I have noticed the past few weeks that a lot more of my hair than normal is coming out in my brush and in the shower. Yikes! I have been reading up on thinning hair in women on Dr. Wright’s website to see what might be causing it. The major causes of thinning hair in pre-menopausal women are:
1) low stomach acid, which contributes to incomplete protein digestion, which in turn results in low levels of essential amino acids and essential minerals. “Without sufficient essential amino acids, hair starts to thin out,” Dr. Wright writes. Solution: hydrochloric acid with pepsin capsules with meals. I have already been taking these, because I have chronic low stomach acid.
2) birth control pills and pregnancy, because they cause such a B vitamin drain.
Well, neither of those apply to me, LOL. But if that is you, a B vitamin complex will help, especially folate and B-6. But I did discover that I am B-6 deficient. It must be because I am gluten intolerant, and have not eaten any flour or grain products, which are enriched with B vitamins, for four months. I found out by taking the Ellis test (from the December issue of Nutrition & Healing):
Ever heard of Dr. John Ellis? He’s the Texas physician who discovered that vitamin B-6 can eliminate carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and other hand conditions.
Look at the backs of your hands. Have you noticed that they’re a bit puffy and swollen, and that you can’t see the tendons? [Yes – that has been bothering me lately. The skin on my hands feels thick, too, which reduces my flexibility. I asked the Lord to help me with it. Then today I noticed my hair falling out.] Try holding your hands upright, keeping the joints joining your palms and fingers perfectly straight. Now try bending the middle and end [finger] joints so that your fingertips touch your palms [keeping your knuckle joints straight]. Can’t do it? [No, I can’t!] That’s a positive “Ellis sign,” and it means you need extra vitamin B-6. Try 100 milligrams three times daily for up to six months–until all the puffiness is gone, you can see your tendons, the “Ellis sign” is gone, and your hands are much more flexible.
From The nutritionally-oriented physical exam: how noticing the smallest details can make a big difference in your health, by Dr. Jonathan Wright
Nutrition and Healing, vol. 12, issue 11 :: December 2005
Tonight my dh and I are going to Wild Oats to get my B supplements!
Disclaimer: Not to be taken as medical advice. I suppose I ought to say that, because I am not a doctor. I will let you know if a few weeks on B supplements helps my thinning hair. Perhaps I will have to take them all the time, now, since I am not eating flour and grain products anymore.
LINK UPDATE: The above links to Dr. Wright’s website and newsletter are now gone. Here is a screen grab from archive.org of his website in January 2006 when this post was written; the only other thing I can find from him online now are his books available at Amazon.