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View Full Version : Update - Hair loss/low ferritin/seborrheic dermatitis



Blondieee
September 27th, 2017, 11:32 PM
I have an update for you guys. When I posted last time saying how I was going to take 2 Flintstones a day to bring my ferritin levels up, I was told I should take something else. Another form of iron besides ferrous fumarate. People were recommending supplements that contained other kinds of iron but the same amount of 18mg.

I decided just to take 1 a day. It's been 3 months and my ferritin is the highest it's been since I was diagnosed with anemia 5 years ago (26.4). It was an absolute STRUGGLE to ever get my levels above 12 no matter how much meat I ate and how much Total cereal I ate. It wouldn't come up. There was no explanation for why it was low to begin with, but I think my body is having difficulty breaking down the iron from my food and absorbing it. Because I have severe bloating. But with the chewable, it's already broken down and easily absorbable. I also take Vitamin C gummies with iron-rich meals. My ferritin went from 12.5 to 26.4 in 3 months with 1 Flintstone vitamin a day. That's pretty impressive!!

I was really pale and sickly before. I look healthy again. I have color back to my cheeks again. People have even said how I look so much better. The bald spots are almost all the way filled in. My hair isn't massively thick like it was before yet, but I'm finally able to wear my hair in a ponytail again which I haven't been able to do in years cause of all the bald spots. Major improvement in restless legs. Not a huge difference in energy yet, but I'm hoping that's coming. I don't know why so many people told me not to take the Flintstones and that it's a cheap form of iron or it's a children's vitamin and all this. It's a children's vitamin with the adult amount of iron (18 mg) in it. If you find an adult multi, it will have the same amount. It also says adults can take it on the back.

Also I saw another dermatologist who gave me ketoconazole for my seborrheic dermatitis. And she said the seborrheic dermatitis does cause hair loss just like you guys said. It could possibly be the reason the hair loss is worse on one side of my head compared to the other I'm thinking. Are you guys 100% sure this shampoo won't cause any hair loss? I'm scared to use it. Even sulfate free shampoos cause hair loss for me. My scalp is picky. But my scalp is greasy and itchy from the fungus. So I have to either do that or take Fluconazole.

And a couple questions I have:
1. When does your energy return? At what ferritin level do you generally get your energy back? The dermatologist said levels should be over 60 but she didn't say when I'd get my energy back.
2. At what ferritin level will I notice MASSIVE hair regrowth? I can't wait for that!! I've noticed a huge improvement already as far as the bald spots filling in, but I also want massive volume.
3. My B12 was around 330 a couple years ago. I got it up to 712 from eating fortified cereal. Then it started dropping and went to 490 and then 415 and then 380. The Flintstones vitamin has B12 in it too. But my B12 has only went to 386 from taking it. So I'm confused. Why am I not absorbing B12? You would think if it was a gut issue, my iron would still be super low. Any ideas? And no it's not the cyanocobalamin vs methylcobalamin issue. Cereal has cyanocobalamin in it as B12 and that took my B12 way up before.
4. Does my ferritin line up with my other iron labs? My other labs seem low and like they haven't moved. Is this concerning? I'm just scared what if the ferritin is a lab error. I know it's come up and I was thinking possibly it would be around 20 but 26 really surprised me. I'm not complaining. I just hope it's accurate.
Serum iron - 61 (50-212) - This has been 110 before one time when my ferritin was 7. And around 60 another time before when my ferritin was 8. That's why I'm so confused. It's like these other iron labs never quite make sense.
% saturation - 17% (15-55%)
TIBC - 352 (250-400)

Thanks in advance!

Obsidian
September 28th, 2017, 07:26 AM
ketoconazole should not cause hair loss, in fact its been shown to help improve hair growth at times. Of course, there could be some ingredient that disagrees with you but at this point, I think its important you treat the SD.

spidermom
September 28th, 2017, 08:25 AM
My scalp and hair responded very well to ketoconazole.

lapushka
September 28th, 2017, 08:29 AM
Also I saw another dermatologist who gave me ketoconazole for my seborrheic dermatitis. And she said the seborrheic dermatitis does cause hair loss just like you guys said. It could possibly be the reason the hair loss is worse on one side of my head compared to the other I'm thinking. Are you guys 100% sure this shampoo won't cause any hair loss? I'm scared to use it. Even sulfate free shampoos cause hair loss for me. My scalp is picky. But my scalp is greasy and itchy from the fungus. So I have to either do that or take Fluconazole.

And a couple questions I have:
1. When does your energy return? At what ferritin level do you generally get your energy back? The dermatologist said levels should be over 60 but she didn't say when I'd get my energy back.
2. At what ferritin level will I notice MASSIVE hair regrowth? I can't wait for that!! I've noticed a huge improvement already as far as the bald spots filling in, but I also want massive volume.
3. My B12 was around 330 a couple years ago. I got it up to 712 from eating fortified cereal. Then it started dropping and went to 490 and then 415 and then 380. The Flintstones vitamin has B12 in it too. But my B12 has only went to 386 from taking it. So I'm confused. Why am I not absorbing B12? You would think if it was a gut issue, my iron would still be super low. Any ideas? And no it's not the cyanocobalamin vs methylcobalamin issue. Cereal has cyanocobalamin in it as B12 and that took my B12 way up before.
4. Does my ferritin line up with my other iron labs? My other labs seem low and like they haven't moved. Is this concerning? I'm just scared what if the ferritin is a lab error. I know it's come up and I was thinking possibly it would be around 20 but 26 really surprised me. I'm not complaining. I just hope it's accurate.
Serum iron - 61 (50-212) - This has been 110 before one time when my ferritin was 7. And around 60 another time before when my ferritin was 8. That's why I'm so confused. It's like these other iron labs never quite make sense.
% saturation - 17% (15-55%)
TIBC - 352 (250-400)

Thanks in advance!

You should be fine with the shampoo. And should you see shedding, it is probably the SD still reacting from not being dealt with for quite some time. Stick with it!

As for the questions; I think they're more for a doctor to answer, typically. Have you asked? Of course it's going in the right direction, and I applaud you for that and for sticking with the vitamins. But it's not tip-top yet. You have quite a ways to go still. :flower:

Good luck!

Blondieee
September 30th, 2017, 10:56 PM
Thank you everyone! :)

My regular doctor doesn't know the answer to these questions. She's been absolutely clueless when it comes to this fatigue I've been experiencing. And she's not even knowledgeable about where ferritin levels should be and thought 8 was acceptable so I don't give much credence to what she says. She doesn't know why my B12 is low either.

The dermatologist said ferritin levels should be over 60 but didn't act like the low ferritin was causing this level of fatigue. I do have Hashimoto's too and with my B12 being so low, it's hard to tell what is causing what symptoms. I'm sure the B12 deficiency is responsible for some of the fatigue too, but my doctor is "not allowed" to give me a B12 shot unless I fall below the reference range.

I will start the ketoconazole. How often did you guys use the shampoo? The dermatologist said to use it once and then alternate with my regular shampoo like Head and Shoulders and then to use it again. I shampoo every 3 days so that would mean I would use the shampoo like once a week. Does that sound right?

Also, does the ketoconazole actually get rid of the seborrheic dermatitis completely or just help it not be as bad? And I forgot to ask her, but my part is pretty red. Is that from the SD too?

lapushka
October 1st, 2017, 04:08 AM
I will start the ketoconazole. How often did you guys use the shampoo? The dermatologist said to use it once and then alternate with my regular shampoo like Head and Shoulders and then to use it again. I shampoo every 3 days so that would mean I would use the shampoo like once a week. Does that sound right?

Also, does the ketoconazole actually get rid of the seborrheic dermatitis completely or just help it not be as bad? And I forgot to ask her, but my part is pretty red. Is that from the SD too?

I would do what your doctor ordered! Not everyone is the same. And she catered to your specific needs here. So I don't want to disrupt that in any way, shape or form.

The Nizoral 2% gets rid of it completely, normally. Yes, redness is a symptom too.

I thought by now you'd already would have used it, TBH.

Obsidian
October 1st, 2017, 05:18 AM
When I have a particularly bad flare, I will use the medicated shampoo a couple times in a row then switch to head and shoulders until the itchy is gone then I go back to my regular shampoo.

lapushka
October 1st, 2017, 08:35 AM
When I have a particularly bad flare, I will use the medicated shampoo a couple times in a row then switch to head and shoulders until the itchy is gone then I go back to my regular shampoo.

See, I can't do that. I have to wait until the flare is totally gone (last time with one use!) and then I go back to H&S; last time I washed with H&S right after the Nizoral. And yes, then I go back to my regular harsh sulfate shampoo.

divinedobbie
October 1st, 2017, 09:06 AM
Serum Ferritin is just a measure of the "stores" of iron in your body. It's actually just a protein that stores the iron and measuring this will give an indication of long term levels. If you are chronically iron deficient, your body will eat up the iron stores so your ferritin will present as low. The fact that your ferritin is rising should indicate that your body is receiving enough daily iron to once again start building up some stores for when you need it later.

Serum iron on the other hand is a direct measurement of how much iron is currently circulating in your blood stream (always bound to transferrin) at the time of the test,
TIBC (total iron binding capacity) can be seen as kind of the opposite, because it instead is measuring how much unbound transferrin is floating around in your blood waiting to join up with some iron.
So you want a high serum iron level but a low TIBC (within normal limits).
% saturation is then the calculation that determines what % of transferrin is bound to iron in your blood so you also want this to be a higher number.

Some medications can interfere with the blood tests, namely birth control can increase TIBC. It all depends what kind of assay (method/instrument) is used to measure each levels as it varies between countries and even labs. What is your hemoglobin and MCHC level?

On the assays I have run for ferritin, there is very little interferences that could cause false results either high or low (occasionally things like hemolysis (bloody sample if a traumatic poke or hemolytic anemia), lipemia (if you ate a lot of fatty food before collection) etc might skew results if these were present in very high amounts). You have to remember that every lab test is run alongside controls which make sure the method is working correctly within a tight range of accuracy and precision.

ETA: A doctor would be needed to determine possibilities of why your ferritin (stored iron) is going up but your blood iron is staying low. For example have you experienced any major illness or infection lately? Ferritin is a protein that can also increase due to acute inflammation (not necessarily being used to store iron). I know only a few causes that can cause a mix of scenarios but am certainly not educated enough to make guesses. I only perform the testing and provide results to physicians and it's up to them to interpret/diagnose and treat :flower:

It would also be next to impossible for anyone including a doctor to say when you'd get your energy back or regrowth of hair as every individual is so different and it's a qualitative measure. If you were feeling super crappy before, you might notice a huge difference when your iron increases just a bit. If you were still doing okay then it might be a slow uphill process to notice a difference.