Going Bald at 33.

by Amy
(Memphis, TN)

Hello Wray,

It seems you've been able to help a lot of people, and I need a lot of help! So I'll spare you the emotional rant and stick to the facts. Here goes.
I've always had fine hair that breaks easily. It has never grown past shoulder length. At 19 I went to the gyno for a checkup and to start BC pills as I was getting married. She noticed my brittle hair and checked me for a goiter. It was small but definitely present. Enter endocrinologist and over a decade of synthroid. It was also determined I was slightly anemic. I did not always take the synthroid and iron regularly. However as I started to notice new symptoms, I became compliant. Other symptoms at that time included, intolerant to cold or a draft, palpitations, short of breath.

At 22 I stopped birth control pills. At 25 I started to develop regular heavy periods with large clots and a significant increase in pain and acne (which I had rarely experienced in teenage years). My thyroid was checked regularly and endocrinologist concluded it was normal but the goiter never reduced. At 29 my period caused me to miss at least one day of work a month. I have no children. I began notice excessive hair loss, the drain clogged daily.

At 32 new symptoms arrived. Facial hair, anger, irritability, hopelessness, panic attacks, operating with the full knowledge I'm behaving badly and doing it anyway, tenderness in the breast that prevents wearing a bra, headaches, low sex drive, night sweats, depression and even more hair loss particularly around the ears. It occurs mostly before and during my period. I have to use the hair on the crown to hide the patchiness. Looking for a better QOL, I ditched my endocrinologist and looked for someone that would consider armor thyroid.

I found him. I asked him to check my estrogen/testosterone levels to see if there was a problem he said they were normal. However he said he needed to get me stable before getting off synthroid. He increased my synthroid to 100mcg and added 4000 IUs of Vit D3 and Slow Iron. I added Biotin 5000mcg, and Super Primrose 1300mg. I've had times when it seemed I was getting better. But lately all the symptoms are getting worse, particularly hair loss heavy period and irritability. I've been on this regimen for about 9 months. I reduced my work hours to deal better with stress and get more exercise.

I'm now 33. My personal and work relationships are suffering. In 4-5 periods I will have to get a wig. I'm nervous about starting progesterone therapy because some have had an increase in hair loss initially.
Should I just start progesterone therapy and hope I don't go bald? Or since its already pretty bare, shave it, get a wig and lather up progesterone cream and hope it grows back? What do you think is really going on here?

Sorry it's so long, it's hard to know what to put in the thyroid column, the progesterone column or other.
Thank you in advance!

Comments for Going Bald at 33.

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Oct 05, 2012
Going Bald at 33
by: Wray

Hi Amy My first question is why synthroid? This is synthetic T4, T3 is the active hormone. But if high rT3 is present this prevents the conversion between T4 to T3. Excess adrenaline causes rT3 to increase, excess adrenaline comes from excess stress. It also causes panic attacks, and a tight chest. We have more info about these on our Anxiety page. I'm delighted your new doctor has given you vitamin D, but did he do a test first? A lack of vitamin D affects the thyroid greatly, see here, here and here. Progesterone does help Hair Loss. As do a number of nutrients, in particular vitamin D, it's vital for the hair. For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although recent research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. It's also vital for depression, see here, here, here, here, here. and here. Your 'intolerant to cold or a draft, palpitations, short of breath' shouts lack of progesterone to me, in fact all your past and recent symptoms too. We do have two pages on breasts, Breast Tenderness and Breast Cysts. Continued below.

Oct 05, 2012
Going Bald at 33 Part 2
by: Wray

Hi Amy It could very well be you are short of iodine, as this causes sore breasts. In fact that could be the reason for the goitre. Acne, facial hair and hair loss are caused by excess testosterone. Progesterone suppresses this. If bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) testosterone becomes inactive, progesterone raises levels of SHBG, see here, so preventing the rise of free testosterone. SHBG drops if sugars are eaten, even those found in all grains, legumes, dairy and sweet starchy fruits and vegetables. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, reduce SHBG by 80, 50 and 40% respectively, see here. Thereby allowing testosterone to rise. It's best to avoid all the foods and sugars mentioned. We have more info about anger on our Aggression page, also caused by excess testosterone. Although you had a testosterone test, it could be the ratio to that and progesterone is out of balance, same for oestrogen too. Did he test for progesterone? I've found Hot Flushes and night sweats need about 400mg/day, sometimes more. I feel if you do try progesterone, with your myriad symptoms, please don't use less than 400mg/day. Finally the palpitations can be explained by excess oestrogen and low progesterone. Oestrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia and Torsades de Pointes. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

Oct 06, 2012
Definitely consider taking iodine as well.
by: Chris

I just wanted to add that the mention of low iodine is probably a very important issue in this case also. I suggest you join the below yahoo group called iodine...see below link. The recommended daily allowances for iodine are ridiculously low. I myself take 12.5 - 25mg per day which is 100-200 times the recommended daily amount. When I started doing this I was able to lower my dessicated thyroid medication by 70mg per day. However, it is important to take large doses of iodine with companion nutrients, particularly selenium. You can find the whole iodine protocol in the yahoo iodine group files.

Also if you just want to buy your own dessicated thyroid (ie same thing as armour)..see the link below. This is what I have done. I started by getting it through my doctor but it was way too expensive so now I buy this very good product and split my tablets into the dose size I require which at this stage is half a tablet (150mg). just buy empty capsules and carefully divide the contents of these capsules in to your chosen dose. It has worked brilliantly for me and is very cheap. And since they reformulated armour thyroid and people have complained it doesn't work as well, then this product would probably be better than armour.

Natural Thyroid Solutions

you can buy the right kind of iodine from iherb as per this link. And you can also find alot of the companion nutrients from iherb also, as well as empty capsules and real salt which is an important part of doing the iodine protocol...see this link.

I tend to make salt capsules as I find it easier to take salt this way.

Anyway with all the above and good dosing of progesterone you might see some progress.

I have PCOS and hypothyroidism...with many similar symptoms to what you mention however no where near to the severity you mention...probably due to the fact i have used progesterone now for 15yrs and natural thyroid and iodine for 3years. I've had huge improvements since adding the natural thyroid, iodine and increasing my progesterone dose.

I also follow Weston A Price food principles to maintain a healthy diet.

I wish you the best.


Oct 08, 2012
Definitely consider taking iodine as well
by: Wray

Hi Chris Well you have given us a wealth of info, bless you! I will be looking into all the sites you've mentioned, although I do know the Weston Price one well, excellent info on it too. Particularly about the dangers of soy. It appears there's now a wide spread iodine deficiency again, selenium is often low in soils too. You might be interested in these papers, see here and here. We do have a page on PCOS, although you might have seen it. Please consider having a vitamin D test done, maybe you already have, as it seems you do a great deal of research. It's vital for PCOS and the thyroid, possibly your level is too low. I'm fascinated by the fact you fill your own containers, and do your own dosing too. It makes so much sense to me, as often the doses are far too low as you say. I've been buying many nutrients in bulk, as we make up complexes, all in powder form too. This makes them all so much more affordable, and their are no excipients either. Thanks once again! Take care Wray

Oct 13, 2012
by: Amy

Thank you do much!
My doc said since I have been on synthroid/ levothyroxine for over 10 years he didn't want to change it until I was "stable". I've been to another doc since then. She did a saliva test and told me to continue Vit d. I sent her my last blood panel with t3 and t4. I'll beef up on all the links you've given me while waiting for her call! She agrees with you that progesterone therapy would likely help. She wants to start there and then address the thyroid. In the mean time I've been doing what I can to lower stress.
Thank you again for all your help!!! I'm really hoping to finally get some relief!

Oct 14, 2012
by: Wray

Hi Amy 10 years is a long time to get stable. Maybe all you need is more vitamin D, iodine and progesterone. I'm happy your new doc is onsides about that, so many aren't. Please let us low how you get on. Take care Wray

Dec 30, 2012
Low thyroid and Iodine
by: Anonymous

Hello. Everyone here recommends Iodine to improve your thyroid condition, however I have to warn you. I do not know the reason for your hypothyroid, but if it is caused by Hashimoto Thyroiditis,an autoimmune disease, taking Iodine might actually worsen it causing your thyroid gland to "burn out faster". So please before taking Iodine consult first with your doctor.
Good luck.

Dec 31, 2012
Low thyroid and Iodine
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for your cautionary note, it is possible to overdo iodine, which can cause the very thing you're trying to cure. The best test is applying about 3 drops of iodine tincture to the inner arm, and watching how quickly it fades. If within hours it shows there's a deficiency. Alternatively have a test done. Interestingly a Dec 2012 study shows that iodine excretion is slightly higher in people with Hashi's than the control group, see here. They've also found, like so many of our diseases, that oxidative stress is behind Hashi's. This is why I suggested to Amy she checked her vitamin D level. Glutathione is always low too, our most important endogenous antioxidant, but rarely tested for. Selenium is always low too, see here, and as this mineral is vital for the production of glutathione it's not surprising glutathione is low. Take care Wray

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