Stop Hair Loss Due to Iodine Deficiency

Edited by Donna, Eng, pilot223, sdp10112 and 2 others

If your body does not get enough iodine, your thyroid is unable to produce thyroid hormone and the result is shrinking hair follicles. This leads to thinning hair, bald patches, and eventually irreversible massive hair loss.

Iodine deficiency can lead to severe hair loss.

Symptoms of Hair Loss Due to Iodine Deficiency

The thyroid gland uses iodine to make the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which regulates many functions in the body, including how well we grow hair. These hormones also govern how fast we grow hair, how thick it is and what the texture and color of the hair will be.

Premature white hair can be a symptom of iodine deficiency.

Iodine deficiency has many symptoms including:

  • Hair that is thinning all over
  • Coarse hair growing in
  • Hair turning gray or white prematurely
  • Bald patches
  • Weight gain, often extreme
  • Development of an apple-shaped figure with a big belly
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain'
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Sweating excessively
  • Insomnia
  • Edema (swelling of wrists and ankles)
  • Goiter
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks

Sudden weight gain is also a sign of iodine deficiency affecting the thyroid.

Steps to Stopping And Curing Iodine Deficiency Hair Loss

  1. 1
    Make an appointment with your doctor and request a blood test that measures your thyroid levels
    If your levels are very low you might be diagnosed with hypothyroidism and prescribed supplemental iodine along with supplemental thyroid hormone in the form of desiccated thyroid or synthroxin. If your hair loss is extreme your doctor may prescribe topical iodine for alopecia areata. It is crucial to take your medications as prescribed in order to feel well.
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  2. 2
    Make sure that you are eating iodized table salt
    Iodized table salt is a good source of both iodine and sodium which are needed by the body to prevent baldness due to hypothyroidism.
    Iodized table salt helps keep the thyroid healthy.
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  3. 3
    Eat as much garlic as you can handle every day
    Eat it both cooked and raw to help heal damaged hair follicles. Garlic is a rich source of iodine, and it also contains sulfur and 20 anti-inflammatory agents that are good for stimulating the growth of healthy hair.
    Garlic is a potent source of iodine and natural anti-inflammatories.
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  4. 4
    Eat sesame seeds as a snack
    Sesame seeds contain the iodine needed to help the thyroid synthesize the hormones needed for hair growth. They also contain B1 and B6, that helps heal the scalp as well as omega 3 acids, which encourage hair to grow. They are also a rich source of calcium and magnesium, which helps reduce stress and balance hormone production.
    Sesame seeds are a rich source of B vitamins and iodine.
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  5. 5
    Make sure you eat lots of raw shellfish
    Eating raw shellfish such as oysters and shrimp is especially beneficial for your thyroid as they contain generous amounts of iodine. Raw shellfish is also a potent source of zinc, which repairs the scalp. All fish, whether raw or cooked, is also an excellent source of protein, and protein is the building blocks of the hair.
    Oysters are a wonderful source of iodine, which helps support thyroid and hair growth.
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  6. 6
    Eat cod fish
    Cod fish are especially rich in iodine, with just 3 ounces providing 99mcg. The benefits are mostly in the cod fish oil, so serve this fish broiled or steamed to keep the oil intact.
    Cod fish is rich in protein, healthy fats, and iodine, all of which support the thyroid and healthy hair growth.
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  7. 7
    Be sure to eat two eggs at least three times a week
    Egg yolks are a healthy source of biotin, which is a B-vitamin that is needed to nourish the scalp. Eggs are a compact, low-calorie source of protein that helps grow hair in general. Sprinkle the egg with iodized table salt and you have a perfect recipe for growing hair.
    Eggs are a nourishing source of biotin which is good for the hair.
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  8. 8
    Supplement your diet with kelp and other seaweeds
    Kelp, wakame, and nori are rich in organic iodine. You can crumble it up and season your food with it or you can take it in supplement form in gel capsules. Avoid taking seaweed in a hard pellet form as it is less easily absorbed by the water. Most Japanese restaurants sell a delicious seaweed salad.
    Seaweed is one of the most generous and bioavailable sources of iodine.
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  9. 9
    Eat more milk, yogurt, and cheese
    If your diet allows it, eat more milk, yogurt, and cheese which are usually rich in iodine, thanks to the fact that iodine is now added to cow feed to make dairy products more nutritious for humans.
    Cheese is a good dietary source of iodine.
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  10. 10
    Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D
    A low-functioning thyroid is also related to a lack of vitamin D. Your best source of vitamin D is sunlight but you can also get it from eating fatty fish (like catfish and cod), beef liver, fortified cereals, and mushrooms.
    Fried mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D and zinc, both of which help grow hair and support healthy thyroid function.
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  11. 11
    Lose weight
    It can be difficult to lose weight when your thyroid is malfunctioning but every attempt you make to reduce your own mass lessens the load on your thyroid and helps your body recover from any inflammation. This, in turn, will impact your hair follicles in a positive way.
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A List of Foods That Disrupt Iodine Absorption

Avoid eating foods that sabotage the ability of your thyroid to absorb iodine. There are some foods that qualify as being goitrogenic, meaning that they slow down the thyroid ability to manufacture hormones. It is very important to consume theses foods in moderation and you must never juice them or add them to smoothies as this can slow your thyroid right down and provoke potential hair loss. If you must eat them, then try to eat them cooked as heat helps destroy their goitrogenic activity. These foods include:

  • broccoli (and broccolini)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage (eating raw cabbage is especially bad for thyroid hormone production so avoid eating coleslaw)
  • cauliflower
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • mustard
  • peaches
  • peanuts
  • radishes
  • spinach
  • strawberries
  • tofu (also tempeh and other soy products)
  • turnips
  • watercress
  • soy milk

Raw cabbage suppresses the absorption of iodine and can indirectly cause hair loss so be sure to avoid eating it if you are experiencing thinning hair and bald patches.

Tips and Tricks

  • It is important to take iodine as recommended by a physician or naturopath because an over-dosage can cause bleeding, hives and enlarged lymph nodes; if your lymph nodes suddenly swell after taking supplemental iodine go to the hospital immediately as the condition could be fatal. Do not guess or estimate what your iodine needs may be; let a blood test administered by a doctor determine this for you.
  • If you are on a low-calorie diet you may be provoking an iodine thyroid deficiency by not eating enough foods that are rich in minerals.
  • Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed in conjunction with many other causes of hair loss including fungal infections, lupus, endocrine disorders, diabetes, chemotherapy and hormonal disruption from birth control.
  • If you are on thyroid medication it is important not to drink coffee until at least an hour after you have taken it or your body may not absorb the medication.
  • Do not drink calcium-fortified orange juice for at least three hours after you take thyroid medication as your body will not absorb it.

Questions and Answers

How much iodine is too much, and what form is best?

Among other issues, my hair started falling out massively (especially my bangs) about 3 months ago. I ordered 12.5 mg iodine tablets, and have taken 5 of them so far; every other day. for about 10 days. It halted the shedding (especially my bangs) in less than 5 days!. But am I hurting myself with such high dose tablets?. Thanks - Kim Fischer / Seattle, WA. I have tried: Getting my thyroid levels tested. I think it was caused by: It seems to have been iodine deficiency?

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I have Hashimoto's, can I still have iodine?

I was told that I can't have iodine but all my symptoms are pointing to an iodine deficiency. Like what you mentioned in your article.

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How much Iodine should I take for hair loss? Should I use the drops or the white iodine directly on my scalp?

Hair Loss. 6 months and counting. On HRT and thyroid meds. Not helping with the hair loss at all. So severe scalp is showing. Hair is dry and brittle and gray. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Curious about topical vs. oral for hair regrowth. Also how long and how much do you need to take to see results? I have tried: HRT, estrogen and progesterone, thyroid, wp thyroid and Cytomel. I think it was caused by: No idea. At first thought, it would level out but hair continues to fall.

This article is mainly concerned with ingesting iodine safely through iodized food sources such as shellfish and iodized table salt. Please do not use any type of iodine on your scalp or ingest it in any way without consulting your naturopath or doctor. Only blood tests or a hair sample can determine whether or not you should take it directly as a supplement. This is because iodine directly impacts the function of the thyroid and taking to much of it can cause your entire endocrine to shut down. Supplemental iodine is usually available only as a prescription and it is in a nascent form that is easily absorbed by the body. Nascent iodine goes under the brand name of Detoxadine.

Dear I'm loosing a lot of hair what could be my problem?

Everyday I am loosing lot of hair even if I don't comb there is hair all over the house I feel sleepy all the time. Could it be thyroid problem or iodine deficiency what should I do first check iodine>>. I have tried: Nothing I just happen to read to find a remedy for my problem I used hair oils that s it, I notice. I think it was caused by: I thought using hair dryer everyday might have caused hair loss but I'm always doing so

There are many different disorders that can cause you to feel sleepy and lose your hair at the same time, including perimenopause, menopause, polycystic ovarian disease, Type II diabetes, kidney diseases, fatty liver disease, immune system disorders like AIDS or psoriasis. stress, and any number of vitamin and mineral deficiencies including a lack of Vitamin A, B, C, copper, iron, selenium and of course, iodine. Fatigue accompanied by hair loss can also be caused by addiction to prescription or recreational street drugs and alcoholism. Many prescribed drugs, as well as chemotherapy can cause hair loss. Your first step is to go to the doctor, who will check your thyroid and Iodine levels as a matter of course when he does routine blood work. He or she will analyze the results and tell you to take it from there, as there is no way of checking your iodine levels on your own.

With regards to the use of the hairdryer. If your hair and roots are healthy, normal blow drying of your hair once a day would not harm it and cause it to fall out. Using hairdryer is to be avoided if you know your hair is falling out as weak hair is more prone to traction stress. This means pulling on it in any way or handling it can cause it to fall out.

Can taking 200 mcg of liquid potassium iodine with kelp along with thyroid medication suppress my thyroid.and cause hair loss? My doctor said to stop iodine. Hair loss going on 2yrs 7 mos after starting iodine. Thank you?

I take 65,mg Wp thyroid. 1/2. 25 mcg cytomel and 25 MCG synthroid now. I have used synthroid with small amount of cytomel.for quite a few years with no hair loss. Thyroid never was stable so I added iodine and felt better. Then 7 mos later hair started falling. I am 71 Years old and a health nut so it is not because of poor nutrition or hormonal imbalance per my endochronologist.

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Categories : Hair Loss

Recent edits by: Alma, sdp10112, pilot223

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