How to Stop Hair Loss in Women!
By Dr. Michael L. Johnson
Hair loss in women is usually caused by an autoimmune disorder. I say “usually” because I do not want to generalize but, and this is a big but, I have yet to see a woman suffering from hair loss that isn’t suffering from an autoimmune disorder in over thirty years of private practice.
What is an autoimmune disorder? The patient’s immune system is attacking their body.
The most common autoimmune disorder that I see in my office causing hair loss in women is called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The second most common autoimmune disorder causing hair loss is Alopecia areata. Alopecia is caused by the immune system attacking the hair follicles of the body. Interestingly enough, every case of alopecia that has walked into my office over the past 30 years has also suffered from Hashimoto’s.
What is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis? Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a condition where the patient’s immune system is attacking their thyroid gland.
How do you know if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?
You can have your doctor run the TPO (ATA) and TGB (ATG) thyroid antibodies. Please note that there are “lab ranges” and “functional or optimal ranges.” Lab ranges are much broader than the functional range so your physician may tell you that you are not suffering from an autoimmune thyroid or Hashimoto’s when in fact, you are suffering from it and that is causing your hair to fall out in clumps!
Can you tell if a patient is suffering from an autoimmune
condition without running blood work?
Ideally, you should run blood work. A doctor can order a T & B lymphocyte panel or the TPO (ATA) and TGB (ATG) antibodies. There are some cases where the patient cannot afford any blood work so how does one know if they are autoimmune? First, an autoimmune patient will have a large grocery bag of supplements that they have tried but did not work for them. Second, they will have medical file the size of a thick book. They have been to countless doctors and no one is giving them any answers!
The problem is that most doctors only run the TSH blood test and they don’t even bother to run the thyroid antibodies, let alone the T & B lymphocyte panel, because they don’t know how to address Hashimoto’s! Whether the patient suffers from Hashimoto‘s or not, the physician’s treatment is the same…drugs.
Medications are fine if the patient is suffering from primary hypothyroidism BUT according to The Journal of Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders… “90% of hypothyroidism or low thyroid is caused by an autoimmune thyroid or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.” Again, medicine has absolutely no answer for Hashimoto’s!
A patient suffering from hair loss needs to have complete blood work run on them such as a complete metabolic panel (CMP) which provides information on the blood glucose levels, HGBA1C, liver, kidney, gall bladder, stomach function and iron levels (serum iron, TIBC, transferrin, etc.) . A CBC with auto differential needs to be run which breaks down the red and white blood cells. A lipid panel needs to be run and a complete thyroid panel which includes, TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Total T4, FTI, T3 Resin Uptake, Reverse T3, & TBG. The vast majority of physicians will only run the TSH and no other tests. If your hair is falling out, you want to get to the cause of the problem and the only way to get to the cause is to run comprehensive blood panels!
If the complete metabolic panels do not contain the following tests, they need to be run separately…uric acid levels, C-reactive protein (C-RP) and homocystiene to check for inflammation. Inflammation is like taking a blow-torch to your thyroid or other organs of the body that are being affected by an autoimmune condition. Vitamin D levels such as 25 OHD (active form) and 125 OHD (storage form) to determine how well you immune system is being supported.
There are countless studies proving the effectiveness of Vitamin D increasing the function of the immune system.
Autoimmune triggers do just that, they “trigger” your immune system to attack your body!
There are specific triggers such as…
Gluten (the protein in wheat), dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and soy are the most common food triggers. They also cause massive inflammation in the body. Most patients will stop consuming gluten, dairy and soy but some need to see it in black and white so we can run blood tests to find these triggers if necessary.
Parasites in the gut, liver, gall bladder or pancreas can trigger an autoimmune disorder. Also a bacterial infection in the stomach such as H. Pylori can also be a trigger.
Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic estrogen and thus, compromise normal hormonal function. They compete with estrogen on the estrogen receptor sites of the cell. Studies have proven that xenoestrogens cause cancer!
Xenoestrogens are caused by a multitude of chemicals such as hormones in meat and dairy products, pesticides in fruits and vegetables, pesticides and herbicides on our lawns, chemicals in commercial soaps and detergents, fabric softeners, coffee (a very heavily pesticide-sprayed crop), plastics, and synthetic materials in clothing, carpeting, bedding, and furniture. Synthetic nutritional substances are another source of xenoestrogens. Unfortunately, I have seen it many times in my office where the patient is taking a synthetic nutritional supplement thinking that they are helping their body when in fact, they are doing more harm. If you are taking nutritional supplements, you need to make sure that they are all natural and contain no excipients like magnesium stearate. Nutrition companies use magnesium stearate as a lubricating agent but studies have shown that it compromises the immune system! Why would you want to take any product that “compromises” your immune system when your immune system is already attacking your body? This is the reason why my family and I only use products –nutritional supplements, soaps, coffee, and other household goods — from Premier Research Labs (PRL).
There are specific blood panels from Cyrex Labs which will give you specific information such food triggers and chemical triggers. Parasite triggers can be picked up from stool sample testing from Metametrix Labs (www.metametrix.com)
The liver plays a very important role in hair loss because the liver is extremely important in hormonal function and 60% of T4 is converted to T3 in your liver and! (Please see my article on The Liver)
The Importance of Gut Function
The stomach also plays a very importance role in hair loss because recent studies have shown that 70% to 80% of your immune system is in your gut and 20% of T4 is converted to T3 in the gut so it is vital that you have proper gut function! (Please see my article on The Importance of Methyl Groups)
The Importance of pH
Normal body pH should be between 6.4 to 7.0. If your pH is below 6.4, it will trigger your immune system to cause your hair to continue to fall out. You can check your pH by ordering pH test strips and testing your first morning urine pH after 5 a.m. over a period of two weeks. I have not addressed a woman whose hair was falling out that didn’t have an acidic body pH. (Please see my article on The Importance of pH)
Here’s what you need to do to regrow your hair:
#1: Get the blood work listed. Make sure to get ALL of it no matter what your doctor tells you! You are losing your hair and you HAVE to get to the cause of it!
#2: Stop consuming autoimmune triggers gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and soy! If you are unable to stop, get the blood work to prove to yourself that you NEED to stop immediately.
#3: Order test strips and check your first morning urine pH after 5 a.m. for at least two weeks.
#4: Most importantly, find a doctor that knows how to successfully address autoimmune disorders.
—Dr. Michael L. Johnson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Michael L. Johnson is a Board-Certified Chiropractic Neurologist who has been in private practice in Appleton, WI since 1983. He is a consultant to other doctors around the world (www.lifechangingcare.com) and he is the author of seven books which can be found at www.askdrjohnson.com. Dr. Johnson’s YouTube and Facebook pages can be found at “Dr. Michael Johnson.” You are welcome to email Dr. Johnson with questions and/or comments at [email protected].
© 2013 Dr. Michael L. Johnson