I am a 47 yr old female with very thick hair and no family history of female hair loss. Three months ago my hair started thinning drastically. What is left has become much lighter in color. A blood test showed “slight” anemia, says the doctor, and he prescribed iron pills. I have been taking them for almost a month and still the hair is falling out. When should I see a stop in hair loss? When will I see regrowth? Could I eventually lose all my hair before the iron starts to work? I’m really trying not to stress over this!
The hair loss may reverse and it could take months or years in some women. It is possible that the anemia may not be the cause of the hair loss or that the anemia precipitated genetic expression of hair loss, in which case it may not return to normal. It is also important to review the use of medications that can cause hair loss, such as oral contraceptives, beta-blockers, Vitamin A, thyroid drugs, coumadin and prednisone. The following laboratory tests are often useful if underlying problems are suspected: Estradiol, FSH, LH, SHBG, Prolactin, T4, TSH, ANA, Iron, TIBC, Ferritin, Free and Total Testosterone. If your doctor has any questions, please encourage him/her to call me at 800-NEW-HAIR. You need to make sure that you have a full medical work-up. If the hair loss does not return and all of the above testing is negative, your hair loss could be a sign of a genetic predisposition to hair loss which may have been precipitated by the defect (in this case anemia) or just the changes in your overall hormone balances.