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Hair Loss/Telegenic effluvium

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Question
Hi, I am a 45 y.o female with history of hasimoto's diagnosed about 2 years ago. I have my tsh around 2.5 which took almost a year to regulate. I workout and I am in pretty good shape so I had no hypo symptoms with a tsh at 6.83. I did notice some thinning on top which grew back nicely over the last year or so. Here is my current situation. I did a high protein diet for about 3 months and this did not include red meats or iron rich foods while I continuedbto lift weights, lost about 15 lbs in 3 months and my hair started falling out June '12. In July I saw a dermalogist after web searching and diagnosed me with T.E. I also asked to have iron panel done....and sure enough my ferritin was 9...once again no symptoms of anemia except cold hands and feet and splitting nails.  Im on iron supplements and its rising slowly. Very scary and depressing to loose 1/2 your hair in a few months. In October the shedding started to lessen and now I'm still shedding but not as heavy as June/July/August. I do have new growth but only on top. I feel that the sides and back were the last to go. My question is how long until I will see new growth on sides and back? Does the hair follicle hibernate until your body has enough nutrients to regrow? Why new growth on top and not anyplace else? Thank you for giving your time to help distressed people!!! Danielle from Nj

Answer
Person with Hashimoto's thyroiditis can develop telogen effluvium and other types of hair loss. Any time the body feels a change, imbalance or disturbance, telogen efflvuium can occur. Person's with autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto's have a much more difficult time keeping the immune system balanced, as autoimmune conditions cause the immune system to become hyper-sensitive to certain foods, medications, stress, changes, etc.
Low iron/ferritin is common with Hashimoto's. It is becoming well-known that gluten intolerance is highly associated with Hashimoto's. You didn't mention if you are on gluten-free diet. Some experts recommend 100% gluten free for Hashimoto's. Consuming gluten when one is sensitive or intolerant to it will eventually cause low iron/ferritin and other nutritional deficiencies.
With telogen effluvium the follicle does not remain empty. The hair is always replaced. Telogen effluvium only causes noticeable decrease in volume when the condition is long-lasting and severe. Although the follicles are producing new hair the volume can become sparse if the shedding is so rapid that the new growth does not have time to catch up with the loss. The newly growing hairs can also fall out prematurely if the condition is still active. When nutritional deficiencies are present the newly growing hair may be weak, dull and slow-growing. This can contribute to hair looking more sparse.
Hair growth is more stubborn and slower growing on the sides of the scalp, especially in the temple area.
Because you mention follicle hibernation, I am wondering if you may possibly have a form of alopecia areata. With alopecia areata the follicles can lie dormant for many months, years or longer. In order to start producing hair again they need to receive the "signal" to do so. Although the most common form of alopecia areata causes smooth round bald patches, there are other forms which can cause hair loss in other patterns or diffusely. Alopecia areata incognita or diffuse alopecia areata can closely resemble telogen effluvium.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. It is not uncommon for those with Hashimoto's to develop alopecia areata (or vice versa). Anytime one has an autoimmune disorder there is greater chance to eventually develop another one. Certain autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto's, alopecia areata and gluten intolerance are more likely to occur together than others.
Essential oils can be used as a topical treatment to help stimulate new hair growth and  improve quality of existing hair. You can learn more about using essential oils as a natural hair loss remedy at the links provided below.  
Please let me know if I can help you further.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig
Essential Oils for Hair Loss
http://www.vzbotanicals.com/aromatherapy%20for%20hair%20loss.html
Understanding Female Hair Loss
http://www.vzbotanicals.com/overcomefemalehairloss.html
Create Your Own Natural Hair Loss Remedies
http://www.vzbotanicals.com/Books%20info.html

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Melanie Vonzabuesnig

Expertise

Female hair loss is my main focus. Women today are very susceptible to several types of hair loss including telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, and androgenetic alopecia. I can answer questions about the causes and types of female hair loss. I can share information about natural holistic remedies to improve female hair loss conditions.

Experience

My interest in female hair loss sprung from my own experience with extensive hair loss. Determined to grow my hair back, I diligently studied every piece of information I could find on the biology of hair growth. After successfully re-growing my hair with safe and effective natural products, I felt compelled to learn more and to share this information with other women. I am experienced in blending custom hair loss formulas. I am also experienced in writing about female hair loss issues.

Publications
My hair loss information has been included in The Truth about Womens Hair Loss by Spencer Kobren, Naturally Healthy Skin by Stephanie Tourles, Alternative Healing by Bill Gottleib and Natural Health Magazine. I am the author of several books on hair loss.

Education/Credentials
I am a certified aromatherapist specializing in formulas for scalp and hair conditions.

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