Pregnancy and Thyroid, Supplements

Patient

Q: October 26, 2011 Dear Doctor, I am 33 years old and since I was 21 I have had troubles with hair loss. My father has hypothyroidism and so I have been tested several times over the past 10 years to see how my thyroid is functioning. The tests always indicate that it is functioning normally. However, my hair growth doesn't indicate this. About 1 year ago I began taking a Thyroid Complex from Vitamin Shoppe. My hair grew faster, my nails stopped breaking, and I wasn't cold all the time. About 2 months ago I went off the pill and scheduled a meeting with an OBGYN for a pre-pregnancy consult who looked at my vitamin regime, which included a prenatal vitamin, and recommended that I continue to take the Thyroid Complex until I became pregnant. If you go to Vitamin Shoppe's website, they post the ingredients for Thyroid Complex. Last week I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I have not been taking the Thyroid Complex for 5 days. This morning my symptoms returned: hair is coming out, my face is super dry and I'm perpetually chilled. It doesn't seem like it's good for babe or me to be having these troubles. The doctor's office has not scheduled me until Nov 30 but that seems like awhile to be having possible iodine issues. Do you have any recommendations or thoughts? Thank you for your help. Heather

Doctor

A:   It is difficult for me to point a finger to the actual cause of your hair loss and dry skin, but it could most probably be related to your diet. You have been tested for hypothyroidism several times, so thyroid problem causing the hair loss is less likely.
There are several vitamins that are helpful in hair-loss and maintaining good skin :
i) Vitamin B complex - helps in strengthening hair follicles. Vitamin B complex is present in fish, red meat, poultry and milk.
ii) Iron - decreased iron resourses also lead to hair loss.
iii) Biotin is part of the B complex family and has been proven to prevent hair loss. It also prevents gray hairs. This vitamin is in milk, yeast and egg yolks.
iv) Vitamins A,C and E are antioxidants and help to keep your skin healthy.
v) Other minerals that help are Zinc which helps in scalp problems. Zinc is present in red meat.
Most of these minerals can be obtained by taking a normal balanced diet. Multivitamins are additive and should not be used as a substitute for healthy diet. As far as thyroid complex, the minerals present in it are also contained in prenatal vitamins. You may also need to see your dietitian for a diet plan for pregnancy. I hope the information helps.

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