I.. I.. Iodine....
Don't get me wrong I am no doctor, I'm not medically trained and have no medical qualifications but... I'm pretty sure the amount of study I have done into hair loss and the science behind the reasoning to it is pretty intense, more so than some actual doctors (Going by what one once told me)
I have always said to every doctor, dermatologist, or other specialist I have seen on my path, that there is a reason my hair is falling out because...it is not normal for a woman to loose her hair.
and the crazy thing is - they agree with me. My dermatologist told me I was ill but he didn't know how, my doctor told me there was something wrong - but couldn't find what.... so yes there is something wrong and Id like to bloody fix that please so do some more digging and find out what it is!
Then you have the insurance company " Oh we don't cover alopecia because its a cosmetic condition" NO IT ISN'T YOU FLAMING MORON - why do they insist on saying that? I'll tell you why - because no one on the god forsaken planet knows how to treat hair loss and why it happens - so the insurers know they are fighting a losing a battle for me.
Anyway - rant over - for now - lets get back to Iodine.
So we know there are vitamins and minerals our body needs to grow hair and sustain it. Im not going to go through them all but the main ones we hear a lot about are:-
Ok there is quite a lot there and to consume a pill for each would have us all rattling along.
But I do not understand why doctors do not carry out a full profile of our blood including these above, to see if FIRSTLY we are deficient somewhere.
When I was first diagnosed with alopecia I wasn't offered any blood tests. I was told to stop stressing and things would get better.
Hey guess what lady - they didn't get better even after I sat with monks humming some insane chant, swam with dolphins and took my King Kong daily dang dong quai herbs!
(ok I didn't really do those things but what can you do to unwind in the real world )
So - I went over to Thriva online and promptly ordered my own damned blood tests to see if I can find out what was wrong with me.
Anyway - to save you a lot of reading about me moaning about - I eventually got my blood tests from the most awesome team at Thriva and jogged along to the doctors, paper in hand to tell the useless butt heads what was wrong with me.
I have low iron - or nearly non existent iron and my Thyroid T4 was low. My doctors umm'd and ahh'd at the results and said she would do some too as they couldn't go by the Thriva ones. Same came back but THEY DID NOTHING! Take an iron pill and that might help.
1 year later - the iron pills weren't helping and im now nearly bald! Im thinking now she pacified me but I'll never truly know.
So I started reading more about low iron and hairloss and discovered that you need a level of over 100 (on the usual "normal scale") to make your hair grow. Now my levels were consistently between 5-15! How the fricking hell was my hair going to grow - let alone the bald bits sprout any fuzz! So I saw my dermatologist and told him I needed an iron transfusion - he didn't disagree (to my horror ) and 2 weeks later I was sat having a transfusion!
I have to say that was a long process to tick iron off that massive list and hopefully with you reading this blog you will know how to go armed to get everything you need at once.
So next on my list is Iodine. iodine supports the body and thyroid function - interesting seeing as my Thriva blood test suggested I have low T4.
I again took to my research and found a number of studies and article that clearly stated that an iodine deficiency can not only affect your hair but the whole functioning of your thyroid hormones which in turn can affect other hormones such as LH FSH, Cortisol, Etc.
Well this was getting interesting - everything I have wrong with me as well as my hair loss points to low iodine levels.
One website I use regularly is the National centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). I read their studies and research papers.
Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) are one of the biggest worldwide public health problem of today. Their effect is hidden and profoundly affects the quality of human life. Iodine deficiency occurs when the soil is poor in iodine, causing a low concentration in food products and insufficient iodine intake in the population. When iodine requirements are not met, the thyroid may no longer be able to synthesize sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone. The resulting low-level of thyroid hormones in the blood is the principal factor responsible for the series of functional and developmental abnormalities, collectively referred to as IDD. Iodine deficiency is a significant cause of mental developmental problems in children, including implications on reproductive functions and lowering of IQ levels in school-aged children. The consequence of iodine deficiency during pregnancy is impaired synthesis of thyroid hormones by the mother and the foetus. An insufficient supply of thyroid hormones to the developing brain may result in mental retardation. Brain damage and irreversible mental retardation are the most important disorders induced by iodine deficiency. Daily consumption of salt fortified with iodine is a proven effective strategy for prevention of IDD.
It's a pretty big deal right? So why didn't I get a test at the start..?
The symptoms a low iodine level would cause could be:
Swelling in the Neck.
Unexpected Weight Gain.
Fatigue and Weakness.
Dry, Flaky Skin.
Feeling Colder Than Usual.
Changes in Heart Rate.
Trouble Learning and Remembering.
Well that's me ticking every box above!
Foods to eat:
There are a number of foods to start eating more of before you look at supplementing. You have to be very careful not to over do it as too much iodine is also problematic.
Seaweed can be a great source of iodine, though the amount per serving varies depending on the type you eat. Iodine is also in eggs, dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, and seafood like shrimp, tuna, and cod. When you see foods labeled “iodized,” like salt, it means they have iodine added. You should be able to get enough from iodised salt, but keep in mind that the salt added to processed foods, like chips or canned soup, often has zero iodine and is typically a "Bad" salt.
Make sure you do consume good salt such as sea salt - organic is better too. All too often we are told salt is bad for us when actually - good proper salt is good for us.
A great article to read for further information can be found here :
IIndependent nurse - UK
I have been taking nascent Iodine drops now for a few days. I did take them about 6 months ago and my hair had a good growth spurt - I stopped because I thought it may have been why I was having hot flushes again - (it wasn't) but recently my hair is coming away again, so I've gone back to my iodine - maybe that was helping my hair grow - so now I wait another 3 months to see if taking it again makes a difference - watch this space.
The remaining list of vitamins and minerals are more easily understandable. A good multi vitamin for hair will cover a number of these left on our list above and typically difficult to overdose on so you could if you felt safe to do so, take a hair supplement now. Try to find one that covers all the above (except Iodine).
I'll keep a check on my iodine journey and report back with any good news as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading, Michelle x