Thinning Hair - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-07-2006, 10:10 AM
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I am not certain whether this is the appropriate forum, so feel free to move thread if necessary.



Just last year, and since I can remember, I've always had thick, voluptuous, curly hair. As time goes on, it is becoming more and more apparent that my hair is not what it used to be, and I am FAR to young to be getting signs of hair loss due to a genetic disposition.



My mom also noted that my hair is starting to thin out, suggesting that it may be because of my nutritional intake (in the midst of her eating disorder, she had noted signs of hair loss as well). I am still baffled because as far as I know I am eating enough, and getting all the necessary vitamins (i take a multi vitamin daily, as well as flax seed oil, ginger root, garlic extract, and a vitamin D supplement).



After almost 2 years of veganism, I am suddenly getting numerous adverse effects, and it is very unsettling. I don't want to drop veganism, but if these signs persist (and after much deliberation), I am afraid I will have to put my health first until I feel I am ready to go back into it (which i eventually would).



Please, what could I be missing? I don't believe it is zinc defiency because I go through 2 bags of raw nuts a week.



PS: I apologise for my excessive threads
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#2 Old 02-07-2006, 05:26 PM
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ok, it could be any number of things. First, it could be a thyroid condition--mild hypothyroidism. this is not to say that it's a major condition that would require any number of medical treatments. It could be so mild as to not even show up in the ranges of different tests. And, the 'fixes' can also be diverse and natural.



To determine this, you can do any number of things. First, you can get blood work done with a full spectrum thyroid scan. You'll also want to check for nutrient deficiencies and check your cholesterol and homocystine levels. All of this may come back normal.



Next, you'll want to take your basal body temperature. For women, fertility charting is a good way to determine overall gynocological and thyroidal health. For information about fertility charting, i recommend the book Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer. This not only outlines how to chart, but how to use basal body temperature to determine if there is a thyroid malfunction--even one so slight that it comes up 'normal' in the blood test ranges that doctors use, or one that is special to you, that is, it looks normal according to the ranges, but for your specific bodily functioning, is running too low (or possibly too high). I've also learned through some extended research that if men take a basal body temperature and notice that it runs regularly lower than 97.5 degrees F, that it's likely they also have a small thyroidal problem.



The easiest fix for this is to do things that stimulate the thyroid naturally, such as taking a full-body cold rinse after a hot shower or other heat-producing activity. This includes getting your head completely wet in the cool water. This often stimulates the thyroid, and you may notice a drastic reduction in many symptoms of mild hypothyroidism.



Soy products can cause thyroid problems in both directions. If you are a vegan who relies heavily on soy products (more than 35 grams a day), then this could be the cause of the problem for you--assuming that it is a thyroid problem. A vegan can easily avoid soy products and still recieve adequate nutrition, as many vegans are soy sensitive and cannot consume soy due to allergies but are also able to maintain veganism nonetheless. Joanne Stepaniak has a cookbook for such vegans, at least she was working on one the last i knew of it.



As for other vitamin deficiencies, if you can't get enough from the sources that you are getting, or you can't bring yourself to consume more of what you already consume AND you're not finding vitamin supplementation to be helpful (which does happen), you may have to consider forgoing veganism. I know (from my own experience) that this is a very difficult pathway for a variety of reasons. But, experimentation is really important.



Your best bet is to research as much as you can about micronutrients that may impact hair health and such. Vitamin D is one such nutrient--as you mentioned--and there may be others. Vitamin D is most bioavailable in sunlight and in raw (unpasturized) dairy products (milk products). If that is your problem, you can experiment with added nutrients (a separate vitamin D supplement) or with a fortified juice (as some orange juices are supplemented with vit D) or you can decide to add in raw dairy products.



But, as i did, i would exhaust all of your options first, as best as you can. YOu may not have years and years to experiment to find exactly the right thing, without extreme detriment to your health, so i hope that you find out what it is and find a viable solution (hopefully vegan) soon.
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#3 Old 02-07-2006, 05:29 PM
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oh, and you don't even know the beginning of excessive threads! LOL
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#4 Old 02-08-2006, 12:20 PM
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I don't even know where to start..
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#5 Old 02-08-2006, 02:11 PM
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well, i would start with basic research. What do you think it might be, intuitively?



once you're there, learn as much about that as you can. And then, from there, experiment with your options that come from your research--the ones that seem most viable and accessable to you. Give yourself a certain amount of time to let the body adjust. If it's a micro-nutrient deficiency, it usually only takes two or three weeks of therapeutic supplementation for the process to reverse itself.



if it's another problem, such as a thyroid problem, a nutrient absorption problem, or something else, then therapeutic supplementation will not work as quickly, and other options have to be considered.
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#6 Old 02-08-2006, 06:20 PM
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It's possible for a vegan to exactly duplicate the (known) nutritional profile of an omni (I say 'known' because there are many things we don't know about nutrition and health). If you are duplicating the macro- and micro-nutrient profile of an omni (and there are no currently unknown nutrients in meat/dairy that could be the problem), then we can eliminate diet as the cause. If you aren't, then it is still unlikely that diet is the cause of the problem. After all, many vegans differ radically from the omni nutrient profile and enjoy excellent health. For example, I've been vegan for 10 years, and been without a sick day for 18 years. I haven't even had a cold in as long as I can remember (this is new - I used to get colds around twice a year). I have a full head of thick hair that grows rapidly, when many of my mid-40's compatriots are balding rapidly (I shouldn't be bragging like this - the gods hammer down those who stick up...)



So...my advice is to be skeptical, and investigate carefully. Good luck.
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#7 Old 02-08-2006, 07:03 PM
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Didn't you mention in another post that you have had anorexia issues? and your blood tests came back with some deficeincies? mabye you are just not eating enough. If eating eggs and dairy helps you eat more then fine, but before you do that, mabye see a nutritionist who can help you plan out a healthy vegan diet.
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