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Hair falling out - could it be due to multivitamins and my healthier diet?!!
Around 2 months ago I had an over haul of my diet to try to reduce dairy as had thought it might be triggering my jaw acne. So I switched to soy, started taking flaxseed, no refined sugar, vitamin supplements, a general over 40one plus a hair skin and nails one, loads of water plus working out 20-30 mins a day, reduced/no alcohol. All kind of as preparation for a pool holiday. I was feeling great, loads more energy, skin still a bit iffy but overall better and my body was shaping up too. BUT my hair in the last month has been falling out at an alarming rate - always strands hanging off, loads coming out when I brush/wash hair and my hair feels and looks thinner. I had thought it might have been due to the increased weather temp - maybe like shedding like a dog?!!- but I've just been doing a bit of searching and found a few sites that suggest that excess selenium, biotin and zinc can cause hair loss as can soy. I had switched to soy from dairy. I also have been having flaxseed every day which may also be linked to hair loss. Found a few hair loss sites with people who claimed that their hair loss started when they started taking supplements. Obviously I will stop all the supplements and hope that my hair shedding stops but has anyone else had this problem?
Have you recently changed any medication? Some can cause hair loss. There are a lot of dietary things that can cause hair loss. You need sufficient protein, copper, vitamin B (especially biotin but I'd avoid this as a standalone supplement if you have acne), loads of others. Avoid raw egg whites, both on your hair & in your diet, as something in them binds biotin & makes it unavailable for use in the body. Are you consuming enough calories? Your body will prioritise resources to the most important functions first, hair being one of the least important. (Hence a healthy head of thick hair generally being seen as an indicator of good overall health.)
The calories probably are lower as haven't been eating refined sugar -not counted calories per se and haven't lost any weight but do look more toned with muscle if that makes sense so my fat percentage probably has gone down.
Very difficult to pin point what has caused it. You'll always find someone on line saying something caused something else. You could argue that if you've improved your diet overall, you don't need the supplements. Plenty of fruit and veg, oily fish/avocado/flaxseed/nuts and seeds will have what you need. You've done some good stuff by cutting refined sugar and alcohol. I personally wouldn't cut dairy completely (I know others do) and I wouldn't use soy milk etc, usually has lots of sugar and contains phytoestrogens which, again personally, I would prefer to avoid.
Sounds like a vitamin overdose. Too much vit b leads to hair loss etc, so if you're eating well there should be no need for a multivitamin and the extra hair/skin/nails tablet. Take those supplements out for a few months and see if it improves.
Oh and AFAIK neither selenium or zinc are known causes of significant hair loss. I looked into it a lot last year as my migraine meds can cause severe loss, sadly permanent. Selenium & zinc supplements are one of the few things that people on this particular medication have found to be even vaguely effective in slowing down the rate of loss.
Ideally if you're eating sufficient calories & a good balanced diet, you shouldn't need supplements (specific medical issues aside). Id look at what you eat ove the course of a few days & see if there are any gaps. It sounds like you're eating ok though.
I'd also ask for a blood test though. If you do, stop taking all supplements several days beforehand.
Any drastic change in lifestyle, stress, or diet, or illness can have an effect on the hair. It may just be the diet change causing the hair falling out, and if this is the case, sure it will be short-lived, and will return to normal soon. I had the same with a low carb diet I went on a few years ago and it was very upsetting. I'd be surprised if your supplements would be causing it.