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Thread: Hair loss and thyroid problems from low carb

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  1. #1
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    Hair loss and thyroid problems from low carb

    I have been dealing with what I thought were hormonal problems - acne, hairloss, fatigue, PMS and weird periods. When it did not stop I got my thyroid checked and I came back Hypo with an elevated TSH (other levels weren't measured yet). I had been off meds since starting Paleo with a low TSH, so I find that surprising. My liver levels were also too high. I tried different things, adding supplements, being much more strict (I cut out honey), but nothing helped. Upon researching I read about low carb paleo and high carb paleo when it comes to hair loss and a LOT of sites said going low carb too fast can actually cause thyroid like symptoms, including hair loss.

    I was only eating 59g of carbs a day instead of my higher carb intake in summer, which was 70-110. I was not planning to get into ketosis, I am actually trying to gain weight, I just got tired of carbs like carrots and sweet potato.

    Is it likely that this is my problem? And if so, how can I reverse the effects? I read that one needs to eat an insane amount of carbs to get out of it? I am back on my usual 70-110 carbs and a bit more sugar from honey and fruit, I feel less fatigued but my hair is still coming out in clumps. I am so embarrassed to leave the house! I am 30 and female by the way.

  2. #2
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    Not surprising at all. Low carb and high protein diets can cause hypo and liver problems. When the thyroid is not functioning correctly it will cause a decline in metabolism which also effects how efficiently your organs are working. An excessive intake of protein is also a problem, causing inflammation and suppressing the thyroid further.

    Lower your protein to only 50-70g a day, severely limit your intake of PUFA from all sources, increase your carb intake from ripe fruit and good starch like potatoes and white rice and make sure to use salt in your diet if you dont already.

    Also i would highly recommend you check out RayPeat.com and DannyRoddy.com While they are not paleo advocates, they do specialize in thyroid/hormones and Roddy specifically with hair growth.

  3. #3
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    you made me think of this...
    Why I Ditched Low Carb

    she has something in there about hair loss, also body temp and thyroid. i found LC was ok for a short period but then did not work for me (esp cause i exercise a lot). i am back up to 150 or so carb with high fat and decent protein intake (70-80g). feel WAY better.

    you may also want to check out Anthony Colpo

  4. #4
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    Hey Mireia,

    Zach had a lot of similar problems from low carb which he cured by following the tips above so I'm sure you can take his advice.

    I just wanted to say I'm really sorry that you havent been well and I feel your pain about the appearance-induced agoraphobia. You may not look your best right now, but that it's not going to last and I'm sure you're still beautiful. Anyway, strangers on the street won't know the difference

    Make sure you tell your close ones what's going on with you so they can give you support.

    Hugs!

    PS. Low carb wasn't optimal for me either.
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    Hey Mireia,

    Zach had a lot of similar problems from low carb which he cured by following the tips above so I'm sure you can take his advice.

    I just wanted to say I'm really sorry that you havent been well and I feel your pain about the appearance-induced agoraphobia. You may not look your best right now, but that it's not going to last and I'm sure you're still beautiful. Anyway, strangers on the street won't know the difference

    Make sure you tell your close ones what's going on with you so they can give you support.

    Hugs!

    PS. Low carb wasn't optimal for me either.
    Thank you for the heads up!

    Some family members are not understanding at all. I tried telling my sister and my mother/ father and I feel they only hear half of what I say. They often don't respond or change the subject. They don't think that hair is an issue and that I can just cut it off and regrow or keep it short...who needs long hair anyway and PMS is supposedly normal now.


    My hair used to be quite long (thigh) and because of repeated hair loss I har to keep shortening it. Back then a pituitary tumor and prolactin where causing it but my prolactin is fine this time.
    It just gets frustrating to go through this over and over again.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mireia View Post
    My hair used to be quite long (thigh) and because of repeated hair loss I har to keep shortening it. Back then a pituitary tumor and prolactin where causing it but my prolactin is fine this time.
    It just gets frustrating to go through this over and over again.
    If you've had a pituitary tumor then your thyroid issues MAY be pituitary based secondary hypothyroidism. In order to see if this is your issue you definitely need Free T4 and Free T3 along with TSH tested. A MRI of the pituitary,along with testing of all pituitary hormones, might be a good idea.
    Other things that could contribute to your symptoms include:
    1.Low iron, including ferritin
    2.Low Vitamin D
    3.Low selenium

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mireia View Post
    Thank you for the heads up!

    Some family members are not understanding at all. I tried telling my sister and my mother/ father and I feel they only hear half of what I say. They often don't respond or change the subject. They don't think that hair is an issue and that I can just cut it off and regrow or keep it short...who needs long hair anyway and PMS is supposedly normal now.


    My hair used to be quite long (thigh) and because of repeated hair loss I har to keep shortening it. Back then a pituitary tumor and prolactin where causing it but my prolactin is fine this time.
    It just gets frustrating to go through this over and over again.
    Oh, no worries!

    I can understand the frustration. And family are often the worst people to talk to about these things. Try chatting to some supportive friends... ones who've had health complaints will be more inclined to be empathic.

    Good luck on your recovery!
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  8. #8
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    Neckhammer
    I am only suspecting low carb among other things, but the time frame fits. I also read going low carb abruptly is not for people with thyroid and hormone related issues.

    Marcadav
    I supplement the 3 vitamins listed. I also have an appointment at an Endo but the wait time is long. So I want to make sure I start making changes in my diet.
    I was planning to take natural thyroid hormone like armour because i never did well on synthetic T4 only thyroid hormone.
    Thyroid Mistreatment, Hypothyroidism Scandals, and Thyroid Treatment Problems | Stop The Thyroid Madness has info about natural thyroid.
    Supposedly, since my prolactin is fine my pituitary gland should be fine also? Or was the doctor wrong about this? The tumor is gone btw.

    Lucy1984
    Oh no, I DO consider meds, like I said I just want to make sure my diet is good also and that I don't keep wrecking my thyroid.

  9. #9
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    How was the tumor dealt with? Were you experiencing hypothyroid symptoms before the tumor was found or after it was taken care of?

  10. #10
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    Low carb doesn't work for everyone, and if you want to gain weight, you should not be eating low carb!

    There are plenty of other friendly carbs out there. Eat fruit! Have honey! White rice is okay as long as it doesn't bother you. Even regular potatoes, some say, are fine.
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