There are different types of hair loss and different underlying causes. Although some causes are more common, it is essential to find out the underlying cause. Hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, autoimmune reactions, nutritional deficiencies and thyroid imbalances are the most common causes of hair loss.
DHEA and testosterone are the hormones that affect our hair follicles the most and can lead to both thinner and more brittle hair. PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is the most common cause of hair loss for women. In PCOS, you usually have elevated levels of DHEA and testosterone, which can cause you to start losing hair on the head while you can get unwanted hair growth in other places, such as the chin. PCOS is often driven by insulin resistance, but environmental toxins can also play a role. Changes in the intestinal flora have also been linked to insulin resistance. If you suspect PCOS, it is wise to measure both hormones (for men and women) and blood sugar.
The thyroid gland
About one in five women and one in ten men have thyroid problems. Hair loss is a classic symptom of thyroid problems. It is not enough for the thyroid gland to only measure TSH; you also need to measure T4, T3 and TPO-ak and TG-ak. The thyroid hormone T4 is converted to the thyroid hormone T3, and for that conversion to take place, the body needs adequate amounts of selenium, iodine, vitamin D and vitamin A, among other nutrients. . In addition, you can also have thyroid antibodies, and this means that you have an autoimmune reaction. For example, it is often an autoimmune reaction when you lose hair in certain areas instead of evenly on the head. For any autoimmune thyroid reaction, you need to measure TPO-ak and TG-ak.
Protein is essential for the hair. If the protein intake is too low, or if you do not break down the protein and absorb it properly, it will affect the quality of the hair and cause you to lose hair. There are many amino acids (the building blocks of protein) that you do not get if you do not eat meat, so vegans should pay extra attention. The fact that you do not absorb the food’s protein properly may be due to, for example, an underlying autoimmune reaction or an inflammation in the intestine (because it affects the function of the enzymes) or if you have a leaky gut. If you want to check that you are not too low on amino acids, you can do it here.
Furthermore, iron is a significant factor for the hair. Iron is a bit special because it is toxic if you take it without needing it; therefore, you should always measure your iron before taking it via supplements. It can be good to measure both ferritin and iron when you want to check your iron status. Ferritin shows how much iron is stored in the body, showing the supply of iron in the body. In the long run, a deficiency can lead to a reduced haemoglobin value, but it can take several years before the haemoglobin drops, which means that you can have a low iron value for several years before it is detected if you only measure haemoglobin. The iron value shows the amount of iron in the blood. If we lie too low, the body will take iron from our iron stores to balance it. Therefore, the iron value will show low only when emptying your storage. If you want to measure ferritin, you can do it here, and if you want to measure iron, you can do it via our Nutrition Test.
Last but not least, we should not forget that gluten is one of the biggest triggers for hair loss, especially if you have celiac disease. Gluten can cause autoimmune reactions, but you do not need to have celiac disease to be sensitive to gluten. There is milder gluten sensitivity and an IgG reaction to food intolerance. Food intolerances are often counted as a type of gastrointestinal reaction and can cause different types of diffuse symptoms. If you want to test yourself for gluten sensitivity to celiac disease, you can do this, and if you want to test if you have a milder form of gluten sensitivity, you can do it via our food intolerance test, which measures a total of 80 different foods.
Do you need help to choose the right test for you? If you still feel unsure you can contact us by email or chat, we are happy to help. Sometimes several tests needs to be done to really find the root cause of the problem. Some of our most popular tests are the Gut Microbiome tests and the Hormone panels for men and women.