This is a quick summary of a VERY IMPORTANT Q&A session with Dr. Sara Gottfried, who is at the cutting edge of preventive health for women. She is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and MIT- and is both deep into the research as well as deep into her own practice.
This is a summary of the 6 things that increase the odds of female hair loss. Something that a majority of women experience at some point in their lives! If you have questions or comments, PLEASE make sure to ask.
“30 percent of women in their 30’s have significant hair loss, and 50 percent of women starting in their 50’s. This affects a huge number of women, and it’s the silent epidemic where women are trying to get help and they’re basically being offered Rogaine“
-Dr. Sara Gottfried
1. Low ferritin, low iron in your system. There’s a number of ways to measure this. You can ask your doctor for a blood test, where you measure your iron and you measure your ferritin. Ferritin is the most sensitive way to measure how much iron you have running around in your body.
Not surprisingly, because you’ve heard this mantra from me before, when it comes to iron, you don’t want too much and you don’t want too little. When it comes to the numbers, I can give you some general information about that. You want a ferritin of around 70 to 80 to hang on to the hair on your head. When it’s too high, that can be a problem, and when it’s lower, that’s an issue.
You want a ferritin of at least 40 to be able to create new hairs to replace the ones that you might have lost. Those are some general numbers of ferritin. Of course, I’m oversimplifying. There’s other things that can affect ferritin besides your iron levels. But that’s a general guide.
2. Thyroid Function. Doctors now measure something called Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Level (TSH). According to Dr. Gottfried “if your thyroid is totally normal, ideally your TSH is somewhere between about 0.3 and 2.5. In fact, there’s a number of endocrinology groups who agree with that. If you want a more optimal range, I even like to run it a little tighter. I like to see it between 0.1 and 1.5. I just find that women feel their best, they’re able to have that sense of buoyancy with their mood, their hair stays on their head, they feel like they can really serve on whatever calling they have, when their THS is in that range.”