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How To Stop Hair Loss With Hypothyroidism

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Dr. Yasmin Akhunji, MD, and Whitney Crouch, RDN, talk about the connection between thyroid dysfunction and hair loss and how to stop it.

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In this video:

  • How can you determine the cause of hair loss? (09:39)
  • The connection of ferritin to hair loss in thyroid patients (11:59)
  • What role nutrition plays in helping to curb hair loss (14:34)
  • What foods to avoid eating when experiencing hair loss (18:48)
  • How to ask your doctor to run additional lab tests (22:00)
  • What ingredients to look for in hair products (23:43)
  • Is there a thyroid medication that's best for hair loss? (25:31)
  • How to better absorb nutrients/supplements in the gut (28:08)
  • How does stress contribute to thyroid symptoms like hair loss (31:09)
  • Can birth control contribute to hair loss? (33:51)
  • Testing for nutrient deficiencies to support hair loss (35:40)

How To Stop Hair Loss With Hypothyroidism

All right. Hi everyone. We're going to give everyone a couple of minutes just to filter in. We've got Dr. Yasmin Akhunji from Paloma Health with us and Whitney Crouch, she's a registered dietician. We will give them proper intros in a second. I'm seeing people filter in. So we'll just give everyone a minute here.

[00:00:23] My name is Katie. I am part of the team at Paloma Health. We are hosting today's event and we are, Paloma Health is an online medical practice focused exclusively on hypothyroidism. And we do a monthly speaker series on a specific topic related to hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's.  And today's topic is on hair loss and how to stop hair loss with

[00:00:44]hypothyroidism. This is our 12th event or 12th speaker series. We've done a whole year of these--  we do them monthly and you can catch all of the replays on our website. We've covered a ton of topics from infertility to menopause. Next month, we're talking about stress and today we're talking about hair loss.

[00:01:02] In addition to these speakers series, we offer end to end care for hypothyroidism. We have at home thyroid test kits, we do virtual consultations with thyroid doctors and nutritionists. We've got a vitamin supplement and we just launched a membership which is an exciting way to get concierge access to ongoing, highly personalized thyroid care.

[00:01:21]This has all of our products and services at a discount. Plus a lot of perks. For instance being able to ask questions in advance for events like this. That's a bit about us and who we are and what we do. This event will be about 60 minutes long. We are going to hear from both of our speakers, we've prepared some questions in advance for them, and then we're going to open it up to live Q and A for you guys to ask questions to our speakers. You'll see a chat feature at the bottom of your screen.

[00:01:47] Go ahead and start asking questions there now. Or as our speakers are talking And we will get to as many as possible at the end of the event. So first up we've got Dr. Yasmin . She is a doctor with Paloma Health. She's board certified in endocrinology and metabolism and diabetes. She's got 11 years of experience providing personalized care to thyroid patients.

[00:02:09] She completed her internal medicine residency at the university of Arizona. And she completed her fellowship in endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes at Houston Methodist hospital in Texas. Yasmin, Dr. Akhunji, I will let you take it from here. You can tell us a bit about you and your key takeaway about how to stop hair loss with hypothyroidism.

[00:02:28] Hi there. So I think the main thing that as your doctor, we want to see you in clinic is coming in with what your history is. A lot of people come in unprepared and don't really know what kind of history that guide us with, which kind of guides, how we end up ordering tests for you.

[00:02:46] Hair loss is probably one of the most common complaints I see. And it can go anywhere from thyroid to menopause and anywhere   in between. But how we ask questions, how we tailor this depends on your history. So getting some of that is really important for us. We have about a hundred thousand to hundred 50,000 follicles of hair, and we lose normally somewhere between a hundred to 150 hairs per day.

[00:03:14]The timeline's really important. We have a growth stage that lasts about two to six years, but if you're seeing shedding more frequently versus breakage more frequently, Again, thyroid could be a big implement in this. So part of what we, I think is important to bring into your doctor is your history.

[00:03:35]What's been going on, has it been progressing for you? Has it been stable or not? Where's the hair loss. Is it all over? Is it a one particular spot? Are, what are you doing to your hair? Are you color treating your hair braiding? Ponytails a lot of the days? That's important. Also, were you having any other symptoms?

[00:03:54]Most patients with thyroid issues are also complaining of things like cold sensitivity, weight gain, brain fogginess, bloating for some, swelling, facial swelling, hand and feet swelling for others. So those kinds of history is really important to,   again, give your provider. The other thing is do you have any other medical issues that could be contributing to your symptoms as well?

[00:04:16] Do you have things like [ ] and fertility, virilizing signs that may be concerning for PCOS? If you're a younger patient or did you just go through the change and go into menopause recently? Are you on things like hormone replacement therapy or cholesterol lowering meds or things like lithium and propranolol that get prescribed really frequently, but also cause hair loss as a side effect as well.

[00:04:38]And also importantly, what does your diet look like? Are you really severely calorie restricting? Cause you've been concerned about that weight gain. Are you really limiting your protein intake? Because again, you've been told that you need to limit these amounts. Anytime we're talking about really severe dietary restriction things,

[00:04:56] we can definitely hugely impact our thyroid as well. And then other things that are important, recent illnesses, in the last year and a half, we've been dealing with the pandemic and I've actually seen quite a bit of hair shedding, even with COVID diagnosis. We're seeing that as the first two to three months after COVID people are having a lot of hair loss, but if that's not your timeline, then that's something we can easily rule out or things like again, significant weight loss or significant changes in your diet.

[00:05:24] Things like iron deficiency, anemia, vitamin D deficiency, again, thyroid issue history. But are you concerned about your thyroid cause your mom, your aunt, your grandma, everybody's been diagnosed with it and you're the last remaining person in your family that hasn't because should we be doing a full thyroid panel on you?

[00:05:43]With Paloma Health, we really focus in on getting a full  panel with your thyroid, but has your provider in the past done that for you? And if they haven't, that might be something again that we need to take a closer look to. Again, I think history is the biggest part of this because a lot of people don't know their timeline or they say, I don't know if it's been going on for five years, 10 years, or if this has just been five months for me, all of that's really important to hone in on what testing we should be doing for you.

[00:06:11]That was a great intro. I think there's definitely some follow-up questions that'll come out of what you've just shared. For now I'm going to pass it over to  intro Whitney and then pass it over her to share her key takeaways. And then we'll dig into these questions. Whitney Crouch is a registered dietician nutritionist.

[00:06:25] She has a diverse background in clinical nutrition, communications, nutrition, education, and wellness consulting. Whitney can tell you more, but she lives with Hashimoto's herself and has made a practice now on specializing in women with autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto's live energized resilient lives.

[00:06:44]And she brings a whole body integrative approach, both to nutrition and lifestyle. So Whitney,  maybe you can tell us a bit more about that, what you do and then your takeaways for today. Sure. Thank you, Katie. So as Katie mentioned, I have Hashimoto's disease. I was diagnosed about six months after having my first child and I did have a family history.

[00:07:06] However, my mother was not properly diagnosed. She was just diagnosed as being hypothyroid. So going into pregnancy and through my process, I never, pointed that out to doctors. In part, that was my fault for not having proper information to be able to be assessed appropriately. But I was tested during my pregnancy and I was found to be hyperthyroid just slightly in my second trimester and put on meds.

[00:07:33] And then I was told to go off of thyroid medication, six weeks postpartum, and I was never retested. I don't think that was my fault. I was not educated enough, but there are, there can be some slip ups in care sometimes. So advocating for yourself and being informed as number one. And because of my journey going through, reading all the books, getting more professional training as a registered dietician and doing the diets and taking the supplements.

[00:07:59] I now do focus in my private practice on helping women with Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism that maybe isn't auto-immune. My  experience is mostly related to the diet aspect and then the supplement aspect of healing women, helping them to feel their best, maybe become pregnant if they've been struggling, get their numbers, but also get their symptoms to either reduce drastically or disappear and just really help them with the stress management. That's a huge component of. Having an autoimmune disease and not flaring. That's a great intro. I'd like to ask both of you the same couple of questions. So we'll start with the first one.

How can you determine the cause of hair loss?

[00:08:43] Yasmin,  maybe you can go first and then Whitney you can follow up afterwards, the first question that I want to ask is what's the difference between thyroid related hair loss and male or female pattern, hair loss, and how can a patient or doctor determined the cause of hair loss? So I think again, going back to a little of what I said earlier, where timeline's really important.

[00:09:04]I think if you're going through big hormonal fluctuations as a woman, whether it's perimenopause menopause or for some people, even as young as puberty, I, I see adult patients, but, during these hormonal transitions, we can start to see female pattern hair loss. With men,

[00:09:21]a lot of the hair loss that we see is usually hormonally driven. And again, for them, meaning a lot of people will see it with like testosterone fluctuations with thyroid hair loss. It's all over. It's usually not scarring. We don't see it in one particular patch versus others. And usually treatment for that matter

[00:09:40] will not necessarily cause a ton of regrown, but it should at least halt the loss pattern that you're seeing. We do hope that  regrowth happens, but to say, unfortunately, quite frankly, we don't always go back to where we started with that. So a lot of times we're looking at patients that were like, we want to halt what we're doing right now, so that hopefully we don't have more.

[00:10:06] And then potentially we might also, sometimes I tag team with dermatologists too, to say, hey, is there any other thing that could be possibly going on? Of course, once we look at hormonal evaluation too. So I think you covered that very well. I would just add for anyone who's questioning, it's my understanding that part of the halt of   the cycle of the hair follicle is that there's a reduction in the conversion of the thyroid hormone, T4 to the active T3.

The connection of ferritin to hair loss in thyroid patients

[00:10:34]Is that sound correct? Yes. So as you mentioned, like hopefully when we get a thyroid hormones circulating correctly, we can have normal hair growth come back. And then of course treating any underlying causes that may still exist. Awesome. Our next question for both of you is what are your thoughts about ferritin testing and levels?

[00:10:57] And what's the connection of ferritin to hair loss in thyroid patients? Yasmin you can take it first. Sure. So iron deficiency is exceedingly common. Especially when not all my patients are female, but quite a bit are when we're talking about hypothyroidism in general and generally some of this coincides with our menstrual cycles.

[00:11:21] And so for having heavier cycles or even just super regular cycles or chances of iron deficiency is higher with ferritin, ferritin is our gauge on seeing that. And generally what I've been taught is if you're experiencing, seeing hair loss, if we see that your ferritin levels are low.

[00:11:39] Typically my goal for any of my patients is to get them above 50 to 70, somewhere in there, as long as we're higher than that's a good range. We just don't want it to be lower than that. Because again, iron deficiency can contribute to that hair loss pattern. Now it's much more unusual for men to have

[00:11:57] iron deficiency. So usually if I see that in any of my male patients we're going down the rabbit hole of is something going on with your GI track because you're losing the blood somewhere and you're not getting it. And you're not losing that obviously through a menstrual cycle in this case.

[00:12:12] And so the question is you definitely need to have a thorough evaluation and it might be involving an endoscopy or colonoscopy at that point. But looking at the GI tract is really important for men that are seeing iron deficiency, anemia or low ferritin levels. Yeah, that's a really great point.

[00:12:31] Another thing that I like to look at I see predominantly women. So I, this may also apply to men, but considering the health of the GI tract in terms of the stomach acid level. So if there's any reason for there to be lower stomach acid, whether it's medication induced or if there's an H pylori infection, something going on that reduces the actual digestion of

[00:12:54] animal proteins that may contain iron or plant proteins, which by nature are less bioavailable irons. But looking at those causes also for low iron and then instructing the person to try to use a cast iron skillet more and take vitamin C or eat vitamin C rich foods. When they're eating iron rich foods, you both have said interesting things that I think

What role nutrition plays in helping to curb hair loss

[00:13:19] lead into our next question, which is what role do you feel nutrition plays in helping to curb hair loss and what nutritional changes or supplements do you recommend for your patients who are experiencing hair loss? So I think, again, going back to the dietary stuff is, especially when it coincides with thyroid patients, a lot of my thyroid patients are complaining about things like weight gain.

[00:13:42] And so often we get into this nasty spiral of a super restrictive diet, or they're looking at really low calories. We saw this wave over the last couple of years. I don't think it's as bad as it used to be, but where everybody was doing things like the HCG diet, so eat 500 calories a day for so often.

[00:14:00] And then, it makes sense. You're depriving yourself with nutrients, you're doing it in an unhealthy way. And on that note, you're going to rebound weight with that kind of a severe restriction that you have. But, you want to make sure you're getting a well balanced diet. I think looking at diets like the autoimmune protocol diet or anti-inflammatory diet really helps with things like gut health and absorbing the nutrients that you are taking, especially when you're watching the kinds of foods you're eating.

[00:14:27] Making sure you're getting adequate protein as what he mentioned earlier, whether it's plant. Based or animal based, but making sure you're supplementing that incorrectly. And again, making sure your body is getting appropriate nutrition and the way it should be. If you're on a super restrictive diet, I usually tell people that's the time to supplement and, things like different vitamins that you think you're specifically limiting, whether it's an allergy or sensitivity, or you just don't do that for, whatever.

[00:14:53]For belief system or just dietary preference for that matter. But I think vitamin D is a super common deficiency that I see that can contribute to hair loss. So that's one that I usually recommend my patients are on again, if they're younger females and they're having regular menstrual cycles a multivitamin that also has some iron in it.

[00:15:13] Making sure that you separate that out from your thyroid hormone, because it will affect how your thyroid hormone is bound or how it's absorbed. And and then the supplement bioteine that we hear a lot about now to help with kind of the hair matrix Make sure that with the biotin, the one preface I like to say is with our Poloma kid, at least there's no interference with our assay, with the testing, however, biotin in the average lab.

[00:15:40] So the two that we see out here in Arizona, Sonora quest and lab core can cause. Interference with the lab testing. So I usually tell my patients to hold off on it for three to five days before lab tests to make sure it's out of your system so that we're getting a clear picture when we're doing thyroid function tests for you, but it is completely safe to use, and it does help let some of that hair growth cycle again.

[00:16:00] And in terms of restrictive diets and protein intake. I absolutely agree women or men that dropped their intake really low just for weight loss reasons or because they're stressed, sometimes you go through emotional times in your life and you just stop eating as much. That is definitely a time that will trigger your thyroid to get out of whack.

[00:16:22] Cause hair loss, the stress hormones peak, and that interferes with your thyroid. Eating at least 1200 calories, but for some men and women, of course, men are typically have higher body, higher muscle mass and have therefore a higher metabolic need for calories. So you want to personalize this with the help of a professional, but.

[00:16:41]Minimum 1200, usually at least 1500 and then hitting goals for protein of around one gram per kilogram of your body weight up to 1.2 grams per kilogram of your body weight, to make sure that you're really supporting all of your body systems in your hair and nail growth. Awesome. Thanks to both of you.

What foods to avoid eating when experiencing hair loss

[00:17:03] We have a ton of questions that have come in already. We're going to start with the questions that our members submitted ahead of time. And the first one, Whitney, I think I'll give this one to you, but the first question is specifically, what are some of the foods to avoid eating when experiencing hair loss?

[00:17:18]I don't think there are any foods to avoid eating when you're experiencing hair loss with the exception of staying away from a lot of processed foods in general. And that is related to aside from general health blood sugar issues that can tie into the sensitivity of different hormones and hormones at the scalp and the follicle level.

[00:17:43] Awesome. And Yasmin, our next question will be for you. I'm gonna read it verbatim. It says I had COVID 60 days ago. I also have Hasimoto's I'm experiencing a huge amount of hair loss with the stress from COVID with Hasimoto's caused this and what can I do to stop the fallout and start regroup? So we don't have any real great data, unfortunately from the fibroid societies on how the impact of COVID has come out with specifically Hashimoto's.

[00:18:12] But I can tell you from patient experience over this last year not across the board, but I'd say at least 50% of my patients that have thyroid issues that then got COVID for about two to three months, they experienced quite a significant amount of hair loss. Now. A normal hair growth cycle can be about, even with dermatologists will say three to six months, we can experience this difference for you.

[00:18:36] I think it's important to make sure that your thyroid hormone is optimized the way it should be. So with Hashimoto's I would definitely get your levels checked. And like I said, nutritionally and things like that. I think there's an importance with making sure your body is getting the nutrients that you need.

[00:18:51]But is there a way to specifically stop it after COVID not that we know of, but I can say it's self-limited so that's a positive thing. I haven't seen it prolonged for anyone right now past the three month Mark, but literally within the last two to three weeks, I've seen a handful of patients with that already.

[00:19:08]So I know it is a side-effect and as time goes on, I think we're going to see more of the data coming out, but, it's Simply said it's a wait and watch kind of situation, but it shouldn't go on past the three month Mark. If it is something else is going on and you need to get that looked into for sure.

[00:19:24] Are you able to speak to possible other things that might be going on? So I would say, one thing is if you have things like diabetes, or if you have other auto-immune issues, we know COVID is a huge stressor on your body. So other things might be getting triggered, which as a side effect of that caused stress induced hair loss.

[00:19:48] So that's why I said it's hard to say if it's just purely Hashimoto's or that whole stressor that you're getting put on your body with COVID. But if it's past the three month Mark, you should be getting full blood work with either your primary care provider or your endocrinologist, whoever you're seeing to make sure nothing else is being missed because other things can be going on too.

How to ask your doctor to run additional lab tests

[00:20:08]And I have one more follow-up question. I know I hear from patients and customers sometimes about. Feeling like they're asking their doctor to run certain labs or full blood work, that sort of thing. Do you have any advice, as a physician on how a patient can approach that with their doctor, if they're getting pushback.

[00:20:25]This was the thing you want to see your provider that you're comfortable with. I think that if the provider is able to tell you why they think that test is not necessarily done, because yes, I'll get that question too. Where do you think, let's say it. X Y or Z. And I'm like no, because you don't have any of the symptoms that are just because it's on someone's checklist of you should, everybody should get these questions.

[00:20:51] That's part of being in medicine and having that healthcare provider, relationship with your patient. But if you really feel like you're getting that kind of pushback, You need to find that sounds terrible, but you might need to find a new provider or someone that feels that is collaborating with you.

[00:21:07] It's never, medicine, unfortunately, it's not like fast food where you order something and this is what you get. Cause that's not providing best care either, but you want someone to be able to explain to you why it's not that. If they don't think that's it. So that needs to be an open communication discussion with you and your provider and that kind of relationship you need to gauge on.

[00:21:30] Is this the right person for you or not based on that? Yeah that's super helpful. I think that's encouraging for people to hear from a doctor too, about finding, a partnership, someone you can really work with and have a trusting relationship with Whitney. I'm gonna lob this next question to you.

What ingredients to look for in hair products

[00:21:46] The question is can any shampoo or topical treatment really help with hair loss? Separate question, but related what ingredients in haircare products or color should we look for or try to avoid? Harsh chemicals, like the sulfates and the SLS that are detergents in haircare can be really tough on hairs like the scalp and the follicle.

[00:22:06] So it would be best to avoid those which are found in a lot of the products, but not all of the products that you can find that the grocery store. And then of course there are a lot  of companies that you can find online now who specialize in more natural products that don't contain any of those ingredients.

[00:22:23]On the same topic, also look for like parabens and fragrance and all of those different additives to also avoid for other reasons then hair loss, but just an added pitch there for self care and protecting your hormones. And then bleach, of course, anyone who's using bleach or other harsh chemicals at the hair salon or from a box product, those can do damage.

[00:22:46] It might not fall out at the root, but you'll be dealing with those repercussions for many months to come. So always work with a professional with that as well. I feel like everyone's trying to like a box bleach during quarantine. So no, I think that's helpful. I think that answers the question that was.

Is there a thyroid medication that's best for hair loss?

[00:23:02] Asked and Yasmin, I'm gonna turn it back to you. There's a couple of questions about I'm hoping you can talk a little bit about natural desiccated thyroid, what that is and how it compares to, a T4 only medication, just like a brief overview of thyroid medications. And there's a couple of questions about is there a medication, a third medication that might be better for hair loss than another one?

[00:23:24] Sure. So the natural desiccated hormones, the real difference between that is basically what's happening is they're taking the pig's thyroid glands and they're pushing it into tablet form is the best way to explain it. But you're taking a natural pigs gland and they. Measure it out by weights. So there is T4 and T3 in it versus the synthetics, which are classically T4, but you can also add in a T3 for those as well.

[00:23:52]The major difference I see, or sometimes the issue that comes up is. The pig makes the thyroid hormone at a ratio four to one. Whereas in humans we make it about 14 to one. So for some people they don't tolerate the desiccated as well because they got a lot more T3 than what our body would naturally make.

[00:24:10] And so it's almost like they're hypo thyroid, but have some hyper symptoms and that's the extra T3 that's being logged into there. So it works well for some patients do exceedingly well on it, but it's certainly not for everyone. Now, if you're looking at the synthetics, you can still add in T3 to that.

[00:24:28]I think we based the synthetic hormone that we're picking based on. Allergies sensitivities. Those kinds of things, probably the most pure form is going to be a drug like Tirosint where it's liquid thyroid hormone in a gel capsule, because there's really no binders, fillers, dyes, anything.

[00:24:48] So someone that's. Exceedingly sensitive or let's say has got absorption issues or, I have patients that have had like bypass surgery on their gut and I'm worried about them being able to absorb their medication. A liquid based thyroid hormone might do better than some of the other ones, because there are binders and fillers and things inserted into there.

[00:25:07]Or. Going from a generic to a brand name where it's just a touch, more regulated. So you're getting a very consistent dosing with it. There's several different brands. I think most patients are really familiar with Synthroid classically, but there's a, you rock. There is Unithroid. These are great options for patients too.

[00:25:28] And like I said, there's different fillers that are taken out of certain things. And so looking at your history, it's important to let your provider know that so they can pick up, the best option for you in that case. That's super helpful. Yes. Thank you. And you've said something both of you have touched on that absorption a couple of times.

How to better absorb nutrients/supplements in the gut

[00:25:45]I'm hoping to come back to you, Whitney and ask. Can you talk a little bit about. What it means to absorb nutrients or medication well, in the gut. And then is there anything that people can be doing with the diet or how they eat to support gut absorption? Yes. Yes. So we break down foods, starting in our mouth with some enzymes that are released in our saliva.

[00:26:07] And then it moves down into your stomach where you have stomach acid and with. Some infections, like I mentioned, H pylori, you can have a reduction in stomach acid, which reduces the amount that your food is actually digested in the gut. So like proteins and the stomach acid, they wouldn't break down as well.

[00:26:27] So you wouldn't be able to get as many of the nutrients out of them when that food moves into your intestines. And likewise, we have other enzymes. That helped to break down the other components of the meal. So whether it's plant, we have enzymes for that, whether it's fat, we have file for that. If your digestive tract is not functioning well for many reasons which I don't advocate for anyone to go out and just buy all the supplements and start troubleshooting, because there are tests that can be run to really hone in on what's going on and save time, money and pain.

[00:27:00]If you don't have a healthy gut microbiome, you have dysbiosis in your intestines, then you also, aren't going to absorb as many of the nutrients because not only do those microbiota, those bacteria and sometimes yeast and sometimes other things when they cannot break down the food. Because they're either.

[00:27:20] Absent or they're in too many or too few amounts. Then those guys that break down the vibe, pull the vitamins out of the food, and then the kind of essentially poop out other things that our body uses. Then, you're not reaping the benefits of your very clean or your AIP or whatever the diet is that you're following that you think is really beneficial.

[00:27:42] And you may experience. Gas bloating, diarrhea, constipation from that, or just malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies. Thank you for. Sharing that I know it's not necessarily directly related to hair loss, which is what some of these questions are. But I think that's really important because I've heard you both say it a couple of times.

[00:27:59] If you're not absorbing your nutrients, then if you're not absorbing your medication, then you're going to experience hypothyroidism. So even though you're on the correct dose because you can't break down the tablet for example, or if you're not metabolizing and producing the B vitamins from the food that you're eating, that also plays a role in a lot of the B6 B seven bioteine.

How does stress contribute to thyroid symptoms like hair loss

[00:28:21] So it's all related. I want to ask you another question. The question someone asked about PTSD post traumatic stress disorder. I'm wondering if you could tell us a bit about. Someone talked about stress being a, like a catalyst for problems. I'm wondering if you could talk about stress or PTSD being an underlying issue that might contribute to autoimmune symptoms like hair loss.

[00:28:42]I think Yasmin may be able to cover this a little bit more in depth, but my understanding is that you have this vagus nerve that runs up and down the front and the back of your body and PTs D people with PTSD tend to Essentially shut off part of the nerve. It's not sending the appropriate signals.

[00:29:02] They don't shut it off. It's not dead, but they're not using it. The same way. And that ends up. Sending mixed messages for making it as simple as possible and the vagus nerve because of its connection from the brain to the gut and innovating your whole body, then you're, you could be essentially killing off microbiota because of that gut brain connection.

[00:29:28] And I think that maybe Yasmin wants to jump in here, but with people TSD, because it's such a huge stressor on the body. I think any time we knock are we. Almost take a hit to our immune system when we're dealing with that kind of stress. And depending on if it was more recent versus older, might also play a huge role into that too.

[00:29:48]Then you also have to look into the medications that get prescribed sometimes. And the side effects that we see from those medications, because like I was mentioning earlier, some of those meds do play a role in hair loss and will cause hair loss as a side effect. Or weight gain as a side effect.

[00:30:03] So then it's almost Hey, is it my thyroid? I get that consult actually quite a bit. Is it my thyroid that's causing me to have weight gain and hair loss, and then it's going through and it's no, looking at your, the levels. Things are normal, but then we see meds that could be contributing or a huge stressors that can contributing.

[00:30:21]COVID, as I mentioned earlier, was a huge stressor and those kinds of things, they just huge roles in how your hair's going to respond and your hair will shed when you have these huge stressors going on. So maybe not directly to an auto-immune dysfunction per se, but it definitely takes a hit in your immune system in general.

[00:30:39] And then as a reflection of that, you might be experiencing hair loss from there. Yeah, that brings up a good point that I was trying to figure out it's the timeline. Maybe that we really need to pay attention there with the PTSD, with the event and the onset and figuring out that maybe anxiety and depression side of that.

Can birth control contribute to hair loss?

[00:30:57] So all of that, looking at the big picture, the whole person. Yasmin another question for you is I've heard birth control can contribute to hair loss, any chance of managing hair loss with hypothyroidism, and being on birth control. Cool. So there are certainly different birth controls that rural work better than others.

[00:31:16]With regards to hair loss I usually suggest touching base with either your gynecologist or your endocrinologist to see if you're on one that may be contributing to that or not. Typically we have preferences on kind of birth controls on which we do use. And again, it's dependent on your other underlying health issues.

[00:31:38]You can usually switch back and forth between, various types. I usually tell people though, B be wary of anyone that's willing to switch you from month to month, because it can take two to three months before you're seeing a hair cycle. So don't feel as disheartened when you've tried something new, give it at least a full three months shot to see if you're noticing the shedding coming down.

[00:32:01] Or if you're seeing rebroke. Occurring also, but I definitely talked to your provider about picking some, talking about a different birth control versus the one that you're on, if you're experiencing that. Awesome. Thank you. And I think that's a good point about, yeah. Giving things a chance to work before we just keep jumping to thing every month or every couple of weeks, which is probably true of any change you're making in your health and wellness.

Testing for nutrient deficiencies to support hair loss

[00:32:24] Okay, I'm going to ask this question and either of you can take it. The question is I keep getting advertising for nutraphyl. Their vitamin combo is very expensive. Do you think it's worth it? They do say dermatologist recommended. I want to add to this question. I don't know that it needs to be about Nutrafol specifically, but maybe both or one of you could talk about, we've talked about doing some testing for nutrient deficiencies and figuring out what you need specifically.

[00:32:45] So you're not just buying every supplement on the market and wasting time and money. So I'm not sure which one of you might be interested in talking about that. So I've I have quite a few patients on Nutrafol. My dermatologist actually even recommended that to me at some point as well. Again, I think it's important to look at nutrient deficiencies and see.

[00:33:06] If what you need is being addressed in any supplement that you're taking, whether it's the Poloma one, the Nutrafol, anything over the counter, really, you should be looking at that. Iron deficiency, vitamin D deficiency thyroid panel, your CBC to look at your blood count. Even vitamin B12 deficiency, all of these things should be looked into now, whether it needs to be a certain brand or not.

[00:33:31] I don't really think that it needs to be. I think Nutrafol and Poloma for that matter, we both have great supplements that are necessary, will help the right person. Again, if you don't have a deficiency and you're taking a supplement for. An affirmations deficiency. It's not really going to help you.

[00:33:49]Cause you don't have the deficiency in the first place. So some of this again is making sure that you're being evaluated for what the issue is and to try and solve whatever that underlying health issue is. Whitney, do you have anything you want to add? Yeah, I'll just add that. I agree.

[00:34:06] And I typically do. Micronutrient testing and my clients who have problems that are big enough, that they are concerned if the doctor recommends or if anyone recommends Nutriful and there are no contraindications and they have no other weird symptoms then sure. Go ahead and try it. But targeting the actual deficiencies is where you're going to see results.

[00:34:32]And you can also. Dose up. If you see an actual deficiency in the same main, and someone's asked, we're talking about how you figure it out. If you have a nutrient deficiency, someone asked, how can I know if I have low stomach acid? Are you able to recommend tests or where can someone go if they are concerned about low stomach acid?

[00:34:51]There are some at-home tests you can do. The gold standard is actually going and having a procedure done where something is stuck down into your stomach and measures the pH, but that's really not done often. And it's pricey. So a lot of people will try just an at-home baking soda test, or you add some baking soda to water and you time how long it is until you start experiencing burping.

[00:35:15]Or if you. Have bigger signs of having low semi-gloss and you can try picking up some betaine HCL tablets and doing a test like that. You would take as many as you need to start feeling a burning sensation. And once you feel that burning sensation, that's essentially one tablet more than what you need.

[00:35:34] So you would have a little bit of baking soda and water, balanced that out, bring it back down your stomach acid levels to less acidic. And then you can do that with meat containing meals. However, the best thing to do is always to just have a comprehensive. The stool tests done. So you can see what's really going on because if you have low stomach acid, there's a different root cause for that.

[00:35:57] So you'll just be applying a band-aid to that, which is never going to treat the actual root problem. We I'm going to ask one more question and then pass it over to you guys to just for final remarks. But the last question for you, Whitney is how do you feel about essential oils for hair growth? Do you have any insight there?

[00:36:14] I do not have enough experience with that. No, I don't think I can speak to that. I know that massage scalp massage is seen to just without even essential oils is shown to help support hair regrowth. But now I don't know enough about the oils. Awesome. Yeah. Thanks for the thanks for sharing.

[00:36:31]Great. We're going to wrap up in a second here. What I'm seeing a lot and hearing a lot from people is just I feel overwhelmed. I can't tell what is. What is it? My Hashimoto's or my Sjogren's or alopecia what's going on? I guess my question is just the people are experiencing hair loss.

[00:36:44] What is the number one first step that they should do to figure out what's going? So I'll start with that. So I think that again, it's. It's seeing your provider and going through your history, figuring out, trying to figure out what the root causes. Now, if there's nothing that I can find with blood work, let's say, but I'm like, I clearly see that you're having hair loss.

[00:37:07] Usually my next step is having you see a dermatologist because maybe they need a scalp biopsy. Maybe they need to use the hair follicle camera to take a look at your actual route. Maybe there is something else going on that has nothing to do with what your nutrients are, what your thyroid is. But I do think it's important to rule that out as a first step, because no matter what.

[00:37:30] Shampoo conditioner topical, anything that you use, if you're not taking care of internal stuff that external stuff's not going to work. So I think getting in with your provider and making sure everything is looked at is an important first step before even going to the dermatologist and then the dermatologist might still be necessary just depending on what you're seeing there.

[00:37:53] And I, I just want to repeat what you said earlier about finding a provider who you feel comfortable with. And someone who's really listening to you saying these are the symptoms I'm experiencing and it's hard and I'm frustrated and working with you to find a solution. I just wanted to repeat that.

[00:38:07] That is an important thing. That way we can pass it over for you for number one, first thing someone should do when they're experiencing hair loss, I would just consider the family history. And that person's own health history, and that's free. How has everyone's life impacted their body? How has it impacted their stress levels?

[00:38:29] And all of these are related. So your sex hormones are your thyroid hormones. And we already mentioned the topical. So yeah, I think. That covers it. The first step would be to get in with a doctor who you trust and who can really look at you as a whole person and and peel back the layers of you as an onion, and then put all the pieces together.

[00:38:50] Thank you both so much for everything you've shared. I think it's been really helpful to see this full picture of hypothyroidism may be causing your hair loss. There might be other factors at play. So thank you both for sharing. What you know, and what you would do in this instance for everyone that's joined us.

[00:39:06] Thank you for taking your time on a Monday to join us. We will send out a replay of this event. Within 24 to 48 hours to your inbox, there will also be some goodies in there at a discount for diploma health test kit, and a freebie that Whitney's put together for us. Also related to hair loss. Keep an eye out for that.

[00:39:24] Our next event is on April 20th. On the topic of the effect of stress on your thyroid. We've got Poloma health, Dr. Sean Zager and Dr. Sherry Auth, who is the co-founder of WTHN, an acupuncture studio. Both of them will be speaking on stress on April 20th. So we'll make sure that you have an invite to that in the replay email also thank you again for joining us and for asking such great questions.

[00:39:48] I've learned a lot, and I hope that all of you have too. So thank you again to our speakers, and we'll see you guys soon. .

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