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Female hair loss with Primal lifestyle

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  • Female hair loss with Primal lifestyle

    Hi everyone,
    I have been following the Primal Blueprint since April and feel better than ever. For the last 8-10 weeks, I have been loosing excessive amounts of hair - by the fistfull! I suffer from autoimmune disease (Sjogren's Syndrome) but since going primal, most of my labs have normalized and I've come off nearly all of my meds. Now, out of nowhere I start losing my hair. I went to my doctor (who thankfully believes in the Primal lifestyle) and he drew some labs (all normal) and told me to take a zinc supplement and a biotin supplement. Neither of those have worked. He's sending me to the dermatologist next.
    Has anyone experienced sudden hair loss while otherwise improving their life with the Primal Blueprint? I look forward to any insight.

  • #2
    Are you very low carb? (low starch and fruit). I think the figure was that about 1 in 10 have that side effect from Atkins induction type diets. Besides that a B complex vitamin or silicia can help.

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    • #3
      I started losing a lot of hair when my ferritin levels were low. Have you had your iron/ferritin checked? I know you say you've had some labs drawn, but without knowing which, I'd still be skeptical.
      Depression Lies

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Forgotmylastusername View Post
        Are you very low carb? (low starch and fruit). I think the figure was that about 1 in 10 have that side effect from Atkins induction type diets. Besides that a B complex vitamin or silicia can help.
        This!

        If you haven't already, add some fruit and starch and you'll most likely see great improvement almost immediately. That's been my experience, at least.

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        • #5
          Hair loss/growth is in roughly 3 month cycles, so if you had a health problem a few months ago that caused more of your hair than usual to go into the shedding cycle, that's probably it. I've noticed that it happens to me anytime I have something happen that is a shock to my body--a major illness, surgery, childbirth, etc. In fact, I had a gynecological surgery a couple of months ago, so I get to look forward to shedding like a cat again in about a month, joy.

          Regardless of the cause, it's already well in the past, and there's not anything you can do now to stop it, just wait for the cycle to end and your hair to start growing again. Here's a good article describing the hair phases and what you're experiencing (telogen effluvium). Telogen Effluvium - Why, When, and How

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          • #6
            I know it's often my answer to everything, but have you been eating liver? Liver covers ALL your b vitamins, zinc, copper, iron - all in bioavailable forms. Trying to build tissue or grow hair? Liver gives you ALL the building blocks - as long as your body is running normally. It can also have a lot of iodine which may or may not help, depending on what your thyroid is or isn't doing. But if you aren't eating about a pound of liver a week, definitely get on it. You owe it to yourself.
            Crohn's, doing SCD

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            • #7
              I've been losing an excessive amount of hair for at least a decade at this point, which I suspect is due to undiagnosed thyroid issues since that was just one of many symptoms.

              Eating low carb paleo + primal didn't make it any better and made several of my other symptoms worse. About 4-5 months ago, I switched up my diet to be much higher in starches and sugars and lower in fats, and I actually have quite a lot of new hair growth that coincides with this switch, in addition to improvement in my other hypothyroid symptoms.

              I've also been using Cold Thermogenesis to improve my thyroid in addition to the extra carbs and salt. Still to early to tell, but it seems like for me, the hair loss was likely thyroid related.

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              • #8
                I also started losing hair by the fistfulls about a year ago. I started supplementing with Biotin which seemed to help a little. Last week I went to donate blood and found out my iron levels were low. Now I'm thinking that may be the cause of my hair loss. I've started supplementing with Vit. C at meals to help with iron absorption and avoid anything with tannins (coffee/tea/wine) within a couple of hours of eating.

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                • #9
                  Thank you all for all of the responses. I do eat a lot of fruit, but not many starches. I also have not had my iron level tested. The doc checked thyroid levels, etc. I will definitely have my ferritin levels checked. Maybe I should consider trying to up my liver intake. I'm not a fan of liver at all! Thanks again and hopefully, I will stop shedding soon!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jlb2011 View Post
                    Thank you all for all of the responses. I do eat a lot of fruit, but not many starches. I also have not had my iron level tested. The doc checked thyroid levels, etc.
                    Every blood test I ever took showed perfectly normal thyroid levels...except that I have every textbook symptom of hypothyroid, including a body temperature that is so low, I'm practically dead. I'm not a doctor or an expert, but I think those tests are very flawed, and a better gauge is basal body temperature. Just saying this so that you don't automatically assume your thyroid is functional because of a blood test; could be worth looking into further.

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                    • #11
                      Because of the timeline, I suspect it's a case of telogen effluvium. 3-9 months after a stressful event in life (which in your case, could've been switching to primal, it IS a shock for the body, after all), your hair will often fall out. The hair growth cycle arrests during the stressful event and then some months later, the follicle will enter the loss phase. On the upside, the hair regrows healthy.
                      I went through this after my surgery, even though I was never the type of person to lose hair when I was stressed out and I had certainly gone through some very stressful things (being homeless, 3 FT jobs, etc). I was losing clumps, but realistically, only my hairdresser and myself noticed. The hairdresser only knew because she could see two very obvious tiers in my hair.
                      2.5 years later, my hair is totally normal. Assuming your derm visit is uneventful, your hair will likely restore itself in a few months.

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                      • #12
                        I agree with the other poster that said a thyroid test may not reveal everything. You need a full thyroid panel to tell. That said you probably don't have it if: your eyebrows are still full, your thyroid doesn't feel enlarged, you aren't gaining weight, you aren't cold all the time, and you have good mental clarity.

                        I would still recommend upping your starches a bit. Unless you are seeing actual baldness, I wouldn't waste the time and money on a trip to the dermatologist.

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                        • #13
                          When I read your thread title, thyroid is the first thing I thought. I would ask for a print out of you labs and do some more research.

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                          • #14
                            I have had the same problem recently. I have hypothyroidism and my meds were lowered in June. I recently quit taking my HRT because I hate taking meds in less I absolutely have to and am wondering if that is the problem. So it could be a change in your system. If your Dr. is paleo friendly ask him/her for a full thyroid panel not just the normal TS4. I can't remember all the terms but I can find them if you need.
                            You know all those things you wanted to do: You should go do them.

                            Age 48
                            height 5'3
                            SW 215 lbs
                            CW 180 lbs (whole foods/primal eating)
                            LW 172 lbs
                            GW 125ish lbs

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                            • #15
                              If you are eating lots of eggs...taper down a bit. I read once that eggs lower your biotin levels. Take a biotin supplement. Best of luck.

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