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-   -   androgenic alopecia or ferritin hair loss, how do I know help help (

tropicalglow 07-17-2008 05:44 PM

androgenic alopecia or ferritin hair loss, how do I know help help
hi ladies I need some help, I have had bad hair loss over the last 2 years or so. I had a ferritin level of about 13 and a free t3 level of 2.3, I am now on armour thyroid and iron supplements and spironolactone, and my hair loss is still bad. How do I know what is causing it. My main concern is that its on the top of my head so its really really noticible I can see my scalp. I just want to cry everytime I see it or think about it. If it is from my thyroid and ferrritin level, would it be on top of my head or all over? help

Audrey-B 07-18-2008 01:00 AM

Re: androgenic alopecia or ferritin hair loss, how do I know help help
I went through years of hair shedding and finally found out i had anemia and then later found out i had a thyroid condition called Hashimoto's. I have battled for two years to get my ferretin up to 61. Low ferretin or difficult to raise ferretin appears to go hand in hand with thyroid issues. I was also found to be very low in vitamin D and iodine. Has your doctor checked those levels?

I once went on an iodine supplement for a few months and later down the track i experience zero hair loss for a whole month. It then began shedding again and i couldn't understand why. It wasn't until i had further tests done with my thyroid doctor that we found out that my body can't retain iodine. I've been back on iodine drops for about 2 months now and my hair 'appears' to be getting better again.

I visited a Trichologist for my hair shedding, prior to getting diagnosed with Hashimoto's and he did say that low ferretin and thyroid problems can lead to early onset of alopecia in females. Once everything is corrected your hair should get back to normal or closer to normal than what you are experiencing now.

If your ferretin is 13 still now, that is way too low. I'm up to 61 and my previous and current doctors want me at around 125 or at least at 100. It's such hard work. I can't miss a day of taking my iron supplement. You should visit the anemia board and you will get lots of tips and help with ferretin issues. The thyroid board is a great place for additional thyroid help. It has helped me a lot, but it's a difficult topic to learn about, but i'm getting there slowly.

With your thyroid, how long have you been on medication? That can have a bearing too. Your system might need to get used to the medication. If the medication dosage is too low or too high, that can affect your hair getting back to normal too. Some people who have been on only T4 med's have found it beneficial to be on a combo of T4 and T3.

I have also read that a lot of people find evening primrose oil to be a great help. ( removed )

I hope you get some answers soon, but i'd advise you to check out the thyroid board and post a thread on there with your latest results and there are some experts on there who will help you out and maybe give some tips. Take care :)

tropicalglow 07-18-2008 10:18 AM

Re: androgenic alopecia or ferritin hair loss, how do I know help help
thank you for your help, how do you get a iodine test is it a blood test. How is your hair now, has it grown back, stopped shedding?

Audrey-B 07-20-2008 04:07 PM

Re: androgenic alopecia or ferritin hair loss, how do I know help help
Iodine tests can be done via a blood or urine test. A urine test is the best, but a blood test will show up if you are low in iodine. Have they tested your vitamin D and even gluten intolerance test? A lot of people with either underactive thyroid or with Hashimoto's seem to experience malabsorbtion of iodine, iron, vitamin D and a lot of them also seem to suffer with gluten intolerance.

Everybody is individual and with thyroid condtions we're also all individuals. What works for one wont necessarily work for another. I'm on a T3 medication and now my doctor is adding a little T4 also. A lot of people are either on T4 or T3 only and some find it works for them, but others dont feel too good, but once they are taking a bit of both T4 and T3 they feel better and see better results. Not all doctors believe this theory though.

My shedding has slowed, but it's a long process. Hair doesn't simply grow back or stop shedding within a few weeks of starting medication. In my case, my hormones were badly messed up courtesy of my thyroid. I think my hair shedding was due to various things, not just one. I think it was partly due to the low iron, partly due to me not being able to digest protein and partly due to the hormonal/thyroid issue.

I'm not sure whether there is a process with thyroid correction eg: with ferretin it first goes to your bone marrow, then your muscles and then onto other vital organs and your hair gets it last or whatever is left over. That is why higher ferretin levels are very necessary. Higher ferretin levels benefit the thyroid too as anemia or very low long term iron stores will affect the thyroid. It's important to get your ferretin levels raised from 13 and to get your ferretin retested every 3 months.

You mentioned that you are on spironolactone. I don't know what that is. What are you taking that for and are you sure that it's not something which has a side effect of hair loss?

I just remembered that being defficient in selenium can cause hair loss, but do a blood test first as too much selenium can cause hair loss too.

tropicalglow 07-20-2008 09:02 PM

Re: androgenic alopecia or ferritin hair loss, how do I know help help
you are very helpful....thank you. I take spironolactone because of the cystic acne and hairloss, its also suppose to help with facial hair, which I have on my chin. Its an androgen blocker. The thing about my hair is its so healthy looking very very shiny and soft......but falling out. So thats what makes me doubt the thyroid being the cause because doesn't the hair get dry and brittle as well as fall out with hypothyroid. I am trying to raise the ferritin but iron is so hard to take, I almost have a mental block to it. Can I get a urine test for iodine at the drug store?

Audrey-B 07-20-2008 09:36 PM

Re: androgenic alopecia or ferritin hair loss, how do I know help help
No problem, i don't mind helping out people if i can as i've been through it all for so long and still not in the clear, but at least i can see a light at the end of the tunnel :)

With the chin hairs, that could be a hormonal or a genetic type of thing. I am dark haired and had fairly light brownish hairs on my chin area which were not even really noticeable. One day i was out in the sun and my mother said i should do something about the hairs. I couldn't believe she even said that and it gave me a complex and i immediately went indoors and tweezed them out. Wrong move!! i shouldn't even have listened to her as they were not obvious, maybe in the sunlight, but i would have been the first to know if they were THAT obvious. So i alternated between tweezing and bleaching and really made a mess of things. The hairs got so strong and dark and were now very visible. Years later i met a lady who did electrolysis and she got rid of the hairs permanently. She has done mens backs, womens chins, upper lip, cheek and neck area. So if you are worried about chin hairs, rather than taking a pharmaceutical drug for it i'd be investing in electrolysis.

As i said once before, alopecia will show up very early in females (not sure of your age) when there are other underlying problems going on. The fact that you have an underactive thyroid and the acne and chin hair issue i'd be betting your thyroid has affected your hormones. My thyroid doctor did a saliva hormone test and check out my estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA-S which is for your adrenal function and something a lot of people with an underactive thyroid seem have problems with.

Have any of your doctors done hormone testing to see where you are at with your hormones? Elevated testosterone especially can lead to symptoms of acne, loss of scalp hair, male pattern hair growth, PCOS, which leads me to ask, has anybody checked out whether you might have PCOS?

You could quite possibly have early onset of alopecia due to a number of the things you are experiencing eg: low iron, underactive thyroid, good chance of a hormonal imabalance.

Depending how good your thyroid doctor is, he/she should be looking at the entire picture of your symptoms. I'd say, after everything i've experiencing and all i've read about other people's experiences, that all your symptoms fall under the one umbrella and it's all linked to your thyroid.

If i were you i'd post all your symptoms, what you are taking and your test results plus lab ranges on the thyroid board. You will get even more assistance than what i myself can give you. The Hair Problems section of the board is a good starting point, but not too many people can give full assistance as most of the people on this particular section of the Healthboard are looking for help themselves. I started out here too and then when i found out that hair loss is always linked to something within the body i branched off to other parts of the board. That is why i HIGHLY recommend the Anemia and the Thyroid sections of the Healthboard as you will find people with even more experience than i can give you.

Take care and i really hope you can find some solutions soon :) It's awful not being healthy, but at the same time, being female and losing your hair is such an awful thing and nobody can understand unless they themselves have gone/are going through it.

ps: forgot to mention about the iodine testing..... don't think you can buy anything for the test at a chemist. You need to have it done via your doctor. An ordinary GP should be able to organise it for you, you don't need to see a specialist. While you are at it i'd get them to check other things you might be low in eg: vitamin D and check whether you have a gluten intolerance.

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