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Ferritin levels

Discussion in 'The Undiagnosed' started by chrystalm, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. chrystalm

    chrystalm New Member

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    So I've just learned that my ferritin is at 19.

    Any experiences with this? Perhaps this why my hair keeps falling out? Perhaps it is not Androgenetic Alopecia after all?

    I'm so frustrated I could cry. My doctor just told me my ferritin numbers and asked me if I had been continuing with a 2 capsule daily regimen. UMM LAST TIME I SAW YOU LIKE 6 MONTHS AGO YOU SAID I COULD TAKE ONE CAPSULE NOW. :confused::thumbdown2:
     
  2. mommybetts

    mommybetts Established Member

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    Hi Chrystalm. Mine was at that exact same number when my hair jumped ship!! I would recommend trying to get that number up so you can see the improvement your hoping for. They sell iron with vitamin c supplements. Taking one a day, I was able to jump up thirty points in about 4 months. If you have stomach issues like me, take a probiotic to keep things moving in the right direction. :rolleyes: I am doing four things that I really believe that has helped me tremendously. I use low androgen bc, 100 mg. Spironolactone, and 1 iron pill a day, oh can't forget I take a good dose of Diatomaceous Earth for silica. I would love to say the iron is the only thing that has helped me, but bc I wanted to tackle this aggressively, I took it all about the same time. When I first saw my primary care physcian about one month into this hair loss journey, she said, you could take iron but it may mess up your belly. That was it, no explanation as to why I should. She also didn't do a ferritin test, she just looked at my hemoglobin and said I was fine. I really think we as victims have to really go out and do our own research about this. Most doctors I hear about don't really care, bc our case does not excite them. I am not speaking about all docs and I am just speaking from my own experience. Did the doctor tell you that you have Androgenetic Alopecia? Is your pattern looking like Androgenetic Alopecia? Mainly loss on the top? I hope you find answers sweetie, and that your journey gets better.
     
  3. DisTressing

    DisTressing Established Member

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    I had my bloodwork done three times over the last year, and each time, I think I saw a significant uptick in shedding. In May, when I felt I was almost out of the woods and liked the look of my hair again, I had to go to the hospital and they drew my blood at least two times. By June, I felt like it was disappearing again. By July, a disaster. Then I got sick from taking a daily iron supplement, which I believe is why my hair looked fuller and healthier in May after almost five months of daily supplementation, so I stopped in early July. By the end of July the entire left side of my head that had been holding up fairly well all along, suddenly thinned away dramatically. In August I never looked worse. Finally I started up with other forms of iron, taking 1 every four days to see if it would stop the loss. Six weeks later, my hair loss stopped dramatically. Finally now I am seeing regrowth but it is still quite thin. At least it's nowhere near as flat and unsightly as it was in August. I ordered the probiotics to give it a try and I'll update on how that goes. I really want to go back on iron every day but I can't if it destroys my digestive system.

    updating - clarifying what I said about getting my blood work this frequently, I think it had a negative impact on my serum ferritin levels that triggered another round of heavy shedding.
     
  4. hairtothere

    hairtothere Established Member

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    Hello, I'm sorry you are going through this but you will find you are not alone. I am one of the "ferritin girls" my hairloss seems to be related to ferritin. You have already found I've seen that most Dr.'s are clueless about ferritin and the effect of low ferritin on hair. I would have addition tests if I were you to make sure that is your only issue. Other things are Thyroid and Hormone levels, along with Vit. D levels. I went to see a Dermatologist who reviewed my bloood work and quickly diagnosed it as TE and told me to take Viviscal and use Rogaine, another Derm that specialized in hair loss was more sympathetic but didn't offer up much beyond telling me to get my ferritin levels up and things should eventually improve he didn't even want to do a biopsy since my levels were so low.

    I had been anemic for several years or more. In 8/14 I went to the Dr. for a check up an at the time my hair had changed texture a little bit, but I had changed hair stylists and I had been highlighting and coloring a lot. So I didn't think much of it. Anyway, my Dr. was running routine bloodwork and mentioned he hadn't done a CBC in several years so he added that on to my bloodwork. Well it came back with low hemoglobin and I turned out to be severely anemic and my ferritin was below 5. I was told to take iron supplements 3 times a day for 8 weeks and retest, at the 8 week point my hair just shed like crazy. It seemed like my hair changed completely almost overnight. In reality it had probably thinned a little due to the ongoing anemia and then when I finally started treating it my body sensed the changed and that was the trigger for a Telogen Effluvium shed. I thought I was going to go completely bald, I barely left the house for several months last year. I only went to Dr.s appointments to get my infusions and blood work and I shopped for and bought a wig.

    I'm sorry to say that recovering from this is a long, long haul process. In my case ferritin was the only thing that was "off" with my blood work. Getting my levels up to the target for healthy hair growth and maintaining them was very difficult, I ended up getting iron infusions because raising them with oral supplements was just too slow. My Dr. estimated it would have taken 18 to 24 months. Obviously I didn't want to wait that long. I don't seem to absorb iron all that well so my levels only went up about 1 point a week on high doses of oral supplements.


    I had always had very, very thick hair every hair stylist I went to would tell me I had a lot of hair, and it was the thing I always loved about my appearance I had great hair. It was devastating and I am still dealing with it but it has gotten much better. The thinning and loss stabilized and I held steady for quite a while with my hair not getting better but not getting worse. Then it started truning around, it is a slow process I have to be honest. I am at 14 months since the initial big shed and my hair is not back to where it was at all, but it is improving. My hair is not what it used to be, it is like having a strangers hair on my head, everything about it is different. But I still have hair and I am grateful for that.

    If you do some searches on this board you will find lots of posts on ferritin related hair loss.
     

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