Second Nature Care Blog

Hair Loss and Thyroid Disease

[fa icon="calendar'] May 25, 2014 9:00:00 AM / by Dr. Isadora Guggenheim

Hair loss in women with thyroid disease

Is this you after you brush your hair? Hair loss in women affects more than one-third of women in their lifetime.  Read more about the causes and treatments for hair loss . . . .

As an autoimmune expert, I have seen hundreds of women that present to my office with hair loss as their number one symptom.  They didn't care about the chronic fatigue, dry skin, constipation, food sensitivites or sleep issues - all thyroid and or adrenal deficiency symptoms that they experienced daily.  

Our physical examination for hair loss includes 4 stages.  First stage is assessing for inflammation, scaling and redness.  Second is looking for visible scarring.  Third is looking at the pattern or distribution of hair loss and overall density of the hair.  We examine the quality of the hairs - thickness, fragility, length and shape.  After comprehensive testing, the cases would narrow down to different kinds of thyroid presentations.  A few might have trichotillomania - compulsive hair pulling, tinea capitis fungal infections or discoid lupus.  

There are medications for female pattern hair loss, but response time is slow, not necessarily FDA- approved for women or have questionable mechanisms of action.  I focus on addressing nutrient deficiencies, adrenal insufficiencies, thyroid conditions and correcting autoimmune responses.  

Nutritional therapies can include: biotin, essential fatty acids, iron, L-Lysine, Vitamin D plus K, Zinc.  Biotin regulates an enzyme called mitochondrial carboxylase in the hair roots.  Fatty acids slow down premature aging in hair.  Low iron causes hair follicles to prematurely enter a resting telogen phase where more hair loss occurs.  You need L-Lysine, an anti-viral amino acid, to absorb iron and zinc from the diet.  Vitamin D is critical for all kinds of cellular growth.  Zinc deficiency causes hair loss, alters the immune system responses and supplementation inhibits hair follicle regression and speeds up hair follicle recovery.  I recommend botanical formulas that support adrenal function like: Bacopa, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Panax Ginseng, Astragalus, Urtica Dioica (stinging nettles) and Saw palmetto to inhibit the binding of an enzyme DHT so hair can grow.  We test most patients for food allergies and sensitivites.  Food allergens are removed from the diet.  I recommend a low carb high fiber hypoallergenic protein drink from Xymogen called VegaPro, Aromastat-8-PN and DIMension3 as part of a treatment protocol.  Removing gluten ASAP has helped many patients to regrow lost hair.  

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 We have an excellent adrenal formula in the office from RLC Labs.  This is the same compounding pharmacy where we get our NatureThroid hormones.  We prescribe NatureThroid in our office. 

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Emerson Ecologics carries growth-promoting essential oils that modulate the immune system into normal range.  Thyme, rosemary and lavender, cedar wood can be put into a carrier oil (avocado, almond or wheatgerm) and applied to the scalp at night.  Caffeine tincture can be used topically on the scalp. Melatonin 1mg in a compound with alcohol and glycerin can be applied daily.  Oral melatonin does not help hair loss, but does improve the quality of sleep. Other topicals include: onion juice, immature apple skins, and raspberry ketones 0.01%.  

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Topics: Body Health

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963