Hair Loss - Ferritin Results: Help!!!! I've... - Thyroid UK

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Hair Loss - Ferritin Results

Topaz123
Topaz123

Help!!!!

I've recently had blood tests to try and get to the bottom of my ongoing hair loss. My results have come back this morning and my ferritin levels are 24ng/ml (15-150) and I'm convinced this is the problem but my doctor is really unhelpful.

He said that as my iron levels are ok he wouldn't advise that I take iron supplements but can't suggest how to increase my ferritin (and didn't care if I'm honest).

My Haematocrit is at 0.387 (0.36-0.46) and my Haemoglobin concentration is 129g/l (120-150).

Does anyone have any advice as my hair hasn't stopped shedding for over 6 months and it's really starting to get to me?

The only advice the doctor gave was that I take a good quality multi vitamin - I'm already taking a multi vitamin, vitamin D and Biotin daily.

Thank you

18 Replies

TSH 0.05 (0.3-5.5)

T3 4.5 (3.1-6.8)

T4 17 (12-22)

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Topaz123

Ft4 is only 50% through range Ft3 only 38% through range

Helpful calculator for working out percentage through range

chorobytarczycy.eu/kalkulator

Dr Toft, past president of the British Thyroid Association and leading endocrinologist, states in Pulse Magazine,

"The appropriate dose of levothyroxine is that which restores euthyroidism and serum TSH to the lower part of the reference range - 0.2-0.5mU/l.

In this case, free thyroxine is likely to be in the upper part of its reference range or even slightly elevated – 18-22pmol/l.

Most patients will feel well in that circumstance.

But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l.

This 'exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism' is not dangerous as long as serum T3 is unequivocally normal – that is, serum total around T3 1.7nmol/l (reference range 1.0-2.2nmol/l)."

(That’s Ft3 at 58% minimum through range)

You can obtain a copy of the articles from Thyroid UK email print it and highlight question 6 to show your doctor



please email Dionne at

tukadmin@thyroiduk.org

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator

Multivitamins are never recommended on here. Too little of what we do need and stuff you don’t want too

Yes ferritin is low

Low iron and/or low ferritin frequently linked to hair loss

Never supplement iron without doing full iron panel test for anaemia first

Medichecks offer full iron panel test

Eating iron rich foods like liver or liver pate once a week plus other red meat, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate, plus daily orange juice or other vitamin C rich drink can help improve iron absorption

List of iron rich foods

dailyiron.net

Links about iron and ferritin

irondisorders.org/too-littl...

davidg170.sg-host.com/wp-co...

Great in-depth article on low ferritin

oatext.com/iron-deficiency-...

drhedberg.com/ferritin-hypo...

This is interesting because I have noticed that many patients with Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism, start to feel worse when their ferritin drops below 80 and usually there is hair loss when it drops below 50.

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Thyroid disease is as much about optimising vitamins as thyroid hormones

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

restartmed.com/hypothyroidi...

Post discussing just how long it can take to raise low ferritin

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Post discussing why important to do full iron panel test

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

Obviously you need to regularly retest vitamin D, folate and B12 too

ESSENTIAL to stop biotin supplements a week before ALL BLOOD TESTS as biotin can falsely affect test results

endo.confex.com/endo/2016en...

endocrinenews.endocrine.org...

Hidden
Hidden

I eat liver pate twice a week to support ferritin levels.

I wonder if you are taking any other meds. My hair loss is significant in spite of optimal thyroid and nutrient levels. On reading the Patient Information Leaflets of both of the additional meds I take, hair loss is listed as a side effect.

Topaz123
Topaz123 in reply to Hidden

I take 125mg of levothyroxine and then just a multi vitamin, vitamin d and biotin.

I've had a full blood test but everything has come back within range apart from my ferritin.

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Topaz123

Please add actual results and ranges on results

“Within range” is not necessarily good enough

Was test done as early as possible in morning before eating or drinking anything other than water and last dose levothyroxine 24 hours before test

What vitamin supplements are you currently taking?

Did you stop biotin a week before test ?

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Topaz123

Extremely important to stop any supplements that contain biotin a week before ALL BLOOD TESTS as biotin can falsely affect test results

endo.confex.com/endo/2016en...

endocrinenews.endocrine.org...

Thank you - I'll start with the full Iron test and go from there.

The doctor is suggesting that my iron level isn't low and if I take iron supplements I risk serious health issues and that he's putting on my notes he's advised against this!

Hi Topaz123,

I am sorry to hear about your hair loss. Mine has been getting thinner and thinner for years.

I am not sure what has changed it with me but the last 2 times I washed it, i didn't get the web of fallen out hairs around my fingers, which have been a constant feature of my life for the last few years.

I think it is because I made a concerted effort to up my iron levels. I saw ferritin was lowish on my test and because I didn't specifically ask, I didn't get the advice *not* to supplement with iron. So I did. I made sure to take it separately from other medication and vitamins. I had previously been taking it at the same time as other vitamins. I'm doing a full iron panel privately next week with my thyroid test as I now realise supplementing without testing properly first was quite reckless of me. I've stopped taking it in the meantime!

The other thing which has changed is that I have committed properly to GF for a while to see how we go. This may mean I am better able to feel the benefit from my vitamin tablets / nutrients from my food. The third is that I am on a T3/T4 combination trial. But, I mainly put the hair down to iron supplements and potentially the GF.

So, I would suggest a full iron panel and then asking here what the advice might be. I think there is every chance that a higher iron level should help massively. I have read other posters say that iron needs to be above a certain number to stop hair loss and higher again to promote regrowth.

Topaz123
Topaz123 in reply to Lotika

Thanks Lotika, I've suffered for years too but it tends to stop for a while and then start again. This time it's been quite severe for the last 6 months and I just want to get to the bottom of it.

I've just requested the full iron test from Medichecks and will go from there.

It's really frustrating as I've read so many times that low ferritin can cause hair loss and finally get the blood results which show it's low but the doctor was adamant that I'm not low on iron and shouldn't take any supplements. He was actually quite rude and made me feel like I was wasting his time!

Lotika
Lotika in reply to Topaz123

That's exactly what has happened to me in the past too! It falls out like nobody's business for ages, then stops for a little bit. This time I think the stopping is connected to the iron supplements in my case! I'm glad you are doing the iron panel but sorry that you have an unsupportive GP. I don't think they learn anything about vitamins in medical school, bless them... well, sort of bless them! Some days I would rather slap them than bless them!

Just quickly editing to say that we shouldn't have to put up with rude and dismissive GPs. Is there a different one you can see at the practice? Particularly annoying given that I suspect you are right and that GP is wrong. How dare he!

Topaz123
Topaz123 in reply to Lotika

The doctors are only offering telephone appointments currently so it's pot luck who calls you. I could request to speak to someone else but will wait to see what the results come back as - I do find that requesting your own tests and getting advise off these forums is usually far more informative though!

Hopefully the iron supplements continue to work for you and your hair stops falling out once and for all 😊

SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator

Topaz123

Article about Ferritin/Iron and hair loss:

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

particularly the part where it says:

According to some experts, ferritin levels of at least 40 ng/ml are required to stop hair loss, while levels of at least 70 ng/ml are needed for hair regrowth. The optimal ferritin level for thyroid function is between 90-110 ng/ml.

Vitamin deficiencies can lead to hair loss so maybe worth checking them out:

hubpages.com/health/16-Vita...

Thanks SeasideSusie - I'm pretty sure that this is what's causing the hair loss but nervous about taking supplements when the doctor has specifically advised me not too.

Hopefully the iron panel I've requested will give a better picture and I can make an informed decision.

SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Topaz123

Topaz123

If your iron panel is fine then I've managed to raise my ferritin by eating liver regularly, no more than 200g per week due to it's high Vit A content. My serum iron, when tested, has always appeared OK. Liver seems to be raising my ferritin but not making any difference to the other aspects of the iron panel, that is of course my experience and it may not apply to everyone.

Thank you, that's definitely something that I will look at - although I hate liver but if it stops my hair falling out then I'm willing to give it a try!

SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Topaz123

Lots of ways to cook liver, have a Google and look at some recipes. I tend to do mine as a sort of stir fry (with rice) and try all sorts of things - always onions and plenty of them for me plus mushrooms/peppers/cooked peas; tomatoes are always nice and depending on how many used can change the taste quite a bit; I've even resorted to baked beans when I had half a tin in the fridge that needed to be used. Don't overcook the liver, it only needs a few minutes, it needs to be tender not leathery. Lambs or calves liver are supposed to be the mildest. I haven't tried chicken livers (impossible to get where I live) but they are supposed to have the highest iron content, you could make chicken liver pate from those. One member cooks chicken livers, whizzes them in the food processor, adds mayo and has a spoonful every day.

Thanks - I'll give it a try 😊

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