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[QUOTE=alwayshotroddin;2901635]I have been reading your posts on this topic. Does anyone know how long you can have low ferritin levels before your hemoglobin levels start to drop? I first found out my ferritin level was at 11.6 in January and since then it's dropped to 4.0 as of last week (this is also while I'm taking iron supplements). My iron saturation level is also low. Just curious to know what might happen next if my ferretin levels don't start to go up?[/QUOTE]
For those asking about ferritin levels and iron. The ferritin level measures how good your body is at extracting iron from food or supplements you are taking. If you are a vegetarian who eats no eggs, cheese or other dairy products, your source of iron is a plant source such as beets, etc. There is iron in vegetables, primarily root vegetables, potatoes etc. It is not heme iron, but it is iron. Then meats: beef, pork, chicken are the primary sources of heme iron, with eggs being a good source if you eat the yolk, that of course is an issue with some health considerations.
Either way you get iron, the body uses what it needs for daily functioning and stores the rest in a storage area for drawing on if you get food deprived. If you are nutrition deprived, you will lose your hair, primarily a protein loss issue, you finger nails will become brittle, break easily or will get streaks, you may get mouth sores easily. All of those symptoms are from not enough available iron. Ferritin again without any other information about your nutritional status means nothing. Usually, people will seek medical attention while they still have a little ferritin left because of other problems and symptoms. Thyroid problems can be silent too. Depression for any reason can make the body stressed out and not respond to available nutrition. It is not caused by what you think, the depression causes the way you may feel and your appetite may become picky or non-nutritious just at the time you need the food the most. I hope that will help you to understand. Some people can have a low hemaglobin and low ferritin and feel awful, some can have a normal hemaglobin and a low ferritin level and never know it. Some can have a low hemaglobin, be short of breath, and think they have a virus and they have been gradually dropping in iron all along and never connected it together.
Some people are always different than other people so that is what medical practice is all about, there are no definite answers except the one you believe.
Hi Sparkles, well i'm not a doctor, but from what i have found out is that ferritin is the important one, but in general doctors and people alike tend to refer to the levels in a general way by simply saying "iron levels". When i get my blood test results there are always seperate figures for iron itself and ferretin and my specialist always says that the ferretin is the one to keep an eye on.

My levels had increased during my last blood test, but my specialist will not hear of my going off my iron supplement until i'm close to 150. He wants me up so high so that if i fall dramatically again i wont fall so far that it will take forever to get back up again and i wont go through the hair loss trauma. So if your ferritin is only up to 18 now i would not be stopping any additional iron supplementation and i have no idea where on earth your doc is coming from in giving you advice to not take any further iron supplements. The problem is which iron supplement to take as some of them are not that strong and you could be on it forever and not see much of a difference. An over the counter iron supplement i was on for a whole year didn't do that much for me and my specialist told me i could double or triple the dosage easily without overdosing. I'd never double or triple any medication without consulting a doctor, but that simply goes to show you how weak some of the supplements out there really are. Unless you find a great doctor who truly is interested in your cause, i feel none of us stand a chance.

The problem with having continuous very low iron levels is that for some people it can cause an irreversable thyroid condition and that is something you dont want to end up with on top of the hair loss. mention that your low iron hasn't affected your hair, but you have problems with running. For me, no matter how low my iron got, it didn't affect my general daily stamina nor my skin or nails. Low iron levels affect everybody in different ways. I would only feel overwhelming tiredness after breakfast on the weekends, but the rest of the day or my weekdays i was on the go with no problems and my nails were healthy, which surprised my doctor, but i had been sufferent the ongoing cycle of hair growth and quick fall out since January 2001.

The one thing which i feel may also be helping me is that my specialist has me on an Amino Acid Complex tablet twice per day which i take 20 mins before breakfast and dinner. It basically helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals much better.

If you want to read up on more info you can ****** the name Anthony Pearce Trichologist and he writes some very easy to understand info on hair loss which might be of benefit. You just have to remember that there is no magic wand and it takes quite a while for things to start happening.

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