Can Iodine Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?

Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 10:14 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I have food allergies and am on a strict diet. I eat only meat, chicken, fish, vegetables, some fruits, nuts, and use sea salt. Do you think my thinning hair could be a result of lack of iodine?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
Yes. Iodine deficiency can be a cause of hypothyroidism, and may also cause your thyroid gland to enlarge and form a goiter. Hypothyroidism does cause hair thinning. Iodine deficiency and vitamin deficiency used to be very common before fortified food was available, and iodine deficiency is less commonly seen except in Third World countries.
 
If you start using iodized salt, you will have sufficient iodine for normal thyroid function. Make the change now and it will take up to three months to see improvements, if iodine deficiency is the cause of your thinning hair.
 
In any event, it’s best to see your doctor to identify the cause through available tests for thyroid function.

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