Hair loss, perimenopause oestrogen dominance or low iron can you help?????

18 months of utter misery..two doctors surgeries and .two endocrinologists later and I'm still no further down the line....hey ho i can hear you all screaming at me.."I TOLD YOU SO"

Ok ok i get it and I'm ready to listen and learn...

so I'm on 2 grains of armour thyroid at present and have been taking this steadily over the last 5 months (with a short break of 6 weeks to see if hair would stop falling out) ok i see your eyes rolling! i promptly got back on it as i was feeling so fkn ill.....

Anyway energy is increasing but i still feel VERY fatigued, i have an average core temperature of 35.5 and feel cold a lot of the greatest misery is the chronic hair loss i am experiencing....possibly due to low iron as it will not store....for some reason?? my level is at 16

im 51 years old, perimenopausal and damned right miserable.....

I've completely changed my diet to gluten free, I'm also dairy free but i do have the odd cup of tea with milk in on the rare occasion....Gluten was an issue and feel better for going gluten free

I am on a plethora of vitamins, B12, Iron, vitamin C (for iron) and zinc, i take vitamin K, vitamin D and vitamin B complex. gi flora probiotic,I also take a natural phytoestrogen for menopausal symptoms....(FX menopause) which is green tea extract and mung bean. i use Apple cider vinegar for absorption and low stomach acid..

i take the various vitamins at different times and with the right foods i.e. iron and bit C plus orange, i take the bit D and K with fat soluble foods etc...ive thrown some l lysine into the mix as i believe that it helps iron to bind or something....?

my diet is great! freshly prepared clean food and i eat regularly to keep sugar levels even....

i work part time in a non stressful job ( i had to :-( )

i do yoga and gym ( although gym is a bit hit and miss due to chronic low energy)

i don't want to bore you with the test results but basically my TSH is at upper end of normal and the endo suggested getting it to the lower limit....GREAT...i should be the picture of health right?


My skin is spotty and grey pasty looking...

Whats with the hair loss???? i am so GUTTED about this and a friend from this forum has had enough of me whinging about it!

Short of stepping off the planet due to wanting to throw the towel in i honestly do not know what else to do to stop it...

Thing started last November when i started the Armour thyroid.....thing is i started fx menopause at the seam time!!

i blamed armour for the hair loss and stopped it for 6-7 weeks in the hopes the hair would stop falling didn' got worse

i started to look down other avenues...and wondered if it was the chronic low iron

my level is at 16 at the moment and i understand you need a level of 40 for regrowth and 70 for hair to actually stay in! I'm on 4 sachets of spa tone a day now as well as 2 X iron byglycinate 50mg and have been for over 3 months with no real lift in iron levels when tested. my iron was as low as 4 last summer but i dint have this hair loss then!

i pleaded with my doctor to help me but he said I'm not anaemic and that theres nothing else he can do ...its my age

he then agreed to refer me to a gastroenterologist...( i had pleaded for this last year when my guts were so bloated) i since went gluten free and that helped! but I'm wondering about absorption???? my vitamin and iron content has remained pretty low despite supplementison for monthS!!!

so is this hair loss due to iron deficiency or is it due to the FX menopause thinking being estrogen dominance?

WTAF should i do next to stop it?

can anyone help me ?????

is there anyone here who has had tis but can tell me it will grow back? i am utterly miserable and desperate i can't cope with the tiredness and the miserable hair loss for much longer and i don't want to make things worse by chopping and changing but i HAVE to try something.....i cannot maintain this level of hair loss for much longer i can see my scalp the hair is frizzy and brittle..

nobody seems to be able to help.

if this is as good as it gets I'm seriously going to consider my position in the world


Thanks for you input xxxxx

10 Replies

  • Others are better on the vit front than me but suspect continuing hair loss is due to under dosing on the Armour. What's you tsh and ranges?

    I took a long time to diagnose and I lost all the the hair at the side of my head (I had about 2 inches with no hair at all), my hairline has receded and it thinned on the top. I also lost all of my eyebrows. I haven't had to shave my legs for years and I now have no hair on my arms

    I have been on the right dose of ndt for a year and a half (ie with my Tsh at around 0.3) and the hair on my head is thicker, the bald patches down the side are smaller and I have a few hairs on my eyebrows. So, the good news is that it does come back once you're on the right dose. I lost all the hair on the sides around 2012 and wasn't diagnosed until Aug 2013, levo for a year with hair loss until naturethroid start up Sept 2014.

    I'd suggest starting by upping your Armour until you get Tsh below 1. Until your thyroid is at the right level nothing else will work

    I am trying castor oil on my eyebrows to see if this will help them to grow back and will let you know if it works (been doing it for about a month and not sure at the mo). I also try for an Indian head massage every month or so as it's supposed to promote blood flow.

    Sorry I can't be more help. Good luck

  • just your reply was a great help so thank you....i am scared ill lose all my hair i cannot believe how thin its got and it was my crowning glory...ive read copious articles on why its falling out and it boils down o one thing,,,,,patience!

    i am a very anxious person, i hate to admit that but i am and this hair loss thing has got me so depressed and anxious...ive looked at so many different things and got my self in a right mess thinking about simply scares me and i feel total panic and overwhelmed.

    i think whats worse is that i am stabbing in the dark, i have no idea and not much friend do so many others....i guess 18 months of struggle only to find myself back at square one is just frustrating.....

    i guess i have to suck it up for now and crack on.....i really really appreciate your comments and help it means a great deal to me that I'm not alone and that there is hope....thank you xxxxxx

  • BioL,

    We would never say "I told you so" or roll our eyes (that's left to the idiot endos ! ! ..) ... we have been there ourselves (even with slightly differing factors).

    Ferritin is the storage hormone and your hair follicles actually store ferritin. When your body is short, it will eventually steal from the stored supply leaving the follicles short so hair unfortunately suffers affecting not only the life cycle but also the texture.

    Low iron can cause an array of negative reactions like palpitations and anxiety in someone medicating thyroid hormone replacement as is key for conversion of T4-T3. Low levels may decrease deiodinase activity resulting in conversion to reverse T3 ( rather than the active hormone).

    I read that for some, NDT is not sympathetic to low iron and patients have found it hard to raise both as they are (indirectly) dependent on each other. It can also be more intolerant of high RT3 .... and high thyroid antibodies which can happen even on a gluten free diet... it depends what your trigger is... low iron ? ? ..... A high TSH could also be the reason for your hair loss as low thyroid hormone just slows everything.

    Another thought re ferritin not storing - what is your actual "iron" level (not ferritin) ? ? .... STTM states a high/normal iron (& TFS %) with LOW ferritin may be indicative of the MTHFR polymorphism. If you also have high homocysteine levels, it might be worth doing the MTHFR genetic test. . Re B12 ... are you supplementing methylcobalamin ? ? ..

    Low ferritin can also be indicative of a later anaemia before the red blood cell count begins to decline but for many hypothyroid patients it is down to the gut issues that accompany Hashimotos (malabsorption issues).. Eat more protein; including red meat, chicken and fish (which contains lysine anyway) with orange juice (vit C) and supplement Ferrous Fumarate (taken 4 hours away from thyroid meds). You may have better absorption with Betaine HCL which is stronger than ACV & better addresses the insufficient stomach acid caused by low thyroid hormone. (Do not take with NSAIDS or stomach ulcers. )

    BioL, you have a lot to think about ... don't step off the planet ..... If this were me I would switch to synthetic T4 & T3 which (or many) tolerates deficiencies a little easier, and spend the next year raising iron levels before considering NDT again.

    You will only know if you have oestrogen dominance by asking your GP to test sex hormones.

  • ohhh VERY reluctant to try t3-4 its still early days on the armour so will stick with that for now.

    Im stopping the menopause FX for now....clutching at straws.....! and i have to learn to be patient...thats it really

    i have a plan...ill stick to 2 grains armour for two weeks minus the fx and see what happens....

    if i get hideous hot flushes again ill cross that bridge when i come to it...but for now i guess patience is key...

    why is it that some people can grab a med and off they go? lolol just accepting that how they feel is the norm?

    i know that this last year has been a living hell and its left me feeling exhausted and exasperated...:-(

    i have met a wonderful lady on this site we have already met and i simply love her no nonsense approach!

    ill stick with the iron supplementation ill carry on with all the gluten free stuff and ill come here to seek help guidance and support....

    many thanks lovelies i really appreciate your sure to have the odd rant here and there! :-(

    thank you xxx

  • Hi Bioluminence

    TupennyRush and radd have given some great advice there. You may have another auto immune disorder ( they often come in twos or threes...) androgenic alopecia. See a Trichologist but just for a diagnosis. If you have AA there's nothing to do unless you want to watch your hair get thinner and thinner.

    There's more info here which might be useful for you.

    Do not fall into a pit of despair. You may not get over this, but you can get around it...

    Best to you

  • my dr told me any change in hormones can cause hair loss even up and down in thyroid med but that the hair cycle is lengthy so it takes months to see if what you are doing is working....have you been to bio identical hormone dr to check your dht from testosterone , progesterone, dhea, etc.....low estrogen low progesterone low iron low omega 3s low thyroid or high thryoid meds, are some of the things my dr said is the you...i am trying everything and still have not found a anything so trying the igrow low level red light therapy.....i am like you......if you arel losing it not all over and rather in round circles then that is a dermalogical problem but besides rogaine

    etc...theres limited drugs that can help that too.....Mine is mostly on top but thinning all over and mostly superthin on top...

    also dr said it is usually something 3 mths b4 hair loss that was the trigger....adrenals issues, digestion, low iron, low thyroid, low hormones....and i think it is wise to always take bhrt progesterone with any estrogen product...

  • About 2 years ago, all my hair fell out. I was washing it one day, and it all came away in my hands. There were just a few straggly hairs around the edges. I looked like Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    My T3 levels at that time, were pretty good. And I was taking T3 only. So, that illiminated two possible causes! My doctor said try EPO. Did nothing. My ferritin was slightly over-range, doctor said good. But other markers for inflammation were high, so ferritin was possibly low. Doctor knew nothing about that! Doctor said it was normal at 70 to lose all your hair. However, I didn't see any bald old ladies sitting in his waiting room... They all had tightly-curled, old-lady perms...

    So, I invested in a nice selection of woolly hats - as I can't tolerate wigs - and I started supplementing iron myself, just to see. Nothing happened for ages. But, then I learnt that iron supplements should be taken on their own - with a source of vit C for absorption. You just cannot take iron with anything else, or near anything else. Since I started taking my iron early in the morning, with lemon juice, I have more energy, and my hair is coming along nicely!

    It's taken me nearly two years to get to this point, wearing my woolly hats through the summer of 2014, and suffering the snide comments and side-ways looks of hairdressers. And during that time, I have kept my scalp supple, so that the hair would be able to grow back. If the scalp goes stiff and tight, the hair will not be able to grow. I've massaged it in the bath, and brushed whatever hair I've had briskly in the morning, to get rid of dead hair and allow air to the scalp and encourage blood to flow to the roots.

    Yesterday, I went to a party. I washed my hair, and dried it gently with a towel, and looked in the mirror. And I smiled. You can no-longer see the skin showing through. And I had a good cut a couple of months ago, so that the hair just falls into place with a shake of my head. I am very, very pleased with it! It's not like it was when I was a teenager - or even in my twenties - but, for 71 years old, it's great. :)

  • i am crying every 51 years old...this time last year when i wasn't on any thyroid medications my ferritin level was 4 but i had fantastic hair! thickshoney supple bouncy curls and my hair was growing....Now its brittle, dry ( despite copious conditioner) and it just sheds sheds sheds! its just like if i was to brush it it would simply all come out....

    I've been on armour since october last year...i took on a nutritionist in March this year as i was concerned about the lack of vitamin absorption despite relentless supplementation

    i learned to take vitamin D with fat soluble foods, i learned to take iron on an empty stomach with Vitamin C and apart from your thyroid medications....ive got my supplementation down to a fine art not to mention gluten and dairy free well balanced clean diet....ive been so religious about this...ive stopped eating and drinking all my favourite foods now.

    I've been tested and tested for this and that and the doctors say you are in range you are normal....

    my TSH is 3.39 m U/L (0.54-4.25)

    my free t4 is 9.8 8.0-19.1pmol/L

    they didn't bother with t3 but last time it was higher and just out of range....

    so by all accounts I'm 'normal now'

    the endocrinologist said he wasn't my TSH between 0.3 and 2.0

    I'm currently on 2 grains of armour thyroid...and I'm on a supplementation programme mainly to raise vitamin D and Iron. i take a probiotic i use ACV with every meal

    my core temperature is around 35.8 at the moment. thats gone up from the chilly 35.4

    nobody has worked harder and trying to find the answers than me....all i know is that this time last year my hair was healthy....and now its not.

    IS this the armour thyroid????

    has anyone successfully gone from armour to t3-4 mix and had good results or should sit this out longer?

    all i now is that i am heartbroken...and I'm seriously miserable.

  • But you're not normal!!! Your TSH should be one or below, your FT4 should be in the top third of the range, at least, and you need your FT3 tested. Otherwise, you won't know if you're converting.

    Yes, of course you're heartbroken and miserable. I was in shock for about a week. I understand. But, then you have to get over it, and start taking your health into your own hands. You need proper testing, for a start.

    If your ferritin was at 4 at one point, then this has probably been building up for a long time. These things don't just happen over-night. It happened to me following a few months of serious mal-nutrition, as well as low T3. That's why I had to work on my nutrients as well as my thyroid. You really do need to get that iron up, as well as your T3. And with iron that low, you probably aren't converting well, and there's not enough T3 in Armour to meet your needs.

    Have you ever tried T3 only? I switched from NDT to T3 only a few years ago because any form of T4 made me ill - including hair loss! I don't know if Armour especially causes hair loss, but certainly synthetic T4 can - and does! If I were you, given the circumstances, my next trial would be of T3 only. :)

  • my ferritin at last test was 50 so is started supplementing iron with vit c but dont know how much to take a loss going on 1.5 years too....i have tried progesterone and estrogen and wonder if i am not on too much progesterone, also have vaginal taking lysine, natural vitamins, omegas,d3, b12, b complex, tumeric, biotin, biosil, and my thyroid test shows tsh is at the low end of normal and my free t3 and free t4 are at the midlow end of normal ranges......i take t4 only, i am just as frustrated and nervous,, i hate to wash my hair bec that is when i see hand fuls of hair coming out like i am taking chemo or can see a thin crown but i am still able to camouflage for now.....but son going off to college this year and i just pray i can hang onto my hair...i am also post menopausal for about 10 years...on bhrt but eventhough i have read 1000 articles it seems, i wonder am i missing something used to itch and burn sometimes after i washed it but i changed to castor oil shampoo and conditioner sulfate free and i love that combo by shea is moisturing, i have a weird strip of hair in the center in the back that is like i use argan oil on that and flat iron and that helps alot.....i am 55......i have thinning all over and especialy more on top but no round patches like some...yet the temples are thinner.....HELP!!!!! i also take digestive enzymes with the two biggest meal when i remember and probiotic b4 bed but i also seem to be bloated alot

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