Autoimmune disease and hair loss - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

About 80 to 100 autoimmune diseases have been identified by science. They can affect every part of the body, producing a wide variety of symptoms (from mild to severe), including your hair. Treating the root cause of the condition is the key to helping address it. Inflammation is at the heart of autoimmune disease...


The immune system, which includes bone marrow, the thymus, the spleen, the lymph nodes and the white blood cells recognises and eliminates foreign invaders in the body. When the immune system fails to differentiate between foreign invaders and normal healthy cells or 'autoimmune disease' occurs and hair loss can be one result. 


Alopecia (also known as pattern baldness) is estimated to effect 147 million people worldwide. There are different types of alopecia but it result in the immune system attacking hair follicles, causing hair loss in patches. It can be caused by:

  • different medication or medical treatments,
  • injury (to both the hair or the scalp directly),
  • physical or mental stress,
  • a change in hormones (pregnancy, for example)
  • poor nutrition,
  • bacterial, viral, or fungal infection,
  • and some cancers.


Lupus has a wide range of symptoms including fatigue, headache, painful joints, anemia, abnormal blood clotting, and hair loss. Lupus has many overlapping symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis such as swollen joints, and chronic fatigue. There are all processes with marked inflammation.
Hair loss occurs when antibodies created by the body infiltrate the hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out. 
New research is showing that lupus is closely related to poor gut health, which can cause inflammation. 

Hashimoto's Disease

Also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s is both a thyroid disease and an immune diease. It occurs when immune system cells attack the thyroid gland, which produces hormones regulating many of the body's activities. Symptoms include fatigue and sluggishness. Hair loss, increased sensitivity to cold, a puffy face, hoarse voice, unexplained weight gain, and muscle aches increase in severity if the condition remains untreated.

Maritime Pine Bark is very powerful in treating Hashimoto's thyroiditis. It's a powerful and potent anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce inflammation in the body. There are studies that show that eliminating dairy in patients with Hashimoto's can improve thyroid function significantly. 

CBD oil is showing also showing promising results for Hashimoto's and can be used in addition to other protocols. 

Graves’ disease

A thyroid disorder, Graves’ disease is caused antibodies to bind to the surface of thyroid cells, thereby stimulating them and overproducing thyroid hormones. This results in an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Symptoms include increased heart rate, anxiety, palpitations, weight loss, increased appetite, irritability or nervousness, heat sensitivity, increased sweating and hair loss. Another symptom is inflammation of the eyes, swelling of the tissues around the eyes, and bulging of the eyes (Graves’ ophthalmopathy).

Reducing stress and anxiety and practicing slow and focused exercise is a good starting place. 

What can you do to start healing?

  • Improve gut health - including gut health foods and supplements in your diet to heal and build. 
  • Diet - reducing or removing all processed foods, alcohol, dairy, grains and legumes. 
  • Reduce stress - meditation, yoga and relaxation techniques. 
  • Exercise - movement through walking, Tai Chi, yoga (again!), 
  • Hydratation - drink lots of fresh, clean, filtered unfluoridated water and herbal tea. 

All of these conditions can be discussed through a free consulation with McDowells Herbal. Click here

1. https://www.headcovers.com/resources/hair-loss/autoimmune-hair-loss/
2. An Overview of Herbal Alternatives in Androgenetic Alopecia
3.Randomized Trial of Aromatherapy. Successful Treatment for Alopecia Areata
4. Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Alopecia: A Comprehensive Review
5. Decrease in TSH Levels After Lactose Restriction in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Patients With Lactose Intolerance
6. Pycnogenol attenuates the symptoms of immune dysfunction through restoring a cellular antioxidant status 

Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Get in Touch

We are open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. AEST. You can also contact us by phone or email.

02 6331 3937
+61 2 6331 3937(Int)

McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

EMAIL info@mcdowellsherbal.com  |  PHONE 02 6331 3937  |  INTERNATIONAL +61 2 6331 3937