Hair Loss and Chronic Diseases

My hair is all cracking off now in late 40's (female) after having several years of hair loss escalate into overdrive. I am losing all my hair and my skin has felt thinned and developed more sensitivities as well. I first lost 1/3 of my hair a few years ago, it progressed to 1/2 my hair, and now what's left is brittle and cracking off in layers of the shaft. I see so many doctors and specialists (prediabetes escalating into full, Hashimoto's hypothyroid, roseacea, allergies, skin sensitivity syndrome, overweight and cognitive and mood issues).

I'm not sure if I absorb nutrients well.

I did have low B 12, vit D and iron at various points but supposedly supplementation has me in the right range.

I discovered my ferritin at 32.6 supposedly "normal" is possibly lower than the amount you need to grow hair. People are claiming you'll lose hair under 40 ferritin and to regrow possibly need to be up to 80.

How do you get ferritin up quickly and safely?

How do I find the right supplementation and nutrition plan?

I cannot do keto (blew out thyroid, regained my lost weight, lost hair, it stressed my body). I am not going to go vegan, or high carb or even vegetarian. I can only eat a balanced diet (veggies, moderate protein, moderate carbs, healthy fat with the occasional treat).

I really need to use my insurance to keep the expenses manageable but my endocrinologist said "Google diet plans" and I have no one person that can coordinate my health issues.

I've taken a pause in the weight loss as I try to find out how to get my hair to regrow and start getting my health on track.

This site has been a Godsend, showing me so much about the nutrients in my food and caloric intake for the day.

I'm in the USA. How can I find an expert or primary care doctor that can coordinate all this to help me quickly get the nutrients I need and measure internal improvement.

I understand you lose hair when your body has to hoard nutrients to save your organs. I am clearly in crisis mode and for about 5 years of seeing doctors about all this I have only gotten worse.


  • @health4ever

    Do you have access to a Registered Dietitian? I'd look into seeing if such services could be covered from your insurance plan.

    The symptoms you described sound more in line with thyroid condition (possibly PCOS), than iron deficiency. You may want to request a referral to a dermatologist as well.

    Also, if iron wasn't the cause of your hair loss, it won't be the solution either. That said, your ferritin is low normal and could be contributing to thinning/shedding. The best sources of iron are animal products and red meat. However, taking an iron supplement for a few months may be needed to boost low levels.

    Hope this helps!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Rosacea can also affect the scalp, and low thyroid can affect hair loss. How are your thyroid labs and can you combine all your doctors into one?

    "I've never considered excessive sanity a virtue" Mike Uris, San Antonio Express-News, 2002

  • @health4ever

    prediabetes escalating into full

    Hair loss is a possible side effect of that. Look into biotin BTW.

  • "I'm in the USA. How can I find an expert or primary care doctor that can coordinate all this to help me quickly get the nutrients I need and measure internal improvement."

    If your primary care physician is specialized in family medicine, consider switching to a physician who specialized in internal medicine. (Some may have two specialties -- internal medicine and pediatrics.) They are trained differently. When you have multiple chronic conditions, have multiple specialists, and/or passing through middle age, it's a good time to consider this.

    Care coordination is trickier, and for that, you may just have to ask. Some offices use a regional electronic records exchange. (Google "Healthcare Information Exchange" plus your state.) Some offices are a part of a practice that includes many specialists, or a healthcare system that does with baked in record sharing. But that's really only as good as everyone's use of the records system. If you're lucky they sometimes talk to one another.

    If you have the means, hiring a private patient advocate could help you. This could be a long term thing. Or they could help you organize your existing records and find effective ways to log and distribute new information. Plus organize information (symptoms, etc) as your body changes.

  • I know what you're talking about here because I encountered the same problem two years ago. At first, I thought it was a very difficult case because many people could not cure the disease. If this happens or is starting to happen, it is worth going to a clinic right away to get rid of it. If you need help with this, I can recommend a place that helped me cure this problem. You can find more information at If you go to them ASAP, I am sure that you can minimize the risks.

  • @health4ever Use spring water, or distilled water to wash your hair, as shower water contains Chlorine, and Chloromine, Which is a green Gas, this is also absorbed through the largest organ on our body, which is our skin. Also when we breath the Hot steam, we also absorb this Green Gas in our lungs, which then enters through the blood stream causing endocrine disrupters, free radicals. etc.

    Antioxidants, such as Blueberries, Pomgranite Juice, Carrot Juice are helpers on ridding these toxins from the body, they are the scrubbers that find these free radicals, and pass them through the one way lymphatic system, through the kidneys, and liver, and on out.

    Try and get Organic.

    also look up if you can on internet, going "gluten free, hair loss, before and after".

    You may have a gluten sensitivity which can cause malabsorption with Nutrients, vitamins, calories etc. Think of this as Hair like fibers in our intestines, called Villi that grab our broken down foods when passing, but if we have a gluten sensitive, it is like a huge rock tumbling down a hill flattening these hair like fibers, which then are no longer able to pull in nutrients.

    Also think of our hair as an orchid, the flowers tend to fall off, but the energy is still in the roots, which are ready for the next season, our bodies are very amazing, and it needs important nutrients to function, so what happens is, the body says I need to supply nutrients over here the most, lets say the organs, your hair is the last resort because it is not as vital as the other areas that need what is lacking.

    Also, Endocrine disrupters, and free radicals, these we want to avoid the most.
    This can be in anything, our water, our food,(Pesticides) or Glyphosate etc.

    all this things can be one or the other, or all together. or None at all.
    Pleas do research on these topics.

    Not a Registered Dietitian, or Dr.

  • I would also highly recommend finding a registered dietician. I was having crazy medical issues with no answer in sight. I knew that the doctors were going to write me off and say it was my diet so I saw a dietician. She has been helping me fill the holes in my diet and gave me a list of things to check with my doctor's, which has lead to several diagnosis.

    Also I lost lots of my hair after a medication and it's never seemed to come back. I cut down on my washing lots (from daily to weekly). I also love hair masks. I do a mid week fungreek seed hair mask, and an additional green tea rinse or acv &eos. A monthly neem oil treatment too. It has seemed to maintain it but idk if it's helped.

    I'm sorry that you are going through this right now. I hope you get answers and help that you need.

  • I wonder how you are doing currently. I have had some of the same issues you have had..pre-diabiabetes, overweight, pcos, thyroid issues, rosacea, anemia, skin sensitivies and other issues. I went to my doctor, nutritionist, weightloss doctor and a NP who did a different specialists. Somethings worked and other things did not. I did end up having gastric bypass. I was on the lower weight of qualifying but my diabeties was a starting to be a problem. It is not a problem anymore, nor is PCOS. My suggestion of something to try and look into is a diet called Trim Healthy Mama it ought to help with inflammation, weightloss and balance your hormones a bit. There is a book on it, cookbooks, coaches, it is not hard to follow...mostly whole food protein based but you can choose if you want to eat lowfat/moderate carb....lowfat/lowcalorie or basic lowcarb. It has a lot to do with keeping blood sugars stable. My main problem right now is anemia. If you have never had a thermogram before it is eye opening and shows areas of inflammation, which can point ti health concerns even before they are much of an issue. Finding a doctor and other healthcare support people you agree with their way of thinking is important. If something isn't working, try something else.

  • I had a hair loss problem after losing a lot of weight. Because of dietary restrictions, I was not getting the necessary vitamins and micronutrients. My skin, nails, and hair were in terrible condition.

  • Even taking vitamins did not help much. I made a new diet rich in the right elements for the proper functioning of my body. In addition, I began to choose my skin and hair care carefully. My cousin graduated from one of the medical esthetics schools. I plan to go to her for a consultation and find a treatment for my skin together.

  • I'm so sorry. I can only imagine you're going through really tough times.

  • edited September 2022

    There are a few things that you can do to get your ferritin levels up quickly and safely. First, you can ensure that you eat a diet rich in iron. This means eating red meat, dark leafy greens, beans, and nuts. You can also take an iron supplement to help boost your levels. Additionally, you can ensure you are getting enough vitamin C in your diet, as this vitamin helps with iron absorption. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, and bell peppers. When it comes to hair loss, if it creates real discomfort, you can always reach out for help at fue hair transplant new york city. You should stay strong and take care of yourself step by step!

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  • @ health4life I’m not a doctor, but having spent too long with an undiagnosed hypothyroid condition myself, this is the part of your story that jumped off the page at me as having the highest priority and the greatest potential to improve some or all of your other conditions.

    So, before you spend any more time or money for supplements to raise ferritin, or nutritional fixes for hair loss, etc., I hope you will put your dwindling energy into finding an endo who will work with you to get your thyroid (and prediabetes!) numbers going in a positive direction.

    I hope that by now you have been thoroughly tested with a full thyroid panel, including antibodies, by a specialist who listens to your report of symptoms besides just looking at the lab values, and have started on some kind of treatment plan. This may take some time to get the right forms and dosages, just as it may also take time to get your blood sugar back down. With any luck, proper treatment of your thyroid will also bring you some peace of mind and focus to evaluate your next priorities.

    Good luck and God bless.

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