Iron Deficiency Hair loss
First of all Iron deficiency hair loss usually run side by side. You must treat the cause first. Furthermore, in most cases you have to treat the hair loss as well. Most importantly even with a low iron level, there maybe other reasons why hair is shedding. A consultation to establish the actual cause would be advisable. Book a Consultation. You are probably feeling tired even if you sleep enough? Maybe you have a busy life and think feeling tired is normal? Well yes you have a point. Another factor often over looked is a heavy period. Along with other possible side effects of low iron I would advise you go and see your GP for some Blood tests as a priority. We can help you with the hair.
Theory of Iron Deficiency
Debating the link between iron deficiency and hair loss in women is common. Additionally, body cells require ample iron to function correctly.. The question ‘Does Serum Iron & Serum Ferritin ( the biochemical state in which iron is stored in the body) affect the hair growth cycle remains unproven however, in my opinion I feel there is a clear link with iron deficiency and hair loss. This is due to the body loosing its ability to function correctly due to the lack of iron. When our body fails to function correctly it falls into a protective mode looking after the vital organs and functions of the body. In almost all cases hair will shed with varying severity. Hence the resulting hair loss. Maybe you will find these other pages of interest to : anorexia, Bulimia, Hair loss and B12, Alopecia Areata, women’s hair loss and asian scalp.
When will Iron Deficiency affect people?
Menstruating women will at some stage suffer from iron deficiency. Iron is very important mineral and should not be overlooked as it plays a role in many bodily functions. When discussing iron deficiency we as trichologists look at the serum ferritin levels which in most cases will be measured within a range (20 – 300ug/L). A suggested level of above 75ug/L is considered the bare minimum with a mid range level of 150ug/L a level that some believe should be sought. Most importantly, it is believed by many that iron within the range is sufficient. It seems like this is a common thought process amongst the medical industry. Consequently, one with a ug/L of 20 would have a similar metabolic drive to that of someone with a ug/L level of 250. Do I need to comment more?
The Holborn Clinic offers a free telephone consultation service where maybe we can help. This can be arranged either via email or telephoning us, therefore pick up the phone and give us a call.
I’ve been Told
Most noteworthy, I have been told on numerous occasions that my blood test results are fine. In contrast when I view the results I see a low serum ferritin. Therefore the patient is advised to take a supplement. Treatment is administered and as a result the hair starts to grow. Therefore, you should question the results and discuss this with your GP.
Dr John Lee (researcher into the thyroid Gland) “Insufficient iron restricts cell mitochondria production from which Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP) – ‘cellular energy’ is created. Our metabolic activity and Phase II liver detoxification pathways are ATP dependant” (ref Dr John Lee).
Iron deficiency is relatively common and probably most women at some stage will suffer from this.
If you avoid of red meat or you are a vegetarian, then you have a greater risk of diffuse hair loss. Hence the importance of supplements.
Professor Barry Stevens FTTS records significant observations relating to serum ferritin levels in females who suffer hair loss. Over a practice lifetime period of 40 + years 62% of his female patients 16-60 years with otherwise unexplained diffuse terminal hair loss had a serum ferritin level of 10-17. Iron supplements were taken to increase the serum ferritin levels. As the levels were raised as a result the hair loss reduced significantly.
Iron distribution in the healthy human body
65% in almost all cases is found in Haemoglobin (the oxygen bearing protein found in red blood cells – an iron rich biochemical).
4% in Myoglobin (an oxygen bearing protein similar to haemoglobin) located in skeletal muscle.
30% stored as Ferritin (biological state by which iron is stored in the body) or Hemosiderin in bone marrow, liver & spleen.
1% relates to Transferrin (sync. Siderophilin) an iron transporting beta-globulin which facilitates transportation to bone marrow & tissue storage regions. It is also a component of enzymes located in cells throughout the body.
Free Iron is reactive.
Low Iron levels may lead to anemia (the body’s inability to produce red blood cells) and a reduction in levels of essential oxygen transportation. While symptoms may include pale skin and fatigue.
When considering hair loss in females, iron levels should always be established. A Serum Ferritin test should be sought from your GP. It should be noted that low level serum ferritin levels will take many months to rise.
Most importantly, treatment is advisable in most cases because your body won’t be able to increase iron unless you feed it!
If you are suffering from any form of hair loss or scalp condition and would like to find our more please contact our help line top left of page. You will be able to speak with a trichologist who will advise you accordingly. Alternatively e-mail us. Appointments can be made via e-mail or telephone as well.We are able to offer treatment for most hair loss & scalp conditions. I hope you have found this page useful and informative because we are here to help you.
Those with vitamin B12 deficiency, particularly those with autoimmune disease should be tested for B12 deficiency and anaemia. Further more there are other considerations that should be thought of in addition to iron supplementation which are listed below:
1. Vitamin C assists the body in absorbing Iron hence food high in Vitamin C should be sought.
2. Red meat is high iron. Most noteworthy, It can also assist the body in absorbing iron from other sources.
3. Foods that have a source of Iron are green leafy vegetables, red meat e.g. liver & beef, fish, poultry, oysters, wheat germ, cereals fortified with iron and dried fruits.
4. Tannin in tea may in some cases interfere with iron absorption. Herbal teas are the exception. Hence avoid drinks with caffeine
5. EDTA is a food additive which can block iron absorption as well as antacids, phosphates which are found in beer, ice cream, chocolate and fizzy drinks.
6. Fiber is recommended to prevent constipation hence amounts should be increased.
Finally we are Registered with the Trichological Society TTS