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Hair Loss.... Please HELP

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  • Hair Loss.... Please HELP

    Hey everyone,

    I have gotten so much help from this forum. I appreciate all of you!
    My quick story is that I went "Paleo" in Feb/March of 2010. I have autoimmune problems and only get better , relief from severe joint inflammation by elimintaing ALL grains, ALL forms of dairy, sugar, soy, ALL nuts, and nightshade veggies: eggplant, peppers, TOMATOES, potatoes, paprika, jelepeno peppers, chipotle spices. This worked at not only lowering my c reactive protein in my blood (an inflammation marker), but I also lost 65 pounds in 4 1/2 months!

    However, I started losing hand fulls of hair at a time. My husband would go in the shower after me and claim that a chia pet was stuck in the drain
    It was my hair. Then my hair dresser noticed and suggested I see the doctor. Well, I couldn't get a doc to back up my eating plan because most suggest that I eat at least 100grams of carbs a day. I was told that the hairloss could be from FAST weight loss or from not enough carbs. So, I added in blackbeans, hummus, and peanutbutter (once in a while). The peanut butter definately inflammed me but the beans didn't. I also ate more sweet potato chips or fries, too much fruit bloated me. Well, my hair loss did stop and so did my WEIGHT LOSS!
    I actually started gaining about 5 pounds a month! I've gained back 20 pounds. I need to lose 40! So, I'm not happy about this, but I must tell you that my hair looks GREAT! It's thicker and shiny.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to lose the weight but not my hair?
    The way I HAVE to eat for my health is already so restrictive because of not being able to eat the nightshade veggies, spices, and nuts, it would be difficult to restrict much more. I'm willing to not eat the beans or hummus anymore. Any thoughts???


  • #2
    I'm curious about how you settled into paleo. Did you get rid of all grains, dairy, nuts, legumes and nightshades all at once?

    Will you post a typical day's worth of food? It's hard to say what the culprit might be without a sense of your calories and macros and so on.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


    • #3
      I removed grains first because I KNEW I was gluten intolerant and ALL grains seem to inflame me. I didn't even know I was eating "Paleo".
      I can not tolerate dairy either. Dairy gives me sinus and ear infections and acne. I didn't know nuts were a problem till I ate them and got dizzy and inflammed from them. I knew eggplant, tomatoes, and spices cause such severe hip and joint pain that at times I couldn't hardly walk! I didn't know these were in the nightshade family till I did some investigation.

      I will post a menu shortly.


      • #4
        Yes, you can lose hair from too few carbs.

        I know there are two of us here who have an autoimmune disease who lost their hair before becoming Paleo/Primal, and we are now both growing our hair back in. We are both doing bone broth, and we are not VLC. (I am also taking MSM.)
        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


        • #5
          Tigerlily, Do you have a recommendation on how many carbs will stop the hair loss without stopping the weight loss?
          I would love to talk to you more about this. I'm so scarred to lose my hair but I REALLY want to get the rest of the weight off.


          • #6
            I have no idea, as I've never gotten into this macro-counting thing. I'm for sure more than 50 carbs, though, given the vegetables I eat. And so is the other woman.

            From what I've witnessed here, different people tolerate different levels of carbs, so you will just have to experiment to find your own sweet spot.

            Bone broth, offal, fish oil, foods high in silica (such as cucumber), MSM (a sulfur compound) will nip this in the bud until you can get your optimal carb level dialed in via trial and error.

            What is your autoimmune disease? With your AI, you are on the right track to stay off the dairy, nuts, and 'shades (basically, anything good ... HAHA). Are you hypothyroid and is it autoimmune in origin, per chance?
            "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


            • #7

              IMO it is clear to me that your hormones have been messed up by "Leptin Resistance." Leptin is the Master Hormone that controls all others in our body. Leptin is the 1st casualty to the Conventional Wisdom High Grain, High Carb diet which leads to obesity, diabetes, PCOS, heart disease & more.

              I suggest that you go on the Leptin Rx Diet, which is a special Paleo diet to restore & balance your hormones and lose weight, too
              The diet detailed here:
              MY LEPTIN PRESCRIPTION | Jack Kruse

              Introduction to Leptin here:

              Leptin Reset Supplements:

              With this special Paleo diet designed by Dr. Jack Kruse, you can balance your hormones & lose weight, too. It is working wonders for my wife & myself.

              Edit: Here is a testimonial from Georgette:
              I'm in week 5 I believe. I'm not sure how many pounds I've dropped but I am losing inches in my waist, arms and legs. I plan on weighing this weekend just for shits & giggles. I really don't care if the scale moves one way or the other, the changes in my body is very noticeable. Face looks a ton thinner. Clothes fit better. Hair is a lot stronger and is growing like a weed. Same with my finger/toe nails. I have to now shave 3 times a week versus the 1 time I'm accustomed to. Sex drive is increased by a megaton and I've always had a high drive to begin with. Mood is stabilizing so much more than even when I initially went primal. Sleep is so much better and more restful and I used to somewhat be an insomniac. I'm getting to a point doing this that eating 50g of protein is getting difficult. I probably ate about 40g this morning and am comfortably full. I don't need as much protein to get full for breakfast. I do suggest doing what Digby said, cook meat ahead of time. Even if its not meat for breakfast, you can have stuff prepared for an easy lunch or dinner. I do walk or do bodyweight exercises in the evenings versus morning.

              Last edited by Grizz; 10-22-2011, 11:09 AM.


              • #8
                When you've got a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
                You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


                • #9
                  My gosh - you and I could be the exact same person. I have autoimmune disease and need to eat exactly the way you do in order to feel decent. The only difference is that I was losing tons of hair before going primal. I lost over half of my hair.

                  I recently went to the hair dresser and he pointed out that I have massive new hair growth coming in - he said it is a couple of months old. It looked to him like chemo patients who stop the drugs. It is weird now - it all stands up on my head! But I'm not complaining - in a month or two it will be long enough to lay down.

                  The problem is - I'm not exactly sure which thing changed it but I have a few thoughts. A lot of the things are the same as what Tigerlily said:

                  1. Bone broths - I make them every week.

                  2. Liver - I hate liver but have added it once a week. I have a feeling this was a contributor.

                  3. Bone marrow - in addition to the chicken stock I make, I buy beef bones with lots of marrow and make beef stew with the marrow in it. I don't love it, but it does improve my energy.

                  4. MSM - I did add this to my supplement routine a few months ago to help my skin. It is possible this is part of the hair growth too.

                  It is also possible that all that weight loss is what did it to you. If you ditch the beans and add in once or twice a week of higher carb meals - sweet potatoes, squash, etc maybe that would be a nice balance between keeping your hair and losing the fat

                  I have a question for you - have you found any good tricks to boosting energy? I am much, much better eating paleo but I still have problems with fatigue from AI stuff I guess. Did you have fatigue issues?
                  Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



                  • #10

                    I have a question for you - have you found any good tricks to boosting energy? I am much, much better eating paleo but I still have problems with fatigue from AI stuff I guess.
                    IMO, the best energy booster is a few tablespoons of coconut oil or a shot of high carbs. I prefer the coconut oil to keep my carbs low. To replace all the energy lost from removing High Carbs from our diet, we need healthy oils & healthy fats.


                    Instead of being grumpy and complaining, I suggest you give this lady your best advice on her problem. Lets see what your hammer is.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Grizz View Post

                      Instead of being grumpy and complaining, I suggest you give this lady your best advice on her problem. Lets see what your hammer is.
                      Thanks for the reminder. I will do so once I see what she's eating.
                      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


                      • #12
                        Oh. My. God.

                        Grizz, just stop it.

                        This woman CLEARLY is not leptin resistant. She has lost 65 pounds in 4 months. She has an autoimmune disease, and her hair is falling out.
                        "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                        • #13
                          Because you've lost SO much weight so quickly, it could also be this: telogen effluvium. The timing, 3-4 months, certainly checks out with you. Good news is, it's temporary.

                          This is from a back issue of The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter,
                          Volume III Issue 06 :: April 3, 2002 -
                          Low Carb Luxury: A Complete Resource for the Low Carb Dieter.

                          "Q - I have been eating low carb for about 3 months. For the
                          last month or so, I have been noticing extreme hair loss. Have
                          you ever heard of hair loss being associated with a low-carb
                          lifestyle? I am really getting quite worried because I can't
                          figure out what's causing this.

                          A - What you describe is called "Telogen Effluvium". The good
                          news is, it's normal in about 10-15% of dieters. The better
                          news is, it's temporary.

                          Telogen effluvium is when a stress (such as dieting/weight
                          change) causes noticeable shedding of hair after the stressful
                          event. The hair loss is always delayed, usually 3-4 months
                          after the "stressful event".

                          The event can be a physical stress such as an illness
                          (especially with a fever), sudden weight changes (the most
                          common), or a major surgical procedure. Sudden severe
                          emotional stress can also trigger telogen effluvium, including
                          the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a job termination.

                          It's all about something called "Transition to Resting Phase".
                          In telogen effluvium, the stressful event causes a high
                          proportion of hair follicles to halt their growth phase
                          prematurely, and to begin a transition to the resting phase at
                          the same time. 3-4 months after the stressful event, a high
                          proportion of follicles shed their hairs all at about the same
                          time, as they prepare for a new cycle of growth.

                          The confusion comes in here -- What triggers the hair loss
                          begins 3-4 months before the loss of the hair actually occurs.
                          Usually, the person losing hair has recovered from the event
                          (or stabilized from the weight change or dietary change), and
                          then they start shedding their hair in clumps! The condition
                          is almost always temporary, and new hairs soon grow back in.
                          Within a few more months the normal random cycle of hair
                          follicle growth and rest resumes.

                          Usually telogen effluvium results in random hair loss from all
                          over the scalp. Often the effect is not noticeable to others,
                          although seeing the increased quantities of shed hairs is
                          disturbing to their owner. Treatment for telogen effluvium
                          includes waiting for the new hairs to grow in, and styling to
                          give a fuller look in the meantime.

                          Rest assured this phenomenon is not restricted to low-carbing,
                          and in fact because our diet is high in protein, we often
                          recover more quickly. Make sure your diet is TRULY TOTALLY
                          sugar free. Sugar greatly exacerbates the condition. It also
                          helps to do the following:

                          * Up your protein by 15% each day over whatever levels you've
                          been eating.

                          * Make SURE you are taking in at least 1500 calories per day.

                          * Drink LOTS of water. 64 ounces is a minimum per day.

                          * Take your supplements! At a minimum, you should be taking:

                          * A good multivitamin with NO iron

                          * CoEnzyme Q10 - 75-150 mg per day.

                          * Acetyl L-Carnitine - 1000 mg per day

                          * A good Essential Fatty Acids supplement if you don't eat
                          some form of salmon, tuna, or olive oil every day."

                          Low carb=hair loss : ASDLC : Active Low-Carber Forums
                          "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                          • #14
                            TigerLily, Thanks for your input. I will definately add in bone broths and foods high in silica. Great advise. I will keep a daily log UGH to find out how many carbs I can eat and still lose weight without losing hair.

                            I have an autoimmune thyroid disease, celiac, PCOS, metabolic x syndrome, fibromyalgia, asthma, and my c-reactive protein level was as high as someone with Lupus or rheumatoid arthritis! However, ALL of this went into remission when I removed grains, corn, soy, nightshades, nuts, and dairy. Eating beans didn't seem to matter as far as inflammation but did seem to slow down weight loss. I would be happy with a consistant 2 pounds a week. I was losing 5 pounds a week at first, but I knew that wouldn't continue.

                            I also wanted to mention that egg whites will cause inflammation if I eat eggs to ofter. Loren Cordian mentioned that they can be problematic for AI disorders.


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the info on telogen effluvium !
                              A friend who is a doctor told me that was what he thought caused it.
                              He said that fast weight loss which is what I had, can actually be stressful to the body and
                              this is a reaction the body has to it. I did start losing the hair after I lost the weight. I will try to
                              moderate my weight loss this time. This way of eating is a lifestyle for me so it would be a good idea to
                              take some time to figure out my carb levels and such. Thanks again for your help!