I have been experiencing some degree of abnormal hair loss for a year and a half now. I feel like it is getting better, but I want to understand why this happened and what I can do to prevent this from happening again... The hair loss along with fatigue started when I was in my last trimester of pregnancy (possibly sooner, but I didn't notice it until then) I started loosing eyebrow hairs and eyelashes along with scalp hair. It seemed whenever I washed my face (gently, and carefully) I would get a few hairs on my hands. The scalp hair wasn't too concerning but I knew eyebrows and eyelashes seemed a bit odder and more serious.
I thought it was due to hormones/pregnancy so I waited it out. I thought it might go away after the birth of my baby. My very healthy easy pregnancy seemed to also get harder and more exhausting during the time the hair loss started. My labor was very hard and after the birth of my healthy baby I lost a ton of blood. My face was white, and I felt very weak for a long time afterwards.
Besides my prenatal, and black strap molasses, I didn't take any additional supplements or medications. Finally after my baby was a few months old and the hair had not gotten better I wen't to my Doctor.
We ordered some blood tests and I got several things checked. Thyroid was my biggest concern, because I had read about fatigue and hair loss being connected with a low thyroid. Also pregnancy can mess with the thyroid.
My thyroid came back in range. With these numbers- free t3- 3.0 range ( 2.5-4.0) free t4-0.95 range (0.60-150) tsh-1.98 range (0.30-3)
My Ferritin was very low at 14.4 range (11-307)
My Doctor basically smiled and said I was healthy than most and I was just experiencing postpartum hair loss. Even though it started before I gave birth... hmmm. I asked about the ferritin and he didn't seem to think it was a big deal until I insisted on iron supplements.
I started supplementing and started to feel a little bit more like the old me, but the hair loss was still occurring.I didn't got back to my GP, but enlisted the help of a naturpathic Dr. She couldn't find any apparent reason for the hair loss. I still thought it could be the low iron, and it was just taking time since it was so low.
I got re tested for thyroid and iron labs, and two months later from the original blood work these were my results-
free t3-2.9 free t4-1.03, tsh-2.64 (same ranges as before) and ferritin was at 21.8
My Dr. didn't think it necessary to supplement with high doses of iron, so I backed off for a bit.My hair loss seemed to be more fluctuating than before going from bad to ok to good, to bad again. I sometimes felt fatigued but no other big symptoms.
I did lots of my own research and I kept thinking this most be the low iron, nothing else is wrong with me! And perhaps my thyroid was a little low due to not having enough iron.
I re started taking high doses of iron recently, determined to kick this low iron thing in the butt even if it's not the reason why for the hair loss atleast I can rule it out.
My hair loss is still happening, the eyebrows and eyelashes aren't coming out as much but still more than before the problem. Scalp hair is shedding maybe twice as much as normal for me.
My very recent blood test came back with these numbers...
free t3-3.3, free t4 0.77, tsh-1.94, and ferritin 38.4
I am feeling pretty normal and like I'm getting better. Still am pretty pale, and struggle with having enough energy, and the hair loss.
My question is, does this seem possible all theses issues are due to the low iron? Maybe pregnancy depleted me and birth further sent me into low ferritin levels.
Or is this s thyroid issue? My levels have always been "normal" and in range, but I know that they probably aren't optimal. With the info I provided do the numbers seem to be getting better?
I'm hoping it's the iron and will just take a little more time to re build to completely stop the symptoms.
Some other info on me-
I'm 21, have been borderline anemic since childhood, no family history of thyroid issues, my mom had six kids and never seemed to have any health issues. I eat a healthy diet and am still taking my prenatal. I am breastfeeding. I maintain an active lifestyle, and have been trying to improve my health in every way I know how ever since this started.
Any thoughts/info would be much appreciated!
Thanks so much!