Extreme debilitating fatigue, hair loss, and eyebrow hair loss?

I've been having extreme debilitating fatigue to where I don't even want to move, hair loss (I've lost 3/4 of my hair), and eyebrow hair loss. My hands, feet, and nose are ice cold. My doctor has ran tests and thyroid problems/autoimmune thyroid problems have been ruled out. I have low ferritin (12) with an "excellent" hemoglobin of 14.4 and my RBC are good at 4.9. I have had low ferritin for years and although I had fatigue, I never had this level of extreme debilitating fatigue and I never had eyebrow hair loss. So I'm wondering if it's more so nutritional related. Like am I getting enough fat in my diet? Enough protein? Enough calories? Do I have other nutritional deficiencies that could be causing my symptoms? What nutritional deficiencies cause eyebrow hair loss? I'm so tired and sleep so much that it's hard to fit in all my meals and enough calories so I'm probably not eating enough calories and not getting enough fat and protein either. And I probably have low blood sugar a lot from sleeping through meals. I look really sick and people ask me if I have cancer. Something is going on, and I'm really worried. What do you guys think?


  • BluebloodBlueblood Registered Users Posts: 1,748 Curl Neophyte
    A ferritin level that low means you have non-anaemic iron deficiency.

    The solution to this is for you to supplement with iron until your ferritin level reaches the middle of the lab range.

    However you shouldn't supplement with tablets used for iron deficiency anaemia instead you should supplement with something like spatone or feraglobin* and take twice the dose daily. You need to do this for about 6 months before you are retested again.

    How do I know? I had low ferritin a few years ago and this is what I advised to do to get my levels up by a trichologist.

    The symptoms of non-anaemic iron deficiency are:
    1. Hair loss - until your ferritin level is 70 or above your hair will not grow. Above about 50 it will stop falling out. (This includes your eyebrow hair.)
    2. Tiredness and fatigue
    3. Feeling cold
    4. Lack of energy
    5. Breathlessness

    If you decide not to supplement with iron then two things can happen:
    1. One day you will just faint/collapse out and about e.g. in the street, at work, as your ferritin level is too low;
    2. You will have iron deficient anaemia and due to your low ferritin level you will have to supplement with high dose iron for about a year. The side effect of this include bowel trouble and it can be quite painful. This because ferritin is basically your iron stores and your body will maintain its haemoglobin level at the expense of your ferritin level.

    Why didn't your doctor tell you this? Lots of doctors are unaware of the importance of ferritin levels so will say that as long as your results are in the lab range you are fine. However this is not true with lots of measures for example with vitamin D, TSH and B12 what was once thought of as a healthy level can be shown to be insufficient for a lot of people. The origin tests were devised by looking at the range of a level in the population who reported no ill effects. (Some labs now have 20 at their lower range for women for ferritin.)

    I also suggest you get your vitamin D level tested and thyroid hormones if they have not been tested.

    *Not sure what country you are in but these are the brands I remember in the UK. I use a UK vegan alternative that has B12 and vitamin C in it that contains 171% of the recommended daily iron amount but that's because I have problems with both Haemoglobin and ferritin levels.
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Registered Users Posts: 12,231 Curl Connoisseur
    If your dr. cannot diagnose your problem, and tell you exactly what is wrong and what you need to do to correct it, you need to see another doctor. I know that is blunt and hard to hear but obviously you aren't well and need proper care. Are you near a teaching hospital?

    I'm very sorry to hear about all of this Take heart and take action. Please let us know how you are doing. I wish you well!
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  • BluebloodBlueblood Registered Users Posts: 1,748 Curl Neophyte
    curlypearl wrote: »
    If your dr. cannot diagnose your problem, and tell you exactly what is wrong and what you need to do to correct it, you need to see another doctor. I know that is blunt and hard to hear but obviously you aren't well and need proper care. Are you near a teaching hospital?

    I'm very sorry to hear about all of this Take heart and take action. Please let us know how you are doing. I wish you well!

    If BrielleMellott5 is going through what I had to go through, other iron/vitamin deficient people I know and those with thyroid issues she will find that doctors close ranks.

    This means another doctor will refuse to diagnose you until you become very ill then they will not do enough as you are now an emergency and they don't want to get blamed if you die.

    If she sees another medical professional she needs to say clearly "I have low ferritin is this is why I am tired and my hair is falling out?" Otherwise she will get no-where. Also if she sees a different type of medical professional she is more likely to get a diagnosis.

    Alternatively she needs to go in as an emergency complaining of the extreme fatigue as the worse symptom.

    (Oddly enough I was discussing this with a friend this morning.)
  • SojSoj Registered Users Posts: 45 Curl Novice
    Even if she specifically calls the doc out on the low ferritin, she's not likely to get a positive result. My ferritin level was 5 - that's right, FIVE. And every single doctor I've had since then said ferritin levels don't matter for anything at all ever. Which is nonsense.

    The only reason I know that level is because I forged a test order to add it to the list of tests that were ordered after having been repeatedly refused access to this test. At that time I had been flooding regularly. Fibroids. Pre-Obama care, so no operation for me. The constant blood loss over a period of about 5 years had left me exhausted in more ways than one. I was in this state for TEN years before I was finally able to get the needed surgery.

    Thyroid problems are not out yet for the OP either. I had doctors telling me for over 30 years that there was nothing wrong with my thyroid, despite the fact that my body temperature was almost 2 full degrees below normal, I had almost no body hair, I was cold ALL the time, etc etc etc. I was 40 before I was finally diagnosed. It took me 18 months on natural thyroid hormone before my system finally settled down as much as it was ever going to by that point. Some damage is permanent.

    Is your TSH over 2? Then you're hypothyroid. Doctors STILL don't recognize the new blood levels as set by the American Thyroid Association. Even when they were still 5 or 6, I had friends who's doctors blew them off even when they were out of THAT range, because (allegedly) TSH levels don't really matter either. One guy refused to give a diagnosis of hypothyroid condition unless your TSH was over 100.

    Sorry, but it is likely you're going to have to go through a crap-ton of doctors before you find one who might pay attention to you. The only thing worse than being a middle-aged woman with a health problem is to be an elderly person (male or female) with a health problem.
  • maniamania Registered Users Posts: 56
    Well if you are suffering from hair loss ,eyebrow etc then I think the hair transplant might be the good .
  • joslin2005joslin2005 Registered Users Posts: 43
    What tests did your doc run? Most docs only run your TSH which is a not an accurate way to determine hypothyroidism. I had my thyroid tested many many times and every time the doc would tell me it was fine. I was convinced by a friend to go check her doc out after I was describing my symptoms to her. She swore up and down I had hypothyroidism but I argued and told her no, it had been checked and I didn't have hypothyroidism. She explained to me that I needed my T3, FreeT3, T4, Free T4, TSH, Reverse T3 tested. I was still skeptical but I went ahead and went to her doc. Sure enough, the doc said I was hypo. Here is a link that explains why the TSH is not the only thing you need tested when checking for hypothyroidism. TSH - Why It's Useless - Stop The Thyroid Madness If the doc ran all the labs I stated above, get a copy and compare to this information. Optimal Lab Values-how to interpret your results - Stop The Thyroid MadnessEvery single symptom you have have, is thyroid related. The cold hands and feet, feeling tired, breathlessness, hair loss, thinning eyebrows, fatigue, and even the low ferritin. I had all these symptoms plus many more. It all clicked when I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism.......Hypothyroidism can cause vitamin/mineral deficiencies which leads to some of the symptoms.
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