How long does it take to raise iron feritin level??

Discussion in 'Iron' started by NYCGirlie, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. NYCGirlie

    NYCGirlie New Member

    I have recently been diagnosed with Chronic TE due to low feritin. I tested at 16 and my doctor said it has to be at least 70-100 to stop excessive sheds and get more regrowth. How long does this take?? I was prescribed Feosol (65mg iron) 2x a day. I am also trying to eat more iron (red meats, beans, dried apricots, etc). I have had shedding since summer2009 but have noticed a slight improvement in sheds since I just started taking iron. I know it wont be a quick fix, but anyone have success stories and any info on timeframe? Will it all grow back to normal?
    Ponygirl likes this.
  2. jbarks

    jbarks New Member

    Hi, NYCGirlie,

    I am going through the same process as you. I noticed my hair loss several months ago, but I have a feeling that it has been gong on much longer. Anyway, my ferritin level is currently 25. Since I initially had it tested 6 weeks ago, it has gone up about 11 points. I've seen two hematologists, an endocrinologist, and a dermatologist. I saw one of the hematologists when I went home for Christmas, and she was very helpful. She prescribed me Ferrex 150 and told me to talk to my hematologist where I live. She told me I would probably have to go on a higher dose. However, here is where the irony occurs-- last week I had a follow up with my hematologist here (I, too, live in NYC). She was completely unhelpful and offered zero treatment options. I asked her about my prescription and possibly taking something higher. She said no. She told me to return to taking Hemaplex, which has 85 mg of iron. I told her I wanted to take something more and be as aggressive with my treatment as possible. She said no, and I just need to wait it out. I may not see any results until June. I have naturally fine hair, so my hair loss has been particularly devastating, and I told her that I wouldn't have any hair in June. She then gave me my most abhorred response: "Well, you can't tell." I hate that! I can tell, and that is all that matters. Needless to say I am not going back to her. I have an appointment with another hematologist on Monday. I am not a doctor, but I know that it is going to take more than 85mg of iron to raise my ferritin from 25 to 70 (at least).

    Anyway, I apologize for the brief rant. It has been a frustrating experience with doctors. My endocrinologist has been the most helpful. The dermatologist was a complete waste of time.
    In terms of a time table, it really depends on how aggressive your treatment is, and how quickly you can raise your levels. I've heard that the general time period is 6 months to a year until significant regrowth can be seen. My derm gave me Minoxidil to help speed up the process. But it's sitting in my desk drawer right now. I don't have any plans to use it.
    In terms of going back to normal, I think it varies from person to person. My grandmother had hair loss as a result of iron deficiency anemia when she was in her twenties, and her hair fully came back. However, with some people, a majority of it grows back, but not all. I think you'll just have to see what happens.
    What doctor did you see in New York? I'm looking for a backup in case this one is also a bust. It seems like your doctor actually took the time to address the hair loss issue. I wish you the best of luck!!
  3. NYCGirlie

    NYCGirlie New Member

    I understand the rant...it took me a few doctors to get an answer. And sadly it was in the bloodtest I had from the beginning, but no one knew how to read it. My doctor said I need to get to 70+ to see regrowth but I do have some regrowth and the shedding is getting better already. He wasnt 100% sure if it was just chronic TE due to low iron stores OR female pattern balding (or a combo of both). But I, optimistic that its chronic TE since its been a slow shedding that got me here. But I have hairlioss all over but receded temples, front hairline, wider part are most noiticeable (to me). Probably because thats what i first see. I'm not sure if this type of receding is characteristic of chronic TE from low iron (or if this is female pattern balding)????
  4. NYCGirlie

    NYCGirlie New Member

    Does anyone who has Chronic TE from low iron know if this is normal- been taking iron supplements for 1 month and now notice that less hair is shedding. But I see new, short hairs shedding along with the full grown long ones. Is that normal and a good sign or not?
  5. meggie

    meggie New Member

    Hi NYCGirlie,

    I too had low iron and was put on Fergon. It took me approx. 2 months to see any improvement. The shedding gradually stopped and I, too, lost the short, new hairs along with the long ones. From what I understand this is normal and means that the hair follicle is still healing and producing hair. My ferritin level is 75 now and my hair has stopped shedding completely. Hang in there!!!!
  6. NYCGirlie

    NYCGirlie New Member

    Thanks Meggie. Good to know the small hairs shedding is a good sign. I hope I see improvement within 2 months like you did. I see some improvement of less shedding and new growth but the amount of hair shed is stll more than the regrowth. Did you experience thinning front hairline? Mine is all over but most noticeable to me in front. My doctor said my ferritin is very low so its definitely a factor for my hairloss- everything else is normal- but he said since low iron hairloss mimicks female pattern hair loss, it could be a combo. I'm hoping its just all low iron! How much iron do you take? I take Feosol (65mg elemental iron/325mg ferrous sulfate) twice a day but was going to ask about taking it three times a day. How long have you kept iron levels up? How long did it take for all yoru hair to regrow back to normal? My dr says 6 month to a year :(
  7. meggie

    meggie New Member

    Hi NYCGirlie,

    I take Fergon 27 mg. and I only take it a few times a week now that my hair has stopped shedding and is growing back in. I also eat spinach a few times a week and cook in a cast iron skillet that leaches iron into the food. I had a lot of shedding all over the head but especially on the top and sides. It has taken me approx. 1 year to get back to normal. I stopped shedding completely in January 2011 and my hair is slowly growing back in and staying there. I haven't had my iron levels checked in a few months but have a dr's appt. on 3/15 and hopefully will find out then. I have been on iron for 6 months now. It does take time for everything to start working normally again but since you have small hairs growing in that is an excellent sign that the follicules are working. I was so excited when I parted my hair and finally saw these little hairs poking up. Keep the faith and eat healthy and try not to stress over it. God Bless.
  8. saniaa83

    saniaa83 New Member

    My Ferritin level is 14 and I've started taking 60 mg of iron three times a day+ what's in my multi vitamin. How long should it take to raise that number and see a decline in my hair-loss ( at least I hope anyway) ? My derm doesn't want to re check the level for 4 months and that seems like a long time to me.

    Thanks!
  9. NYCGirlie

    NYCGirlie New Member

    I have been taking 2 iron pills a day (as presribed by doctor) for 2 months. I have been taking blackstrap molasses, eating iron rich foods, and slowed down my workouts so I don't burn off too much iron. I just got retested and my ferritin only went up 12 points. Is this normal? Seems SLOW! At this rate, it will take FOREVER to get to 70-100 range for hair regrowth
  10. linzineedshelp

    linzineedshelp New Member

    hi, i am suffering hair loss due to low iron and also possibly postpartum hair loss too.my doctor said it could be a combination of the two.
    i too am losing most hair from the front and front sides, very upsetting and noticable to me.itsnt it just the worst!!!!
    i had my blood tested a couple weeks ago and my ferritin is 8! i have been taking iron for just more than a week and i am hoping to at least see an improvement soon? has anyone had a quick result? (feeling as hopefull as i can right now)
    i was prescribed ferrous fumarate 210mg/68mg elemental iron, three times a day.
    after a week of this and revisiting my doctor she agreed to put me on the maximum dose for the quickets result.
    i now take 420 mg/136mg elemental iron, three times a day.
    i just hope i see some improvement soon.its getting me down so much.
    has anyone been taking a dose like this?

    i also think i have some little hairs growing in, i noticed them yesterday but wondering if the were there before and i hadnt noticed.they are along the front of my hair line and sticking up about 1cm long.

    hope for some replies/shared experiences.

    love to you all xxx
  11. newmom

    newmom New Member

    Hi Linzi!
    after the hair stopped shedding, when did you start seeing regrowth? did you hair go back to its normal state? how long did the shedding last and what was it triggered by?
    thank you!
  12. newmom

    newmom New Member

    HI Meggie!
    after the hair stopped shedding, when did you start seeing regrowth? did you hair go back to its normal state? how long did the shedding last and what was it triggered by?
    thank you!
  13. newmom

    newmom New Member

    sorry, i misplaced my question -- I have the same prob as you - post-partum hair loss that lasts more than a year. my ferritin was 12, it is now 31. i am hoping the shedding will stop. where do u see those short hairs? how to look for them? thanks
  14. linzineedshelp

    linzineedshelp New Member

    hi newmom.
    my hair hasnt stopped shedding in afraid, not yet, as i mentioned before its could be due to the low iron or postpartum hair loss, my son is 5 months old.
    my ferritin went from 8 to 21 in 9 days of taking the prescribed iron.i just hope it continues at this rate.
    i see the short hairs at the very front of my hair line, they are the first hairs that are visible at the front of my hair.they are about 1cm long and stick straight up.i havent noticed them anywhere else, think they will be hard to see in the rest of my hair between it all.
    i am too hoping the shedding stops soon i cant stand it.its so depressing.i hope it reduces as my ferritin rises.
    it has been falling out for 5 weks now

    linzi xxx
  15. Hopelesslola

    Hopelesslola New Member

    Please meggie I'm going through the same thing I started shedding feb 1st 2011 and to this date I'm still shedding after they did my blood work they found out my ferritin was 38 the doctor told me I need to maintain it above 75 and it has to stay that way for 6-8 months for my body to catch on and go back to normal. Please meggie your story is the only one I see that gives me hope cause deep down I feel so helpless. Well since jan 16 2011 my iron went to 96 which is great but apparently it has to stay like that for 6 mths my question is what date did u begin shedding and I understand u stopped shedding in jan 2011 but did u go through a year of shedding and another year to grow your hair back making it a two year course please help.
  16. meggie

    meggie New Member

    Hang in There, Lola!

    Hi Lola,

    I know exactly what you are going through--the panic in seeing the hair loss, the depressed feelings, thinking that it will never come back, but
    trust me, it will. Most likely you have telogen effluvium, the same thing that I suffered with, due to my going off estrogen and being put on a synthetic thyroid medication. I had the severe hair loss for approx. 1 year. After I started taking iron supplements, a good hair vitamin, and increasing my protein, my hair FINALLY started growing back in. It has been a long process but fortunately, my hair is back to being fairly thick and I'm praying that the nightmare never comes back!! I continue to take
    the iron (it takes quite a while to get the ferritin level up), and I will never
    go without the vitamins. Eat your protein too, because hair is made up of
    protein. Another important thing that helped, I thinks, is that I started to listen to "de-stress" tapes that I bought. Stress can also make hair loss
    worse so you have to learn how to relax and not worry so much. Believe
    me, it takes awhile, but pretty soon it will be behind you and you will have
    a good head of hair again. Let me know how things are going. God Bless and Good Luck!!
  17. Hopelesslola

    Hopelesslola New Member

    Hi nycgirl I'm having the same problem did ur shedding stop I guess it did since I don't see anymore post by u
  18. Hopelesslola

    Hopelesslola New Member

    Oh god thank u meggie thank u soooo much your the the only hope I have right now. I read your storries 10xs a day with tears in my eyes begging god that one day I'll be someone hope too. God bless you for coming on and answering me. God bless you your words mean so much to me and I do have telegen efflium and it's all due to my ferritin level now it's 96 so my doctor said for 6 to 8 mths I have to keep it that way. My top and sides were affected the most. Thank u for your respond this really means so much to me
  19. meggie

    meggie New Member

    Hi Again Lola

    Hi Lola,

    Another thing that gave me hope, was that I was told to part my hair while looking in the mirror, flatten existing hair with hand, and check to see if there are little hairs sticking up in the part. Lo and behold, I saw
    all these little hairs sticking up! I was so happy! Sometimes the hairs
    growing in will fall out, but don't be concerned. It's just your hair follicules
    getting stronger so that healthy hair will be able to take hold and grow.
    The smaller hairs started around my front hairline first. I eat 5 egg whites in the morning (scrambled) and try to get 65 grams of protein a day. I truly believe that really helps, along with the vitamins that contain all the nutrients for healthy hair. I order Andrew Lessman's Hair, Skin &
    Nail Vitamins and LOVE them. I did a lot of research and found out these
    were the best. They are pricey, but my hair growing back was worth it.
    Keep the faith, Lola, and trust me, you will have your hair back before you know it!

    God Bless and Take Care,
    Meggie
  20. anu

    anu New Member

    Hi Meggie

    Hi Meggie, thank GoD for posting this - it really gives hope and lots of positivity.

    I am facing a situation similar to yours, my ferritin level is 5.6 and am on 150mg (50mg elemental iron) I am a vegetarian. I understand that increasing the iron level and for hair to grow back to being thick and healthy will take anywhere between 6-12 months. However I wanted to ask you how long did is take for u to notice your hair shedding stop/reduce since you started taking iron supplements. Would it be possible for you to walk through 1) how many hair you used to lose before u took the supplements? 2) when shedding reduced - how many hair falling did you notice? 3) currently how many hair do u shed if any.

    Also can you please tell me how many times a day did you take fergon when you started and the Andrew Lessman's hair vitamins. also any good de-stress tapes you can reccommend - i know de-stressing helps a lot ...i am trying, but a little more help would help :)

    Would you know your ferritin level now? Sorry to ask you so many questions, thank you for helping answer them. Really appreciate it.

    thanks
    Anu