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I have been experiencing hair loss and fatigue for quite a while. A year ago I had a CBC - my HCT, red blood cells were on the low normal range, white blood cells were slightly elevated. TSH was 3.5 and T4 was normal. My dermatologist decided to check the Ferritin levels and I am 17. From reading the posts here, it seems that that is low but she says it's ok. Has anyone been told at this level they are "normal". I don't really feel normal right now.

Thinking that I could benefit from an iron supplement to help. Just wondering what kind is best tolerated.

17 is not normal. A good doctor would want you heading closer to 70 and above. I got as high as 61 and my doctor wants me at 100.

Have you been checked for a gluten intolerance? This can lead to low iorn, poor absorbtion of vitamins and minerals, which can lead to hair loss.

I agree low iron can lead to hair loss too, but your TSH of 3.5 is rather high. You say your T4 is normal, but you should post your figures on the thyroid board and i'd hazzard a guess they likely wont be normal. Did they check your T3? Did they do a Thyroid Antibodies test? My Thyroid figures were coming up 'close' to normal, but it was when they did the Thyroid Antibodies test that i was WAAAAAAY out and they automatically diagnosed me with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I've likely been living with this for God knows how long and i've been shedding abnormal amounts of hair since 2001.

Far too many doctors these days use the word "normal" simply b/c your figures fall within the laboratory range.

Majority of people on this board became low in iron due to a reason, finding that reason is the dilema. Most of these people are shedding too much hair also and it's simplest to believe that it's the low iron. In my case it was not the low iron, although that wouldn't have helped. In the end they found out i did have a thyroid problem, they found out my adrenal function was poor, they found out my pancreas was not making sufficient enzymes to digest protein, so i was not getting hardly any protein from the foods i was eating. My doctor believes my hair loss is mostly to do with the protein/enzyme situation as our hair is 98% protein. He says most of the population has insufficient enzymes and as we get older our system either stops or lowers the enzymes it produces and if you don't have a good diet of healthy and raw fruits and vegetables with your meals you then get even less enzymes, we then feel uncomfortable after meals, gassy, bloated and tired. I now feel fantastic in the stomach area after starting these prescription enzymes. My stomach has never felt better.

This is why you can't simply focus on the low iron as there could be other thing/s wrong too. Personally i'd be double checking all your thyroid figures with someone in the know and there are loads of knowledgable people on the thyroid board. Wouldn't hurt to get a gluten test too.

FLFLOWERGIRL is correct in that you need to take a higher dosage of iron supplements to get those figures moving upward. If the iron you take constipates you then you can buy something at the chemist to soften the stools. If you have the other problem and get IBS, then taking iron phospate tables with your iron wont give you any more tummy upsets.
One of my doctors says he likes to see people at "50" for ferritin. My other doctor has never given me a magic number because I think he just doesn't know. He's still mad at himself for thinking that both me and my best friend were "normal" because our HGB and HCT were low normal and he never checked ferritin for awhile. Mine was "5", hers was at "3".:mad:

Anyway, while 17 is not a devastating number, it isn't the best. But, honestly, I am more concerned with your TSH value as it is above normal based on the "newer" lab values for TSH. A lot of labs have still not adjusted their lab values with the American Academy of Endocrinologists recommendations, so your doctor may think you are normal. I can tell you that my doctor would be treating your thyroid with that number.
OMG, a doctor doesn't treat TSH until 8 or 10?? That's insane!!

I keep my TSH at 0.3 because I am under "suppression" due to thyroid cancer. I do think that my endo will start treating anyone who is at a 3.0 with a very small amount of thyroid medication.
Audrey, thanks for the support. Just got my TSH results and it's now 5.40 (was 3.49 in 11/06). Guess I will now be lurking around the Thyroid board as well! Glucose ended up at 90 which is towards the high end of the range but not pre-diabetes. Yeah! I was a serious gestational diabetic so I am thankful this is holding at an ok level. Hoping to be on the road to feeling better!

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