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Avatar universal

fatigue and thinning hair

Hi!  I have been suffering from relentless fatigue for several years, and in the last two years have had two episodes of telogen effluvium.  The first one I think was caused by hormonal shift of switching birth control pills and then going off them completely.  The second I believe was a reaction to anesthesia when I had a septoplasty.  
Beyond those episodes of rapid thinning though my hair has been getting noticeably thinner even when I don't notice it rapidly falling out.  
The dermatologist determined I did not have androgenic alopecia and no problems with my scalp, etc. Thyroid problems have been ruled out.  Four years ago my ferritin level was 46 and B12 was 451, anemia was ruled out. I was tested for many things and all were ruled out, and they stopped even running tests because I guess they assume they'd already covered all bases.

Recently my GYN of all people tested my vitamin D and found it was low - 15 ng/mL.  (I love the sun, but do live in the northeast, where we can't get enough D from the sun for a large part of the year.  I also eat a lot of D fortified foods, but somehow my levels are still pretty low).

I was put on 50000 iu prescription vitamin D for 8 weeks and then will be retested. (I know there's a debate about the prescription D, but I've read some of the research and feel comfortable taking it for now, and then once the high dose treatment is done I'll supplement with my own over the counter D3 daily).  

I've taken 4 doses of the vitamin D so far and don't feel any better.  In fact, I think the fatigue is worse, and I as well have worsening muscle weakness.  I am hoping getting my levels up will help a lot with both fatigue and hair loss, but I am also now trying to get my iron levels up, because even though the doctors said my ferritin level was perfectly normal I think it needs to be higher.  How can I quickly raise my levels, and how much iron is safe to take without risking overdose?
2 Responses
267079 tn?1195146570
Vitamin D may decrease from certain medications such as certain anti-seizure, corticosteroids, heparin, certain antibiotics, mineral oil, and antacids; or certain disease states such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and Whipple’s disease. Insufficiency may cause symptoms such as bone loss, osteomalacia (in adults), and impaired Calcium absorption occurs due to very low levels of the vitamin. You did not mention your Calcium levels and suggest getting it checked. An intake of Vitamin D 400 IU is sufficient for your age. You should not go over that amount in supplementation. 2000 IU is the tolerable upper intake level for adults; however, you can be at risk for toxicity (weak muscles, weak bones, excessive bleeding, and kidney stones) if you consume supplementation plus large amounts of fortified milk / dairy products and fish. Vitamin D is available through our foods - Fortified milk, breakfast cereals, egg yolks, fatty fish, fish oils, and the sun. Sit at a window with the sun shining in for about 1/2 hour (few times a week) and that will help you get enough Vitamin D. Suggest you find lower the Vitamin D supplement with less Vitamin D or none at all to help lower the amount of Vitamin D in your system. Suggest finding out the cause of the deficiency to treat it.
Avatar universal
Have they re-checked your ferritin and B12 levels? 46 is fairly low - not below what the labs consider normal, but some doctors say you can be symptomatic below 50-70. Have they tested you for Celiac disease recently? A lot of what you describe fits (I saw your post from 2008 on your profile) - the fatigue, hair loss, cognitive difficulties, pins & needles, low BMI, vitamin deficiency... Certainly worth a blood test, and yes, the result can change over time. I'd ask them for the full panel, not just the single test.

2,000 IU may be the daily UL but from what I understand, it's standard practice for doctors to administer mega-doses when a patient is found to be deficient.
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