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Female Hair Loss: Lab Testing

My expertise in treating hair loss in women started with a personal experience of hair loss in my 20s. After being dismissed by my Medical Doctor who assured me it was “totally normal” I persisted in understanding why a healthy woman in her 20s would start losing hair.

Laboratory Testing for Female Hair Loss

As I discuss in my article, Getting to the Root of Female Hair Loss, treating hair loss can only be effective if you understand the root cause – why is a woman losing hair? Through laboratory testing an answer can often be found.

When I am working with women with hair loss I generally advocate for a tiered approach to lab testing for hair loss – starting with the most likely causes and progressing to the more complex.

For myself, the issue was an iron deficiency. By correcting that iron deficiency I was able to resolve my hair loss in under a year and it hasn’t recurred since.

Use the checklist below with your Medical Doctor or Naturopathic Doctor to determine the root cause of your hair loss. And if you’re ready to work with someone experienced in hair loss in women, get in touch and book an appointment today.

Female Hair Loss – Printable PDF

Disclaimer

The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

 

Gratitude Goodies

Every year at the Integrative Health Institute, we celebrate our anniversary by celebrating you – our community – the reason we are able to do what we do.  You are the motivation that brings us to work every day.  You are the fire behind our passion for health care.  And so we thank you!

This year I celebrated our #IHIgratitude party by making my favourite healthy vegan snack – protein power balls! We’re calling them Gratitude Goodies and the recipes are below.

Ginger Coconut Gratitude Goodies

1 cup dates (soaked)
1 cup mixed raw almonds and cashews (soaked)
1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

Soak dates and nuts for 10 minutes in warm (not boiling) water.  Drain and place in food processor.  Pulse to mix.  Add protein powder, coconut oil and ginger.  Blend in food processor until desired consistency (I like a bit of crunch so I don’t puree until smooth).  Form balls and roll in coconut.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Gratitude Goodies

1 cup dates (soaked)
1 cup mixed raw almonds and cashews (soaked)
1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
1/4 cup Mexican hot chocolate powder (I used the one from Soma Chocolatiers)

Soak dates and nuts for 10 minutes in warm (not boiling) water.  Drain and place in food processor.  Pulse to mix.  Add protein powder, coconut oil and cacao nibs.  Blend in food processor until desired consistency (I like a bit of crunch so I don’t puree until smooth).  Form balls and roll in powdered chocolate.

Tea and Iron Deficiency

Tea (Camellia sinensis) is one of the most commonly consumed drinks on the planet and is highly respected for its many health promoting properties.  To name a few, tea is:

  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • probiotic (promotes healthy intestinal bacteria)
  • antimicrobial – antiviral, antibacterial and anti-protozoal
  • anti-mutagenic
  • anti-carcinogenic

However, tea can have a significant negative impact on our health as well.   Green tea, black tea, and some herbal teas (such as peppermint) can contribute to iron deficiency. The polyphenols in tea (the same compounds that give tea – especially green tea – many of its health promoting properties) bind to iron and prevent the body from absorbing it.

When tea is consumed at the same time as iron-rich foods the absorption of iron is decreased by as much as 26%.  This impact on absorption is only a concern with non-heme iron, or plant based iron and is not seen with heme-iron (animal-based iron.)  This leaves vegans and vegetarians at greatest risk for the negative effects of this interaction.

In order to prevent iron deficiency it is recommended that green and black teas – including iced teas, not be consumed with a meal and that individuals at risk for iron deficiency (adolescents, pregnant women, vegetarians and vegans, menstruating women, and the elderly) be aware of the potential impact of tea on their iron status.

Disclaimer

The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only.  It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider.  Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.