I am a 44 year old female & over the years, since my 20's, I have suffered on & off with hair loss & lots of colds. I always put it down to stress or hormones. I have pictures with a full, thick head of dark curls, then a year later visible scalp, then a couple of years on from that it's thick again. When I had my 2 children, 20 months apart, I had lovely long thick curls, but after giving birth suffered the normal shedding, only I went really scalpy & it felt extreme. Last November I went to see my Dr (I'm in the U.K.) because I was tired, run down, had endless colds & was loosing my hair badly yet again. My blood tests showed everything normal except Vitamin D, which had a score of 37. She said it should be at 50 to be in the lower end of normal. She put me on 2x 800iu of D, 3x per day (4600iu daily) for a month, and then advised a general multi Vit. Within a week my hair had stopped falling out & 6 weeks later, the roots were thick, full & about 2 inches long. My health was great, I was sleeping better, had less muscle fatigue after running – it felt like a miracle! Now, despite a lovely summer here, in June I went back to see her as my hair was coming out faster again. She refused to test, advised there would be no way I was deficient at this time of year & to look into organic hair colour (I colour my greying roots). Seriously?? Since then, my hair has continued to shed, I have visible scalp again & general muscle aches after running. I also periodically get bald patches in my eyebrows, which are thick & dark, so very noticeable. After digging on the internet & getting sound advice from an endocrinologist online, I started taking 4000iu daily at breakfast last week. I always eat fats at breakfast, such as eggs, toast with butter, full fat natural yogurt with fruit & almonds etc. As yet there has been no slowing to my hair loss, but I am sleeping better & feel more mentally alert. As a side note, although I run lots, only my arms & face are exposed due to running tights etc, and my makeup has SPF in it, so whilst I am outside a lot, I don't think in general I absorb much sunlight. Could you advise if this is the right dose of D to get me back on track & stop this very distressing hairloss, or should I go higher despite my Dr refusing to test my bloods? I am a wimp & hate the thought of taking too much of anything, but my Dr was so dismissive even though she could see my scalp. And I know I'm not 'balding' because I have periods of recovery. Sorry also for the long post!
The UK measures as nmol/l so when your level was 37 that equaled 15ng/ml. It surprises me with that level, that first time around you saw better hair in just one week. You were lucky. In the UK D levels “start” at 50nmol/l and that equals 20ng/ml in the USA. In the USA they start at 30ng/ml which translates to 75nmol/l for you. At levels below 75nmol/l, calcium does not fully absorb from the intestines. It does not matter what your actual calcium levels read, even if they are “in range”, your body is not getting enough calcium. Here at the VDC we promote having “healthy” levels of 50ng/ml (125nmol/l). This is because at levels of 40ng/ml (100nmol/l) and below, the risk for cancer and autoimmune diseases rises “dramatically”. For future reference if your doctor will not “test” there is private testing and or test kits like the VDC sells. This is what you can do without a level and since your “hair” did not bounce back in one week. Assume your level is low enough and “treat” the deficiency. This means take 8000-10,000iu of Vitamin D a day for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks you are suppose to retest your level to make sure your levels increased enough.If they have, then you can switch to a “maintenance” dosage of 5000iu a day. (Never take less than 5000iu.) The 5000iu gets most people weighing an average of 150lbs to the level of 50ng/ml (125nmol/l). But this is why we always say “test” to verify. For you, you could try and go by “symptoms”. Take the 8-10,000iu until your hair bounces back and you have no other symptoms like tired muscles.(Muscles use a lot of Vitamin D.) Then switch to the 5000iu and see if you are OK going forward on that amount. If you get to 8 weeks and still have issues, then you need to find a way to test your levels. After that you could come back and give me your level and we can go from there. I am not trying to scare you but give you a reason for your hair not bouncing back as fast. If you have now started an “autoimmune” reaction and that is why there is hair loss, it may take more Vitamin D or a longer period of time to hopefully stop it/reverse it. You are correct that just exposing your arms and face are not enough. Let me know if you have any more questions!
Thank you SO much – I shall increase my dose immediately. Also, please don’t think I meant to sound odd with my hair. I was just trying to explain that on the Dr prescribed dose of D, my hair quite literally stopped shedding after a week. Onbiously the recovery was slower & the regrowth took many months altogether, but the fact it stopped coming out at an alarming rate, together with the muscle fatigue going away, the improved sleep & an end to one cold after another, was enough for me to believe in the power of the supplement! I shall mark 8 weeks on my calendar & reassess how I feel & how baldy I am looking. If there has been no change, I shall pop back to my Dr & insist on blood tests, and then I can provide you with the results. I know already that I am sleeping more soundly after a week, and hopefully over the next few weeks my running will improve back to a normal level, along with my hair. More than anything, the constant colds throughout the winter months are the hardest, so it will be interesting heading into Autumn soon to keep an eye on that too. I have always had winters of being very run down at the same time as hair loss, so the pieces are falling into place. One question I do have regarding taking the 8000iu daily dose, is should I take them all at the same time, or split them into 2x 4000 during the day?
Answered by AlexandraT on August 27, 2018 at 5:38 am
No you were not sounding “odd” about your hair. I was trying to figure out why 4600 the first time was better than 4000 this time. It could have been the extra 600. It might be that your D level is lower this time than last but we cannot verify. Forgot to mention the first time around, normally you do not have to split your dose, just take it all at once with a snack or meal that has some fat in it. Everyone should read http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-and-other-vitamins-and-minerals/ . It is important! Here is something to think on, what if “normal” shedding after giving birth is really from low Vitamin D levels.
Thank you again. I hvpave taken another 4000 with my lunch today & will start taking the 8000 altogether at breakfast from tomorrow. Very interesting article you linked, and I am pleased to say that I eat very a balanced, healthy diet & seem to have my bases covered! Also food for thought about post pregnancy hair shedding? Having a baby really takes it out of the body & breastfeeding can also be a drain on resources. Why isn’t anybody testing out these things & finding answers, as it seems to me a severe D deficiency can host a whole heap of trouble?!
Answered by AlexandraT on August 27, 2018 at 6:58 am
It does “cause a whole heap of trouble”. The Vitamin D experts and scientists have more than proven it does. The only problem is the “government” people who are in charge of the RDA requirements (Recommended Daily Allowance) refuse to listen!