis *using for several months
estrosense *using for 1 month
floravit (iron) *using for 2 months (was on other iron supplements previously)
nutrasea (omega 3 oil) *using for several months
biosil (for hair) *using for 11/2 month
homeopathic remedies (for thyroid) *using for only a few days
zinc *using for several months

so, i am taking a whole bunch of things that should be helping...i just dont understand...i know it takes time..but it would be nice to see SOME improvment

thanks for the congrats! im very excited...but very worrisome about my whole health situation..

Old 06-24-2008, 04:14 AM   #4
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Re: Low Iron, folliculitis

You don't have to have full blown celiacs to be affected by gluten. I don't have celiacs but my blood test shows i'm a 'little' gluten intolerant. The lab range went up to 15 and my result came back as an 18, so i'm 3 over. My current doc has told me to go easy on gluten foods and to limit them in my diet. Apparently, whether you have celiacs or a moderate/mild form of gluten intolerance, the gluten can stop certain vitamins/minerals being absorbed.

You say that you eat meat so your low iron would not be from a vegan diet. So it has to come from something, somewhere.

The problem with getting your thyroid tested is that majority of doctors will tell you your thyroid is fine so long as your results come back 'within range' of what the lab says.

In the last 10 years my thyroid TSH has been all over the place, from virtually 4 back in 1998, back down to 1.something, then back to 2.something etc etc. It never stayed put in all that time. For 7 of the last 10 years i've shed abnormal amounts of hair and i kept getting the brush off by my doctor and even from 2 endocronologist visits some years back. It wasn't until i found a doctor who knew his stuff that he said my thyroid results are not normal, yet not out of 'range' sufficiently for most doctors to worry about it, but i a number of worrying symptoms and couldn't keep up my iron stores.

Finally i had a thyroid antibodies test done, which revealed i had an auto immune thyroid condition known as Hashimoto's. The doctor i'm seeing for my thyroid did further testing and found out my pancreas was having difficulty producing sufficient enzymes to digest protein. He found this out via a stool analysis test.

He then got me to do a saliva test to check my hormones as this is more accurate than a blood test. It is also done at home over the course of a day, where saliva is deposited into a small tube. I got 4 tubes and had to deposit saliva into them at 6am, 12noon, 6pm and 10pm. This showed that my estrogen was double what it ought to be, my testosterone was a little over what it ought to be and my adrenal glands were not functioning correctly. All this accounted for my weird menstrual cycles and the reason why my hormones were out. I've been on a herbal supplement from my naturopath to regulate my menstrual cycle, which has helped big time.

So now i'm on thyroid meds, enzymes for digestion and a tablet for my adrenal function. I'm still on iron tablets. My ferretin got to 61, but then i slacked off and at my next blood test it had dropped a little. I'm also on vitamin d drops, iodine drops and selenium drops.

The enzymes i take for my digestion are prescription only as the ones from the healthfood store aren't strong enough for my type of problem.

I've only been on all the above meds (except for the iron) for the last 8 or 9 weeks, so it's a little too soon to tell whether things have begun improving. I'm guessing it will take some time.

If i were you, along with getting your full iron study done again, i would get your vitamin d checked as well as your iodine. Usually if people can't keep their iron levels up and it's not due to some form of internal bleeding or extremely heavy periods, then it's malabsorbtion due to something which is going on in the digestion process or thyroid related. A lot of people with thyroid issues appear to have low iron issues and have difficulty raising their iron levels.

The next thing i would do is take your thyroid test results to the thyroid section of this board and see what some of them have to say. There are some very expert people over there who have been through it all and know what they are talking about. The other thing is that there are different form of thyroid conditions. You could be over or underactive or it could be an auto immune related thyroid condtion, which can only be determine when they check your thyroid antibodies via a blood test.

That's about all i can think of/suggest at present and i truly feel for you as nobody needs to go through the frustration of this, especially leading up to their wedding. At least you are doing your research now. I wish i had started sooner and not listened to doctors repeatedly telling me i was fine when i wasn't. Best of luck

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