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Zinc causing hair loss?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Ocean, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    I started zinc because I was having some symptoms after starting up Vitamin D so having been slowly adding in the vit. D cofactors to try to get rid of these side effects hopefully. I read that too much zinc can cause hair loss but I also read a comment online where someone shared that when they started off with low doses (5 mg) and increased over time, the hair loss stopped.

    I've only been taking about 5 mg a day but have had very noticeable hair loss since. Any ideas? Should I take it less often? I feel I need the zinc as I do feel better (mostly mood issues) since beginning it. I am taking zinc picolinate.
     
  2. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Ocean;

    I haven't read of a case of hair loss with a low dose of zinc either. But I'll bring up possibilities.

    It could be an initial shedding of old hair. I've read that we shed an average of 50-100 strands daily.

    B6 may be needed for zinc absorption. It may not be that a high dose is needed though. I take a low dose B-complex with 18 mgs. of B6.

    Some people recommend taking zinc separately from calcium because calcium may block absorption.

    My greatest hair loss was when I was B12 deficient, I could pull out handfuls. I take small amounts of Iodine, in the form of an organic kelp powder added to my morning smoothie. Iodine can also help with unnatural hair loss.

    Also, my skin flaked and peeled for the first few months. The new skin looks better, so I think that I was shedding old dead cells.
     
  3. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    Thanks Crux. I just received some B6 that I ordered, so it's good timing for me to start that.

    The hair loss is definitely somehow related to the zinc because it definitely coincided with beginning that. And it's the loss of a lot of hair, not normal for me. But maybe it is an initial shedding of hair and will soon stop like how it was with your skin. If not, I'll need to figure out what's going on, because it's a lot of hair that is being shed.

    ETA: By the way is it good to take calcium if you're taking vitamin D? I haven't been taking calcium because I feel my magnesium is low and I thought I read that magnesium and calcium compete for absorption?
     
  4. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Ocean;
    If the zinc is causing alot of hair loss, that's not good. Maybe stop for a few days to see if the hair loss stops. I don't know why it could be causing this paradox, but, this is a negative side effect. It's possible that it is not needed, but since you've been having some good results, I was very hopeful for you. I still am.

    I don't know if you take any other B's, and if they might be helpful. Maybe starting the B's first for a time will help with zinc metabolism. Maybe you get enough in your diet, but that a small amount of B supplements could help. I'm sorry that this has happened.

    Calcium supplementation is a difficult and controversial subject. Personally, I don't supplement with calcium, I get plenty in my diet. I try to supplement to support calcium metabolism. Trying to understand the relationship between magnesium and calcium is difficult for me, but they can be both supportive and competitive.
     
  5. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    One thought on calcium and Vit D 3, is that if your vit D 1,25 (it is often high in ME patients anyway) goes up too much it can mean too much of a rise in calcium levels--which needs to be watched.

    Best,
    Sushi
     
  6. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    Thanks Sushi. So far my calcium level has been okay when recently tested. I don't supplement with it except in my multivitamin. But I'll keep an eye on it in the future too.

    Crux, I think maybe I don't get enough zinc, as I don't eat meat. Maybe it's just my body adjusting to it? But if it continues, then yeah I may cut it out for a bit and see. It seems it's helping me with mood and sleep issues brought on by vit. D so I'm hoping I can continue with it. I know you've had good luck with it so far. Hope I will too. I'm going to plan to start B6 within the week. If I do okay with that, I'll look into a b complex next. Thank you!
     
  7. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    I wonder if I'm getting low on copper? When I read the symptoms, it doesn't seem that way, but I read today low copper could cause hair loss. Not sure why it's happening and whether or not I need the copper.
     
  8. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    Hi Ocean;

    I've also read that low copper may be involved with hair loss. I've been looking at zinc and copper as synergistic, rather than antagonistic, even though they can be both.

    My zinc supplement has 15mg zinc to 1 mg copper. I'm going to add another 1mg of copper. It's reputed to lower histamine. I've had increased histamine lately.

    My greatest hair loss occurred with B12 deficiency.
     
  9. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    I think higher zinc or iron can cause lower copper. See http://www.ithyroid.com/iron.htm

    But I worry about supplementing copper for myself, unless I get my level tested. Too much copper is bad and I wonder if I have too much, too little, or the right amount.

    Also I read that cortisol promotes copper accumulation. And copper decreases norepinephrine degradation by lowering MAO-A activity. If this is true, most likely I have too much copper.
     
  10. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

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    It's true that too much of our precious heavy metals can cause diseases. Part of the problem is a dyshomeostasis of them because they aren't metabolized correctly.

    Not only must we balance the amounts,but we need to encourage them to form proper bonds that allow them to perform the correct functions.

    From what I've been reading, it looks like we especially need the B vitamins to aid this process, along with sufficient amino acids.

    I agree that testing is important, even though there is much disagreement about which test is most accurate. But I've read many case reports that use blood serum, plasma, red blood cell, and hair analysis. Biopsies are also used to confirm.

    I know there's a risk to my taking supplements, especially metals. B12 has a cobalt element. Even excess cobalt can be toxic.

    But, from what I've been reading about zinc and copper deficiency, many (not all) of the symptoms fit my profile. I was surprised to read of cases of sudden death by ventricular fibrillation due to copper deficiency. In my immediate and extended family, there are cases of heart block, cerebral hemorrhage, and stroke. These cases could be associated with copper deficiency, or dyshomeostasis.

    So I do agree that we should go about this carefully, and use our attention skills, but in my case, I'm forced to try to create balance, because I was not born with it.
     
  11. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    I still don't know about the hair loss but here are my thoughts on zinc and copper in general for me so far.

    I have been a vegetarian skewing toward vegan for a long time. Right now I do eat some seafood but that is new. From what I read this type of diet can be high in copper, low in zinc. I'm pretty sure I have been low in zinc because when I started vit. D I got low zinc symptoms such as depressed mood and diarrhea. Now, taking a little zinc each day those symptoms are basically gone.

    Cruz, like you I tried taking copper with zinc in the ratio suggested but I think I may already be high in copper, I'm not sure. I also read that taking zinc, while it should lower copper, at first it may cause copper symptoms because of copper being released into the bloodstream. I think that may be happening for me. I've been getting more wired and having trouble with sleep since beginning zinc and maybe that's the copper being released?

    This stuff takes a lot of work, time, and trial and error to try to figure out!
     

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