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Hair loss (NOT caused by primal diet!)

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  • Hair loss (NOT caused by primal diet!)

    Sooo, I'm a young woman and my hair started thinning/shedding to an extreme in 2007 - around the same time, so far as I can remember, that I went vegetarian [and cut out all dairy for a while there too] after a few years of the SAD. At the same time I was having problems with IBS, menstrual issues, and had a lot of hypothyroid symptoms - I was really not well, in hindsight. Better now, thank you primal diet!

    Luckily, I am not balding - I have thick growth 4-6" long, but most hairs shed out so early in the growth phase that my hair gets pretty wispy below chin length. I cut my waist-length hair up to armpit level (very sad about this, I love having my hair very long) due to how thin and stringy it is. And it's much worse on the left side of my head! Baffling.

    I seem to have sprouted a TON of new short hairs (and don't they make me look like a mess) in the last year or so since I've been eating better and seen such health improvements - but it's too early yet to tell if I'm going to see a return to my normal thickness and length, my hair only grows about 6" per year, and I still seem to be shedding wads every time I wash it.

    I've been trying external methods for years but none seem to have any effect whatsoever on the growth of my hair. On the hair that's there and for my scalp, yes, things like using a gentle non-SLS shampoo, deep conditioning treatments, oiling my scalp with coconut oil, and the occasional dandruff shampoo to fight itchies and build-up (I also tried going no-poo and my scalp hated it), are very helpful.

    Anyone else in the same boat (or have you been in the past)? What can be done for this sort of thing besides living the healthiest primal lifestyle possible? Any advice/discussion is appreciated. I want my hair back. As of early 2009 my thyroid, levels of female hormones, vitamin D etc all tested within 'normal' ranges (and I tested negative for celiac, my intestine and stomach looked in good shape too!) but due to all the problems I was having pre-primal I think there were imbalances going on... and I don't have the wherewithal to go do the rounds with specialists again ATM.

  • #2
    quick suggestions:

    1. scalp massage with bringhraji oil (sp?)
    2. take a saw palmetto capsule every day

    Both of these things interfere with the conversion of testosterone to DHT, responsible for male pattern hair loss. Check your ferritin levels, take a B-complex every day and get lots of protein.
    I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

    Comment


    • #3
      My hair started thinning when I graduated from college back in 1992. I went to see a dermatologist, had blood work done and she concluded that my thyroid was fine, there was no other reason and that it must be stress. For years it’s been continuing to thin but slowly and the only place you can tell is in the front top. I have thyroid nodules which have enlarged my thyroid so that my neck has a slight bulge, but I have had several doctors (endocrinologists and GPs) tell me that my thyroid hormone levels are fine and I have no nutritional deficiencies, although I have never seen the actual test results to research on my own.

      In the last three months (I've been primal since end of June 2010), I have been shedding hair at a lightning fast pace. Where it was thin only on the top and in the front, I can now see scalp on the whole top of the head. And the hair is coming out on the sides and back now too. I don't even have enough left to fill a ponytail. Every day I lose enough hair for ten people. The shower drain is full, the wide tooth comb is covered and my hands after using curl serum are covered in hair; all this before 6 am. I continue to lose all day. I find it on my desk, all over my scarf, my coat, the back of my shirt. If this pace continues, I think I will be bald in six months.

      Just today on my commute home from work, I was looking at my reflection in the bus window. I could see my whole scalp. I'm not sure what to do. I've been taking diatomaceous earth and silica for a week now but I don't see any difference (I know it’s too soon). It is almost at the point where I won't be able to leave the house; unfortunately I'm single and support myself so I have to go to work. I know I need to see another doctor but I'm not sure if I should see a regular doctor, a thyroid doctor or a dermatologist. I have actually contemplated taking my life over this issue it’s that devastating. I would never do it, but the thoughts are there. I want my hair back too.

      I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you. But you are not alone.

      Comment


      • #4
        You could try taking a lot of biotin, like 5 mg. a day. It's supposed to increase the speed of hair growth, and is good for nails and skin as well. It also is supposed to be good to help stabilize blood sugar levels, which is helpful for people fighting off diabetes.

        Harmless, too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the suggestions Canarygirl! I don't have male-pattern baldness though... my roots are thicker than ever especially in the front it seems, and my hairline the same as when I was a teenager. I just used to have more hairs that grew much longer! No one I know can even tell that I have less hair now... although if I hadn't cut it shorter it would be incredibly obvious.

          I think what I have is technically termed chronic telogen effluvium. Mild, long-lasting diffuse hair loss caused by an abnormal number of hairs dying and shedding, but shed hairs are replaced with new growth rather than balding at the scalp level.

          Originally posted by TinaC View Post
          My hair started thinning when I graduated from college back in 1992. I went to see a dermatologist, had blood work done and she concluded that my thyroid was fine, there was no other reason and that it must be stress. For years it’s been continuing to thin but slowly and the only place you can tell is in the front top. I have thyroid nodules which have enlarged my thyroid so that my neck has a slight bulge, but I have had several doctors (endocrinologists and GPs) tell me that my thyroid hormone levels are fine and I have no nutritional deficiencies, although I have never seen the actual test results to research on my own.

          In the last three months (I've been primal since end of June 2010), I have been shedding hair at a lightning fast pace. Where it was thin only on the top and in the front, I can now see scalp on the whole top of the head. And the hair is coming out on the sides and back now too. I don't even have enough left to fill a ponytail. Every day I lose enough hair for ten people. The shower drain is full, the wide tooth comb is covered and my hands after using curl serum are covered in hair; all this before 6 am. I continue to lose all day. I find it on my desk, all over my scarf, my coat, the back of my shirt. If this pace continues, I think I will be bald in six months.

          Just today on my commute home from work, I was looking at my reflection in the bus window. I could see my whole scalp. I'm not sure what to do. I've been taking diatomaceous earth and silica for a week now but I don't see any difference (I know it’s too soon). It is almost at the point where I won't be able to leave the house; unfortunately I'm single and support myself so I have to go to work. I know I need to see another doctor but I'm not sure if I should see a regular doctor, a thyroid doctor or a dermatologist. I have actually contemplated taking my life over this issue it’s that devastating. I would never do it, but the thoughts are there. I want my hair back too.

          I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you. But you are not alone.
          Oh Tina, that's awful. I'm so sorry. You definitely need to get to the doctor, any doctor (perhaps your GP will be able to refer you to a specialist). You are depressed over this, I think you need to get help! I know it's sad and embarrassing (I have a couple friends with alopecia) to have to resort to a wig, but for now that might help you as well...

          Are you in ketosis? I did not feel right when I was very low carb (first 6 months or so of primal diet), and I was shedding a lot more hair then than I am now. Have you done any reading about the effects of ketosis, low-carb, and a primal diet on people with hypothyroid or even just borderline levels? Richard over at freetheanimal has some good stuff (he's been hypothyroid for many years).

          Please keep us all posted.

          Comment


          • #6
            First *hugs* for Tina. There are some great hair extension products for women with balding and thinning issues. The spa I worked at had women who were so incredibly bald, and you'd never know. They could swim, brush and style their hair and it was so worth it for their self esteem!

            As for animal, have you had your hormone levels tested? I went through two periods where I shed hair like crazy, when I went on hormonal birth control (I lost all of my hair. A very VERY rare side effect. I was also sick sick sick.) And when I was breastfeeding, I shed handfuls every shower. Now that I've weaned and I'm eating healthy, I have a TON of hair!
            The more I see the less I know for sure.
            -John Lennon

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            • #7
              My hair has fallen out like crazy in the past 2 years, it is thin and straggly too. I have Hashimoto's and other autoimmune issues. Since going on Robb Wolf's autoimmune protocol, within 4 days my hair stopped falling out in chunks. It is no grains (obv), dairy, eggs, nuts or nightshade veggies like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant or peppers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Have you had a baby recently?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey guys

                  I agree that it may be helpful to do a trial of paleo.

                  I'd also switch to Jigsaw b complex bc it is time released and coenzymated.
                  I'd take biotin (5 mg per day)

                  Also, my in my mg links is a link to a hair loss forum that looks incredible (it's where I found some good mg info)

                  It would be worth checking out.



                  iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This has worked amazingly well for me. I had male pattern baldness and was on the verge of a Chrome Dome. Not much up there. I was even having fun with the church elder joking about who was more bald, me or him.

                    Today, most of my hair has grown back, and you can't even see that it is a little thin unless you look closely. I discovered Diatomacious Silica:

                    Originally posted by article
                    Hair That Grows!
                    Hair is nature's greatest beauty enhancer. Hair deserves to be pampered. Hair at 90 micrograms per gram is almost as rich in silica as are healthy bones, which contain 100 micrograms per gram. Silica is a major component of hair. Using a good silica supplement should be part of your ongoing hair care program for revitalizing hair. Silica helps to prevent baldness, stimulates healthier hair growth and assures beautiful shine, luster and strength.
                    http://www.earthworkshealth.com/human-use.php
                    We found that D-E also greatly helped our fingernails & toenails. ESPECIALLY my toenails which used to be disgusting. We put a tablespoon of D-E into our smoothie each day. Be careful and don't breath it into your lungs. Also be careful to get FOOD GRADE D-E. Pool Grade DE is not suitable.

                    More links to the health benefits of D-E:
                    http://www.earthworkshealth.com/huma...stimonials.php

                    Best of health to all,
                    Grizz

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks everyone! I think I will try supplementing biotin and silica... can't hurt. I will say that I have always had good nails, and they are incredible on the primal diet -thick, strong, smooth and shiny. I get compliments all the time, even when I don't grow them out very much.

                      I eat tons of cream and butter, and eggs... and a fair amount of white potatoes, and tomatoes. Paleo would be so hard for me, I need a ton of calories (and like to eat more carbs, but can't do much sweet potato) but can't seem to stomach large servings of meat. The crappy thing about this is that it takes SO LONG to see if anything you try is having an effect on your hair! Even when I had a ton of hair compared to now, I shed more than is usual daily (like my mom and sisters), so I can't really judge by shedding... just have to wait and see if it grows in longer.

                      I had awesome, thick hair for years as a teenager - when my health was a total mess! Had a BMI of 14-15, ate nothing but carb garbage, didn't move, no muscle mass, terrible acne, depression, anxiety, freezing cold all the time, no energy, face kept randomly swelling up, covered in hives and eczema, etc etc.

                      Originally posted by nybamemnon View Post
                      Have you had a baby recently?
                      No, I wish. It's very similar to a post-partum/post-breast-feeding shed, from what I've read... just longer-lasting. I was having persistent menstrual issues since 2006 though, right up until I went primal. Not sure whether this was a direct cause of the hair thing, or both were just symptoms of bigger issues. I was still getting a regular period, but I'm pretty sure I was having lots of anovulatory cycles (and would spot for two weeks in the middle).
                      Last edited by animalcule; 12-16-2010, 06:12 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't know what to say, other then "I understand".

                        I will keep everything crossed that you find a solution - or peace with the problem.

                        Meanwhile maybe - just maybe - it helps that you are not alone?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This article by Dr. Eades might be pertinent. Excerpt:


                          http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/m...s-and-kimkins/

                          You are experiencing a common problem called telogen effluvium, which is the medical term for acute hair loss due to a metabolic, hormonal or drug stress.

                          So you can better understand what has happened, let’s take a look at the normal hair growth cycle. Hair has a growth phase call anagen and a resting or dormant phase called telogen. Typically for hair on the head, anagen lasts around three years followed by telogen that lasts about three months.

                          During anagen, the growth phase, the hair follicle is active and the hair grows; during telogen the hair follicle becomes dormant and the hair quits growing. But the hair stays in the hair follicle, and since you can’t really measure the growth of a single hair, you don’t know that the hair is actually dead and the follicle dormant. When the follicle reactivates during anagen, the new hair growing in pushes the old, dead hair out, and the hair falls from the scalp. That’s why we all find hairs on our pillows, in the shower, and other places it’s noticeable. Those old are hairs pushed out by the new hair growing in.

                          This waxing and waning of anagen and telogen is why we continuously lose hair and yet our head of hair doesn’t continuously thin. And, I suppose, it goes without saying that not all of our hair is in lock step in this cycle otherwise we would have hair for 2-3 years, then it would all fall out at once. The estimate is that about 10% of hair on the head is in telogen at any given time, which means that the other 90% is growing normally. And even the 10% in telogen appears normal if you looked at an individual hair. It’s just not growing and will ultimately be pushed out when the follicle converts to anagen.

                          But sometimes this cycle can be disrupted.

                          A number of stresses can send hairs from anagen to telogen before their time. Pregnancy, a major illness, a high fever, an injury, surgery (usually from the anesthesia), some medications and a major change in diet, especially going on a starvation diet.

                          The Kimkins Diet is nothing if not a starvation diet. It is a very-low-calorie diet, containing from 400-700 kcal per day. You saw the photos I posted of the subjects on the famous Keys’ 1600 kcal per day semi-starvation diet back in the 40s, so you can imagine what the Kimkins diet would do were you on it for a substantial amount of time. You would probably look like one of the women I posted on yesterday.

                          So, for those of you who went on Kimkins and suffered a major hair loss, here’s what happened. The nutritional stress from semi-starvation nature of the diet shocked your hair from anagen into telogen prematurely. You didn’t even notice it when it happened because you lost no hair. Months later when your follicles again went into anagen and became active, the new hair growing in began to push the old hair out. And because the nutritional stress sent much more than your normal ongoing 10% into telogen, you seemed to lose hair by handfuls.

                          Many people probably started losing their hair as they went off Kimkins and back to a more normal diet. At that time the hair follicles said (assuming hair follicles could speak): hey, stress is over; let’s start growing again. And they did start growing, pushing out the old dead hair.

                          So, the take home message is that if you lost a lot of hair during your time on Kimkins (or any other diet), don’t sweat it. It will come back. If it doesn’t, then you’ve got something more going on than telogen effluvium, and you need to pay a visit to your doctor. But usually if you look closely at your scalp (or have someone look for you), you’ll see little hairs growing back in. If you’re a female and have long hair, it will take a long time for your hair to grow back to its full length, but it will.

                          Is their anything you can do to hurry it along? Just make sure you get plenty of good quality protein and essential fats. And don’t worry about it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            did you take the pill, & then stop recently? my sister had issues with hair loss when she went off the pill. just a thought!
                            Last edited by aboutsaffron; 12-16-2010, 09:54 AM. Reason: clarity
                            And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair
                            Kahlil Gibran

                            http://simplesunshine.wordpress.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Grizz View Post
                              This has worked amazingly well for me. I had male pattern baldness and was on the verge of a Chrome Dome. Not much up there. I was even having fun with the church elder joking about who was more bald, me or him.

                              Today, most of my hair has grown back, and you can't even see that it is a little thin unless you look closely. I discovered Diatomacious Silica:

                              Best of health to all,
                              Grizz
                              Grizz - how were you taking the D-E, just a tablespoon or so a day? Did you notice new growth/re-growth very quickly? Were you on any other hair related supplements?

                              I'm not that close to a chrome dome but I have pretty even thinning across the entire top of my head, so unless I'm careful when styling my hair you can see how thin it is. I wish my MPB would have started more at the front rather than the whole top at once...

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