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I have had hair thinning due to too much shedding for a number of years and never realised it had anything to do with iron. Finally i went to see a trichologist (hair/scalp specialist) as last april my iron was a 6 and my ferritin was 8. Apparently there is a new range for ferritin and it is now 35 (or there abouts) - 300. The trichologist said that now for normal hair growth without the excessive shedding you need to be 80 and above due to the new range and he wants to see my at 150.

He has put me on some very strong iron powder and it contains some other ingredients. This i take twice a day after meals, while 20 min's before those two meals i have to take a complex amino acid tablet. He is giving me 3months and then i have to get a blood test and if they find my levels have not climbed sufficiently then they will look into what could be stopping iron absorbtion by my body. There can be two reasons for this 1. gluten intolerance, 2. insufficient enzymes for digestion of food, which in turn affects stomach and liver.

One thing he did mention is that people who are anaemic for a long length of time can run the risk of damaging their thyroid. This is why blood tests for your iron/ferretin levels should always include a full test of your thyroid too, not just one of those general thyroid test most gp's get pathology to do.

He also said that it will take between 3 - 6 months to start seeing results, but that hair loss due to low iron levels is reversible. He didn't mention any other side effects of low iron apart from the thyroid issue.

I wish i had known about iron affecting hair lost years ago as my gp should have picked up on it from low levels 6 - 7 years ago, but he conveniently said all was fine, when even then i was scraping the bottom of the barrel when it came to iron/ferretin. Then i went to see a dermatologist who said there was nothing wrong with my hair. Times like this you truly realise how valuable the internet is along with healthboards like these. If you are worried about your hair loss and you know it's from low iron, then do something about it as it wont go away and the hair will keep shedding and shedding. The sooner you take action the sooner your are likely to get your hair back.
I didn't read the info about long term iron defficiency possibly leading to thyroid disorders in some people, my trichologist told me about this. Each time i have a blood test to see where my levels are up to he also gets a blood test for my thyroid. He also gives me a VERY indepth letter to give to pathology so that they do the appropriate tests as many gp's simply get a very basic blood test done for thyroid.

The problem is that constant low iron, or low anything for that matter, will not have the same side effects for every single person out there. Often you will only pick up on side effects after you have had the problem for a long time.

The trichologist i visit has written a number of articles which you can read on the net. If you do a search using his name and profession you will find it easily enough. Do a search under Anthony Pearce Trichologist. He doesn't sell anything via the net, so dont worry that it's a marketing site. It's not like that and he only gives facts on hair loss details.

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