Dr. Weyrich's Naturopathic Functional Medicine Notebook is a collection of information on topics of interest to Dr. Weyrich that may be of interest to the world wide audience. Due to limitations of time, not all information that Dr. Weyrich knows or would like to further research is published here. Dr. Weyrich welcomes financial contributions to support specific research topics, as well as copies of non-free access journal articles for him to review on a topic. Constructive criticism is also welcome.

Overview of Alopecia (Hair Loss)

Complimentary and alternative treatments for alopecia that are considered below include:

  • Immune System Balancing
  • Low Dose Naltrexone (alopecia areata)

Etiology of Alopecia (Hair Loss)

Several common causes of alopecia (hair loss) have been identified:
    loss of the lateral portion of the eybrow ("Queen Anne's Sign" or "The Sign of Hertoghe" [Hertoghe1915], [Starr2005, pg 112], [Pizzorno2012, pg 1406 ff].
  • Excessive dihydroxytestosterone (DHT) [Pizzorno2012, pg 1406 ff].
  • Many different drugs [Pizzorno2012, pg 1406 ff].
  • Nutritional deficiencies (especially consider Fe, Zn, Vitamin A, and EFA) [Pizzorno2012, pg 1406 ff].
  • Deficiencies in digestion or absorption of nutrients (especially hypochlorhydria) [Pizzorno2012, pg 1406 ff], [Marz1999, pg 521].
  • Antigliadin antibodies (even in the absence of Celiac Disease) [Pizzorno2012, pg 1406 ff].
  • Blood glucose dysregulation or insulin resistance [Pizzorno2012, pg 1406 ff].

Less common causes of hair loss include:

Diagnosis of Alopecia (Hair Loss)

  • Initial workup: CBC, CMP, Serum Ferritin, TSH, Free-T3.
  • Consider adding to initial workup: hA1C, homocystine, methylmalonic acid
  • Consider: Glucose-insulin tolerance test (if blood sugar dysregulation or insulin resistance is suspected).
  • Consider: human antitissue transglutaminase antibodies (IgA anti-tTG). This is more sensitive than testing for antigliadin antibodies [Pizzorno2012, pg 1406 ff].
  • Consider: EFA panel.
  • Consider: Hormone panel.
  • Consider: Lupus panel (if scarring is present).
  • Consider: Referral to dermatologist (if the hair-loss is focal).
  • Consider: Functional nutrient testing (e.g. SpectraCell).

Differential Diagnosis of Alopecia (Hair Loss)

Treatment of Alopecia (Hair Loss)

Please see conventional, complimentary and alternative medical treatments for important background information regarding the different types of medical treatments discussed below.

Naturopathic, Complimentary and Alternative Treatments

Begin with a therapeutic trial of supplementing common nutrient deficiencies as well as specific deficiencies identified by the initial workup. If that fails, then select additional testing based on level of suspicion and address any abnormalities identified.

Immune System Balancing

[McCulley2018, pg 62] reports that alopecia may be an autoimmune disorder, and proposes an approach to treating this disease, which should be supervised by a properly trained medical professional. Dr. Weyrich has considerable interest in this topic, but has not treated any cases of alopecia with Immune System Balancing.

Please see What is Immune System Balancing? for more information.

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

[LdnResearchTrust_conditions] reports that alopecia areata is a condition that LDN could help. Dr. Weyrich has been trained in the use of Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). However, Dr. Weyrich has not treated any cases of alopecia with LDN.

Please see What is Low Dose Naltrexone? for more information.

References for Alopecia (Hair Loss)