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08-31-2013, 08:22 AM   #1
moose185
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Hair loss

I was wondering if there is a link between hair loss and crohns disease, I noticed my hair started thinning about 4 years ago since I got ill before then it was totally fine! then like almost overnight it changed, it's getting pretty thin just now. I'm taking prednisone so I know that makes hair worse.

the doctor also told me my iron levels are low and wants me to get retested in a couple of weeks to decide if I need iron supplements.

Is there anything I can do to improve my hair? is my hair bad because I don't absorb the nutrients? will it be better If I get in remission?

thanks.
08-31-2013, 10:40 AM   #2
valleysangel92
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Hair loss can definitely have a link with malnourishment. If you aren't getting enough nutrients then your body can stop putting effort into keeping hair healthy, it stops using nutrients to produce healthy hair and uses them to sustain other things like muscle and organ function. Have you had any other vitamins checked?
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08-31-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
moose185
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Hi there Ive had vitamin d, iron, b12 and colic acid checked, my iron level was the only low one. I've been taking vitamin d supplements for years as it used to be low. I'm not sure if iron is the cause of my hair thinning.
08-31-2013, 12:24 PM   #4
valleysangel92
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You might want to get potassium, calcium and sodium checked and maybe an electrolyte check just to see what those are like. If the body is struggling generally then that can have a big effect on the condition of the hair.
08-31-2013, 01:08 PM   #5
moose185
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Thanks for the advice, I've had calcium checked before and it was ok but don't know about the others.
09-01-2013, 10:08 PM   #6
Dragonfly72
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Folic acid can help with hair loss, I am loosing mine due to 6-MP and remicade:-(. But, have purchased a few wigs as it is getting close for me not being able to cover the thinning spots and I am starting to have bald spots. But, I think if I was not taking my Folic acid it would be worse... Worth a try, best wishes~
Michele
09-01-2013, 10:18 PM   #7
moose185
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Where can I get folic acid? Do I have to get it prescribed from my doctor?
09-02-2013, 05:12 AM   #8
valleysangel92
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You can get folic acid in pharmacies usually without a prescription, sometimes it's in a multivitamin and sometimes it's on its own. Just go in and ask for it and they'll show you where it is.
09-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #9
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I am 31 and my hair started thinning out really badly also. My GI said when your in a flare your hair gets stunted, meaning nothing falls out like it naturally should. Once your flare calms down then your hair that should have been coming out all that time falls out all at once. Also, low iron and malnourishment causes hair loss too. My hair is not half the thickness it used to be but it is growing back. The sucky part is having all this really short hair all over
09-02-2013, 10:59 PM   #10
Crohn's gal since 1989
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You can get folic acid in pharmacies usually without a prescription, sometimes it's in a multivitamin and sometimes it's on its own. Just go in and ask for it and they'll show you where it is.
You can buy iron pills with folic acid over the counter. I took them during my pregnancies.😊
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09-03-2013, 12:20 AM   #11
Mountaingem
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Oh yes, definitely. I've lost a lot of hair just prior to a bad flare and also for several months afterward. The medications also can cause hair loss, for me specifically it is Methotrexate and Pentasa. You can try Biotin supplements, which promote hair growth.
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09-03-2013, 02:30 AM   #12
Jennifer
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I'm going to tag archaeopteryx as she also has low iron and has noticed that being anemic can be a contributing factor in hair loss. Supplementing iron may help. Once you begin supplementing then have your levels retested after about a month or longer and see if your levels are going up enough. If not you can try increasing the dose to see if that helps get your levels to the normal range (have your levels retested again). If you're not absorbing the iron at all then you may benefit from iron infusions.
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09-03-2013, 03:26 PM   #13
Cat-a-Tonic
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I agree with MountainGem - Biotin helped me a lot when my hair was falling out. I think that there is a link between illness and hair loss, and also between medication and hair loss. My hair started turning grey when I first got sick, and it started falling out when I was first taking Entocort. Someone else on the forum had told me about Biotin. I was told that you need to take at least 3,000 mcg (3 mg) for it to be effective for hair loss. I found some capsules that were 5 mg, over the counter (no prescription needed). It worked great - my hair stopped falling out almost immediately.

One caveat, Biotin is a B vitamin. It's usually not advisable to supplement only one B vitamin, so you may want to look into a B complex that contains at least 3 mg of Biotin. I will also say, Biotin doesn't work for everyone or for every type of hair loss - but it worked great for me, with no side effects.

And if you try folic acid, as others have mentioned - be aware that it can sometimes cause nausea. I experienced massive, horrible nausea from attempting to supplement folic acid. I experienced no such thing from supplementing just Biotin and vitamin B12. I currently take Biotin and B6, and also no side effects from that, so it seems that only folic acid caused me the horrible nausea.
09-04-2013, 10:41 AM   #14
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I am 31 and my hair started thinning out really badly also. My GI said when your in a flare your hair gets stunted, meaning nothing falls out like it naturally should. Once your flare calms down then your hair that should have been coming out all that time falls out all at once. Also, low iron and malnourishment causes hair loss too. My hair is not half the thickness it used to be but it is growing back. The sucky part is having all this really short hair all over

This sounds identical to me, luckily I have really thick hair and lots of it, but the amount that's loosely just coming out and all over my pillow in the mornings was quite worrying me!!!! I can take some reassurance, because I am feeling loads better, its all the hair from my recent horrendous flare that's starting to come away now. Thankyou.
09-04-2013, 11:05 AM   #15
moose185
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thanks for all the replies Iv've been taking biotin for about 6 months months and I think it's helping a little meaning if I stopped taking it my hair might be worse. It's still patchy and i'm quite sure it's related to being ill.

I'm going to try folic acid and will see what my iron levels are.

thanks.
09-09-2013, 01:54 PM   #16
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I missed this thread before, but yes, I have had horrible hair loss since getting Crohn's disease in 1995 (dxed in 1996). I was in high school at the time and remember some mean kids sitting behind me laughing at my "balding." It's always stayed thin, but when I started iron supplments (I take Tender Iron by Vitalady), it started to help. I also take 7500 mcg of Biotin daily (Sundown Naturals brand). The Biotin makes my fingernails grow to claw-like lengths and it makes what hair I do have grow faster, but it hasn't helped any additional hair grow in for me.

And THEN I went on 6-MP (50 mg daily) and it started falling out in handfuls. I can't take a shower now without having to clean hair out of the drain afterward. My brush and comb fill up with hair when I blow dry my hair. I used Toppik for a while, which is a product that fills in bald spots with hair-building fibers that match your hair color, but then I developed a severe allergic reaction to it, which caused even MORE hair to fall out. I switched to another product which I am not allergic to, which helps, but isn't as effective as Toppik was.

It's really hard for me to deal with, because ever since it started happening, and we're talking 18 years ago, people have made rude or insensitive comments to me (I have examples of hairdressers, people on public transportation, co-workers, even friends). It has crushed my self-esteem, as though Crohn's doesn't do a good enough job of that as it is. My hope now is for a new drug to come out that I can take so I can go off 6-MP, as that is pretty much the only drug I can tolerate now (haven't tried methotrexate which also causes hair loss, and my doctor won't prescribe Tysabri).
09-09-2013, 02:35 PM   #17
moose185
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Thanks for your reply, have you tried horsetail supplements? I've been taking it for 6 months and its helped a bit. Since going off the prednisone I can tell already my hair isn't as thin. I'm going to try iron supplements and see if it helps.
09-09-2013, 02:47 PM   #18
archaeopteryx
 
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Thanks for your reply, have you tried horsetail supplements? I've been taking it for 6 months and its helped a bit. Since going off the prednisone I can tell already my hair isn't as thin. I'm going to try iron supplements and see if it helps.
I have not tried horsetail supplements, but I am willing to try! I'm not sure that anything is going to stop this hair loss currently, because it's from 6-MP, but I doubt that adding on another supplement would hurt.

As far as the Tender Iron I mentioned previously, I took the bottle to my doctor to have him evaluate what a safe level for me would be, and he advised 3 pills, which would be 75 mg, is a good amount. That's 3x the daily recommended value of iron, but I barely absorb it at all anyway. He said I could try to go even higher as long as my blood is checked regularly and it doesn't cause more digestive distress. It's a bit expensive, but you get 400 pills in a bottle, so it lasts forever.

I also take 1000 mcg of Folic acid daily.
09-09-2013, 05:28 PM   #19
moose185
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I take 210mg of iron is that too much? It seems to help with my fatigue as well.
09-09-2013, 07:29 PM   #20
archaeopteryx
 
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I take 210mg of iron is that too much? It seems to help with my fatigue as well.
Obviously I'm no doctor or expert on iron, but I doubt that's too much for a Crohn's patient with anemia. It certainly wouldn't hurt to check with your doctor, but from what I've read oral iron is pretty poorly absorbed, and if you've already got a disease that inhibits absorption, I think it would be harder to build up too much iron than it would be for an average healthy person.

The site that sells Tender Iron seems to be aimed at those who have had weight loss surgery who then have trouble absorbing vitamins and nutrients such as iron, but iirc, I remember reading anecdotes of people who had taken up to 300 mg a day. I wouldn't go that high without talking to my doctor, but for someone who isn't absorbing much, it might not be a toxic dose. Another thing about iron is that from what I've read different types of iron are absorbed differently. The type I take is Carbonyl Iron, which is one of the least absorbed and supposedly easier on your stomach than other kinds.

I'd love to be able to take I.V. iron infusions, but I've had anaphylactic reactions to both Infed (iron dextran) and Venofer (iron sucrose). I think there's one other kind of I.V. iron, but my doctor wouldn't even consider it because of my previous anaphylactic reactions.

Last edited by archaeopteryx; 09-09-2013 at 10:41 PM.
09-09-2013, 10:35 PM   #21
Searchingforhealth
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My daughter complains about hair loss, she is tapering her pred and is on 12.5 so hopefully that will help. I just looked up foods that are high in Biotin. Nuts( peanut almond, peanut butter, filberts.tuna, pork, bananas,avocado,nonfat milk,salmon etc. Daughter loves almond butter and salmon.
09-10-2013, 01:45 PM   #22
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After reading this I have started to take iron supplement, just what's added into my multivitamin. Due full blood count on Thursday, so will check levels then. I don't know if is thru Crohn's, the Azathioprine or the Prednisolone. Or all three!!!! :-( x
09-10-2013, 02:07 PM   #23
archaeopteryx
 
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Thanks for your reply, have you tried horsetail supplements? I've been taking it for 6 months and its helped a bit. Since going off the prednisone I can tell already my hair isn't as thin. I'm going to try iron supplements and see if it helps.
I ordered a silica supplement, which seems to be the main ingredient in horsetail supplements. I'll write back with an update of how it works for me.
09-11-2013, 01:39 PM   #24
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My mother had CD and she definitely lost her hair early in life. Wore a wig for a long time but no one noticed! Miss her <3.
09-23-2013, 02:45 AM   #25
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Hello, I've been shown this thread by some one in the Undiagnosed Support Group...I've not got a diagnosis yet but my gastro Dr thinks it might be Crohn's. I am going through a bad flare-type patch at the moment and I'm not on any medication (other that amitriptyline for back/hip pain) and for the past 2 weeks my hair has been falling out! From reading this thread it seems that other people have had this, but I wondered if its worth contacting my specialist about? I really don't know what to do as I've never had this type of symptom before!
Thanks for any advice!
09-26-2013, 02:25 PM   #26
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Hi, I just posted a response on the "biotin for hair loss" thread about a product I take called biosil. Please have a look. I had a temporary problem, not long term. But it worked amazingly for me. I hope you find something that works xxxx
10-16-2013, 03:04 AM   #27
archaeopteryx
 
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Hi, I just posted a response on the "biotin for hair loss" thread about a product I take called biosil. Please have a look. I had a temporary problem, not long term. But it worked amazingly for me. I hope you find something that works xxxx
Hi, I bought some Biosil from Amazon, the kind that you put a few drops in some water. I want to drink this stuff, and my tolerance for bad or bitter tastes is fairly high, but I can't drink this! Maybe I'll try adding some sugar and seeing if that helps, because as it is the taste is too much for me (reminds me of blood for some reason).
10-16-2013, 06:26 AM   #28
moose185
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I've taken nourkrin tablets before which really work but are expensive at 40 for a months supply so it's difficult for me to afford it every month.
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