I’ve been all about improving my energy levels and dealing with my nutritional needs this week. I had a blood test a few weeks ago and the findings were that most of my various levels are fine, but my Ferritin (iron) is still low. Technically, my level is still within the ‘normal’ range, which is 20 – 350 or so (huge range!) but it’s not a good result for me..
At the start of my first pregnancy my Ferritin levels were are 120, which isn’t bad, but by the end of the pregnancy they had dropped to 20, and have stayed there ever since. The reason this is an issue for me is because my hair started thinning in my late 20s and early 30s, and has stayed thin since. I was worried I was going to go bald! During my pregnancies, I didn’t enjoy that lovely thick hair that doesn’t fall out like other women enjoy – mine just continued to fall out like usual, and got even worse when I breastfed each child.
I tried lots of different things to try to stop it falling and thinning. I tried Biotin shampoos, fancy hair/scalp treatments, Biotin and hair/nail dietary supplements. Nothing made a difference. The expensive and all-natural shampoos did thicken the hair for a short time but it was like wrinkle cream – it stops working when you stop using it, and doens’t really change the internal structure of the hair.
So spent more bucks and went to specialists. One guy told me he’d solve all my problems and wanted me to sign up for a long-term, extremely expensive shampoo/treatment course which would solve all my problems. I’m not kidding, it was going to cost $4,500 and that was only for a 3 month course. I just couldn’t afford it. And I didn’t want to try more items to ‘see’.. I wanted to know what the root problem was.
So i went to a hair specialist with a medical degree and paid more money. She looked at my hair, told me there was not physical problem with my scalp etc, but the hair WAS thinning, and it was also very fragile – each strand was thinning, as well as hairfall, and therefore, so even though I wasn’t losing all of it, it was looking thinner as a result. Sigh. Also, I had stress hairfall around the ponytail area as I often (like probably 3-4 days per week) wore a fairly tight ponytail, alwas tied in the same place, to work. She told me I immediately needed to start using looser hair ties (like the good old scrunchies.. joy) or the curly plastic ones, and to tie my hair in a different place if I had to tie it up, like a lower ponytail, to let the area recover.
But the main thing we discussed, which was the whole reason I was there, was Ferritin and it’s effect on hair. Basically, if you don’t have enough, you get what I was getting. She said that if I wanted to improve my hair, I needed to get my Ferritin levels up above 80. That’s it. Yes, my blood result of 20 was ‘normal’ but with ageing, poor diet and pregnancies, it was not good enough for my hair. For some people, low Ferritin has little effect, and for others, it affects all sorts of things, especially hair.
So my son is 3 and my daughter is 17 months now, and I have done nothing specific to improve my ferritin levels over the last 3 years. My recent blood Ferritin result was 30. So in about 2 years, it’s only come up 10 points. I need to do something a bit more drastic.
So I got an oral iron supplement from the doc which should give me a boost, and I’ll get another blood test in 3 months and see what happens. I must say though, the very next day after starting it (and a magnesium and Vitamin B supplement as well) I felt quite different. I usually have a huge slump of low energy in the early afternoon, and I have made it through 4 days in a row now without feeling like I need a sleep. Interesting. I almost wish I’d started taking them all seperately so I could see exactly which one was improving my energy so much, but I’m feeling good and I don’t want to go backwards. So anyway. Will see if my hair improves with my Ferritin levels over the next 3 months as promised. Hope so!
My hair at 21 – look at it all! All that hair! (other things have changed also – like colour photography bahaha – but we’ll just stick with the hair for now.. hehe) And my hair now. A significant thickness difference! Not the best photo for showing it (obviously freshly washed and fluffed lol, but still obvious. Sigh..)
OH I nearly forgot to add – also VERY important if you have thinning hair and have read this far – if you are a big tea drinker, you need to read my next post on this topic..!! xx Catch you soon. I’m off to bed!