good info on ferritin and hair loss

Discussion in 'Iron' started by MichelleE, May 19, 2011.

  1. MichelleE

    MichelleE New Member

    Hi all,

    I found an on iron deficiency and hair loss. This is very informative, and I think answers a lot of questions we have been asking here.

    http://www.hairlossclinic.com.au/articles/Iron_Deficiency_and_Hair_Loss.html

    Basically, ferritin has to be maintained at >70 for at least 3 months to affect telogen shedding and anagen growth phase. And once it comes, the phase will be prolonged!! :eek: YEEAAHH!!

    He also points out that hair is non essential tissue for nutrient supply. So when our brilliant minded bodies have more limited resources to work with, the first thing that is affected is our hair, nails, etc. Sucks, but it makes sense. Why put money into social programming when you don't have enough for health care! And of course, for this reason, your body will make sure all other organs in your body have enough iron, and then finally.. ta-da!! You have hair! :D

    He says this takes 4-6 months if your perfectly healthy. I imagine that means if you have any other health issues (hypothyroid, PCOS, anything that requires more energy requirements) then this will unfortunately take longer. :( He also says a ferritin of >150 is needed for proper function of the thyroid and liver. I'm wondering if this means that those with thyroid issues would have to aim for 150 to really see a decrease in shedding?

    And he links AGA to iron deficiency. He says that when your iron gets low and you are in a low energy state, the adrenals are employed to help compensate by creating testosterone, which converts to DHT, and causes further hair loss and miniaturization.

    I suggest y'all read the article! He also discusses other supplements, what to take, and what to possibly decrease or be weary of. Unfortunately there aren't any suggestions for the best iron supplements.

    Interestingly, he says that iron deficiency can make dark hair dry, with a red-brown hue. This happened to my hair, now I've just learned why. I've been iron deficient and anemic for years, which I think may have caused some shed, but it was pretty insignificant and I had a lot of hair. Once I moved to less developed country, my food sources were limited, and I know that I was malnourished. I also ate a lot of wheat because that's what was available, which I've always been intolerant of. Thus the malabsorption issue. After a year of being there, I lost half of my hair... poor things, I really miss those dudes.

    Won't bore you with anymore of my story, it gets long and complicated :p but I hope that this sheds (bad word) some light on our situation.

    Patience is a virtue... something I've never excelled at! LOL

    So my beautiful gals, hang in there, if this is one of the issues causing your hair loss, it will get better in time!

    M
  2. linzineedshelp

    linzineedshelp New Member

    Hi michelle,ive read this somewhere too! I guess some people are just lucky and their loss stops or slows before this 4-6 month slot? Hmmm wish i could be one of them! Ive heard of lots of people saying their shedding stopped after a couple of months on the iron.i guess everyone is different! Thanks for posting this its a good one! Xxx
  3. MichelleE

    MichelleE New Member

    Yes I'm hoping that this will be the case for me, but who knows. My hair just keeps falling, it's sickening to not be able to do anything, just sit there and watch it all go. I'm hoping that by the time the iron kicks in, I'll have some hair left over!
  4. linzineedshelp

    linzineedshelp New Member

    How long have u been taking the iron and how much,? Whats your ferritin level? Sorry if u have already told me this,i cant find it in posts.i got my ferritin up from 8 to 21 in 9 days x
  5. MichelleE

    MichelleE New Member

    My ferritin is 8, it got tested a month ago, but the results weren't back until 2 weeks ago. I also found out at that time that I had hypothyroidism. I had my friend's dad look at my labs, he is an excellent doctor when it comes to hormonal issues, so I finally felt taken care of. I started taking Bifera 2 weeks ago, but have decided to take proferrin because it's less expensive, and people seem to have really good results from it. I take 2 bifera a day. I don't know when I'm going to get another ferritin done, since I don't have insurance. Do you know how a ferritin test costs? Maybe I'll get one if it's cheap enough. I'm from Canada so I usually get all my blood tests done when I go home, but I won't be back there for a while!

    13 point leap is great!! You'll be up to 70 in no time!!
  6. Lisah

    Lisah New Member

    Could this Iron Help

    O.K. I know there all lots of Iron Supplements out there.... But I was researching and came across this article about (Florisene) It seems to have the Iron and the other supplements in it that are needed for the iron to be properly absorbed?? anyone use this?? heard of this?? It does seem to make sense to me. I know you can buy all the vitamins that are listed in this formula but seems to be easier if you could just take this with every thing included?? Just a thought if anyone reads this please let me know what you think. Again this place has better advice than most Dr's have as far as I'm concerned... LoL Lisah
  7. MichelleE

    MichelleE New Member

    Hey Lisah,

    I'm really not sure about that one. Problem is that there seem to be no studies about different types of iron supplementation and efficacy of increasing ferritin stores. If it's not that expensive, then I would consider trying it. I went with Proferrin because they have a study showing an increase in serum iron after ingestion compared to regular iron. And it seems that actual people who use it have good jumps in their ferritin. I am starting with a ferritin of 8. I won't be able to give you guys a good timeline though, because I won't be able to test it again for several months!
  8. the4rojos

    the4rojos New Member

    I had a blood test two months ago that showed my Ferritin level at a 2. My hair was falling out in droves and I really went to get my Thyroid checked; turns out I "was" severely anemic. I've been taking an iron supplement for 6 weeks: 120 mg of Ferrous Gluconate. This is half of a 240 mg pill since I typically cannot tolerate iron supplements. I'm not sure if this is enough or when I should get my blood tested again. Your thoughts?
  9. MichelleE

    MichelleE New Member

    hey the4rojos,

    Maybe you should get your labs retested now and see if it's helping. I'm guessing that at that dose, and if your still regularly menstruating, it's going to take a while. But you never know, so maybe check it out and see how it's going?

    I can't tolerate iron supplements either, but since I've been using Proferrin I haven't had too many GI issues. They're expensive, you have to take 3/day, and it comes to around $45/month. But I figure I've already spent way to much on my hair, so why stop now?lol

    Did you end up getting your thyroid checked? If you can, still do it. Iron deficiency and thyroid diseases often go hand in hand.
  10. the4rojos

    the4rojos New Member

    Thank you for the info. I did get my thyroid checked at the same time and it was normal.
  11. Butterflywings

    Butterflywings New Member

    I was elated to see this article. I almost cried. I have everything in that article. The loss of hair, the bad nails, irritability, the lack of energy, the anxiety. Every time I eat a burger or something with red meat I wind up feeling a lot better. I did go see my doctor and he took blood to measure my iron. He told me that my iron was normal but the stored iron was very low. How do I fix that? I hear a lot about food intake but I can't bear to eat liver. BLEH!!

    I desperately need some advise on this. My hair loss does not come out in patches. He called it Diffused hair loss. WHICH is what is mentioned in this article. I am so happy you posted this. I just need to know where to go from here. I have been able to take my iron suppliments. Its Nature Made 65 mg Iron 325mg Ferrous Sulfate. I will now take it everyday instead of once every two days. anyone have any sites with great iron menus? I will try anything!
  12. sister1

    sister1 New Member

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for your post. My iron and Ferritin are low. I also suffer from hypothyroid. I pushed my doctor to have the Reverse T3 test done as well. For folks who have hypo, iron is essential for transporting the thyroid medication. I had been medicated but my hair was still falling out. It turned out that I have a very poor conversion ratio as evidenced by my Rt3 rating. I am hoping that combined with the low Ferritin would help explain the hair loss. When you have high Rt3 your receptor cells get clogged as the body is in a state of preservation. It took me a year to get all this figured out. I think in the mean time I will have to go to some kind of hair system but at least there is hope! I should share also that folks should also get their cortisol levels checked because that combined with low iron are the two main causes of failure to respond to thyroid medication. I hope this helps someone else. Thanks for your post. I am hoping my iron levels come up fast because it's my understanding that there is no use in taking the thyroid med until iron and other hormones are in check.

    Thanks for your research, I am going to check into those iron supplements!

    Sister
  13. Hopelesslola

    Hopelesslola New Member

    Please help me someone anyone please

    I can't stop crying while I'm writing this but here goes. My hairloss started feb 1st 2011 I'll never forget and it has been shedding till now it's feb 18 2012 exactly 1 year. I went to the doctor and did all my blood work found out the only thing was my ferritin was really low and for 1 year it has been btwn 28 to 38 : (. Until one day my girlfriend was reading your forum and explained to me that the iron is causing the shed to continue. Im suffering from telegen efflium and I'm so scared it will never end. I'm on iron supplements and since jan 16 I checked my ferritin it was 96 which is great but it's still shedding!!! Apparently you have to maintain it above 70 for months straight for the shedding to stop. Please please please I'm begging if anyone had experienced this and they had good results with their hair growing back to normal. I always read of the problems but never the solution of it coming back. Please help sorry for being so malidramatic just can't stop crying
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  14. anu

    anu New Member

    hi Lola,
    Just wanted to check have you had any improvement in hair shedding? has it stopped now...how long did it take for you to increse your ferritin from 16 to 96?
  15. NYCGirlie

    NYCGirlie New Member

    MichelleE:
    My CBC iron levels are within the normal range but ferritin is 40. The ferritin test says normal range is 2-250 so primary doc says its normal but a hair loss doctor I went to years ago said ferritin should be over 70-100 to help hair loss. Based on your post, it seems to be true? How can I get my ferritin up without the other iron going overboard?? Help!
  16. shasha1

    shasha1 Member

    Hi,
    My ferritin is also 44 and I've been on Iron for one year. It has only gone up 20 points in one year. It sucks. My doctor things I may have parasites or something wrong in my stomach that I'm not absorbing. Your blood iron won't go up. You will always be using it and losing during menstration. Don't worry. I have been to that doctor that wrote that article. Sorry not been to, but he does online consultations. He writes a lot of articles. I contacted him in Oct 2011 and sent him all my blood work. I was put on a "highly absorbable" iron supplement he sent (from Australia) - My iron went up the same amount it did on my old supplment. He said ferritin is my main cause then in my f/u said he thinks it's my thyroid. Even though my TSH is in range (.5-4.5) mine is 3.5 and he said new research has shown that anyone witha TSH over 2.0 can be considered mildly hypothyroid or under 1.0 (hyper) if experiencing symptoms. I am at my wits end. My endo does not believe this so no one treats. however, I have all symptoms. Extreme fatigue, cold hands, mood swings, brittle nails, dry skin, and ofcourse hairloss. Check to see where your TSH level is also. Additionally, low ferritin can contribute to thyroid problems too.
  17. NYCGirlie

    NYCGirlie New Member

    I agree that with menstrual cycles, it's hard to keep iron levels up. Only my ferritin is low. It was in the teens, then I got it into the 100s, but it dropped down to 35 after I stopped iron supplements. And I don't even know that is the cause of the hairloss. I have had my TSH tested (not recently) but it is always normal at 1.5-2. Have you ever had a TIBC test-it measures your iron binding ability. Who is the online consultant and how I can reach them?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  18. shasha1

    shasha1 Member

    Who is the online consultant and how I can reach them?[/quote]

    His name is Tony Pierce - if you google his name + trichologist you'll find his website which was the same link the original post of this thread posted that article from. He's located in Australia and he charges $250 for an online consultation of your labs. He will suggest therapy regimine for you. He is very knowledgable and seems to know much more than other trichologists or doctors I've been to. He ties Hairloss with Ferritin, thyroid, gluten, etc.. Ties it all together rather than just point to one thing. He said it was my ferritin but my ferritin goes up VERY slow and he even told me reasons for that and what to do. He told me that I may have mild thyroid problems also contributing. Let me know how it goes if you go to hinm. He has very good bedside manners, very professional and responsive although he's crazy busy.
  19. BraidedRope

    BraidedRope New Member

    I hope I'm reviving this thread because this article makes me feel like I sort of know what's causing my problem!

    I'm anemic and my extreme hair loss started when I got to college. Made sense considering I wasn't getting much iron with the food here. I make sure to eat a lot of meat now and my iron supplements are coming in the mail. However, when I went to an endocrinologist two years ago for a different reason, she noted I should be taking more calcium and vitamin-d. So I started taking those supplements in addition to a daily supplement. This article seems to suggest that those interfere with iron absorption. Has anyone else noticed this?
  20. shasha1

    shasha1 Member

    I have not noticed this but everywhere I read, and from my specialists as well, you should not take the iron and calcium TOGETHER. You just have to wait like 1-2 hours between the two. Same goes for iron and tea (the tanonins in black tea interfere with iron absorption, so I wait 1-2 hours to take my iron after I drink tea) - I heard no issues with taking iron and vit D together. Never read this anywhere either.