Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: hair | loss | iodine | bald

Can I Stop My Hair Loss?

Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 11:42 AM


Question: I am a woman in my 60s who has recently experienced hair loss. I’ve read that low iodine can cause this. Is this true?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:

Hair loss is very common and low iodine is a very rare cause of hair loss today in North America. Iodine deficiency is, however, still a problem in some Third World countries where starvation and dietary deficiencies are common.

Most of our foods have sufficient iodine and iodized salt is sufficient to supply the most voracious thyroids. Many years ago, dietary iodine deficiency was common, and as a result of this, people often developed goiter and hypothyroid conditions. Hair thinning and loss was typically seen three to six months later.

In 32 years of clinical and hospital medicine, I have seen five cases, most of them many years ago. I believe this should answer your question. See your doctor before you supplement your diet with iodine beyond using iodized salt. You’ll want to keep your dietary sodium load to two grams or less per day, and ideally to around two grams.


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Hair loss is very common and low iodine is a very rare cause of hair loss today.
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Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 11:42 AM
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