My iron levels

My iron levels

Joined: May 1st, 2006, 4:31 am

August 25th, 2017, 5:14 am #1

Have dropped again. I suspected a few weeks ago that they had because I was experiencing tiredness and dizziness. Anyway, I was given two choices:

(1) continue with iron supplements and be tested in six months; (2) stop iron supplements and be tested in three months to see how far the levels have dropped.

I chose the first. I don't ever want to experience shedding again and I would love to get my levels higher and hopefully not have my hair thin from BSL down. It may be silly, but I'm not willing to risk my hair becoming any thinner. I want to keep my hair long so dropping the meds wasn't on my agenda (not to mention, the tiredness, dizziness, and fogginess is not fun). I do feel frustrated that I may never have my hair back. Right now I feel like giving up on my long hair journey - but hopefully that feeling will pass.


Hair Journey Began in June 2006 ...

Hair Type: 2a/M/ii
Hair Colour: Dark brown with natural red and silver highlights (more silver than red nowadays)
Starting length: 25"/62.5cm (BSL)
Initial Goal length: 36" (Tailbone)
Setback: Major shed in 2010 when at 38"
New Goal: Healthy hair that I'm happy with! (Preferably tailbone with thick hemline.

Current Routine
CWCA: C = condition the length with conditioner or shea butter; W = wash the scalp using diluted organic shampoo; Condition = small amount of conditioner on ends; A = acidic rinse, either ACV or citric acid; Frequency = once a week. In-between times, scalp washes as required.
Tips for super soft hair = Wash with Miracle Water. Finish up with LOC (Liquid = water; Oil = almond/olive/avocado oils; Cream = aloe vera gel)
Other: Regular micro-trims; light oiling on dry hair a few times a week; BBB; wooden comb; Mason Pearson comb; hair sticks, Flexi-8's, Ficcare, and other hair friendly toys.


'Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfailing beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.' 1 Peter 3:3-4
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Joined: November 11th, 2009, 8:52 pm

August 26th, 2017, 6:56 pm #2

I'm so sorry to hear that you've been feeling poorly And I'm sad that your iron levels are giving you so much worry, apart from the physical symptoms. It's understandable that you chose to keep up with the supplements. It's certainly not much fun to experience fatigue, vertigo and other side-effects... I guess this must seem like another blow to you, and it's normal to think about your hair. Have you noticed any changes in your hair?

Maybe it's the optimist in me speaking, but I don't think all is lost. You are taking supplements, so a shed doesn't seem likely. I hope you won't give up on your hair and hair journey, but I understand that you feel down and worried at the moment. Just hang on in there
Hair type: 2b/M/C/iii
Current length: classic+
Current goal: knee

Current routine:
~ alternating a NW/SO (no water/sebum only) routine with occasional washes. I use the techniques of NW/SO (brushing, scritching and preening) almost daily, but I do a shampoo wash every month or two.

Products and tools:
~ Alverde Birke-Salbei shampoo
~ occasionally oiling the ends with either coconut or almond oil; currently experimenting with argan oil
~ an assortment of BBBs
~ Tangle Teezer/Tangle Angel & wide-tooth comb
~ hair friendly hair toys, for putting up hair and forgetting about it

Hair journal (rarely updated nowadays):
http://www.network54.com/Forum/663765
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Joined: May 1st, 2006, 4:31 am

August 26th, 2017, 7:25 pm #3

I appreciate your reply. I've had some time to think about my plan of attack and am not feeling so helpless. I also washed my hair Friday night since I had three parties to attend yesterday (granddaughter turned five, a baby shower, and a daughter-in-law turned 30), and all day I felt like I had big fluffy hair. Why would I want more?!

If anything, I've noticed my hair appears thicker down to BSL than in recent years. I put this down to eating more protein. I've been adding gelatine to my smoothies. Or it could be that the new growth is finally starting to move down to thicken the hemline and I just need to give the rest more time.

I was eating a lot of raw spinach (in smoothies) but stopped because this caused a flare up of other symptoms. I've since learnt that raw spinach (not cooked) can inhibit uptake of iron. I'm allergic to citrus fruits, and tomato juice causes my reflux to flare up, so I do not have adequate sources of Vitamin C in my diet which is meant to increase iron absorption. And I drink lots and lots of tea but do try to avoid it at least half an hour (I aim for two hours) either side of taking iron. I am going to drop grains out of my diet for several months as I think the last time I went gluten free the levels rose more quickly than they had before. Inflammation can prevent the uptake of iron and even though I've never been tested for gluten intolerance I have had issues with wheat since a child. I usually use spelt or choose sourdough, but I've decided after this weekend (after all those parties!) to change my diet and see if it gives me better results at my next test.

Because my symptoms are rather vague and my haemoglobin is normal (so not technically anaemic) it feels as if I'm wasting my doctor's time if I insist on answers. I think it's highly unlikely that there is a serious underlying cause for the iron levels being so low as I think after all this time, there would have been other symptoms or an increase in existing symptoms. Apart from some food intolerance, I am generally quite healthy. I have a stressful job and my only complaint is that I get quite tired and need to manage that, but that's as much about the hours I work and the nature of the job, as it is about my health.

I guess I had the idea that if I got my iron up to 60 or 70 that I would get my hair back. But, given my age, my old hair may never be possible again anyway. And, while I don't know what my levels have been in the past, I was severely anaemic with one pregnancy, and still always had thick hair, before and after. So maybe 'normal' for me is a low level and my hair doesn't suffer until it drops to almost negligible.

All that to say, I guess I need not worry until it starts shedding again and, meanwhile, carry on with my hair journey.


Hair Journey Began in June 2006 ...

Hair Type: 2a/M/ii
Hair Colour: Dark brown with natural red and silver highlights (more silver than red nowadays)
Starting length: 25"/62.5cm (BSL)
Initial Goal length: 36" (Tailbone)
Setback: Major shed in 2010 when at 38"
New Goal: Healthy hair that I'm happy with! (Preferably tailbone with thick hemline.

Current Routine
CWCA: C = condition the length with conditioner or shea butter; W = wash the scalp using diluted organic shampoo; Condition = small amount of conditioner on ends; A = acidic rinse, either ACV or citric acid; Frequency = once a week. In-between times, scalp washes as required.
Tips for super soft hair = Wash with Miracle Water. Finish up with LOC (Liquid = water; Oil = almond/olive/avocado oils; Cream = aloe vera gel)
Other: Regular micro-trims; light oiling on dry hair a few times a week; BBB; wooden comb; Mason Pearson comb; hair sticks, Flexi-8's, Ficcare, and other hair friendly toys.


'Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfailing beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.' 1 Peter 3:3-4
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Joined: November 11th, 2009, 8:52 pm

August 29th, 2017, 9:27 am #4

I'm so glad that you had time to take stock and figure out a gameplan. You have really tackled this hurdle systematically and rationally, which is amazing. I don't think you're wasting your doctor's time. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's your right to ask questions, and your generally good health shouldn't be an excuse for the doctor to shrug off your concerns.

Diet is so very important for our optimal functioning. Some people are in generally good health with a usual diet, but upon taking out some items, they feel even better. Perhaps you will experience the same thing as you remove grains. By the way, it's so inconvenient that you cannot intake vitamin C rich foods... Do you take vitamin C supplements?

But I will be repetitive and say that I'm happy about how quickly you bounced back and are tackling the issue. I'm glad that you are continuing your hair journey as planned. I think that, with all the measures you have undertaken over the years, and the regrowth you've had, the likelihood of a shed is very low. I do hope it really turns out that way
Hair type: 2b/M/C/iii
Current length: classic+
Current goal: knee

Current routine:
~ alternating a NW/SO (no water/sebum only) routine with occasional washes. I use the techniques of NW/SO (brushing, scritching and preening) almost daily, but I do a shampoo wash every month or two.

Products and tools:
~ Alverde Birke-Salbei shampoo
~ occasionally oiling the ends with either coconut or almond oil; currently experimenting with argan oil
~ an assortment of BBBs
~ Tangle Teezer/Tangle Angel & wide-tooth comb
~ hair friendly hair toys, for putting up hair and forgetting about it

Hair journal (rarely updated nowadays):
http://www.network54.com/Forum/663765
Reply
Like
Share

Joined: July 27th, 2008, 8:03 pm

August 29th, 2017, 9:54 pm #5

Have dropped again. I suspected a few weeks ago that they had because I was experiencing tiredness and dizziness. Anyway, I was given two choices:

(1) continue with iron supplements and be tested in six months; (2) stop iron supplements and be tested in three months to see how far the levels have dropped.

I chose the first. I don't ever want to experience shedding again and I would love to get my levels higher and hopefully not have my hair thin from BSL down. It may be silly, but I'm not willing to risk my hair becoming any thinner. I want to keep my hair long so dropping the meds wasn't on my agenda (not to mention, the tiredness, dizziness, and fogginess is not fun). I do feel frustrated that I may never have my hair back. Right now I feel like giving up on my long hair journey - but hopefully that feeling will pass.
I'm sorry you are having trouble with your iron levels. I have had lifelong anemia issues & require supplementation, so I know how it feels when iron levels get low.

It is not silly to hope for your hair not to become thin!

I hope you have good results from cutting out grains in your diet. There are plenty of delicious foods to eat that don't require grain.

ETA: Regarding Vitamin C, can you eat strawberries? They have a good amount of Vitamin C, I think.
Last edited by LongHairedGeologist on August 29th, 2017, 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 1st, 2006, 4:31 am

August 30th, 2017, 4:32 am #6

I eat about a cup of blueberries every day and I have feijoa which are high in Vit C when they're in season, so I probably do get Vitamin C in my diet after all, just not the obvious ones like citrus. I suspect with me it's an inability to either absorb or utilise the iron fully that results in my low levels. My son suggested probiotics so I might start taking them again now that I've stopped eating copious amounts of yogurt.


Hair Journey Began in June 2006 ...

Hair Type: 2a/M/ii
Hair Colour: Dark brown with natural red and silver highlights (more silver than red nowadays)
Starting length: 25"/62.5cm (BSL)
Initial Goal length: 36" (Tailbone)
Setback: Major shed in 2010 when at 38"
New Goal: Healthy hair that I'm happy with! (Preferably tailbone with thick hemline.

Current Routine
CWCA: C = condition the length with conditioner or shea butter; W = wash the scalp using diluted organic shampoo; Condition = small amount of conditioner on ends; A = acidic rinse, either ACV or citric acid; Frequency = once a week. In-between times, scalp washes as required.
Tips for super soft hair = Wash with Miracle Water. Finish up with LOC (Liquid = water; Oil = almond/olive/avocado oils; Cream = aloe vera gel)
Other: Regular micro-trims; light oiling on dry hair a few times a week; BBB; wooden comb; Mason Pearson comb; hair sticks, Flexi-8's, Ficcare, and other hair friendly toys.


'Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfailing beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.' 1 Peter 3:3-4
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Share

Joined: February 24th, 2004, 7:22 am

September 5th, 2017, 4:38 am #7

Have dropped again. I suspected a few weeks ago that they had because I was experiencing tiredness and dizziness. Anyway, I was given two choices:

(1) continue with iron supplements and be tested in six months; (2) stop iron supplements and be tested in three months to see how far the levels have dropped.

I chose the first. I don't ever want to experience shedding again and I would love to get my levels higher and hopefully not have my hair thin from BSL down. It may be silly, but I'm not willing to risk my hair becoming any thinner. I want to keep my hair long so dropping the meds wasn't on my agenda (not to mention, the tiredness, dizziness, and fogginess is not fun). I do feel frustrated that I may never have my hair back. Right now I feel like giving up on my long hair journey - but hopefully that feeling will pass.
You mentioned maybe taking a probiotic. I don't know if you can get it where you are, and it's a little expensive, but Florestor is quite good. It helps my tummy if when it's out of sorts. It really works well. I've no idea what it can do for hair though. Don't give up on your long hair. You don't believe me, but I think your wavy hair is pretty and I should wish for its fullness for myself!
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Joined: May 1st, 2006, 4:31 am

September 5th, 2017, 7:05 am #8

I had to go into work for a few hours today and because I wasn't meant to be working with children (that changed once they saw me and they wanted to be near me) I wore it down and got several compliments. Not one but several! Makes me wonder if others don't see the same things I see.


Hair Journey Began in June 2006 ...

Hair Type: 2a/M/ii
Hair Colour: Dark brown with natural red and silver highlights (more silver than red nowadays)
Starting length: 25"/62.5cm (BSL)
Initial Goal length: 36" (Tailbone)
Setback: Major shed in 2010 when at 38"
New Goal: Healthy hair that I'm happy with! (Preferably tailbone with thick hemline.

Current Routine
CWCA: C = condition the length with conditioner or shea butter; W = wash the scalp using diluted organic shampoo; Condition = small amount of conditioner on ends; A = acidic rinse, either ACV or citric acid; Frequency = once a week. In-between times, scalp washes as required.
Tips for super soft hair = Wash with Miracle Water. Finish up with LOC (Liquid = water; Oil = almond/olive/avocado oils; Cream = aloe vera gel)
Other: Regular micro-trims; light oiling on dry hair a few times a week; BBB; wooden comb; Mason Pearson comb; hair sticks, Flexi-8's, Ficcare, and other hair friendly toys.


'Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfailing beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.' 1 Peter 3:3-4
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Share

Joined: June 11th, 2008, 1:35 am

September 16th, 2017, 5:14 pm #9

Have dropped again. I suspected a few weeks ago that they had because I was experiencing tiredness and dizziness. Anyway, I was given two choices:

(1) continue with iron supplements and be tested in six months; (2) stop iron supplements and be tested in three months to see how far the levels have dropped.

I chose the first. I don't ever want to experience shedding again and I would love to get my levels higher and hopefully not have my hair thin from BSL down. It may be silly, but I'm not willing to risk my hair becoming any thinner. I want to keep my hair long so dropping the meds wasn't on my agenda (not to mention, the tiredness, dizziness, and fogginess is not fun). I do feel frustrated that I may never have my hair back. Right now I feel like giving up on my long hair journey - but hopefully that feeling will pass.
I was told my iron levels were low about 4 years ago so I started on a multivitamin which I take to this day, actually I took iron pills for awhile.
I don't have cycles anymore though I still was then, so maybe it has corrected itself. My levels were good at my last physical.
I would do the first as well.
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