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Hair Loss/low serum ferritin question


QUESTION: Hi thank you for answering my previous question on low serum ferritin.  I would like to ask you about the hand out you referred to me about taking ferrous sulphate. I take l-Lysine along with a vitamin c tablet, and ferrous fumarate instead of sulphate as my doctor prescribed me this? Which is better for low serum ferritin anyway? Sulphate or fumarate?

Thank you

ANSWER: They are both simply different salts of iron. Some are more easily absorbed than others. Check with your doctor about which is best for you.
This site explains in detail the forms of iron salts very nicely:
"There are two general types of iron supplements which contain either the ferrous or ferric form of iron. Ferrous iron is the best absorbed form of iron supplements. Most available iron pills contain ferrous iron. There are three types of ferrous iron supplements commonly found: ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, and ferrous gluconate. While all three come in a 325 mg tablet size, each one contains a different amount of the form of iron used by your body, called “elemental iron”. When choosing an iron supplement, it is important to remember to look at the amount of “elemental iron” in each tablet, instead of the size of the tablet."

Iron Supplement   Tablet Size   Elemental Iron
Ferrous fumarate   325 mg          108 mg
Ferrous sulfate          325 mg          65 mg
Ferrous gluconate    325 mg          35 mg

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QUESTION: Hi thanks for the reply, I am taking l lysine and I hear that it is supposed to raise the iron levels faster but I am yet to see a speedy difference, my hair has been shedding for almost 7 months, will it grow back again? Also if a person lost their hair twice dye to iron is it likely not to grow back?

ANSWER: Every time a hair follicle is forced to change its growth cycle and fall out it is more difficult to get those hairs to grow back because each hair is programmed to have a certain predetermined number of growth cycles - each about a 5 year period. L lysine and Vit C may help maintain your ferritin levels but the main problem is that the levels have to go to normal levels before you can expect the hairs to start to correct their growth cycles. It takes for to six months to see a new hair after a shed. If the fall out was due to low ferritin you will have to wait until the ferritin is normal and then wait the four to six months for normal growth to take place. This process varies from patient to patient but waiting 6 to 9 months is when you should hope to see new growth IF you corrected the ferritin levels.

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QUESTION: Hi thank you for the reply, I would like to know if 7 months shed is to long for my hair to grow back?

Thank you

Seven months is a long time for a Telogen Effluvium but I would still expect to see most of the hairs growing back in six months especially if you use 5% minoxidil lotion once a day in the morning for the next six months to help stimulate regrowth of the lost hairs.

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Peter J. Panagotacos, <B>M.D.</B>


I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery.


I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery. More information can be found at my website

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