Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, hair shaft disorders, etc.
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samantha303
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Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:43 am

Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Post by samantha303 »

My old post
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=313


I just got my blood test result back and surprise surprise, my ferritin has gone from 22 two months ago to 107!
My shedding decreased in the 5th week of supplements and went back up in the 6th week. I stopped birth control pills in the 4th week.

How true is the theory of 'maintaining a ferritin of over 70 to see actual regrowth?'. My shedding has not been drastic, well within 100 daily but it's still a lot compared to MY normal.

I started to have new symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and dry eyes since last week. I asked my GP whether it's the side effect of coming off birth control pills, she thinks it's the weather or that I am dehydrated!!!
Could these symptoms also be related to the fact that I have been highly depressed since the week my shedding went up? Or the fact that I took high dose iron last week without knowing that my ferritin has gone up this high?

I see lots of healthy regrowth in the front. There are also thin hair but the majority of regrowth is thick. But if I am still shedding, I think i will need Toppik full time very soon.

I feel really lost as there is no single member who's bald in my family. I don't know what to do. Is there any test I can do at this stage? I really don't want to wait 3 - 6 months doing nothing.
Tom Hagerty
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Re: Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Post by Tom Hagerty »

my ferritin has gone from 22 two months ago to 107!
I've been reading new research papers about the optimum level of serum ferritin. The ideal range is between 40 and 70 ng/ml. Above 80 ng/ml might indicate an iron surplus in the body. This could be dangerous indicating hemochromatosis. My advice is to quit the iron supplements and get your iron requirement from eating lean meat a few times a week. You won't go into dangerous iron surplus by eating real foods.
maintaining a ferritin of over 70


Everyone seems to quote the same sentence: "When there is hair loss, whether it is telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia or something else, and the ferritin levels are low, raising serum ferritin levels to above 70 ng/ml for at least 3 - 4 months is recommended to improve the chances for hair growth."

This is probably true but I tend to be skeptical about ideas that are repeated over and over again. I just hope the "experts" are right.
Could these symptoms also be related to the fact that I have been highly depressed
Chronic psychological stress and depression has a negative effect on your hormone balance. This can affect you physical health and your hair health. But you don't want to opt for anti-depressant pills to ease your pain. The drugs in this category of pharmaceuticals can cause telogen effluvium. The TE is reversible when you discontinue using the drugs but, in my opinion, it's best to just tough it out - get through the bad period without the drugs.
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samantha303
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:43 am

Re: Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Post by samantha303 »

Thank you for your reply Tom.

It's really hard to destress while still shedding.

Do hair follicles need to go through a few cycles before they return to normal, after ferritin goes up?
I don't want to celebrate the new thick hair in my front at all as I am still shedding. I can also see thin hair in the front also which scare me.
I also read that the shedding of anagen hair is new hair pushing the old hair out of the follicles. Is that true for TE as well?
Does hair's entering into resting stage mean that it will be bound to fall out even after the trigger has been removed?

My trichologist thinks it takes time for iron and D3 to elevate and then at least three to six months before any improvement will be apparent. But my shedding hasn't stopped completely after ferritin went up. What hopes do I have?

My parents think i am worrying unnecessarily as there is no family history of hair loss. My dad went through stress-induced hair loss once and he thinks I should forget about it and it will all grow back. Of course I can't.

I have done some research about adrenal fatigue and estrogen dominance as i have some of the symptoms. Now my doctor is very uninterested in me as she thinks all my symptoms are related to anxiety!
samantha303
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:43 am

Re: Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Post by samantha303 »

Is it true that there is a shedding period when hair starts to regrow? If so, does it mean shedding of long hair or intermediate hair?


It seems that no doctor thinks that, losing hair less than 100 a day but not within my old normal, is abnormal.
I never counted my hair before but I remember that when I conditioned my hair, anything rarely came out. Now I lose roughly 20 in the shower and another 30 to 40 after shower. I rarely lose anything in the morning. I lost maybe 2 this morning but maybe another 20 during the day.

I lost slightly more when on my period and after blood tests.



Thank you!
Tom Hagerty
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Re: Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Post by Tom Hagerty »

I never counted my hair before but...


Counting fallen hairs can become obsessive and I think that it's counterproductive. And if you do count fallen hairs, don't tell others of this practice. They'll think you are perhaps a little irrational.
I also read that the shedding of anagen hair is new hair pushing the old hair out of the follicles.
People with telogen effluvium lose telogen hairs, hairs that are in the resting stage of the hair cycle. The new anagen hairs do not "push" these doomed hairs out; they "replace" them. It's unlikely that you are losing many anagen hairs though. These hairs are usually securely anchored in the hair canal. Anagen effluvium is rare.
My parents think i am worrying unnecessarily as there is no family history of hair loss.
I cannot urge you not to worry. When I was 19 years old and saw my temple hair getting thinner, I worried too. I eventually got my hair back and the worry stopped. I hope you have a similar experience. It feels good to have thick hair and to be worry-free.
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samantha303
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Re: Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Post by samantha303 »

Hi Tom,

Thanks for taking time to reply my post.

I started to take milk thistle and drink green tea to cleanse my liver. I read that some people have success with milk thistle for post accutane hair loss. I am also thinking about colon cleansing.

My hormone test results seem normal apart from a high prolactin level. My doctor contributes it to stress. Is that what doctors do nowadays? Blame everything on stress and simply tell us to wait it out.
I'm going to visit millions of doctors to see what's wrong with me. I'm feeling so hopeless right now. My shedding has no signs of stopping.
Do people have accutane induced CTE and shedding just suddenly stopped after a year or so? I don't really keep my hopes high atm.

The back of my scalp also started to get itchy/tingling sometimes since I got really depressed. Nothing serious but bad enough to remind me of my problems.
samantha303
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:43 am

Re: Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Post by samantha303 »

Hi Tom,

Another question. I have read so many information online about accutane-induced TE/CTE. It seems that minoxidil is the only solution possibly to solve my problem.
I am scared to take this step. Please give me any advice.

Thank you!
Tom Hagerty
Site Admin
Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:21 am

Re: Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Post by Tom Hagerty »

Some research dermatologists claim that minoxidil will speed up the recovery from telogen effluvium a bit. You might want to try it but you probably will not like the itch which can be intense from what I hear. My advice is not to use it. If your TE was triggered by Accutane, time, not minox, will take care of your condition. It takes time for the hair follicles to bounce back after the shock of Accutane. I wish I knew what to say to lower your stress level.
samantha303
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:43 am

Re: Ferritin shot up and still shedding

Post by samantha303 »

After reading people (mostly men though) saying how they didn't get their hair back after 5 years or even longer on acne.org, I am not sure whether i can wait this long.
Anyways, thanks for the suggestion, Tom. :)
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