5

votes

i'm losing so much hair and my doc says it is because i dont it grains and get B1 and B6

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 15, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Lately I've been losing lots of hair. I believe it is just seasonal but my doc says it is because I'm vitamin b deficient as I'm not eating grains. Arrgh, I hate him.

Can it be real?

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 28, 2013
at 06:10 AM

Have you had your blood levels of B1 and B6 tested? It's a common and inexpensive test, and then you'll know for sure rather than just banging ideologies together.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on May 14, 2012
at 04:26 PM

Try adding more good carbs like sweet potatoes, and check out the thyroid answer here as well.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 14, 2012
at 10:16 AM

@jayjay what foods are getting u thiamine?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 31, 2012
at 12:00 PM

I second this. Vitamin D3 helps my hair tremendously.

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on August 31, 2011
at 10:38 PM

Also, in the case of hair loss, a common hypothyroid symptom, a patient should be checked for autoimmune antibodies to their thyroid before iodine supplementation is started. Common thyroid anitbodies are thyroid peroxidase antibodies, this is the enzyme that takes iodine and tyrosine a puts them together to make thyroid hormone. Supplemental iodine can increase the activity of this enzyme and the immune's systems reaction to it if antibodies exist. Since 90% of hypothyroid patients have Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroid, antibody tests should be run before beginning iodine supplementation.

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on August 31, 2011
at 10:32 PM

Checking thyroid will help spot obvious derangement. However, TSH levels are not the only story when checking thyroid function. Also, the range used to determine hyper/hypothyroid is too broad- often .45 to 4.0, where 1.8-3.0 is considered to be a better determinate of adequate physiologic function. This means its possible to have thyroid symptoms while having what is considered by mainstream medicine to be a "normal" thyroid.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Look up telogen effluvium. It's supposed to be reversible once you remove the stressor.

9a5d40bdd8039397945a0dcaed98c6d4

(0)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:09 AM

Is hair loss reversible if it has lasted for over a year? I think mine is stemming from at least one of the many triggers you named.

9a5d40bdd8039397945a0dcaed98c6d4

(0)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:08 AM

@Trashcan Yes, odd I know. I am 40/female and this allergy started about 8 years ago. Any red meat (grass fed, deer, etc.) I breakout in hives and go into anaphylactic shock. I have been rushed to the hospital twice with heart rate dropping to 30pbm resolved with epinephrine. I can eat pork, fish, chicken etc. My hair loss didn't start until a year ago. My hair situation has to be either genetics, hormone or possibly this grain free diet.

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:01 AM

I ran across this on MDA, Mark refereed to Chris Kresser’s ongoing series and in that series is this article.. [Iodine for hypothyroidism: like gasoline on a fire?][1] He makes the case that we should not be supplementing with iodine.. It is a good read if you have thyroid problems - the whole series is great [1]: Iodine for hypothyroidism: like gasoline on a fire?[link text][1] [1]: http://thehealthyskeptic.org/iodine-for-hypothyroidism-like-gasoline-on-a-fire

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on August 17, 2011
at 02:11 AM

I'd say your doctor has hair growing inside his brain.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on August 17, 2011
at 02:09 AM

A beef allergy? Have you tried grass-fed? And there's lamb--that's red meat. Could the hair loss possibly be the lack of red meat?

67460907f9d818f56e1ef4c846317386

(504)

on August 16, 2011
at 08:11 PM

I've heard that this is can be a common problem in the paleosphere as a lot of people tend to throw out salt of there diet when they go paleo. Incidentally, iodized salt in all our processed foods is where most CWs get there iodine necessary to good thyroid health. So this is great advice and at the very least supplement with kelp tablets and use iodized salt in preparing meals and see if that helps. Then again, some people are just genetically predisposed to loosing their hair.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 16, 2011
at 06:07 PM

Completely agree. Firing my doctor was one of the empowering things I've done, and I was really hesitant to do it, too. Find a doctor you're happy with, whatever your criteria might be.

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on August 16, 2011
at 04:58 PM

why it is smart to get your thyroid tested.. it might not fix it all. I went to get mine tested du to some weight gain and lots of hair falling out. After my numbers were good and all I still have the problem. They thyroid medication has a side effect of hair loss - go figure. I am hoping to get off the meds though now being paleo.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2011
at 01:45 AM

My B's are off the chart according to fitday eating paleo, so if yours are low you can definitely get there without grains.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 15, 2011
at 10:02 PM

+1 for the organ meats, even if nutrients aren't the cause of your hair woes.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 15, 2011
at 09:35 PM

It's a common problem on a low-carb diet and is so easy to fix. Don't be discouraged. While your doc is partially right regarding the cause, the solution is other than he is suggesting. :)

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 15, 2011
at 09:34 PM

if you're eating a well balanced paleo diet (ie including liver, sweetbreads etc) then it's a non issue. If you aren't eating organ meats than some supplements are definitely required.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 15, 2011
at 09:27 PM

This is very interesting. I'm definitely going to try a bit of iodine and see if it helps me as well. The shedding is really one of the last issues I have to conquer, perhaps this is the key!*crosses fingers*

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:59 PM

do you drink a lot of coffee?

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:50 PM

it is definately not a problem as i've been buying iodized salt. thanks.

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:46 PM

will do, thanks

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:45 PM

good advice, thanks

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:45 PM

i've lost 20lbs but stable since March. Don't need to lose any more. (5'4 and 115lbs)

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

yes, lacto-paleo since December 2010. very little cheating.

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

wow, the last link is great, thanks.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:39 PM

Go take a look at the links I posted below and get some actual figures. I don't think we can tell much from this, whether you might be low on calories or much else.

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:35 PM

sorry, i am female and paleo since December. I also do dairy. breakfast is usually 2 eggs and butter and some tomatoes and cucumbers in olive oil. lunch and dinner - some protein (except pork) and some veggies and usually some yoghurt. cooked in olive oil/butter/coconut oil/tallow at least once a week some fish and once a week liver. 2 cups of decaf black coffee daily.

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18 Answers

11
F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

on August 15, 2011
at 08:25 PM

Have your thyroid checked. Hypothyroid can result in hair loss. If you're male, have testosterone, DHT & estrogen levels check. High DHT in and of itself is insufficient to cause male pattern baldness or hair loss, but coupled with high estrogen, due to high insulin, it can. FWIW, in men with hyperinsulinism, insulin upregulates aromatase enzyme, converting their testosterone into estrogen. So depending on how long you've been paleo and the amount of carb you're eating, this could be something to be on the look out for...

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on August 16, 2011
at 04:58 PM

why it is smart to get your thyroid tested.. it might not fix it all. I went to get mine tested du to some weight gain and lots of hair falling out. After my numbers were good and all I still have the problem. They thyroid medication has a side effect of hair loss - go figure. I am hoping to get off the meds though now being paleo.

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:45 PM

good advice, thanks

67460907f9d818f56e1ef4c846317386

(504)

on August 16, 2011
at 08:11 PM

I've heard that this is can be a common problem in the paleosphere as a lot of people tend to throw out salt of there diet when they go paleo. Incidentally, iodized salt in all our processed foods is where most CWs get there iodine necessary to good thyroid health. So this is great advice and at the very least supplement with kelp tablets and use iodized salt in preparing meals and see if that helps. Then again, some people are just genetically predisposed to loosing their hair.

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:01 AM

I ran across this on MDA, Mark refereed to Chris Kresser’s ongoing series and in that series is this article.. [Iodine for hypothyroidism: like gasoline on a fire?][1] He makes the case that we should not be supplementing with iodine.. It is a good read if you have thyroid problems - the whole series is great [1]: Iodine for hypothyroidism: like gasoline on a fire?[link text][1] [1]: http://thehealthyskeptic.org/iodine-for-hypothyroidism-like-gasoline-on-a-fire

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on August 31, 2011
at 10:38 PM

Also, in the case of hair loss, a common hypothyroid symptom, a patient should be checked for autoimmune antibodies to their thyroid before iodine supplementation is started. Common thyroid anitbodies are thyroid peroxidase antibodies, this is the enzyme that takes iodine and tyrosine a puts them together to make thyroid hormone. Supplemental iodine can increase the activity of this enzyme and the immune's systems reaction to it if antibodies exist. Since 90% of hypothyroid patients have Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroid, antibody tests should be run before beginning iodine supplementation.

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on August 31, 2011
at 10:32 PM

Checking thyroid will help spot obvious derangement. However, TSH levels are not the only story when checking thyroid function. Also, the range used to determine hyper/hypothyroid is too broad- often .45 to 4.0, where 1.8-3.0 is considered to be a better determinate of adequate physiologic function. This means its possible to have thyroid symptoms while having what is considered by mainstream medicine to be a "normal" thyroid.

7
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2011
at 04:22 AM

And you are most definitely allowed to fire your doctor. If you don't like him for any reason whatsoever I'd say do it. Seriously, your comfort level with any type of health care provider is extremely important.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 16, 2011
at 06:07 PM

Completely agree. Firing my doctor was one of the empowering things I've done, and I was really hesitant to do it, too. Find a doctor you're happy with, whatever your criteria might be.

7
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:27 PM

In addition to nutritional problems, their are numerous medical problems that can lead to hair loss. Another thing that can cause hair loss is just plain seasonal shedding. My daughter was once very worried about her hair. She had been losing lots of it, and also had little bristly short pieces that she thought indicated breakage. Her hair dresser told her it was just seasonal shedding and the bristly pieces were a crop of new hairs growing in.

Unless your doctor ran some figures on your actual intake or had a dietician or nutritionist do so, or had blood tests run, I suspect he might have jumped at what he thought was a likely reason. Doctors have very little nutritional training and what they get is almost always the official government line.

Try putting your food intake into either FitDay or Cron-o-meter for a few days to see if you have any obvious nutrient problems to correct. http://cronometer.com/ or http://fitday.com/

If you find that you are consistently low on some nutrients, you can search for them here, and often people will have suggested good paleo food sources, or you can go here http://nutritiondata.self.com/tools/nutrient-search and search by nutrient, then sort out the foods that work for you.

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

wow, the last link is great, thanks.

5
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on January 31, 2012
at 11:39 AM

Just to mention two other related things to hair-loss.

Vitamin D3

and

life stress.

(For example) A study shows that break up with a partner will cause hair loss in females, surprisingly not in males.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 31, 2012
at 12:00 PM

I second this. Vitamin D3 helps my hair tremendously.

5
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on January 31, 2012
at 09:25 AM

i have never heard of grains being required for hair. i think your doctor is weird.

5
C8253d9610402729148604bd9235fc24

on August 15, 2011
at 08:43 PM

What about salt - iodized or not? Even before I went Paleo 1/1/11, I ate barely any processed food. For years we'd been buying non-iodized salt, even the sea salt was not iodized. Somewhere in my Paleo travels/readings, someone mentioned lack of iodine becoming more common especially in people who don't eat processed. I added iodine back in, in the form of iodized salt, and ironically I noticed a LOT LESS hair in my hairbrush and rug!!

Just recently I noticed my hairbrush getting full again every day. I had to leave myself notes to add salt to my foods or leave the shaker out in plain sight so I'd remember to add salt.

Just some thoughts.

Best wishes.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 15, 2011
at 09:27 PM

This is very interesting. I'm definitely going to try a bit of iodine and see if it helps me as well. The shedding is really one of the last issues I have to conquer, perhaps this is the key!*crosses fingers*

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:50 PM

it is definately not a problem as i've been buying iodized salt. thanks.

2
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on January 31, 2012
at 12:20 PM

IS your Doctor assuming you are B deficient or were you tested?

If the Doctor was assuming, FIND A NEW DOC.

If you were tested, EAT MOAR LIVERZ. (Additionally, Pork, most Nuts, and fish are all quite high in Thiamine/B1).

2
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:35 AM

If you are doing low-carb, you might enjoy reading what Dr. Eades has to say about it (temporary). Are you vitamin B deficient? A quick look at food values will show you how you can get them naturally. Natural whole grains are actually a fairly poor source of most B vitamins.

2
A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

I know for me, when I lose weight I lose more hair...(it grows back). I took Biotin which seemed to help. Since going paleo have you lost weight? Extreme changes to your diet, whether good or bad can change your body in all sorts of ways. Have you had all your vitamin levels checked? Are you eating enough? There's many factors. Best of luck.

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:45 PM

i've lost 20lbs but stable since March. Don't need to lose any more. (5'4 and 115lbs)

2
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:12 PM

Hair loss is a symptom of lots of things. It's hard to say what your problem might be, or if you are deficient in something, without knowing more details of what you're eating every day. Any chance you could post what you typically eat? Also this doesn't really sound like good reason to "hate" your doctor. Even if you think he's wrong, he's trying to help you. No need to act like he killed your dog or something.

Edit: are you male or female?

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:35 PM

sorry, i am female and paleo since December. I also do dairy. breakfast is usually 2 eggs and butter and some tomatoes and cucumbers in olive oil. lunch and dinner - some protein (except pork) and some veggies and usually some yoghurt. cooked in olive oil/butter/coconut oil/tallow at least once a week some fish and once a week liver. 2 cups of decaf black coffee daily.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:39 PM

Go take a look at the links I posted below and get some actual figures. I don't think we can tell much from this, whether you might be low on calories or much else.

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:46 PM

will do, thanks

1
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on May 14, 2012
at 10:22 AM

If u need thiamine or other vitamins, and are not getting it from foods like liver, take a multivitamin, but don't eat grains for the purpose of fortified vitamins - that's a terrible source. It's like taking rat poison because it's a good source of iron (pretending it is or the sake of this analogy)

1
3f3236d1f951d4b4c25eff387699a905

(554)

on January 31, 2012
at 07:29 AM

Not sure why there can't be any other answer than fortified grains. Very strange. A quick google search landed me on tuna as the best source for both B1 and B6. Bread didn't show up at all actually. Some doctors like to recommend bread at every turn. I'm suspicious of your doctor haha. Also loss of hair can be due to other issues such as stress and PCOS.

1
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on August 16, 2011
at 04:10 AM

I had chronic hair loss (not balding, male-pattern or otherwise; chronic telogen effluvium) pre-paleo and when I was very low carb. Keep an eye on it and change what you're doing if it doesn't stop.

0
726c268af8cf74bdd2a814ceec0f0588

on May 28, 2013
at 05:29 AM

probably all you have to do TFT.take multi vitamins.get a way from stress if possible,use drinking yogurt.and if possible wash your hair with yogurt instead of any shampoo as i said chick your thyroid,

0
9a5d40bdd8039397945a0dcaed98c6d4

on August 16, 2011
at 07:44 PM

I am intense exerciser, 41 year old female with diffused hair loss mostly in the bang area. (and a lot of it, I am starting to see my scalp) My hair loss started with a combination of stopping my vivelle (estrogen), cutting out soy, dairy and going paleo. This was a year ago when it started and though I am not bald I have 40% less hair and no regrowth. Sorry I have no solution but wanted you to know you are not alone and that it may in fact be very much related to diet. I can't eat red meat due to a beef allergy. Keep us posted.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on August 17, 2011
at 02:09 AM

A beef allergy? Have you tried grass-fed? And there's lamb--that's red meat. Could the hair loss possibly be the lack of red meat?

9a5d40bdd8039397945a0dcaed98c6d4

(0)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:08 AM

@Trashcan Yes, odd I know. I am 40/female and this allergy started about 8 years ago. Any red meat (grass fed, deer, etc.) I breakout in hives and go into anaphylactic shock. I have been rushed to the hospital twice with heart rate dropping to 30pbm resolved with epinephrine. I can eat pork, fish, chicken etc. My hair loss didn't start until a year ago. My hair situation has to be either genetics, hormone or possibly this grain free diet.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on May 14, 2012
at 04:26 PM

Try adding more good carbs like sweet potatoes, and check out the thyroid answer here as well.

0
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on August 16, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Is it diffuse, all over thinning of your hair? That's usually due to some sort of stress on your system. It could be emotional stress, nutritional stress, a new medication you recently started, surgery, an injury and the list goes on and on - basically anything that stresses your system.

9a5d40bdd8039397945a0dcaed98c6d4

(0)

on August 19, 2011
at 12:09 AM

Is hair loss reversible if it has lasted for over a year? I think mine is stemming from at least one of the many triggers you named.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Look up telogen effluvium. It's supposed to be reversible once you remove the stressor.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Do you eat Paleo?!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:59 PM

do you drink a lot of coffee?

75b3d9363bc02d9e84b4c10bc63c143b

(35)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:40 PM

yes, lacto-paleo since December 2010. very little cheating.

-1
Ebbd17d36a9d20130e60f2115a8387ab

(6)

on January 31, 2012
at 07:12 AM

According to hair experts and health professionals, DHT or dihydrotestosterone is the main culprit for having alopecia. When DHT is increased, follicular production is decreased. Hence, the growth of new hair is inhibited. For this reason, it is believed that lowering the level of DHT would promote re-growth of hair follicles. There are many drugs that are used to treat alopecia; however some may still opt the traditional way of correcting the problem because of its cost-efficiency. Below are the top five herbs which are used as alternative treatment against hair loss. Source: Australian Institute of Hair Restoration

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