It was the iron...shedding pretty much stopped!

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by ladyV, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. ladyV

    ladyV New Member

    I know it's one of the first things that is checked when we see a doc for hair loss.. if you haven't had blood work yet, DO IT. I have low ferritin levels and have been religiously taking iron pills 2 times/day and eating red meat almost every day... now when i shower it is nowhere near the 300+ hairs in the drain, it is much closer to normal. I still have super thin hair (as i have my whole life) but am no longer actively losing it.. my hair still looks like sh*t of course, but now i have learned to conceal my scalp better and wash it only 2 times a week. And occasionally i *do* actually have a good hair day!

    The iron absorption is tricky, having to work coffee/dairy around when i take the pill/have red meat.. but i can feel my body getting better, almost like a high after i eat a burger. The hair shedding was a sign that my body was severely lacking in an essential nutrient.. i probably never would've had my blood checked if the hair loss hadn't propelled me into the doctor's office. I also had severe fatigue and heart palpitations which i presumed just went along with having a very stressful life with young children. In a way my hair loss might have saved me from permanently damaging my body in a more serious way.. even though the agony of seeing it all go down the drain or sprinkled all over the house felt worse than anything, short of death.

    Get that blood work if you haven't.. hope to see regrowth in several months, but i don't really care as long as the shedding has STOPPED.
    Ponygirl likes this.
  2. khikhob

    khikhob Member

    maybe low iron is the culprit?

    Hi Ladies, finally seen a dermatologist today - my ferritin is 17 but the hair that is falling out - in handfuls - is also really fine, almost like nylon and very breakable. The derm I saw has really bad online reviews. I am quite blonde with already very fine hair but I am not sure he recognized the thinning anatomy of the individual hairs that are coming out - almost like cat hairs, very fine. Having said that he did say I have low grade sebhorreic dermatitis and has prescribed ketoconazole 2%. He says the two issues are unrelated, since I have quite itchy, irritated scalp. Could low iron cause this quite diffuse, dramatic hair loss (comes out in handfuls when I shower, and when I run my hands through my hair) and 'simply' be low iron? Is there hope? Will an iron boost help or is this androgenic alopecia? Any ideas, ladies? And best wishes to you all with this most underrated of struggles. BTW I am Caucasian, 43 years old. Please any answers? Good luck and best wishes to all of you who are going through these very difficult issues.
  3. znaoic

    znaoic New Member

    Can I ask what kind of iron supplement that you take? Is it anything special?

    I am trying to treat myself but do have an appointment with a dermatologist in two weeks. I don't know what to expect and how helpful she will be. I have been trying so many things on my own including taking iron. But I am just buying iron tablets at our local grocery store. I know there are more expensive options out there and I don't know how much of a difference this makes.
  4. rocket123

    rocket123 New Member

    help please

    I'm at the end of my tether with hair shedding. I don't know when it started but my hairdresser noticed a lot of regrowth in Feb / March which is when I started obsessing over hair shedding. Counting in the shower / hairbrush / avoiding going out / panic attacks/ reading online. It's taking over my life. My hair is so thin now and the doctors checked my bloods which showed my ferritin level is 7. I started ferrous iron tablets 2 daily 6 weeks ago and a skin hair & nail vitamin. I still shed 30-40 hairs when brushing and double that when washing / drying / styling so 'normal range' but my hair is so thin I'm not sure that I would be in the normal range category anyway. I'm desperate for a success story, a few years on, can anyone report how they are doing now?
  5. MaryJo

    MaryJo New Member

    I hope the cause for my hair loss can be iron deficiency. strangely enough, i've brought this up with several doctors and nobody has THOUGHT to test me on this yet...:mad: i even asked my general doc about this, and she just asked "have you used a new shampoo?" UGH...
    Ponygirl likes this.
  6. cipota100

    cipota100 New Member

    how long did it take for hair shedding to respond to iron?

    Hi there. I am encouraged by the success story of the first person who posted in this thread who said her shedding has stopped, and very happy for her. I have been shedding excessively since early July (i.e. 2 months). In mid-August my ferretin was found to be at 9 :eek:, which was a drop from 18 only 10 days earlier. My dermatologist said to aim for 70, and that corresponds with some other seemingly scientific information I've read. My question to you and to others who found relief once their iron came back up, is how long did it take for the hair follicles to get the memo about that?
    Ponygirl likes this.
  7. downfordaisy

    downfordaisy Member

    Hello my ferritin was at 19 about 3 months ago. I havnt had it checked yet but since then I have been taking iron very consistently along with a progesterone cream at night because I have low progesterone as well. I do feel an improvement in my hair and my shedding. While I still feel I am losing more hair than normal, I am losing so much less than a year-2 years ago
    Ponygirl likes this.
  8. khikhob

    khikhob Member

    Have been taking 325mg ferrous sulfate tablets, plus liquid IronSmart or Floradix, if I run out of one or the other, for the last 5 months or so, along with Vit C, blackstrap molasses (for potassium), plus all the usual suspects - biotin, fish oil, multivitamins, calcium, magnesium. Healthy diet although I drink too much alcohol - hard to give up when dealing with the associated depression that goes along with hair loss. Still shedding furiously. Centre parting and temples are now very thin. I think I have managed to get the seborrheic dermatitis (scalp) under control but I feel a sort of tingling/crawling sensation on the scalp which I have read is possible a sign of menopause. I am still seeing absolutely NO new growth. Both dermatologists I have seen are very vague about prognosis and cause. Now have been prescribed minoxidil 5% but still reluctant to pull the trigger on it since there seems to be a preponderance of negative feedback about it. Over the past 6 months ferritin has gone from 17 to 53 then dropped back to 46. I have extremely heavy periods plus severe IBS (mixed) (which no doubt affects my nutrient/mineral absorption). Nearly everything I read on the Net says one needs at least ferritin 70 for several months to see a reduction in shedding and possible regrowth. Just thought I'd update on progress (or total absence thereof!). Has anyone else managed to get their ferritin up and, if so, did you see less shedding or new growth? Hope others are seeing more positive results. All the best x
    Ponygirl likes this.
  9. SBanshee

    SBanshee New Member


    After taking iron supplements as directed by my doctor (Ferretin was 17) every day for three months with no indication that my hair loss was slowing down, I went in for a re-test. It was LOWER! So, I am now on a liquid form and am taking it with vitamin C to help it along. So, it's worth getting tested...and re-tested. I have hope again!
    Ponygirl likes this.
  10. khikhob

    khikhob Member

    Hi SBanshee,
    I've read several of your posts and you and I seem to be treading a similar path; my initial ferritin was also 17 and I also have low Vit D. Not sure what is my hair loss cause since I also have seb derm of the scalp so a rather hostile environment for the follicles. I think I responded to one of your other posts on the Vitamin D question but can't find it! Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I had quite encouraging success with regard to getting my ferritin from 17 up to 53 or thereabouts within the space of three or four months, taking IronSmart, available on amazon, (I am not associated with the company in any way), which is in liquid, liposomal form, much more readily absorbed by the body. Always taking it with Vitamin c supplement PLUS orange juice or the fruit itself and avoiding beverages containing tannin as I am sure you are aware, for about 2 hours afterwards. My ferritin dropped back to mid/late 40s when I stopped the liquid supplement and went back to iron tablets - I suffer from extremely heavy periods which is probably the cause of my iron deficiency - so I am pretty convinced that the liposomal iron is the way to go if you are really serious about getting that ferritin up. I resumed the liquid about 4 weeks ago and ferritin is back up to 53. Just letting you know my experiences thus far with the ferritin battle! Perhaps let me know what is working for you? All the best x Kate
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  11. SBanshee

    SBanshee New Member

    Hi Kate - it sure IS a struggle, isn't it?! I have no idea why I'm so deficient in iron...I eat more red meat than I probably should...and always have. I had an IUD which gave me heavy periods and lots of spotting in between for seven years and just had it removed....the doctor said that there is no link between iron deficiency and an IUD, but I will see if there is any change My thinking is, if I’m iron deficient there must be a cause – I can take as much iron as I want but if I don’t treat the cause, then it may never work? Anyway, it’s been out for a month and I’ve been on the new iron for about the same. Keep forgetting to take the Vit D drops! I have started taking EmergenC fizzy vitamin C drinks with my tabs. They make my stomach hurt so I take them at night and have no ill effects. Will have a look at the iron you suggested too.
    Anyway, I was totally distraught a few months ago...losing hundreds of hairs a day. I was using that minoxidil stuff that dried out my scalp and gave me dandruff. I had to shower morning and night to use the product twice a day (have to apply to clean, dampish scalp). It was time consuming and frustrating. I was a slave to my hair (or lack thereof). Now - I feel a bit more positive. I think I have new growth but can’t see actual dots where it’s coming out?! I just have a bit more “foof” where my hair used to be flat. I’m losing about 10-20 in the shower now and maybe 10-20 when I style. I was losing them all day, just falling onto my shoulders at work...into my food...I’d see them everywhere!
    I will get my iron checked in another month. In the meantime, I’m ignoring the issue. Trying to be happy, eat well and NOT think about it. When I do get it tested again, I’ll post it in here.
    I did notice that the roots of the hairs I’m losing seem thin and insignificant. I hope that’s not a bad sign. They used to all have a big bulb...back when hair was healthy – three years ago. Now it’s tricky to tell which end is which? Individual hairs are thinner too. I am 39 and starting to go grey as well. I’m seeing a few of those spring up. Isn’t that just the way?! I will lose all my hair except for a dozen wirey little greys on top! Haha. Yeesh.
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  12. khikhob

    khikhob Member

    Hi SBanshee,
    Thank you for the interesting reply. Very similar experiences overall, although I also have seborrheic dermatitis which I am pretty convinced is a major contributory factor - my scalp gets very itchy and tingly and 6 months of prescription shampoo has made very little difference. When the seb derm flares up the shedding is off the chain - I have just had a week-long flare up and there is hair all over the house. Unfortunately this condition means I HAVE to wash my hair every day and so there is no avoiding the terribly distressing ordeal of showering and seeing tonnes of hair swill down the drain :-( Great news that you think you are seeing new growth. I think it is normal for the new hairs to be thinner/more attenuated than your regular hair, and this makes sense if your ferritin has been low because the body will probably be a bit frugal with the material used for new growth..? As for me, still absolutely no new growth, and in fact yesterday I made the mistake of looking in the mirror before going out and could actually see a shiny scalp, like an old man!! Jeez, I am really getting to the point of considering a hairpiece. It's so hard to not obsess but you are right, it's best to try to put it to the back of your mind. Keep me posted as to new growth and ferritin, if you wouldn't mind? All the best, Kate x
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