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 - Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
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Anyone who has had a problem with head hair loss knows how stressful it is. I certainly do because that happened to me a few years ago. I had been having a rash on my back for a few months associated with some gastro-esophageal reflux. With my long experience in seeing food reactions in others, I assumed it was a food reaction but was slow to get motivated to correct the situation. Slow, until one day I noticed a shiny bald area about 2x3 inches on the top right side of my head. This was immediately motivating and became, to me, a sub-acute medical emergency. I knew I had dawdled long enough and now had to get down to business.
Usually I order a food allergy test on myself yearly, but was now overdue. I began with a battery of blood tests, including an updated food allergy test. The results indicated a severe gluten intolerance. Immediately, there was no more gluten for me. Though the hair loss had motivated me, my rash disappeared within the week and I had no more esophageal reflux or GI symptoms. The best reward was that my hair came back.  Occasionally I test the limits by eating a little gluten and sure enough, each time there is a recurrence of the GI symptoms. I do not push the limits long enough to get the rash or hair loss recurrence. If you wonder if you may have food sensitivities, see my newsletter on the subject at
The point of my personal story is that many cases of hair loss can be reversible.  It may well be worth the detective work required to see if it is.
Other than male pattern balding, the most common causes for hair loss I have seen in my particular medical career are drug side effects, iron deficiency, various other nutrient deficiencies,  thyroid or other hormone disorders, and adverse reactions to foods or substances (either topical or internal).
Hair is approximately 80 percent protein, and is made up of tough fibrous proteins called keratin. Keratin is composed of long chains of amino acids. These chains are found within the fibers of the cortex of the hair. The amino acids comprising these chains are  Cysteine (10-14%), Serine, Glutamic Acid, LysineThreonine, Glycine, Leucine, Valine, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Alanine, Proline, Isoleucine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Histidine, Methionine.  Cysteine is by far the most abundant. A useful graphic of the composition of hair can be found at Sulfur bonds in the hair hold the chains of amino acids together. These same amino acids are the building blocks of skin and nails.  Amino acids , in general, are the building blocks of the entire body.
G. Harrap reported a study on the effect of age on hair root amino acid levels.  They concluded hair root  amino acid concentrations fall  by 32% from age 20 to 70 years of age.  We might conclude that aging does affect hair protein synthesis.  What would happen if there were no decline in protein synthesis  secondary to an increase in free form amino acid  precursor loading?  Am curious that I do not see more research on this as the hair loss industry is huge.
Deficiencies of the following nutrients  can be associated with hair loss: Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, Inositol, Essential Fatty Acids, Copper, IronZinc, Protein ( especially the amino acids L-cysteine, L-methionine, L-glutathione).
Excesses of Selenium and Vitamin A, Cadmium or Arsenic can cause hair loss.
Surgery and general illness can cause hair loss likely related to med side effects, nutrient deficiencies, and major stress.
Male pattern baldness is primarily genetic and related to the hormone DHT (Dihydrotesterone). DHT is a metabolic product of the breakdown of testosterone. This type of hair loss is called androgenic alopecia (AGA).  Fifty percent of male and female Caucasians over 40 years have some degree of AGA. Women usually  have decreased hair thickness and density rather than balding. Progression in women may hasten after menopause or in those taking aromatase inhibitors. In those prone to AGA, the DHT causes the hair follicle to become smaller, which makes the hair shaft smaller until it becomes like peach fuzz or non -existent.
DHT blockers are used to help delay this type of hair loss. There are natural and prescription DHT blockers. The natural ones are Saw Palmetto, Pumpkin Seed, Emu Oil, Green Tea, Pygeum Extract, Nettle Leaf, Soy Isoflavones, Gamma Linolenic Acids, Melatonin, and Zinc.
There are prescription DHT blockers such as Propecia. Studies have shown that adding the amino acid L- Lysine  to DHT blockers may make them more effective.
Another treatment for AGA is Minoxidil (Rogaine). It is a vasodilator originally used to treat high blood pressure which was also found to  retard hair loss and to help with hair growth when applied to the scalp.  A summary of studies on Minoxidil indicated 15% will experience some hair regrowth, 50% will have delayed hair loss, and 35% will continue to lose hair.  With a 65% chance of some kind of benefit, it is worth a try if you suffer from AGA.
Hair loss can be a side effect of  a large number of medications, too numerous to list all of them. But here is a partial list of drugs and other substances which can have the side effect of hair loss.  All drugs are listed by generic name only.  If you are losing hair & don’t find your medication here, be sure to look in a PDR (Physician’s Drug Reference) to see a detailed list of side effects from your meds. Look for the word Alopecia.  Do not change any of your medications without discussing with your doctor.
Allopurinol, amphetamines, arsenic, apirin, l-asparaginase, bismuth, bleomycin, boric acid, bromocriptine, carbamazepine, carbon monoxide, chlorambucil, chloramphenicol, cimetidine, colchicine, clofibrate, clomiphene citrate, coumarin anticoagulant, cyclophosphamide, cyproterone acetate, dactinomycin, danazol, diethyl carbamazepine, dipyridamole,divalprox, doxorubicin, ethionamide, etoposide, etretinate, fenifibrate, fluconazole, gemfibrozal,  gentamycin sulphate, guanethidine, heparin (telogen effluvium after 6-16 weeks ), hydroxychloroquine, ibuprofen, idoxuridine, indandione, indomethacin, interferon, iodine, isophosphamide, L amotrigine,  levamisole, levodopa, lithium, mepacrine, mercury, mesalazine, methisazone, methotrexate, methyl CCNU, methysurgide, metoprolol, mitomycin, mitrexantrone, morphine, nadolol, nafoxidine, naproxen,  nicotinyl alcohol, nitrofurantoin sodium, norethisterone, estrogens, oral contraceptives, para aminosalicylate, phenindione, phenprocoumon, potassium thiocyanate, procainamide, propanolol, ranitidine, retinol, selenium sulphide, sodium aurothiomalate, sodium valproate, spironolactone, sulindac,  sulphasalazine, tamoxifen, thalium acetate, thiamphenicol, timolol, timolol eyedrops terfenadine, topiramate, trimethadione, troxidone, ursodeoxycholic acid, valproic acid, vasopressin, vincristine, vindesine, vitamin A, warfarin
Psychiatric Meds such as:
  • Adapin (doxepin)
  • Anafranil (clomipramine)
  • Asendin (amoxapine)
  • Elavin (amitriptyline)
  • Endep (amitriptyline)
  • Haldol ( haloperidol)
  • Janimine (imipramine)
  • Norpramin (desipramine)
  • Pamelor (nortriptyline)
  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Pertofrane (desipramine)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride)
  • Sinequan (doxepin)
  • Surmontil (trimipramine)
  • Tofranil (imipramine)
  • Tofranil PM (imipramine)
  • Ventyl (nortriptyline)
  • Vivactil (protriptyline hydrochloride)
  • Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride)
All hormone-containing drugs and drugs prescribed for hormone-related, reproductive, male-specific, and female-specific conditions and situations have the potential to cause hair loss, including:
  • Anabolic steriods
  • Birth Control Pills
  • Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) for women (estrogen or synthetic progesterone)
  • Male androgenic hormones and all forms of testosterone
  • Prednisone and other steroid
 Thyroid Disorders:
  • Overactive or underactive thyroid and improper dose of drugs used to treat same.
As mentioned before, stress can be a major factor in hair loss and perhaps partially because of excess stress hormones.  Mice altered to overproduce adrenal stress hormones had their hair turn gray then fall out to become bald.  They were then injected for 5 days in a row with a stress blocking chemical called Astressin-B.  Three months later the group given the stress hormone blocker had regrown all hair while the group without the blocker had not.  The hope is to pursue human studies. However major hormone manipulation in human studies can be complicated and fraught with difficulties. 
If you find any of the above reversible causes are related to your hair loss, correct them, to see what happens.  If you have done all your detective work and made sure none of the above potentially reversible causes of hair loss relate to you, you might check further possible routes of management at

PRISCILLA SLAGLE, M.D. or Cathy Jones, Assisitant
Phone: 1 (760) 322-7797
Fax: 760-322-7608
In this Issue:

Elimination Diet May Improve ADHD Symptoms
February 4, 2011 —
In a group of young children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nearly two-thirds who followed a restricted elimination diet experienced a significant reduction in ADHD symptoms and oppositional defiant behavior. Going off the diet led to relapse. The findings, from the Impact of Nutrition on Children with ADHD (INCA) study, are published in the February 5 issue of The Lancet.
Dr. Jaswinder Ghuman "We think that dietary intervention should be considered in all children with ADHD, provided parents are willing to follow a diagnostic restricted elimination diet for a 5-week period and provided expert supervision is available."
Lidy M. Pelsser, PhD, of the ADHD Research Centre in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and colleagues write. "Children who react favorably to this diet should be diagnosed with food-induced ADHD and should enter a challenge procedure to define which foods each child reacts to and to increase the feasibility and to minimize the burden of the diet."
The INCA study was a 2-phase randomized trial involving 100 children aged 4 to 8 years with ADHD. During a baseline period (weeks 1 to 3), 50 control children continued their normal diet and their parents were given healthy food advice and kept a diary of their child's behavior. The other 50 children started an open trial with a restricted elimination diet (mainly rice, meat vegetables, pears, and water, complemented with potatoes, fruits, and wheat). By the end of week 2, 17 of 41 children in the diet group (41.5%) had no behavioral response to the diet, and their diet was further restricted to rice, meat, vegetables, pears, and water.
According to the investigators, by the end of phase 1 (weeks 4-9), symptoms of ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder were significantly improved in 64% of children in the diet group compared with no improvement in controls. Between baseline and the end of phase 1, the difference between the diet group and the control group showed a statistically significant improvement of the diet group.  
 In her commentary, Dr. Ghuman noted restricted elimination diet studies are "complex and challenging." The INCA study was "well-designed and carefully done, showed a benefit with a supervised elimination diet, and provides an additional treatment option for some young children with ADHD. Interested  parents will need appropriate guidance and supervision for a structured protocol to determine any benefit and identify incriminated foods."
Dr Doris Rapp, pediatric allergist, has excellent videos and books on her web site which  help to clarify this complex topic.  She is a specialist in the provocation neutralization area of food sensitivity testing.  Specifically sublingual extracts of various foods are given to the child to see the reaction.  Then neutralization extracts are given sublingually to stop the reaction.  It is a vivid immediate way to see how a food may adversely affect the behavior of a child.

Hope for Movement Disorders, Tourette's,TMJ
 I went to the local compounding pharmacy and had a visit with the pharmacist who has been around a long time, has seen alot, and respects successful creative healers who are somehow able to help those whom no one else has helped.
He showed me some videos of the work of a dentist in Vienna, Virginia named
Dr Brendan Stack.  You may want to look at some of the videos posted on his web site.  I think you will be impressed and inspired by what you see and maybe you know or will sometime know someone who can use his help.
These videos contain patients with an assortment of  strange neurological appearing movement disorder maladies not previously helped by other doctors.  Then by Dr Stack's methods of making adjustments  and putting customized appliances in the mouth you see seeming miracles. You see the transformation of the patients from dysfunctional misery to normalcy.  Quite extraordinary and I hope this mention will help lead others who need Dr Stacks' kind of help to find him and to find relief.