I’m suffering from severe hair fall. It has worsened over the past days — what can I do?

One of the hidden causes of hair fall, which a lot of us miss, is low ferritin levels. You can get your ferritin levels tested by a simple blood test. Ferritin levels are an indication of the amount of iron that is stored in your body. Low ferritin levels cause extreme tiredness, inability to workout and hair loss apart from major issues with thyroid functioning.

There are four different blood tests you need to do to before you supplement your diet with iron. You can take oral iron supplements based on your current levels. But you will need to run a couple of other tests to solve the problem permanently.

Our body works with all nutrients in a very synergistic manner so you should not only check serum ferritin levels but also serum iron levels, serum B 12 and also homocysteine levels. All of these nutrients work together to ensure no deficiency symptoms like fatigue and hair fall occur.

Your serum ferritin should be at least 40, serum iron levels should be in the middle of the reference range, serum B 12 should be above 500 pg/ml. Without sufficient B 12 proper absorption of iron will not occur. Lastly, homocysteine levels should be less than 9, this helps to diagnose cellular B 12 levels.

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Based on these levels, your doctor will suggest supplements. If you don’t want to take supplements, then with food your best choices to improve ferritin levels are spirulina, chicken or beef, spinach and dark chocolate with about 75 per cent cocoa.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.