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Firstly, your iron levels on your blood test are simply and indication of how much iron was there at the time of the blood test. Your iron goes up and down all day long, depending on the foods you eat, drink, your menstrual cycle etc. Looking simply at your iron level is not the best indicator as it's your ferretin level which is the important figure.

Ferretin of only 19 might not be considered anemic, but it is very low. My ferretin levels dropped year by year and my gp simply kept telling me that my blood tests were fine. I on the other hand was noticing considerable hair shedding and noticed that the bottom of my hair length was thinning compared to how much hair i had on my scalp. I had baby hairs growing, but they never seemed to last the distance and all the long hairs kept dropping off year by year.

Fast forward to 6yrs later.........i did a heap of research on here and anywhere else i could and finally found a specialist who dealt in my condition, which is a Trichologist (hair/scalp specialist). He backed up all my research and especially the fact that those with low ferretin and continous and overall hair loss need to keep their ferretin levels over 70 for a period of 6 to 12 months for a proper hair growth cycle to develop. I did visit a dermatologist, but she simply said all was ok and nothing to worry about.

This condition is reversible but takes time. Some of the over the counter iron supplements are such low dosages that you could easily double the dosage. Look at your diet too, if you are vegan then it's likely more difficult to raise your levels or if you eat a lot of rubbish type foods or drink too many caffeinated beverages.

If you have anemia for too long or low ferretin it can start to affect the thyroid as well as other side effects and thyroid can affect hair loss and tiredness just like anemia can. On the other hand if your body isn't absorbing iron from foods or your iron supplements it could mean you need a higher dosage of the supplements or there could be other problems with your body not creating enough enzymes to help digest your food. Maybe you are suffering stress. It's all really guess work at the start, but you would benefit from attempting to boost your ferretin and if your doctor isn't cooperative i would endeavour to find one who actually understands this particular field as not all gp's understand (actually they rarely do!!) and not ALL dermotologists are qualified with the hair loss factor of dermatology, only some are. This is why seeing a Trichologist is sometimes the only answer.

The problem is reversible though. I have been on over 80mg of iron supplement since about Feb of this year and even though i could only get my ferretin back up to 29 i have noticed masses of baby hairs growing all over the place, more than ever before. I just hope they stay there. On monday i will be starting iron injections as my specialist wants my ferretin to be over 125 just incase i have a bad relapse and so i dont slide beneath 70 again in a hurry. As the iron supplement is taking forever we felt the injections would be much faster. It makes me sad as my hair was down to my waist and it was the thing i liked best about me so i can truly understand how it is for females to face hair loss. All the best to you :)





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