Do Low Ferritin Levels Cause Hair Loss?
Low ferritin levels are one of the most common causes of hair loss. It affects men and women equally. However, it’s usually not seen until later stages of hair loss. For example, if you have thinning or sparse hairs at the time of a blood test showing high ferritin levels, then there is no need to worry too much about it since it may still recover with treatment. If however, you experience hair loss before that point, then it would be advisable to consult a doctor.
What Causes Low Ferritin Levels?
The main cause of low ferritin levels is due to various diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, autoimmune disorders and other conditions. Other factors include medications like chemotherapy drugs and hormonal treatments. Another factor which could affect your ferritin level is stress and anxiety.
How Does Low Ferritin Affect Your Health?
In general, low ferritin levels lead to many health problems including heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2DM), osteoporosis and some types of cancers. Even though low ferritin levels do not directly cause any of these problems, they may contribute to their development. So it is better to check your ferritin levels regularly in order to prevent them from developing into a problem.
What Does It Mean If Your Ferritin Levels Are Too High?
Unfortunately, the opposite of low ferritin levels is also a lot more common than you may think. Many people suffer from high ferritin levels which can have detrimental effects on your body. They are often seen in people with inflammatory conditions and organs with severe injuries. You can get tested to see if you have any of these issues by visiting your doctor for a proper checkup.
How Can You Increase Your Ferritin Levels?
There are several ways you can increase your ferritin levels.
1) Blood Donation: If you are anemic, a blood donation could greatly benefit you.
It will also increase your ferritin levels because when you donate blood, your body absorbs some of the iron that is left over after the procedure.
2) Foods: Some foods are high in iron and can help you increase your ferritin level.
These foods include red meat, turkey, clams and spinach.
3) Supplements: If you need to raise your ferritin levels quickly or greatly, then a supplement may be your best option.
It’s important to make sure that when you take a supplement you take the proper dosage. Too much iron can be very bad for you and in some cases lead to iron overload or hemochromatosis.
What Are The Treatment Options For Low Ferritin?
There are two common treatments for low ferritin.
1) Infusions: This involves being hooked up to an IV for several hours in order to replenish the iron your body needs.
2) Tablets: These supplements are taken orally in order to increase your iron levels.
What Should You Do If You Find Out Your Ferritin Is Low?
You should start taking ferritin increasing supplements, especially if your levels are below 20. Infusions should be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary as they can lead to iron overload and other complications.
There are a few things you can do if you are suffering from anemia due to low ferritin. These include:
1) Consuming meat and other iron-rich foods.
2) Taking iron supplements if necessary.
3) Taking vitamin C supplements as this enhances the absorption of iron.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should consult your physician or other healthcare professional.
Sources & references used in this article:
No association between serum ferritin levels> 10 microg/l and hair loss activity in women by A Bregy, RM Trüeb – Dermatology, 2008 – zora.uzh.ch
Decreased serum ferritin is associated with alopecia in women by J Kantor, LJ Kessler, DG Brooks, G Cotsarelis – Journal of investigative …, 2003 – Elsevier
Serum ferritin and vitamin d in female hair loss: do they play a role? by H Rasheed, D Mahgoub, R Hegazy… – Skin pharmacology and …, 2013 – karger.com
There is no clear association between low serum ferritin and chronic diffuse telogen hair loss by R Sinclair – British Journal of Dermatology, 2002 – Wiley Online Library
Nutritional factors and hair loss by DH Rushton – Clinical and Experimental Dermatology: Clinical …, 2002 – Wiley Online Library
Iron status in diffuse telogen hair loss among women by M Moeinvaziri, P Mansoori, K Holakooee… – Acta …, 2009 – hrcak.srce.hr
The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss by LB Trost, WF Bergfeld, E Calogeras – Journal of the American Academy of …, 2006 – Elsevier
Female pattern hair loss by MP Birch, SC Lalla… – Clinical and Experimental …, 2002 – Wiley Online Library