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reducing dose of iron supplements - hair loss

Discussion in 'Women's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by leelah, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. leelah

    leelah New Member

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    My TE is thought to have been triggered by iron deficiency. I suspect I was losing hair for almost a year before I ended up going to the GP.

    She put me on ferrous fumarate 3x a day and my ferritin level rose very quickly from 11 to 74 in three months. Now it's over 80 so the GP has reduced the dose but wants to ensure I stay over 80 and will retest after two months.

    I was nervous about dropping down to 1x a day and took 2x a day during my period.

    Have now dropped down to 1x a day and swear my shed rate has gone up.

    My logical mind says: hairs I shed today entered the telogen phase a couple of months ago so the reduced dose ought not to have an immediate impact. My paranoid mind says: arrrrrrgh! Is there a connection??

    Any experiences of this?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. idk

    idk Member

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    Hi Leelah

    Great that you got your iron levels up so quickly. In terms of shed increasing again, I would not worry too much about that. My TE in the later part tended to fluctuate up and down a bit as well but the general trend showed that it was tapering downwards. I would also check your transferrin saturation just to make sure that you are not going overboard with the iron, the range my labs show as normal is 16 - 50%. I believe the sweet spot is around 30-33%.

    All the best :)
     
  3. JenVoy

    JenVoy Established Member

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    Here is my opinion...take from it what you will!

    I took trazodone 2 years ago this June. A month (to the day) later my hair was falling out in clumps! I was told it was stress (WRONG) I was told by a holistic doctor It was ferritin (WRONG)! I had every blood test imaginable. My ferritin (at the time) was 24. I got it up to 70 at one point doing what you were doing. 3X a day for months. All of a sudden this last fall I would get horrible stomach cramping and acid reflux. I come to find out that taking that much iron a day can cause chemical burns in your stomach lining. The iron pills I was taking were not coated. My stomach couldn't handle it any longer. The holistic doctor told me it wasn't due to the iron pills. Say, what? This is why I HATE doctors. They have ZERO common sense! I pretty much self diagnosed my stomach issue. I stopped taking the iron pills for a month. Low and behold....my stomach issues STOPPED!

    Anyway, IMO the iron did NOTHING for my hair loss! It continued on shedding for 2 years. If low iron were the cause of my hair loss it would've stopped once I hit an increase of iron. It didn't. My takeaway is iron is rarely related to hair loss. Whatever caused your hair to shed either has to run it's course and eventually stop...or it's genetics and/or hormones.

    I spoke to Dr. Donovan in Vancouver (hair loss specialist) and he agreed with me that the iron was doing nothing to stop or help my hair loss. Although, it is important as women, to have a higher iron and ferritin count because it can lead to anemia. Just my two cents!
     
  4. idk

    idk Member

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    JenVoy makes a very good point = iron is a dangerous supplement to take even in times of iron deficiency. I am taking Gentle Iron by Solgar - is really is gentle, no constipation, no stomach upset and no headaches. Other iron supplements gave me horrendous headaches which my doctor of course said couldn't be related to iron but it was i tested it. Took the iron pill, got the headache. Stopped the iron pills, headaches stopped, resumed the iron pill headache returned. Really why are doctors so dismissive. Anyway, the Gentle Iron is ok for me, however, i am tracking my iron levels every 2 to 3 months and that includes ferritin and transferrin saturation. Elevated transferrin saturation is associated with increased mortality!! So yes, I want my iron levels improved but not at the cost of my overall health. I just hope that all the ladies here who are taking iron supplements are keeping a close look at their iron levels, including transferrin saturation not just ferritin.
     

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