Iron deficiency: low ferritin, hair loss and thinning
Iron deficiency and Your Hair
So many of us are walking around with iron deficiency or ferritin yet we don’t even know it. Iron is one of the key minerals for your hair to prevent from thinning hair and hair loss. It also keeps your heart healthy, nourishes skin and is a Premium Essential Mineral that maintains your general well-being.
Iron is used in many enzymes within the human body. We need it for proper cell function. Without the right amount of iron, the body is unable to break down and distribute nutrients from food. This affects the body’s ability to be healthy and thrive. If your body lacks iron, you can even develop iron deficiency, anaemia.
Incorporate the right amount of iron into your diet as it is a key factor in growing long, healthy hair. It’s important to eat lots of good quality, red meats, including liver. Also, make sure your body properly absorbs iron by adding HCL and pepsin to your diet.
Protein and Your Hair
Similar to protein, iron is critical for our cells. Haemoglobin is a protein inside of the red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.
Red blood cells expel carbon dioxide from your body by transporting it to the lungs for you to exhale. Oxygen is vital for health and to grow strong, healthy hair. Another great way of adding more oxygen to your body is through Ozone Therapy.
Oxygen and Your Hair
Oxygen provides the scalp with the fuel it needs to build hair. It grows stronger, healthier hair by stimulating and nourishing the scalp.
Blood supplies nutrients to the roots of your hair. It enables the body to make the proteins that form hair. Oxygen also stimulates cell metabolism which is important because increased blood flow to the scalp helps generate new cells.
Many men and women suffer from iron deficiency (Anaemia). Iron deficiency occurs when your diet lacks iron-rich foods or if you have difficulty extracting iron from your diet. People with hypothyroidism and hypochlorhydria also often experience this. Illnesses, blood loss and pregnancy, can also cause anaemia.
As you can see, iron is essential to hair growth and maintenance so make sure you eat and absorb enough iron-rich foods to keep your hair long and healthy.
Symptoms of iron deficiency include, but are not limited to, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails, thinning hair frequent infections, and shortness of breath.
Low Ferritin: cause of hair loss and thinning hair
Ferritin is a form of stored iron. Low level of stored iron is a common reason for hair loss. Women who suffer from hypothyroidism tend to also suffer from low ferritin. The two conditions often go hand in hand. If you’re experiencing hair loss or you suffer from thinning hair, ask your doctor to check your iron and ensure that it includes a test for ferritin. This is because your iron levels can appear ‘normal’ even though your ferritin levels are low and that could be the logic behind your hair loss. ‘Normal’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘optimal’!
If you’re experiencing hair loss, ask your doctor to check your iron and ensure that it includes a test for ferritin. This is because your iron levels can appear ‘normal’ even though your ferritin levels are low and that could be the logic behind your hair loss. ‘Normal doesn’t necessarily mean ‘optimal’!
Low ferritin and hair growth
Ferritin is used during the growth stage of our hair (the anagen phase). It helps fuel this important stage of your hair’s development and encourages it to grow to its full length. If your diet lacks the iron that your body needs, it automatically pulls it from non-critical areas of the body, such as hair bulbs. In other words, it prioritises organs like your heart, over hair growth. This exchange of resources is very likely to lead to some form of hair loss.
What happens when you don’t have enough iron?
An iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, which reduces the number of red blood cells in our body. Anaemia is a leading cause of hair loss, but it can be easily fixed by eating foods high in vitamin C along with vegetables rich in iron, like red meat, liver, spinach and broccoli.
In a recent study, researchers conducted a study to examine the relationship between hair loss in women and iron deficiency. Thirty women suffering from hair loss were compared to thirty women with healthy hair. They found that of the nine women with iron deficiency, eight also had hair loss.
So, You Have Low Ferritin?
If your ferritin test results reveal that you’re functioning on less than 80 ug/L, you’ll need to take some proactive steps towards increasing the amount of ferritin (stored iron) available for your body to use. After continued use, you’ll start to see changes in the health of your hair. You also need to rule out other conditions.
Iron deficiency: The best way to take Iron Supplements
I recommend giving freeze-dried organic liver concentrate as an iron supplement a try and see if your system responds to it. Be moderate with your use of iron supplements. Too much iron can be just as unhealthy for your body. Plan to increase your iron and ferritin levels gradually over time. This is a safer, less traumatic approach. You should begin to see improvements in your hair and energy levels within weeks of increasing your iron intake. As discussed previously in the chapter, Shilajit is also an effective and natural compound to include more iron into your diet.
Shilajit referred to as ‘The Destroyer of Weakness’ because it contains DBPs (dibenzo alpha pyrones), which is known for increasing energy levels. It also contains antioxidants and has a high fulvic acid content which is known to help improve gut health. Other great uses for Shilajit are increased memory, mood stabilising, absorption of vital nutrients, enhanced potency and effectiveness of other nutrients, sharp intelligence, balanced blood sugar, efficient detoxification, optimal oxygenation and the body’s natural antioxidant response, and last but not least, cell renewal
note: always work with a doctor to monitor your iron and ferritin levels!
Shilajit, an excellent source of Iron that comes with the following benefits:
Supports fertility – a study found that men who are suffering from infertility problems could increase their sperm count by 60% and sperm activity by 12% if they took shilajit twice a day.
- Promotes testosterone levels – low testosterone can affect a man’s mood and lead to weight gain. An excellent way to boost this is by taking Shilajit.
- Enhances performance – research has found that Shilajit can improve our energy levels. It acts at the cellular level to improve energy production at its source, the mitochondria. When your mitochondria is fuelled, you feel more awake and recover faster.
- Protects the heart – a study on animals found that those who took Shilajit had less cardiovascular damage.
- Encourages healthy ageing – the high antioxidant levels found in Shilajit could help protect against cellular damage, which speeds the ageing process in your heart, lungs, liver, and skin. The fulvic acid found in Shilajit delivers minerals and antioxidants directly to cells where they’re needed. This keeps them safe from free radical damage and accelerated ageing.
Thyroid medication can affect the absorption of iron supplements
Also note, if you’re taking thyroid medication, its absorption can be affected by the iron supplements you take. Therefore, be mindful of taking the medications at different times. I recommend taking them at least four hours apart. Finally, adding HCL (hydrochloric acid) and pepsin to your diet will ensure that your body fully absorbs the iron you eat. Treating low ferritin and adding HCL and digestive enzymes were a critical part of my hair loss restoration. It’s not surprising that I suffered from low levels of ferritin, given I’d spent nearly two decades suffering from bulimia, vomiting and taking laxatives.
Iron deficiency and low ferritin treatment
You can also increase iron and ferritin levels by eating more good quality red meat. Eating liver is also an excellent way to increase iron through your diet. Finally, adding HCL and pepsin to your diet will ensure that your body fully absorbs the iron you eat.
Treating low ferritin and adding HCL and digestive enzymes were a critical part of my hair loss restoration. Check your levels frequently with your integrative doctor.
It’s not surprising to me at all that I had from low levels of ferritin, given I’d spent nearly two decades suffering from bulimia, vomiting and taking laxatives
True Health Labs offers an anaemia panel that includes ferritin for U.S. residents and anaemia testing for those in Europe.
Important note on ferritin levels
Despite the fact that iron/ferritin is a vital mineral we need for optimal health, more is not better! In fact, high levels of iron are a severe health threat that may damage joints, organs, tissues and joints.
Excess iron can also increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, and premature death and increased inflammation, which is as we already know, a root-cause of many chronic illnesses. Research shows that excess iron in the brain can lead to neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS.
I recommend reading Dr Mercola’s book, Fat for Fuel, to learn more about this critical health topic. According to Dr Mercola healthy levels of ferritin lay between 40 to 60 ng and high ferritin levels are easy to treat with blood donations. According to him, anything above 80 or 90 ng, can cause health problems.
As always, see what works best for your personal health condition.
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