Achieving Optimal Healing and Wellness Through Integrative Care

At Kirkland Health Institute in Kirkland, WA, we strive to educate our patients on chronic health conditions and the ways that natural healing can help them. Our blogs provide reliable information on how you can lead a more active lifestyle and take steps toward healthy living.

Hair Loss and Thyroid

May 23, 2014

Is Your Hair Loss Related to Your Thyroid?

Thyroid hormones are an important contributor to healthy hair. Thyroid hormones are needed by every cell of the body including the hair follicle to function. Some women who have been told they have low thyroid function take thyroid replacement medication. In some cases the hair loss will improve, other times it will not.

Current research shows that a high percentage of people with low thyroid function actually have an auto-immune condition called Hashimoto’s that is attacking the thyroid which will impair the ability of the thyroid to produce hormones or change the way the receptor sites in the hair follicle and the rest of the body respond to thyroid hormones.

When you have an auto-immune condition your immune system has lost the ability to tell what is friend or foe. This state of the immune system is driven my inflammation. Inflammation from bad gut function, chronic low grade infections (that you don’t know you have), food allergies, adrenal gland problems and blood sugar issues. In order to help your hair become healthy you must address your autoimmunity.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

Another reason your hair may be thinning is due to raising levels of testosterone in a female. This is caused by increasing levels of your blood sugar. As your blood sugar rises it causes an enzyme in the ovaries called 17,20 lyase that promotes the synthesis of testosterone. Keeping your blood sugar in check is the key, by decreasing sugar and grain consumption and increasing the consumption of lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables and increase the consumption of good fats (butter, fish, coconut oil)

Progesterone deficiency can also affect the hair follicle. It helps counter testosterone. It is also possible to have a normal estrogen level and a normal progesterone level but the ration of estrogen to progesterone is off creating a relative deficiency of estrogen dominance. In order to determine if the imbalance is a factor, a saliva test is an accurate way to assess this problem. The proper ratio of estrogen to progesterone is 25:1.

Low progesterone can affect hair loss via its important role for the production of thyroid hormones.

The birth control pill can also be a problem. The pill uses a synthetic progesterone or progestin that acts more like a male hormone and can impair the hair follicle. Natural hormones can not a patented so drugs companies have created their own designer hormones so they can sell you a prescription. It is best to get off the pill for your overall health and the health of your hair.

Too many hormones- if you are taking a lot of hormonal supplements like DHEA, estrogen and progesterone but really don’t need them your body will develop a resistance to them and you will end up with a hormonal deficiency due to excess consumption. This is why proper testing and monitoring are so important.

Stress can be a contributing factor…

Finally stress can be a factor. When you are under prolonged stress your body will preferentially make cortisol and adrenal hormone over all your other hormones so you can end up with hormonal deficiency.

You have to be a good detective to look at all the causes: iron deficiency, low zinc, poor circulation and all the above, since your hair grows slowly you have to be patient to see if your treatment is making a difference.

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