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how to treat hair loss due to anemia?

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Old 02-07-2009, 05:56 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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catcoop HB User
how to treat hair loss due to anemia?

I was told that my hair loss was due to my anemia? Iron pills make me constipated. I receive an iron IV every 1 1/2 month. Ever time I go to my visit, my iron level is between 8 and 9. I was told that 12 was a normal number for women. What else can I take to help stop my hair thinning and grow my hair back? I have been wearing a wig for the last year because my hair is so thin that you can see my scalp and it is depressing.

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Old 02-09-2009, 07:34 PM   #2
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Re: how to treat hair loss due to anemia?

catcoop--I am so sorry for you that you are going through hair loss on top of anemia and low ferritin. It sounds like you suffer from an ongoing low ferritin. This is probably why you are so thin on top. When my ferritin was a 2 and my iron serum was low my hair fell out terribly. I was just lucky that I have lots of it, but it is very fine, and thick. When I got my ferritin to at least 20 and above it started to grow back little fine baby hairs. I don't know much about hair regrowth, but I can say that my hair tends to be very frizzy with all the new growth. Now my ferritin is 58 (something like that), it has been two years and it still sheds a little but continuous. They say that for hair regrowth you have to get to 75 (and holding), and it has to stay there for 3 months to grow new hair. I don't know that my little baby hairs are permanent or not. This is what I have read about anyway. Do you know for sure that your hair loss is due to iron? If it is iron alone you will have to have high iron stores. Keep us posted.
Best of luck to you! FLFLOWERGIRL
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Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Moderate Anemia (resolved) Low Ferritin-- Work in progress! Hiatal Hernia--GERD
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Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 02-09-2009 at 07:35 PM.

Old 02-12-2009, 12:11 AM   #3
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Re: how to treat hair loss due to anemia?

FLFLOWERGIRL is correct in what she says. Just a word of caution, don't end up like me and solely focus on the low iron. I kept thinking i only had a low ferretin issue and beleived my abnormal hair shedding was from that. It took me a long time to raise my ferretin and i got up to 78, but couldn't stay there. Now i keep going up and down between approx 50 and 70.

Firstly, when you lack iron, you do need extra protein. If your diet already includes protein you can always buy some Isolate Whey Protein and have that each morning. I was eating so healthy and i ate red meat most days of the week. I didn't have super heavy periods. There seemed no reason for my dropping ferretin.

I was then diagnosed finally with a thyroid autoimmune condition called Hashimoto's. Low and difficult to raise ferretin is often a symptom of Hashimoto's. Thyroid issues will also cause abnormal hair shedding due to not having sufficient/too much of the T4 or T3 thyroid hormones.

I was also found to be lacking in pancreatic digestive enzymes when it came to digesting protein. This would also lead to abnormal hair shedding as hair is 98% protein. I'm also very low in Vit D and iodine, for which i'm taking supplements. Low iodine can lead to hair loss too and iodine is necessary for proper thyroid function.

A lady at my work was extremely low in Vit D and said once she began supplementing she noticed less hair shedding. I don't know whether it was the vitamin D which helped or or whether her hair was going through a normal shed.

The thing is, i've known people whose ferretin was in the 30's or 40's and they never had hair shedding. Actually many many years ago when my ferretin was 34 i wasn't shedding any hair. This is why i believe my hair shedding has nothing to do with my ferretin, but with my thyroid hormones.

When my thyroid hormones got very close to where they should have been, with help of medication and other supplements, i did notice a mass of new growth. It looked quite comical, like i'd stuck my finger in a powerpoint. Afterwards i went through some major, major stress and my thyroid hormones went totally crazy again and i began the abnormal hair shedding again.

That's my story and i'd advise everybody to look at other things and not do what i did. I wasted valuable time focusing only on iron supplements and ferretin figures, when my issues were far greater.

There is some good reading you can do. The doctor who helped me so much and who i initially saw and who diagnosed my thyroid condition, has information on the net which explains a lot about hair shedding and anemia/low iron. His name is Dr Tony Pearce.... if you want to have a read. He also touches on thyroid issues among other things so you might learn a lot there.

Old 02-12-2009, 02:17 AM   #4
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Re: how to treat hair loss due to anemia?

Originally Posted by Audrey-B View Post
...That's my story and i'd advise everybody to look at other things and not do what i did. I wasted valuable time focusing only on iron supplements and ferretin figures, when my issues were far greater.....
This is very, very valuable advice....if I hadn't looked outside the box at something other than my symptoms, I firmly believe I would be dead today. Although it took me only a matter of hours/weeks to recover from deabilitating and life threatening mental and physical problems and pain, it took me over 3 years to figure out what was causing those problems and pain! ...and no, my doctors, as good as they were, didn't have a clue.

But again, it is easy to focus on something "concrete" like numbers only to lose sight of the big picture.

Last edited by bethsheba; 02-12-2009 at 02:19 AM.

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