Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss
Hypothyroidism has many symptoms that make it a difficult condition to live with but hair thinning and hair loss is an all too common one. The condition is more common is women than men with approx. 500,000 living with it in Ireland.
Starting on medication when diagnosed may not on its own resolve hair problems. It has been shown in a case study, zinc supplementation in conjunction with medication provided complete hair regrowth in an alopecia case over a 4 month period. The thyroid hormones need zinc for optimal function in the body but also zinc needs the thyroid gland for proper absorption into the body. The WHO has reported that the worlds zinc deficiency is at 31% so a possible reason for high hypothyroidism levels seen in many countries.
Zinc can be a difficult to test for accurately in the body but signs of zinc deficiency also include weakened immune system and poor cognitive function. Supplementation is recommended along with rich food sources like beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, chick peas, lentils and hemp seeds. Those on a vegetarian or vegan diet may need more zinc due to poor absorption as a result of phytic acid in some plant based foods such as spinach and seeds. To minimise the inhibitory effects of phytic acid, seeds should be soaked or sprouted.
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