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Hair loss and thyroid problems from low carb

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Louisa655 View Post
    Dear Meira:

    Just a few thoughts to add to this interesting topic. I jumped into Paleo around June 30th, 2012. I'm an 'all or nothing' kind of gal so I went 100% at it, and lost 21lbs, 11" in 12 weeks. I added my supplements which include krill oil, MCT oil, multi-day vitamin, Vitamin D & B, Iodine and Magnesium. I continue taking these supplements.

    During my paleo journey, I found myself into Ketosis and enjoying being in that state. The weight dropped, I felt great, yadda yadda yadda.

    Shortly into my 3rd month of enjoying my weight loss, I noticed lots and lots of hair loss. Hair would fall out in the shower, and then spontaneously onto my pillow and on my clothing. My hair was coming out faster than I could imagine! Simultaneously, I also noticed that my hair had lost its lustre and appeared a little sad and almost oily. I've never had oily hair so this was curious to me. I've always had very nice thick, Italian -type hair so this was very disconcerting to me.

    I have been healthy my whole life, with no thyroid or hormonal issues --- no big weight issues, either.

    I ended up going to see a hairdresser, who gave me a nice blunt cut which made my hair look less 'whispy' on the ends --- kind of gave me the illusion of having a fuller head of hair. He advised me to come in about every 4-5 weeks for another 'ends trim' to keep things looking good.

    In the meantime, I increased my carb intake --- I increased my carbs from 10-20carbs per day to 40-60. I now add a little potato to my dinner but I eat clean about 98% of the time. Anyway, after a few months of increasing my carbs slightly, the hair fall out has been less. Only just in the past week do I feel that the hair appears healthier and happier.

    Now, I cannot say with any certainty what caused me hair to go through this almost 'period of mourning'. My gut tells me that my body underwent some serious changes (albeit positive), and my hair was the barometer for the changes. Perhaps my hair would have improved had I stayed in ketosis, but I don't know. My gut tells me that MY body/hair seems to be healthier when I introduce about 40-60 carbs daily into my diet. I have some days know where my carb intake is 10 and other days when it's 70 or 80. I don't worry about mixing things up and I think my body enjoys me mixing things up.

    Anyway, I just thought I would share my experience with you --- as we hopefully all learn from each other. I found it interesting that someone posted on this thread that his hair started falling out when he took a multivitamin. Maybe my hair loss was caused by the addition of the supplements into my life. I don't know for sure what caused the hair loss, but I do know that our bodies have clever ways of letting us know when something is 'not right'. Cheers/Lu
    Thank you for sharing!
    See, I don't know either if my lower carb intake started something, I just suspect it. But I feel going up a bit in carbs and going back to the diet I ate until summer, when I felt good.. Is like playing it safe
    Maybe I need to be on a moderate to high carb paleo or primal diet for longer and My body will deal with low carb better.

    I have trimmed my hair a bit myself. I will have to cut, but for now I am just putting it up and forget about it. I really hate the feeling of strands coming out every time I touch it. I can make a wig of the shed hair!
    Currently eating strict Paleo, no rice or potatoes. I want to increase carbs and make sure my ratio of carbs, protein and fat is right for me.
    30, 5'5" and 108 lbs (formerly 100 lbs)
    I don't work out but I chase and nurse a toddler all day

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Derpamix View Post
      You were taking thyroxine, which often isn't well converted into the active t3. Also, yes, if you were already hypothyroid, eating low carb will definitely compound the problem.

      "Because the actions of T3 can be inhibited by many factors, including polyunsaturated fatty acids, reverse T3, and excess thyroxine, the absolute level of T3 can't be used by itself for diagnosis. “Free T3” or “free T4” is a laboratory concept, and the biological activity of T3 doesn't necessarily correspond to its “freedom” in the test. T3 bound to its transport proteins can be demonstrated to enter cells, mitochondria, and nuclei. Transthyretin, which carries both vitamin A and thyroid hormones, is sharply decreased by stress, and should probably be regularly measured as part of the thyroid examination.

      When T3 is metabolically active, lactic acid won't be produced unnecessarily, so the measurement of lactate in the blood is a useful test for interpreting thyroid function. Cholesterol is used rapidly under the influence of T3, and ever since the 1930s it has been clear that serum cholesterol rises in hypothyroidism, and is very useful diagnostically. Sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, creatinine, albumin, glucose, and other components of the serum are regulated by the thyroid hormones, and can be used along with the various functional tests for evaluating thyroid function."

      Preventing and treating cancer with progesterone.

      Read Ray Peat's articles on thyroid. The one I linked before is particularly useful in reference to how standard medical procedures conduct thyroid checks. Hypothyroidism is a common cause of hair loss in women.
      Thank you! I want to make sure the doctor will check for the right things! I was shocked my GP did not test certain things.
      Would it be best to request X and X to be checked specifically? Or what would be the best way of getting the doctor to look into some things?
      When I asked another GP to check iron? He was a little stubborn and only wanted to do ferritin. :/
      Currently eating strict Paleo, no rice or potatoes. I want to increase carbs and make sure my ratio of carbs, protein and fat is right for me.
      30, 5'5" and 108 lbs (formerly 100 lbs)
      I don't work out but I chase and nurse a toddler all day

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
        The thing that happens too often in internet "wisdom" however is that a case like yours with a pre-existing thyroid issue gets used and abused to support anti low carb fear mongering rhetoric.
        Who is trying to use fear to force anyone not to eat low carb?

        And why does increasing carbs in your eyes mean eating cookies and bread? That's like saying eating low carb must mean you are gorging yourself on SPAM and zucchini sticks deep-fried in soybean oil.

        Anytime someone expresses that they are not thriving, losing hair, or in some way dealing with a health issue and is wondering if it could be related to their diet, you instantly chastise anyone who suggests increasing carbs.

        I really wish you could just accept that low carb is not a healthy thing for everyone. It works for you and some other folks. Awesome. It didn't for me, and it doesn't for many other people. If I was eating like you do, I'd still be paralyzed on the couch with debilitating fatigue, with a body temp under 97.1, my hair coming out in handfuls, dealing with depression. That's what high fat/low carb does for me.

        You didn't invent low carb, no need to take it personally when people need something different.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Mireia View Post
          I do take a multivitamin. Maybe I should cut it out and see what happens
          I also take iron, but have been since Nov. 2010 because I always seem to be low ....same with D3 always low, but I think I remember reading when someone has thyroid issues, the body does not absbrb enough iron/ produce enough d3?
          I'm no doctor by any means; its just a story from my past. There are lots of really good knowledgeable responses here, but sometimes its the easy things. You wouldn't believe how many times people try and fix things that aren't plugged in for example
          "It's a great life, if you don't weaken.". John Buchan

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Mireia View Post
            Thank you! I want to make sure the doctor will check for the right things! I was shocked my GP did not test certain things.
            Would it be best to request X and X to be checked specifically? Or what would be the best way of getting the doctor to look into some things?
            When I asked another GP to check iron? He was a little stubborn and only wanted to do ferritin. :/
            TSH, t3, and rt3. In hypothyroidism, TSH will be in the low normal to high ranges. In good functioning thyroids, TSH will be low.

            "Women often have above-average thyroxin, with symptoms of hypothyroidism. This is apparently because it isn’t being converted to the active form (T3). Before using a Cytomel (T3) supplement, it might be possible to solve the problem with diet alone. A piece of fruit or glass of juice or milk between meals, and adequate animal protein (or potato protein) in the diet is sometimes enough to allow the liver to produce the hormone. If Cytomel is used, it is efficient to approximate the physiological rate of T3 formation, by nibbling one (10 to 25 mcg) tablet during the day. When a large amount is taken at one time, the liver is likely to convert much of it to the inactive reverse T3 form, in a normal defensive response.

            Women normally have less active livers than men do. Estrogen can have a directly toxic effect on the liver, but the normal reason for the difference is probably that temperature and thyroid function strongly influence the liver, and are generally lower in women than in men. Estrogen inhibits the secretion of hormone by the thyroid gland itself, probably by inhibiting the proteolytic enzymes which dissolves the colloid. Progesterone has the opposite effect, promoting the release of the hormones from the gland. At puberty, in pregnancy, and at menopause, the thyroid gland often enlarges, probably as a result of estrogen dominance.

            Thyroid function stimulates the liver to inactivate estrogen for secretion, so estrogen dominance can create a viscous circle, in which estrogen (or deficient progesterone) blocks thyroid secretion, causing the liver to allow estrogen to accumulate to even higher levels. Progesterone (even one dose, in some cases) can break the cycle. However, if the gland is very big, one person can experience a few months of hyperthyroidism, as the gland returns to normal. It is better to allow the enlarged gland to shrink more slowly by using a thyroid supplement. If an enlarged gland does begin to secrete too much thyroid hormone, it can be controlled with tablets of propylthiouracil, or even raw cabbage or cabbage juice, and cysteine rich meats, including liver.

            Besides fasting, or chronic protein deficiency, the common causes of hypothyroidism are excessive stress or “aerobic” (i.e., anaerobic) exercise, and diets containing beans, lentils, nuts, unsaturated fats (including carotene), and undercooked broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and mustard greens. Many health conscious people become hypothyroid with a synergistic program of undercooked vegetables, legumes instead of animal proteins, oils instead of butter, carotene instead of vitamin A, and breathless exercise instead of stimulating life."
            Make America Great Again

            Comment


            • #51
              In regards to the question about what tests to get - when I got onto a good GP, she tested:

              TSH
              free t4
              free t3
              rt3
              Thyroid antibodies
              DHEA
              Sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progresterone)
              SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)
              Vitam D
              Iron - ferritin, saturation, iron
              Cortisol
              Blood Glucose (fasting)/Insulin
              Lipids and HDL etc
              Full blood count


              I was resistant to T4 - even though my TSH was low, and t4 levels were 'good', so technically I was 'not hypothyroid', my t3 was below range, and my rt3 was very high. Once you took into the fact I had very little active thyroid hormone (t3), and was turning all my t4 into something that blocked the action of t3 (rt3), i was quite hypothyroid. I gained and gained in spite of eating very little.

              It has taken me almost two years to get onto the right meds, so don't give up!

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by lucy1984 View Post
                In regards to the question about what tests to get - when I got onto a good GP, she tested:

                TSH
                free t4
                free t3
                rt3
                Thyroid antibodies
                DHEA
                Sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progresterone)
                SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)
                Vitam D
                Iron - ferritin, saturation, iron
                Cortisol
                Blood Glucose (fasting)/Insulin
                Lipids and HDL etc
                Full blood count


                I was resistant to T4 - even though my TSH was low, and t4 levels were 'good', so technically I was 'not hypothyroid', my t3 was below range, and my rt3 was very high. Once you took into the fact I had very little active thyroid hormone (t3), and was turning all my t4 into something that blocked the action of t3 (rt3), i was quite hypothyroid. I gained and gained in spite of eating very little.

                It has taken me almost two years to get onto the right meds, so don't give up!
                I truly wish all docs would be this thorough. So are you on cytomel only now?

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                  Who is trying to use fear to force anyone not to eat low carb?

                  And why does increasing carbs in your eyes mean eating cookies and bread? That's like saying eating low carb must mean you are gorging yourself on SPAM and zucchini sticks deep-fried in soybean oil.

                  Anytime someone expresses that they are not thriving, losing hair, or in some way dealing with a health issue and is wondering if it could be related to their diet, you instantly chastise anyone who suggests increasing carbs.

                  I really wish you could just accept that low carb is not a healthy thing for everyone. It works for you and some other folks. Awesome. It didn't for me, and it doesn't for many other people. If I was eating like you do, I'd still be paralyzed on the couch with debilitating fatigue, with a body temp under 97.1, my hair coming out in handfuls, dealing with depression. That's what high fat/low carb does for me.

                  You didn't invent low carb, no need to take it personally when people need something different.
                  Wow. Who put a bur in your saddle?

                  The OP and I cleared up the misunderstanding about the cookies a couple of pages back. Seems like the only feathers still ruffled are yours. No idea why.

                  The fear mongering I was referring to was not this thread in particular but , as I said, an internet meme, popular on sites such as those of the various Peat disciples.

                  I'm not "chastising" anyone (although I did tell Zach to bite me which he richly deserved for the Inuit/shark comment ). I have said on this forum REPEATEDLY that I have no problem with whatever macronutrient ratio a person chooses for him/herself. I do have a problem with scientifically unfounded statements such as "low carb will wreck your thyroid" being circulated AGAIN.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Zach View Post
                    I truly wish all docs would be this thorough. So are you on cytomel only now?
                    Yes, well, tertroxin, which is the Australian equivalent. And cortisol, as later tests showed I also had adrenal fatigue. I had to travel 3 hours to Sydney to get a doctor who would actually listen to me. The only doc in my town who does look deeper into thyroid matters needed a referral, and my GP refused to provide me one. I was lucky to get in too, as she only opened her books again about 2 weeks after I enquired, and from what I hear they were closed again within the month...

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      My sisters hair is falling out now from pneumonia in sept of last year. Definitely can be delayed. She lost more than half. She had exceptionally thick hair to start with though.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        In my 30s I ate less than 100 grams of carbs a day. As a result, I had hair loss (one ID showed a half inch of missing hair at the part), acne, fatigue and generalized stress. From age 33-40 I took the bcp to shut my ovaries down so I could sleep and basically function. Estrogen has a suppressive effect on the thyroid-- be aware that if you continue to eat low carb, you will probably have early perimenopause symptoms.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Interesting thread. I am going through this right now. My hair is still falling out in handfuls. My naturopath is currently changing my meds to a compounded 3-1 t4/t3 ratio. I have been on synthroid for years, but never thought it did anything for me. Then on Erfa in increasing dosages, which helped temporarily. Starting tomorrow, the compounded. I have also been reading about Wilson's thyroid protocol which is interesting. My temp is always low. Usually around 35.3c. My free t3 is also clinically low.
                          Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                          Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                          Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by fiercehunter View Post
                            In my 30s I ate less than 100 grams of carbs a day. As a result, I had hair loss (one ID showed a half inch of missing hair at the part), acne, fatigue and generalized stress. From age 33-40 I took the bcp to shut my ovaries down so I could sleep and basically function. Estrogen has a suppressive effect on the thyroid-- be aware that if you continue to eat low carb, you will probably have early perimenopause symptoms.
                            I was on the pill on 2009 and went off because I feared it would be bad for my health. That is also when I first noticed hormonal problems. I feel like the pill had supressed the symptoms while it wrecked havoc.

                            Originally posted by AshleyL View Post
                            My sisters hair is falling out now from pneumonia in sept of last year. Definitely can be delayed. She lost more than half. She had exceptionally thick hair to start with though.
                            I haven't been sick since summer '11. I started out with thicker hair too, so when I say I lost a lot (1.5cm from my ponytail circumference this time but up to 2.5cm (one inch) in 2010) they don't believe me or say "maybe you have always ha thin hair".
                            I had to bring pictures to a doctors office and that was when someone finally understood something was going on.
                            Currently eating strict Paleo, no rice or potatoes. I want to increase carbs and make sure my ratio of carbs, protein and fat is right for me.
                            30, 5'5" and 108 lbs (formerly 100 lbs)
                            I don't work out but I chase and nurse a toddler all day

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by lucy1984 View Post
                              In regards to the question about what tests to get - when I got onto a good GP, she tested:

                              TSH
                              free t4
                              free t3
                              rt3
                              Thyroid antibodies
                              DHEA
                              Sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progresterone)
                              SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)
                              Vitam D
                              Iron - ferritin, saturation, iron
                              Cortisol
                              Blood Glucose (fasting)/Insulin
                              Lipids and HDL etc
                              Full blood count


                              I was resistant to T4 - even though my TSH was low, and t4 levels were 'good', so technically I was 'not hypothyroid', my t3 was below range, and my rt3 was very high. Once you took into the fact I had very little active thyroid hormone (t3), and was turning all my t4 into something that blocked the action of t3 (rt3), i was quite hypothyroid. I gained and gained in spite of eating very little.

                              It has taken me almost two years to get onto the right meds, so don't give up!
                              I hope my doctor will test all that! I think I will take a list lol. Thank you Lucy!
                              Currently eating strict Paleo, no rice or potatoes. I want to increase carbs and make sure my ratio of carbs, protein and fat is right for me.
                              30, 5'5" and 108 lbs (formerly 100 lbs)
                              I don't work out but I chase and nurse a toddler all day

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                I am interested in this thread too, because I have some conversion problem and I didn't feel right for a couple of months.
                                My doctors don't see it as a big problem and don't address it. I've made some changes - reduced consumption of kale, increased intake of carbs (I possibly went too low), increased intake of red meat (I possibly was low in iron after a blood donation), etc.
                                BTW, Kharrazian mentions numerous causes for poor conversion.
                                I didn't have such a thorough testing (which would help), but I am OK now. I'll ask for a couple of tests (ferritin, for example) at the next opportunity (May?). I don't think it's an emergency now.

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