I am new to this site. I have had alopecia areata, which turned into alopecia universalis, for over a year now. My doctor has no answers and the dermatologist said that I would never find the answer to my hair loss.
However, when I first went to see my Dr a year ago my iron stores, ferritin, was 23ug/L. I have recently been doing a lot of research on this and apparently you need a ferritin level of over 70ug/L to stop hair loss and promote hair growth.
This is the only test that has come back low, everything else is fine. I was just wondering if anyone else has had the same problem? My Dr doesn't think this is the cause of my hair loss, but I think it could be. There has to be a reason.
Any advice will be much appreciated.
Thank you for your reply. I did have low B12 too but that has picked up now due to eating more red meat. Vit D is ok for me too, I am able to get enough from the sun. I agree with you though that hairloss has more than one component to it and everyone is different. I'll keep going with the iron and see what happens.
When I first developed alopecia universalis, I experience the same feedback from doctors. Unfortunately, when it comes to alopecia, most doctors are useless. If there hasn't been a conclusive study about it, a doctor won't be able to say with confidence what will or won't help. So since there are very little studies going on regarding alopecia, they have little to no answers. Personally, I would drop your dermatologist regardless. A good doctor doesn't tell a patient "never" since the human body can ALWAYS heal itself.
I've been living with AU since 2005 and had no hair the entire time until a year ago, when I happened to come across a doctor in Beverly Hills. He told me that he had several patients with AA, AT, and AU and he told me to cut out dairy completely and to do something to calm my mind like yoga and meditation on a daily basis. He said not to eat anything from cow's milk and to be strict about it. For instance, don't have a cookie because there's butter in it. Read all labels. He said to give it about 6-8 weeks before seeing results.
Within a couple weeks, I had a patch come in and I now have a mohawk and my eyelashes are returning as well. Since then I've read in a couple different places that people with Alopecia shouldn't be eating dairy especially during the healing process. I'm not as strict as I'd like to be (especially during the holidays!) but I don't stress about it since that defeats the purpose.
Regarding iron levels, I'm not sure that's your answer. My iron levels are good but my advice is that if it doesn't harm you, give it a try. You never know!
Hope this helps!
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Thanks for this information Rosanna. I will give the no dairy a go, it can't hurt! Yoga is a great idea too. I've spent a whole year asking Doctors and Specialists the reason "why" and have got completely nowhere. I will spend this year trying things that have worked for others in the same position as me. I thank you for sharing this with me and congratulations on the start of your hair growing back!
You're welcome! Let's stay in touch. :-)
So nice to know that you came across a doctor who was able to treat you and congratulations on your recovery. If you don't mind, will you like to share the doctor's contact details so that he can help other members.
The doctor's name is Dr.Simon Ourian, M.D. He's located in Beverly Hills, CA and his card says Skin & Aesthetic Laser Surgery. It was a fluke that I found him because I had given up on finding a dermatologist that had any advice to treat my AU. I was there looking into laser treatments for acne scars and when he saw that I had AU, he gave me the advice to cut out dairy completely and to quiet my mind. The returning hair growth has been slow moving and I don't have a full head of hair yet but it was the only thing that has helped at all for me. Hope this helps!
Some doctor treating me also suggested to cut out dairy. I tried for a week but I am so much addicted to tea with milk that I started drinking it again after a week. Are you not taking any medicine along with cutting dairy?
No meds. I also love cheese but I every time I'm tempted I remind myself that I eat to live, not live to eat. The doctor said it would take 6-8 weeks before results. Give yourself 8 weeks and put soy milk in your tea. See if it works. If it doesn't, you can go back. For me, just having some of my eyelashes back make it so worth it!
I also did hypnotherapy to help reduce stress and anxiety since I'm horrible at exercising on a regular basis. It did wonders!
You inspired me to take on diary free diet again. I will start it from today and will follow it religiously for 8 weeks. Will update you with the results.
I'm so glad! Please keep in touch!
By chance, have to been able to find it in your family?
I was diagnosed with AA at 5, was part of clinical studys and what not for years...it runs in my family on my mothers side - her sister, and a couple of her uncles have it.
I've tried things over the years with the hopes of strengthening my fingernails (I have the little pinholes and ridges) ... but it's never really impacted hair growth one way or the other.
I have the pinholes in my nails too, they have always been there. I had never worried about them though but it was interesting to be told that those pinholes were a sign of Alopecia, Alopecia that I have only just got now at age 36. Alopecia doesn't run in my family, I do not know of any family member who has ever had it. It would be great for an answer to be found, one day!