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Two weeks ago I did a blood test and I found out that the ferritin was low to 7 while hemoglobin and hematochrite are normal.
Can anyone suggest reasons behind low ferritin, and what are the side effects of it.I am taking iron supplement and I 've started noticing severe hair loss.
Thank your for your help.
Jasmin,

What you have is iron deficiency that has not yet progressed to the anemia stage. I started with mild anemia when my ferritin hit 5. However, I never did have any hair loss.

The most usual cause of this in pre-menopausal women is heavy menstrual flow. If you don't think this is the case for you, then you do need to get it checked out because gastrointestinal problems (ulcers, tumors, etc) can all cause bleeding and iron deficiency and anemia. Anemia is not a disease but a symptom of another disease so it is important to determine the cause of losing your iron.

My symptoms seem to be predominantly fatigue, even when I don't have the anemia. When the anemia is present, it is even worse.
Hi Jasmin - i can identify with the hair loss. I first began noticing the hair shedding back at the start of 2001, but as i was going through some stress and was on antidepressants i put it down to that. The problem never went away, even when i was feeling much better. As the years went on my hair shed more and more and my scalp looked fine, but you could tell in the length of my hair that i had lost at least half of it. The reason my scalp looked fine was that i constantly had new regrowth, but it wasnt able to alst the distance.

I then thought it was the commercial shampoos and all the chemicals they contain. I then bought shampoo which didnt contain sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate in it, only to find out that it had nothing to do with shampoo. I never used products in my hair as it was very long, straight and natural, would only perhaps dye it 2 times per year, so i knew it wasnt product related.

I then looked at vitamins and my diet. I ate well, am not a vegetarian, only have a social drink with my meal, dont smoke, no extreme partying or late nights. I bought vitamins anyway, read loads of posts on the hair/beauty section of the healthboards and took advice from there eg: to take biotin which is supposed to be good for hair/skin/nails. I read also about low iron levels and hair loss, so for a while i took iron tablets which constipated me and then i gave up.

About a year and a half ago i had the most awful perlvic pain during the night and i went to the doctor who did a blood test and ordered an internal/external ultrasound, but they found nothing. My blood test revealed my ferretin to be at 8. I thank my lucky stars for that mysterious pelvic pain which i never had before or after. Maybe it was my guardian angel sending me to the doctor :)

So now i knew that my tiredness, lack of motivation, swollen/sore/burning eyes, hair loss was due to the iron and all those things i read on here and researched on the net were true. The problem was that all those over the counter iron supplements took FOREVER to work as the dosages on those things are way to low to get anywhere fast. I was by this stage very scared about my hair.

In february this year i visited a Trichologist (hair/scalp specialist). He knew anything and everything on this topic, plus the fact that being low in your iron can start affecting other areas of your body eg: liver function, muscles, thyroid etc. He did an indepth blood test and discovered that some things were good and other things not so good. He then set new targets for the not so good things. He wants my ferretin up to 125 - 150 for optimum all over health or at least over 70 so that my hair can have a proper growth cycle. Through the tests i found out that my thyroid had been affected and some thing which should have been low was higher than my dr liked and something else which should have been high was lower than he liked.

He put me on some high strength iron supplement, but it didn't get me much further for some reason. I then did a course of iron injections and i should get me results next week hopefully. I feel so much better, no more feeling over tired, no more sore/burning eyes, more energy too. I am able to actually do a bit of exercise and each morning and afternoon after work i jump and jog on a mini trampoline as exercise is vital for both iron and thyroid. Jumping up and down on the trampoline also gets your lymph moving which is good for your immune system and the thyroid.

With supplements, buy some Lysine as it has been found to be beneficial in conjunction with iron supplements as it helps transport the iron through the body.

For me personally perhaps the stress i went through did start the ball rolling, but i also went through a period about 10yrs ago where i had constant yeast infections due to the amount of antibiotics for my tonsilities before finally getting my tonsils removed. The yeast build up in my stomach stopped the absorbtion of vitamins/minerals from foods. I ended up with very bad irritable bowel for quite some months and this wouldnt have helped. My dramas could have started with this b/c when i look back at old blood tests i see my iron levels were low and just went lower, but my dr at the time simply thought all was ok due to me being within the 'range', which is a word a lot of people on this board have learnt to hate!! There are certain blood tests where it's not good enough to be within 'range', some things you are best of being high, some things are better low, while others are best in the middle. Everything has it's right spot, but most gp's dont seem to understand this!!

As for hair, even when the levels get to 70 it still take about 3 to 6 months and sometimes for some people from 6 - 12 months to really see BIG results. It's not a fast process and that is why you need to be patient, dont give up and keep taking the supplements, research into things which can be of benefit and do tests to find out a possible reason of why your levels came down so low in the first place. With my hair, ever since my ferretin levels did go up somewhat, i have noticed more baby hairs than ever before. Fingers crossed they stay put and dont drop out. Don't stress too much about your hair, i know it can be scary, but it will grow back, whether it's due to your low ferretin or due to your thyroid being out of shape, it will grow back.
jasmin--Don't worry about the hair issue. I was very, very concerned about this my Ferritn was a 2. I have white tile floors and it showed all over the house, company could see it. It was always falling off my clothes too. This went on really bad for 7 mo's. Before this my hair always fell out for years but not that bad, not to be concerned. Thought this was my thyroid. When it got really bad I did everything in my power that I have learned to do and got my Ferritin to 20 so far, I know that's still low but that is when the shedding has decreased by more than half. Just work on getting the Ferritin up. Many people experience hair loss with low Ferritin. Take care. FLFLOWERGIRL:)





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