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Increase Iron Levels Fast – Ferritin and Hair loss – Anemia, My Story

December 20, 2015

First, if you feel you have iron deficiency symptoms, but your hemoglobin is still in normal ranges.
You should get your ferritin levels checked.

ferritin

Here is a list of some ferritin deficiency symptoms:

Migraine headaches
Dizziness
Poor appetite
Cold hands and feet
Fatigue
Hair Loss
Thyroid Problems (if you have low thyroid – PLEASE get your ferritin levels checked)
Pale Cold Skin
Brittle Nails
Breathing Problems (air hungry, short of breath)
Craving Ice
Decreased Sex Drive

Even though normal ranges of ferritin are 20-150.  Most women do best with levels above 50, and closer to 100… especially if you struggle with low thyroid and/or hair loss.

For those of you who know about the TSH, T3 and T4, you will find it fascinating that
**Ferritin is required for transport of T3…!!!

Okay, Here Is My Story:
**My hemoglobin has NEVER been low.**
But then I started researching symptoms of low iron and I definitely had symptoms of low iron…
(thankfully I didn’t have migraines.  I also didn’t crave ice)

I was confused.

Then I got my ferritin levels checked… and my ferritin was AWFUL!  It shouldn’t be below 20 and mine was a 7.
A SEVEN

How was I even functioning?

The range is 20-150.  I had almost every symptom and I felt awful.  And then I read that if your ferritin is below a 50 AND you struggle with hair-loss….you really need to get your ferritin checked, and then you need to get it up to 50 to rule out iron being the reason for the hair loss.

So, I guess this is commonly overlooked.  Your doctor or OB may even do a iron panel and “forget” to draw your ferritin… And all your levels can come back in range… but your iron can still be way too low.

I was in panic mode…

I had only a couple months before I was due to have my 5th baby.  Everyone says it takes months and months, even years to get iron levels up.

I didn’t have time on my side.

And I’m impatient and was tired of feeling tired.

And I know that there is lots of blood loss after baby and I didn’t have any extra blood to spare… I was a bit frantic.

Well, after much reading and willing to do pay for my own blood test…I found something that worked!!!
(I use privatemdlabs.com – you can get any blood draw you want or need.  You simply pay, print and go to labcorp  – your results show up the next day).

I decided on taking Enzymatic Therapy.  It seemed to have everything I needed for absorption.  I took it for 6 weeks and did a blood test… my ferritin had not increased, not at all… I was bummed.  But knew, that was “normal”.  It may take “forever” to see results in a blood test…

Back to researching.  I kept coming across people saying I needed to be taking Yellow Dock as well.  Others saying Yellow Dock couldn’t do anything for me because it’s an herb and it doesn’t have iron in it… or very little.

This is the Yellow Dock I took and it doesn’t cost much.

I didn’t have anything too loose.  And a benefit of yellow dock is that it prevents constipation and nausea that can come with iron supplementation.

I added yellow dock to these iron pills and waited 6 weeks.

Did a ferritin blood test and my levels TRIPLED!

Yes, they went from a 7 to a 21.

I was ecstatic!  I was now within “normal ranges”  but I was on a goal to get to 50 because I always have terrible post partum hair loss at 3 months that doesn’t stop at 6 months.  I thought maybe this was my ticket.

6 more weeks of this regimen and my levels were in the 40’s.   Whoo Hoo!!!

I was almost full term and decided to wait until a week after baby to test again (when my levels should be the lowest). And my levels were in the 50’s.  I started backing off my iron to every other day and tested again at 3 mos postpartum and my levels were in the upper 90’s.  I then stopped taking the iron and the yellow dock.

I get my level checked every 3-6 months to keep tabs on them.

My postpartum hair loss was much more ‘text book’.  That was amazing for me.  It lasted almost exactly 3 months.  From 3 months to 6 months postpartum and it was never severe.  Yes, it’s always disturbing to lose hair, but to know it’s only for a time and it will stop was reassuring.  With my past babies, it wouldn’t stop falling out for many many months… sometimes not until I got pregnant again.

 

**NOTES

So, I think the reason that Yellow Dock made the Enzymatic Iron able to be absorbed so well, is because it increases stomach acid.  This in return allows your body to absorb and uptake the nutrients in your digestive tract.   So not only was I absorbing my iron supplementation, but also the iron in my meals every day.

Also, yes, I was afraid to take iron because I have heard all these stories of nausea and constipation.  But with Yellow Dock, there was zero problem.  It actually helps make your trips to the bathroom more pleasant.  And if you are pregnant, you’ll definitely be happy about that 😉

I took 2 iron pills and 1 yellow dock in the morning and then again in the afternoon.

I am not a health professional and I am not recommending or advising you to do anything written here on this post.  I am simply sharing my experience.

 

**UPDATE – since this post, I have had several friends ask me my thoughts on increasing their low iron.  So far, everyone has had great success and fast results.  One of my friends had a miscarriage and hemorrhaged badly.  She lost so much blood everyone recommended she get a blood transfusion.  Her husband is a MD and he said she needed a transfusion. She refused but wanted to know what she could do to support her body’s ability to replace all that blood loss.  She started the Iron Pills with the Yellow Dock and she could feel her body have more energy within 3 days.  She was amazed and so grateful to be back to 100% within a couple weeks.

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