I know this subject is kind of a downer but I think this post can benefit a lot of people who will read it. Let’s sit down and talk about Hair loss and Hypothyroidism today! Even if you don’t have thyroid issues, I’m sure most people have suffered from some hair loss at some point of their lives. Yes, talking about disease is a drag, but it needs to be said. People get sick, and apparently nowadays people are sicker than ever! I’m passionate about health, and if you read my blog, you know that.
I have Hashimoto’s (a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, so you have hypothyroidism and other “awesome” things). The basic standard treatment is only by prescribing synthetic hormone replacement (synthroid/levothyroxine), and that only treats your hypothyroid condition caused by the autoimmune attack. There is no treatment for the Hashimotos itself, but I don’t accept that! I’m a rebel child who likes to question everything and take charge of my own body!
I’ve been doing my research for the past couple months (I was diagnosed in February) on how I can improve my health, and talking to other people who have the same issues as me. I’m a big believer in less medicine and more nutrients, so I’m trying to get some help by supplementing with vitamins & minerals. If you are a big advocate for your health like me, don’t forget that you can’t believe everything your read on the internet or it will drive you crazy. Always consult a doctor who’s willing to listen to you, and don’t just go off and try crazy things by yourself. NO non-sense!
Why natural supplements?
I believe that natural things work better than medication a lot of times, specially when it comes to things that you just have to supplement for naturally. Like your hair! Isn’t mother nature awesome? Also, modern medications have all those icky side-effects!
I’ve been having hair loss lately due to thyroid problems I mentioned earlier. I still have a good amount of hair but it’s just not the same. When something your body is wrong and it starts affecting your hair, it really makes you go insane.
Don’t mess with my hair!
I know it sounds vain, but your hair is part of who you are, of your identity. What a lot of doctors don’t know or won’t tell you, is that thyroid medication can actually cause hair loss! So they will always tell you “your hair shouldn’t be falling” or that it has nothing to do with the treatment. But it does. If you have a thyroid or hair loss problem it’s often wise to just take the matters into your own hands. Ask your doctor to check if you are deficient in any vitamins or minerals, and for safe dosages.
Thankfully, given the time you can achieve really great results with just supplements. I’ve read in a lot of other blogs and online forums, and also heard from other women that there are some vitamins that you can take and then your hair will grow better. (or back!) There is also a lot of facts and studies that back up the use of natural supplements for hair loss.
I have actually witnessed this with my own mother. She has a special supplement made just for her with vitamins from a natural pharmacy, and her hair seriously grew back! There was new hair growing (like baby hair) and her hair was a lot shinier and smoother. Women in my family generally have a very thin hair (like child’s hair) but never little quantity. So I knew I had to fix this.
I found the biotin is really helpful and evening prim rose oil. Biotin makes your hair stronger and also your nails. And the evening primrose audio helps with balding.
It’s also good to make sure that you’re getting a good amount of vitamin E in your diet. So make sure you eat that avocado!
Important: It all depends on your diet and how much other vitamins you normally get from your food, so always be careful with overdosing.
Vitaminstore.nl Service & Store Review
Finding vegan vitamins can be hard sometimes. Basically all the vitamins that you buy at the drugstore have lactose and for me the challenge is a bit bigger because I can’t have gluten. Fortunately I found that they sell a bunch of vegan and gluten-free vitamins at Vitamin Store here in Holland, a store that sells vitamins of all kinds and with all kinds of mixes and dosages. They have a lot of physical stores and a big online store. You can ask questions online on the products page and they will get back to you. I found that was the best part! They also sell beauty products and other things.
The box came very well packed and everything was in order. I also got two magazines about vitamins and how to use them, which I found kind of useful.
These are the vitamins that I got there for my hair and overall health.
Now, brace yourselves because I’m about to get real “fake-doctor” and “linking-frenetically-to-medical-studies” up in here!
AOV 520 Selenium 200 mcg (link)
Selenium is a mineral. I bought selenium as a supporting supplement for Hashimotos because I heard it in this interview with Dr. Izabella Wentz (who has it herself) about how supplementing with selenium can surpress the auto immune attack by 50%. If you have Hashimotos like me, I can’t recommend enough that you watch it. I have also read other peoples’s successful stories on reversing Hashimoto’s (if it can be done, lucky them!) and they always mention supplementing with selenium amongst other things. I make sure that I get good dosages of selenium in my diet by eating Brazil nuts and also by supplementing with 400 mcg every day. This study from 2006 followed patients for nine months and has found that selenium supplementation reduced thyroid peroxidase antibody levels in the blood, even in selenium sufficient patients. A second study from Germany by Dr. Gärtner in the 2002 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed a 40% reduction in antibody levels after selenium supplementation with twenty five percent (9 of 36 patients) completely normalizing their antibody levels. A third study in 2003 by Dr. Duntas from Greece done with 60 patients with Hashimotos thyroiditis treated with Thyroxine (T4) (this is the standard treatment that a doctor will prescribe to you if you have hypothyroidism) had half of the group on selenium supplementation (200 mcg/day) and the other half on T4 only. The group that had selenium supplementation showed an impressive reduction in thyroid anti-bodies after 6 months. Those are only a few studies on Selenium supplementation, but there are many others. It’s great hope for hashis, what I like to call us folks with Hashimotos. :) I’ll let you know more on the development of that in a year or so. It doesn’t hurt to try!
AOV 710 Teunisbloemolie (Evening Primrose Oil) 1000 mg (link)
Evening primrose is a plant that’s native to Europe and North America. It’s used for many medicinal purposes and it contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is an omega-6 fatty acid (just like hemp seeds). Other foods also have these essentials fatty acids in small quantities, but GLA is the active ingredient in evening primrose oil. Omega-6 is needed for human development, but be aware that the presence of too many omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation and unbalance, so you should make sure you eat enough omega-3 (chia and flax seeds!). Many people with thyroid problems and hair loss say it made a huge difference in not only stopping the hair falling off, but it helped their hair regrow. Using evening primrose oil for hair loss is not recommended for people with a history of seizures or those with any sort of blood disorder. Read other benefits of Evening Primrose oil at the University of Maryland’s website. Consuming enough primrose oil will also help correct hormonal imbalances (maybe it will be helpful when I quit the pill, more on that later). The other method of using it is applying it directly to your scalp, but I haven’t tried that yet.
Solgar Vitamins Biotin 1000 mcg (link)
Biotin is a vitamin that we need, and it’s also called Vitamin B7. It’s found in small amounts is some foods, and some good sources of this vitamin include peanuts, swiss chard and other leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, chia seeds and oats. They are required to synthesise glucose (converting your food into energy), it helps make and breakdown fatty acids and overall health of hair, skin and nails. In this interview, Doctor Oz (turkish-american cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and television personality) talks about using Biotin for hair loss and the causes for it. Many people think that if you don’t eat animal products you can have a biotin deficiency but studies have shown that vegans have a higher biotin level in their blood. If you are interested in how to get more B vitamins from plant sources read this article. Be careful, super high dosages of biotin can make your skin breakout. Keep in mind that vitamin B-complex supplements also contain Biotin. The dosage amount really depends on how bad your hair loss is, so it’s always good to check with your doctor.
Disclaimer: I’m totally not a doctor, so if you ever decide you want to supplement you should ask your doctor about it or a naturopath.