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Low Ferritin levels.....and massive hair shedding

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  • Low Ferritin levels.....and massive hair shedding

    I went to the dr for full blood work up as I was concerned about thyroid issues given the large amounts of hair i am losing.
    He believes all my levels are fine, but i noticed that my Ferritin level is 33. Acceptable range here is 18-200, so I am obviously at the low end of that. From the research I have done, Ferritin needs to be at least 70 for an extended period of time to slow shedding and encourage new hair growth.
    I am going to stop drinking tea for a while as i know the tannin inhibits iron absorption. Take an iron supplement, take molasses. I eat a lot of meat and vegies so i am perplexed about the levels. Any other ideas of options to try and increase my iron absorption and ferritin level?

  • #2
    Are you anemic? I am and my ferritin is very low, my hair also started falling out in large amounts; low carb accelerated the speed of it, made things even worse for me, inluding my fasting BG. Do you eat low carb? If so, don't. it could make the situation worse.
    Last edited by j3nn; 04-15-2013, 03:16 PM.
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    • #3
      My dr says I am not anemic. I do not eat low carb. Lots of meat, fats, vegies and starches. Maybe i should increase my fruit intake.

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      • #4
        Citric acid (OJ) helps with Iron absorption.

        How's the rest of your health, any other issues, clues?

        If all ok, then did you experience any stressful events in recent times?

        A trauma event, physiological or emotional can cause the body to do a hardcore survival preparation, which results in stopping all non essential functions, and hair is one of these. Once the growth cycle is interrupted the hair is broken, but will usually take over two weeks to grow out and shed, so there is a time delay from the event to visible shedding.

        All the folicles do this naturally with around 10% in the dormant phase at any point in time, but stress will induce many more to jump in there resulting in excessive shedding weeks later.
        "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

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        • #5
          I just had a thyroidectomy 3 and half months ago an my hair is falling out like crazy! My synthyroid and cytomel dosage are right and my levels a fine. Think adding iron supplements would help with the hair loss?
          Veronica
          High weight: 263.8 lbs
          Primal start weight 1/26/13: 233 lbs
          ADF start weight 10/12/15 : 188.2lbs
          Current weight: 177.6 lbs
          Goal: 145 lbs

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          • #6
            I stared Paleo in August 2012, and from end of October to February was loosing a lot of hair. I would say 6-7 times more then before. And then it's stopped. I did not add any vitamins, didn't change any hair products. And now I have a lot of short hair growing up. So maybe it's just your body adjusting to Paleo lifestyle.

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            • #7
              Yes, insufficient iron causes hair loss. Take iron supplements, check your iron and ferritin level, you'd like the ferritin to be 60-80. Ferritin is the stored form of iron.
              "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Happy Hippo View Post
                I stared Paleo in August 2012, and from end of October to February was loosing a lot of hair. I would say 6-7 times more then before. And then it's stopped. I did not add any vitamins, didn't change any hair products. And now I have a lot of short hair growing up. So maybe it's just your body adjusting to Paleo lifestyle.
                I have been eating paleo for over 2 years. And my hair loss has only been the last 10 months or so.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cryptocode View Post
                  Yes, insufficient iron causes hair loss. Take iron supplements, check your iron and ferritin level, you'd like the ferritin to be 60-80. Ferritin is the stored form of iron.
                  My ferritin level is 33. My dr wasn't concerned but I am. I am taking iron supps now and molasses.

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                  • #10
                    It would be best to know what you were before. Is this a drop for you? What about your TIBC and saturation level? Is isn't so much that one number, but your history and current symptoms.

                    I've dealt with this issue for years. I had a hysterectomy and it ended, but has recently returned in an odd presentation. My ferrtin was 150 by my lab when I had a follow up visit and I had had a massive hair fallout a few months before. I'm back on iv iron for now until we figure something out.

                    If you are having symptoms, you should follow-up. At the very least you should find out what those other labs are and compare them to past labs.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sigzephyr View Post
                      My ferritin level is 33. My dr wasn't concerned but I am. I am taking iron supps now and molasses.
                      Iron and ferritin are not the same thing. If your ferritin levels are low, that is what you need to be supplementing.

                      I noticed an improvement within 3 days of starting to supplement ferritin after increased shedding and getting my blood levels checked. My iron levels were fine, but ferritin was about what yours is.
                      Depression Lies

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                        Iron and ferritin are not the same thing. If your ferritin levels are low, that is what you need to be supplementing.

                        I noticed an improvement within 3 days of starting to supplement ferritin after increased shedding and getting my blood levels checked. My iron levels were fine, but ferritin was about what yours is.
                        It's strange I haven't heard of this before. My understanding was ferritin is a protein that binds to iron and stores it in the body. Everything I have read suggests taking iron to increase ferritin levels. Are you suggesting it is possible to skip this and go straight to supplementing with ferritin?

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                        • #13
                          I've been trying to solve the mysteries of hair loss caused by low ferritin levels as well. There are some commenters on hair loss forums who are having great success with raising their ferritin levels quickly with iron supplements, vitamin C supplements and lysine supplements. I haven't been able to find much info on lysine's role in iron metabolism. According to the "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" book, lysine deficiency can result in anemia and hair loss. Perhaps it is needed for a carrier protein?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sigzephyr View Post
                            My ferritin level is 33. My dr wasn't concerned but I am. I am taking iron supps now and molasses.
                            I agree with momrn,. Your other iron numbers, if they were run, help to get the whole picture. Plus, doctors blow stuff off all the time. You watch your health way more than they have time to, and in many cases, they won't address an issue until it gets serious (or you keep being a "squeaky wheel"). I just finished a round of IV iron supplementation that spanned 5 doses over 3 weeks. I was anemic, with iron saturation at 4%, total iron at 14, and my ferritin was only 8. And yes, my hair has been falling out in buckets. I have UC, but hemocults were negative, so I am in the same boat as you---cause of iron deficiency is unknown right now. Either you aren't absorbing it properly, or you are losing it. Your ferritin decreases as your body uses its iron stores.

                            Make sure to ask for all your numbers printed out, so you can analyze them yourself. I personally wouldn't just go on the word of a doc that "isn't concerned". You are concerned, and that should be enough. And many people are happy with being "not sick", but they may not really be healthy, and doctors can fall right into that groove with their patients. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great doctors in the world, but you still have to advocate strongly for yourself. It sounds like you are doing that, for the most part.

                            Good luck, and keep pushing forward with this.
                            Last edited by k-del; 09-01-2014, 10:08 PM.

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