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ASK THE EXPERTS QUESTION:
Why do thyroid patients lose hair, and is there anything that you suggest can be done?

by Mary Shomon

DRS. RICHARD AND KARILEE SHAMES ANSWER

Thyroid Guide to Hair Loss

Millions of Americans are suffering from hair loss due to undiagnosed thyroid disease. And thyroid patients with continuing hair loss problems need practical solutions to resolve their hair issues.

This 100-page Guide helps hair loss sufferers understand the problem, get proper thyroid diagnosis and treatment, and slow, stop or even reverse thyroid-related hair loss.

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It is widely believed that thyroid sufferers lose hair due to decreased metabolism in the scalp follicles, resulting in early release of the shaft, root and all. sometimes the hair becomes just too brittle, and there is a great deal of loss from split ends and breakage. As you know, thyroid is intimately involved with hair function, witness that early graying and loss of outer eyebrows, is a cardinal sign of low thyroid in oneself or in the family.

As far as what can be done, the first and primary step is to restore full normal thyroid function. Consider that in general the body's wisdom directs it to conserve energy when possible, from nonessential areas, shunting repair and regeneration power to those functions considered more essential. Another mechanism is that when thyroid function is low, intestinal absorption and utilization of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional cofactors is compromised also. Not only are there not enough of the raw materials available, but the enzymes and sometimes temperature required for optimal chemical reactions is lessened.

As to restoring full function, don't be misled into utilizing the TSH test alone as a terrific barometer of full restored function. This one laboratory determination is in no way up to that important task, regardless of what you may have been told by your doctor or HMO. A great many thyroid sufferers need more thyroid hormone replacement than most current endocrinologists are comfortable with giving.

We have seen people whose hair loss is only finally reversed, after years of unsuccessful treatments, with a fairly high dose of thyroid medicine, resulting in a very low TSH. Sometimes it is a mixture of thyroid pills (T3, T4, and/or natural all combined) that eventually does the trick.

In addition, we recommend a rich vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and essential fatty acid replacement program. These four categories need to be well represented, using high quality products to restore and regenerate normal scalp function via optimizing thyroid metabolism. No other mechanism in the body has eight separate layers of biochemical control as does thyroid, each requiring specific vitamins, minerals, and other cofactors that would allow a full recovery of function. (July, 2002)

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Dr. Richard Shames has practiced for over 30 years, written and lectured widely on thyroid-related topics, and is considered an expert in the field. He practices in San Rafael, CA.

Karilee Shames has been an assistant professor of nursing, and has led thyroid support groups for many years. In addition to writing their popular books, Thyroid Power and Feeling Fat, Fuzzy or Frazzled? they are regular contributors to Thyroid-Info.com, and provide a service offering thyroid coaching education sessions to consumers nationwide by telephone. For more information, see their web site.



Sticking Out Our Necks and this website are Copyright Mary Shomon, 1997-2007. All rights reserved. Mary Shomon, Editor/Webmaster
All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician or health practitioner before starting a new treatment program. Please see our full disclaimer.