Iron and female sex hormone: Hi people, can... - Thyroid UK

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Iron and female sex hormone

Karen154 profile image

Hi people, can anyone advise me on the following blood tests.

Testosterone. 1.2. Range 0.5 to 2.6

Progesterone. 9.9. No range given

Oestradiol. 175. No range

LH. 4.8 No range

FSH. 3.5. No range

Bloods were taken two days before my period. I'm 46 and scalp hair very thin on top and sides. Lost my eyebrows and eyelashes fall out but grow back.

Am I estrogen lead - starting menopause. Would progesterone hormone help with hair loss. Diagnosed with androgen alopecia. But doubt this is correct as it make my eyelashes fall out.

Iron studies.

Serum iron 2.37. Range 2.5 to 3.80

Serum transferrin 2.37 range 2.50 - 3.80

Unsat iron binding capacity. 59 range 36 -77

Transferring sat index 16% n/a

Serum Ferritin 83 range 10.00 to 291

Also B12 well under normal Range but was fine 3 months ago.

I will add b12 results later.

Many thanks

33 Replies

that is interesting karen, can i ask where you got the female / male hormones tested please, i have aske d for mine but told ,--we dont do that-, i too am suppose d to have androgenic alopecia but i have Pcos an d my head hair gets thinner each year and is disappearing fast, along with my self esteem.. i rarely go out and when i do i waer a hat or scarf, i am not much help with your results but ferritin i think has to be about 80, and b12 if low, wont help at all check out dr. chandy and b12. having no range is a bit pointless so how is even a doctor supposed to figure it out, perhaps you could ring for the ranges? sometimes i thinkit is an easy cop out to say- AA for hair loss, have you any autoimmune conditions?

Hi, the tests were done a nhs dermologist. Does the hair loss effect your eyelashes a d eyebrows.

really? i will ask my dermo next week, my eyebrows are half missing but mylashes are there albeight not th e long thick fab lashes that i used to have.

Sounds like your lashes are shedding. Good luck with your demo. Keep I. Touch and please update with his advice. I've got another 3 months before my next apt. X

yes please remind me as i forget these days- i had a biopsy- have i already said that- wasnt happy where the dude took the punches from though- behind ear where hair is naturally sparse and about inch above occipital!

There a waste of tax payers money.

I had some interesting private blood test results blood showing sex binding hormone at 70 range upto 145. Also free testosterone 4.8 range 0.05 to 7.00.

I need some kind if hormone replacement. GP won't issue it as doesn't believe I'm starting menopause even though he can't make that judgement as range to crappy blood test. I've made two request for an anti androgen pill to balance it all out which have been rejected with no reason given.

I could scream!

I'm really not coping well with the hair. Rather be dead then a bald women.

no i am not coping either and i could bloody scream with well meaning friends say---- oh but get a wig!!!!- ffs!

bloody wigs do notlook natural and fall off my silly small head - i feel a total freak, so i know where you are comingfrom. i cant believe these female /male hormones are not routinally done either!

I believe there not done to stop issuing medicine which is available on the nhs.

The nhs is just a charade. As referrals are made to very expensive consultants who cannot offer treatment as they are unable to a diagnosis. You go to the GP who can't test for anything meaningful. Have you noticed how most of them play stupid? It they do knows wrong and they know how to treat they just have access to it.

Hi. If your Sex Hormone Binding Globulin is low then even if your testosterone is not high, the free testosterone can cause hair loss problems if you are susceptible to DHT. I have this problem.

My consultant is a fan of Spironolactone for androgenic alopecia and tells me he has seen good results with his patients . I am giving it a try. I believe that Spironolactone blocks DHT and thus helps to prevent hairloss and encourages hair growth in 75% of patients. We will see !

I had problems with 5% minoxidil as it triggered migraines.

Good luck 😊

Thank you. I'm I. A bag place as they prescribe anything. 4 years of watching my hair fall out while the nhs won't do test.

I can't tell them their job anymore I'm going to have a break down with them.

Oh dear. Poor you. Have you thought of trying a private endocrinologist or dermatologist? I know it costs a bit but if you find a good one it will be worth it. I was forced down that route by an indifferent nhs. The attitude was - so what if your hair is falling out! 😢. If the consultant writes to your GP and asked for the blood tests then you will get them done free of charge . Don’t give up hun 😊

The lab is rejecting blood tests do there is no lab under the nhs to do sex binding hormone or free testosterone.

I have contacted a private DR but will be very expensive. I only want the pill or hrt. Why should I have to go private for it.

You are between a rock and a hard place. As was I. I’m afraid this is a reflection of the state of the NHS right now- massively underfunded. Your stress at this situation will make probably make your hair loss worse . My Consultant asked my GP to arrange SHBG and hormone tests and it was done- pronto! Also he instructed my GP to prescribe Spironolactone.

As for the cost of going private - only you can weigh up the pros and cons. You could always change GP to see if you could find a more sympathetic soul.

Hi, thanks for your reply. I do need to calm down. I believe the nhs need common sense not more money. My care must have cost thousands by now and still inconclusive results. It could have dealt with in house by the proper blood test at the start which wouldn't have wasted 4 years of tax payers money.

I've had the test done private so I don't need them again. But nhs won't acknowledge them.

It think it would depend on the practice as patients who private health care for thyroid medication, stay private. So am very frightened. Life is difficult on an £8.00 per hr job.


Hi Karen. Big hugs. You could try natural bio identical progesterone and estogen creams. They are quite pricey but may be worth a try. I am sure there are others on this forum who are expert on the subject and there is probably a thread on the subject. Have a look. 😊

You have to go private for it because your hormones are wreaking your health and the NHS barely recognises hormones exist let alone how to help you. If your GP does give you HRT it will be total guess-work. He will look in his book and pick one. He'll have no idea if it will work and as he can't seem to recognise that perimenopause can set in 10-15 years before menopause and causes all sorts of hell on earth symptoms, he's never going to get the write product for you. That's why you have to go private.

Believe me, it costs money, but it's the only way to get anywhere when you are coming up against a wall like this. Where are you based in the country - roughly?

Hi, thank for your reply. I'm in Lancashire.

A bit too far for Dr Louise Newson in Solihull or Stratford then. There are other private HRT doctors up North but I don't know them. Have a Google, see who you can find. I see you are on a low pay rate, that makes it very hard. The alternative is that you ask your GP to refer you to your local NHS menopause clinic. You have every right to an appointment with them. But the waiting time will be very long. Worth a try first though to save money. If he quibbles tell him you have perimenopause symptoms and need help. He's possibly never heard of that word!

I don't doubt that. He said I'm not in menopause and they wax the end of it.

The thing androgen alopecia I'd inherited it problem with ovaries. So I know this diagnosis is incorrect as my parents are in their 70's and have more hair then me. I know theirs no problem with ovaries as thees no pain or other systems also it wouldn't effect the brows and lashes.


humanbean profile image
humanbean in reply to Karen154

You can get Sex Hormone Binding Globulin tested with a finger-prick test with Medichecks :

They also do a Testosterone test :

BUT they don't specify whether it is Free Testosterone or Total Testosterone so you would have to check before ordering. I had a Testosterone test done last year (not from Medichecks), and it was only when I got the result that I found out it was a Total Testosterone test so it wasn't helpful.

Don't forget that Medichecks is offering 20% off all tests this month with the right discount code :

i am there with you karen totally. i never go out now, i am stuck in doors like an old woman of about 195 years old!

It's terrible. I've been referred for counseling which in a way I find offensive. I feel it can be prevented.

I contacted an American medical group and I was advised that thyroid, deficiencies, cortisol and female hormones all need to be treated together as they all work together.

So end up trying to self medicate as no real idea of dosage.

Ie, iron, iodine - nhs won't test for this although it would reduce goitre and need for surgery. Drop in estrogen effects thyroid function. Androgen fatigue ect.

If the nhs used some common sense they would save money and patients would receive the treatment and quality of life they deserve and are paying through the nose for.

I just wonder where their brains are. I guess they must up the nhs's arse.

Hard to say without ranges (there are usually three sets for female hormones-for different times of the month), but your iron is very low (even though ferritin is OK) - i think saturation under 20% shows iron deficiency - and that can cause hair loss. Your testosterone is not high and so, unless it is all aromatizing, it probably isn't baldness caused by DHT. If you think it might be you could try a rogaine/minoxidil shampoo for a while.

Hi, the nhs haven't given ranges for all the hormones. My testosterone has dropped over the last month and scalp is more stable. I've tried everything for the hair loss and nothing works.

I though low progesterone my be a problem?

Any idea how I can get the saturation of iron up?


Eat liver or supplement with ferrous fumarate

Foxtrot89 profile image
Foxtrot89 in reply to Karen154

From my limited knowledge it looks as though you could gently supplement a bit of iron or just eat more liver.

Only supplement iron if you plan to have another retest soon though as it’s very dangerous to have high iron.

I used Garden of Life Healthy Blood as it is grown naturally and doesn’t have the horrid stomach ache / constipation side effects I’ve heard so much about.

Karen154 profile image
Karen154 in reply to Foxtrot89

Hi, thanks for the info. I've used a tablet heme iron and do feel good on it but even smallest dose of iron in tablet form makes my hair fall out. I think it effects the thyroid tablet even though I took it 9 hrs after the thyroid medicine. Liquid iron seems OK buts it's horrible.

that isinteresting angel my saturation is 20 and was 22 so i may be dificeint my endo says iron doesnt affect hairloss.. wtf.?

Endo looks only at hormones so assumes that hair loss is cause only by aromatization of testosterone to DHT. Doctors know sweet FA about nutrition.

Hi, thanks. I've order progesterone only do boobed with that lol. I'll give anything a go. Have to ship in from the sites.

Have you tried any.

Do you mean you have bought some progesterone cream? If so, give it a try. I used it during peri. I bought Wellsprings, which is available closer to home. They have a web site.

Warning:- My first weekend on progesterone cream made me feel terrible. I was like a zombie. Literally couldn't move, think or speak. It suddenly cleared late Sunday afternoon. Someone was with me at the time and said she saw the change happen. My eyes started to shine and focus and I came back to normal. It's to do with receptors, I can't remember what though. So if you feel bad at first, keep going. You can reduce the dose for a few days to help ease yourself into it.

Thank you. That's really good information. Xx

Optimal results for iron-related measures are given here :

On this forum it is usually suggested that people have ferritin levels that are roughly mid-range or a little bit over. With the reference range you've given you would probably want to aim for a ferritin level of 150 - 170 or thereabouts.

But be aware that going over optimal for any iron-related levels is not a good idea because iron is poisonous in excess.

As an example, if I raise my own serum iron to optimal my ferritin is over the range. If I raise my ferritin to optimal my serum iron is quite low in range. I choose to keep my ferritin as close to optimal as I can, and just live with the fact that my serum iron is quite low in range.

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