Functional Medicine Approach to Hair Loss
Functional medicine focuses on discovering the underlying causes to your health concerns. Nutritional deficiencies, lifestyle factors, certain medical conditions, and even hormone imbalances may all be contributing factors to hair loss. Through a functional medicine consult we can help to determine any underlying health conditions which could be affecting your hair loss. So, what does a functional medicine consult for hair loss include?
What kinds of things are looked at as part of a Functional Medicine Evaluation?
Detailed health history
Every Functional Medicine patients begins their evaluation process by filling out and submitting their medical screening questionnaire and intake forms prior to the initial consultation. These forms help us to understand your past medical history, family history, lifestyle factors, previous medication uses, environmental toxin exposures and other previous history. This information will be reviewed prior to your first appointment. We encourage you to also submit any relevant lab testing. Your first visit will be a clarification of all information submitted and a coordination of next steps and goals.
There are many imbalances that have been linked with hair loss. Through both traditional medical labs and functional medical labs, we can assess your current health status and help to discover if there are any current imbalances that could be contributing to your hair loss. Some of these imbalances include:
a. Thyroid evaluation – Patients with either hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can experience hair loss. While there are many causes to thyroid disorders, through simple blood tests, our doctors can help evaluate your thyroid function.
b. Anemia – Anemia is the medical term for not enough healthy red bloods cells. One specific type of anemia, known as Iron deficiency anemia, which can results if you are not eating enough iron-containing foods or you aren’t absorbing it correctly is a common cause for hair loss. Other symptoms of anemia include fatigue, loss of energy, dizziness and pale skin. If you experience any or a combination of these symptoms you should be evaluated by a health care professional.
c. Nutritional Evaluation – Nutritional deficiencies can impact both hair structure and hair growth. Common nutrient deficiencies that may affect hair loss include Iron, Zinc, Niacin, Selenium, Folic, Vitamin A & D, and Biotin. Through a variety of labs, our doctors can help to determine any underlying nutritional deficiencies.
d. Hormones – Throughout life our hormone levels are changing. It is known that hair loss can be caused by both genetics as well as hormonal imbalances. During your functional medicine consult we can make recommendations for comprehensive sex hormone testing that can determine imbalances in estrogen, testosterone, progesterone along with their metabolites and other pertinent hormones.
e. Gastrointestinal (GI) Imbalances – Gastrointestinal health is foundational to health. Our gastrointestinal tract houses roughly 80% of our immune system and is where we break down and absorb all the nutrients found in the foods we eat. Through a simple stool test, our doctors can evaluate your gastrointestinal tract for any imbalances and inflammation that could be contributing to your hair loss.
Life Style Factors
We will talk to you about stress and lifestyle as hair loss can occur after a crisis whether is be medical, social or psychological. We will make suggestions for stress management and determine the right time to begin hair treatment. When a patient suffers from acute hair loss related to a stressor of some kind, PRP and other therapies can often awaken dormant hair follicles to accelerate regrowth.
We offer a comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning process to address your hair loss and health concerns.