My daughter had a blood test two weeks ago and one of the tests was to find out her Iron levels. The results showed it to be very low - The doctor said that normal levels can range from 5-33 and her level was 3. She is now on a good iron supplement. Strangely she had no symptoms for being so low and her diet is pretty good - could be better, but could be worse! The doctor was very cautious on saying the iron levels were a cause of her alopecia but said it could be a factor. Has anyone else had such low iron levels connected to their alopecia? She is now experiencing regrowth which is great but I am equally cautious on saying this is down to Iron supplements.

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I did. in 2008 (well some years ago indeed) I made some general blood tests. The level of iron in my blood was below the minimum level and it couldn't be explained. I went to a specialist and he told me that such a very low iron level might only happen in case of serious blood loss, like for example during severe menstruation. But since I am not a girl this case couldn't apply to me. This was even more unusual since there were no other irregularities found in the rest of the results and also i also had good eating habits. Finally the conclusion was the tests were not properly done, which i would be surprised - but hey, we are all humans so mistakes do happen, and hence i need to redo them. The second time i did the them the levels were good, but it might be because i start taking additional iron.

It never occurred to me that it might have smth. to do with alopecia. I am still not sure if it has.
If you found out more i am interested.
Iron deficiency lists hair loss as a symptom but it is not the same type of hair loss as alopecia. It is more general thinning not spots. When my alopecia began again in 2008 I went to the doctor trying to figure out why is started and she though it had to due with my very low iron (just like your daughter) and low zinc, selenium, etc. I was put on a lot of supplements. They really didn't do that much. What helped my iron to go up was the IVs. I don't know how old your daughter is but Cristian does have a point. Most girls and women experience some form of anemia due to the menstruation. I eat meat and even went to a nutritionist who told me about vegetables with iron, I took vitamin C, etc and now my iron levels are in the normal range, not high but there. I haven't seen it affect my regrowth at all. I have regrowth from the cortisol injections and I guess time :)

I would imagine though that my low iron affected my general body causing a change that would disrupt the natural flow of hormones, the immune system, etc. I think that it may have been a trigger in that way but no one can quite put there finger on it.

I hope that helps :) I recommend you get her iron in check but if she is an adolescent or older she may simply have this anemia due to her cycle. Don't shy away from the idea of the IV. I don't take an iron pill everyday anymore because of it, I just look to find it in my diet because the IVs filled up my body's reserve.

Have a great day!
Hi,
I made a blood test three years ago and the level was very low as well. I remember the year (2007) because just before, I had done a 200km Inliner-week-end and I was very surprised that I was able to do this performance with that few iron in my blood. Actually my hair felt out quicker after this performance. So I think that the sports event and the few iron triggered my alopecia... My normal iron level came back with iron pills, the hair didn't. At the time I had big menstruation as well...
Christa
Thank you so much for your wonderful descriptions to my post. It is interesting how iron levels can be so low yet give so little symptoms as I am certain that if it was not for the alopecia my daughter would not have had a blood test at all. My daughter is 14 and does suffer from heavy periods, although again, the alopecia did not happen on the first onset of them. In response to the iron result he has given her Mefenamic acid capsules to take when she is having a period. It is non hormonal and is very effective at lessening the flow. She also takes ferrous sulphate 200mg twice a day.

Christian, thank you for your thoughts. They of course highlight the fact that low iron levels can affect men also *warm smiles*. Also that it has not affected your alopecia. I will of course let you know should anything more come to light. My daughter Grace has had some regrowth, it is slow and steady and on all the areas she lost but we noticed a few days ago a small thinning area at the front. At least the loss is very slight and at a much slower rate than her initial loss and this gives us encouragement. We have both....ok, me more than Grace! - come to terms with alopecia being a part of our lives when ever it chooses, it will dictate the pace and often for no reason and that is fine.

Thank you Jocelyn, I did not realise that there was a different type of hair loss with iron deficiency. Unfortunately Grace's loss is not just thinning but it does make me wonder if some people can be miss-diagnosed with alopecia. I think it would be worth another blood test in a months time to check her levels and if there is not improvement then I will speak to the GP about the I.V's you speak of.

As Christa points out, general energy levels and what you are doing physically and mentally must take it out of the body's immune system.

It is only in the recent weeks that I have stopped looking for a 'cause' so much and relaxed more into it but curiosity made me wonder how others here had done with their blood test results on this most common of first responses from a GP when first diagnosing alopecia. Thank you very much for your thoughts xx
My ferritin levels were also very low (3). With iron supplements I was able to bring my iron stores up to 13. My father was doing some research on alopecia when he came across an article regarding iron level and alopecia (I will see if I can get the direct journal source) and it found that low iron levels typically result in patchy alopecia while high levels result to totalis. I will find the article information and send it your way.
That is very interesting Margeaux. That would be great if you can find it, thank you :o)
Hi

My iron levels are low also... and my body doesn't seem to be absorbing minerals well either, ie protiens etc.. I've been seeing a naturopath who's giving me suppliments.. I haven't noticed an improvement thus far, but I'll try anything and keep trying
When i took my 3 yr old and they done all kinds of blood test that was the only thing that came back low was her iron
Hi Julie, I found this too. I have had alopecia for 12 years, and have been taking iron suppliments, and recieving transfusions for 9 years. I haven't ever been told that it is connected to my alopecia, but it seems strange that the two are so close. Hope all goes well, Liz x
I thought iron levels were mostly a TE thing, but I know low iron can contribute. When I had my blood work done, my iron levels were lowish, but very much in the normal range. It could just be a "trigger" if those even exist (I think my case definitely had one, but we're all different.) I think regrowth happens. Mine grew back in for the most part as it can. The "bonus" here is that you caught her low iron levels and rectified it. That's good, yeah?
I donate blood regularly to the Red Cross. My iron level is checked at every donation. Once in a while, it is low but only very little below normal.

My 11 year old son was diagnosed with alopecia 6 years ago. I recently had his iron tested and it was a little low even though he was already taking a multivitamin w/iron. the dr prescribed him an iron supplement and it appears that his bald areas are growing hair. :)

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