As a naturopathic doctor, one of the most common concerns that patients come to me with is hair loss. Hair loss is a common condition that affects both men and women and can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetics, hormonal imbalances, stress, nutrient deficiencies, and poor diet. As a result, I always recommend thorough lab testing to help identify the root cause of hair loss so that we can develop an effective treatment plan.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the latest research on lab testing for hair loss and how naturopathic doctors can use this information to help their patients achieve healthy, lustrous hair.
Lab Testing for Hair Loss: Why it’s Important
Before we dive into the latest research on lab testing for hair loss, let’s first understand why it’s important. Lab testing can help identify the underlying cause of hair loss so that we can develop an effective treatment plan that addresses the root cause.
For example, if a patient’s lab results show that they have a nutrient deficiency, such as low iron or low vitamin D, we can address this deficiency through dietary changes or supplements. Similarly, if a patient’s lab results show hormonal imbalances, we can develop a treatment plan that includes natural hormone therapies or lifestyle changes that help balance hormones.
Thorough lab testing can help us identify the root cause of hair loss and develop an effective treatment plan that addresses the underlying issue.
Lab Tests for Hair Loss: What to Look For
There are several lab tests that naturopathic doctors can use to help identify the root cause of hair loss. These include:
Blood tests can help identify nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and thyroid dysfunction that may be contributing to hair loss.
Hormone tests can help identify imbalances in hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and DHT that can contribute to hair loss.
Food Sensitivity Testing
Food sensitivity testing can help identify foods that may be causing inflammation and contributing to hair loss. The worst case of hair loss that I’ve seen has been caused by a gluten sensitivity. She had lost all of her hair before she came to me, and after she removed gluten, it all came back with the exception of a small area at the back of her head.
Micronutrient testing can help identify nutrient deficiencies that may be contributing to hair loss.
These are just a sample of the lab tests that can help us identify the root cause of hair loss and develop an effective treatment plan that addresses the underlying issue.
Natural Treatment for Hair Loss
Once we have identified the root cause of hair loss through lab testing, we can develop an effective treatment plan that addresses the underlying issue. Here are some natural treatments that may be effective for hair loss:
Diet and Nutrition
A diet rich in nutrients such as iron, vitamin D, biotin, and zinc can help promote healthy hair growth. Naturopathic doctors can develop a personalized nutrition plan that addresses any nutrient deficiencies identified through lab testing.
Vitamins, Herbs, and Supplements
Vitamins, herbs, and supplements can be used to address nutrient deficiencies and promote healthy hair growth. Some supplements that may be effective for hair loss include biotin, zinc, iron, vitamin D, and saw palmetto.
Stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, and exercise can help reduce stress and balance hormones, which can contribute to healthy hair growth.
By addressing the root cause of hair loss through lab testing and natural treatments, naturopathic doctors can help their patients achieve healthy, lustrous hair.
Research on Lab Testing for Hair Loss
- Sinclair, R. D. (2015). Healthy hair: what is it? Journal of investigative dermatology symposium proceedings, 17(1), 1-5.
- Goren, A., Naccarato, T., Situm, M., & Kovacevic, M. (2019). Evaluation and diagnosis of the hair loss patient: part I. History and clinical examination. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 18(6), 1776-1783.
- Sinclair, R., Patel, M., & Dawson Jr, T. L. (2018). Hair loss in women: medical and cosmetic approaches to increase scalp hair fullness. British Journal of Dermatology, 179(3), 582-594.
- Rajput, R. J. (2018). Hair shaft disorders. Indian journal of dermatology, 63(5), 361-370.
- Guo, E. L., & Katta, R. (2017). Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatology practical & conceptual, 7(1), 1-10.
- Finner, A. M. (2013). Nutrition and hair: deficiencies and supplements. Dermatologic clinics, 31(1), 167-172.
- Trüeb, R. M. (2016). Serum biotin levels in women complaining of hair loss. International journal of trichology, 8(2), 73.
- Goren, A., & Shapiro, J. (2014). Clinical utility and validity of hormone ratios in the diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia in men. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 71(3), 499-500.
- D’Ovidio, R., Rinaldi, F., & Pinto, F. (2019). Iron deficiency and hair loss: new insights into an old story. Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 12(11), 32.
- Pratt, C. H., King, L. E., & Messenger, A. G. (2016). Female pattern hair loss. British Journal of Dermatology, 175(4), 645-652.
- Mounsey, A. L., & Reed, S. W. (2009). Diagnosing and treating hair loss. American family physician, 80(4), 356-362.
- Hoffmann, P. R., & Berry, M. J. (2008). The influence of selenium on immune responses. Molecular nutrition & food research, 52(11), 1273-1280.