Hair Loss From Thyroid Problems
Either an underactive thyroid, a medical condition called hypothyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, can result in hair loss because each condition causes a hormonal imbalance. Hormones help to regulate nearly every function in the body, including hair growth. Getting the right treatment to control either of these thyroid conditions will get hormones under control, stop hair loss, and allow your hair to starting grow back.
Emotional Stress And Your Hair
When you’re dealing with a life-altering event, like a divorce or break-up, bankruptcy or other financial problems, the loss of a home, or the death of a loved one, significant emotional stress can also disrupt the normal cycle of hair growth. Significant emotional stressors can cause temporary hair loss, but once stress is brought under control, normal hair growth is usually restored.
Coping With Hair Loss
While losing hair at a young age may be concerning, hair loss is a reality for many people as they age. One study posted to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology noted that up to 75% of females would experience hair loss from androgenetic alopecia by the time they are 65 years old.
While many females look for ways to treat hair loss while they are young, at some point, most people accept hair loss as a natural part of the aging process.
Some people may choose to wear head garments or wigs as a workaround to hair loss. Others work with their aging hair by wearing a shorter haircut that may make thin hair less apparent.
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What Hormone Causes Hair Loss In Women
It is a common question when it comes to hair loss in women. What hormone actually causes the loss? Is there only one particular hormone or can different hormones that can cause it?
For men and women, there is one hormone that is lurking behind the hormonal hair loss that they are experiencing. It is a hormone that is present at some level in both women and men.
The Effects Of Hormones And Stress In Hair Loss
Although heredity is by far the most common cause of balding in both men and women, sometimes the hair loss has less to do with genetics and more to do with factors such as a hormonal imbalance or stress. Thinning hair can serve as one of the first indications of a hormonal imbalance.
For example, women who are going through menopause or have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, or anyone who experiences a traumatic event such as the death of a loved one or a severe accident are susceptible to hair loss.
When hormones are functioning normally, they regulate various functions, such as your appetite, fluid balance, sex drive, fertility, moods, and yes your hair growth. Thats because a hormone is one of more than 200 different types of stimulatory cellular messengers that originate in a gland somewhere in the body, such as the pituitary or the thyroid, and travel through the bloodstream to produce an effect elsewhere.
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Natural Ways To Balance Your Hormones
Most natural remedies for hormonal imbalance in females can be found in widely available supplements. Many people also experience relief from certain lifestyle changes, including:
- Managing weight
- Getting enough sleep
Hormones have a great role in many processes in our bodies. As weve seen, disruptions of these hormones can cause a variety of symptoms. Sometimes, a hormonal imbalance can have several serious effects. If you seek treatment as soon as possible, youll have the best chance of managing any complications.
Sex Hormones Not Just For Reproduction
PREGNANCY: Remember all that hair that you didnt lose when you were pregnant? I loved my luxurious pregnancy hair so strong, thick and shiny. It wasnt me who had the pregnancy glow, it was my hair! Pregnancy increases the number of hair follicles in the anagen phase. The enhanced supply of estradiol and progesterone in pregnancy are particularly nurturing to hair, expanding the growth phase and preventing shedding. Little did I know that at about 3 months postpartum, when my hormones were trying to re-equilibrate themselves and adjust to a new normal, my hair would all come out in clumps, washing down the drain, falling out so fast it was a seeming miracle any of it actually remained attached to my head.
Hair changes in pregnancy are common however, every woman is different and therefore hair changes are all individual. If hair loss is experienced in the postpartum period, most women will experience a full recovery, although the process may be slow.
MENOPAUSE: Along those lines, when the levels of estradiol and progesterone fall in menopause, hot flashes and night sweats are not the only symptoms that seemingly appear out of nowhere. What many women are unaware of and unprepared for is the fact that they may also find themselves facing hair thinning. And just like the postpartum hair loss, it has everything to do with hormones. However, unlike the postpartum period, hair loss in menopause is irreversible, unless hormone replacement therapy is introduced.
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Physical Trauma: A Shock To Hair Follicles
When your body is under serious physical stress, the natural cycle of hair growth and resting can be disrupted, resulting in hair loss, often in the form of thinning hair strands may come out in clumps. Any shock to the system, such as being in a severe accident, undergoing surgery, experiencing burns, or becoming very ill, can also shock the hair follicles, resulting in up to 75 percent of your hair falling out, sometimes months after the fact.
How Does Hormone Imbalance Affect Hair Growth
When it comes to problems like hair thinning, hair fall and an oily scalp, an imbalance between the female and male hormones present in all of us could be to blame. When the female hormone levels reduce, the receptors become more sensitive to male hormones, leading to hair related issues. These imbalances are generally seen in women with polycystic ovaries, those on contraceptive pills, post pregnancy, perimenopausal women and women undergoing any other kind of hormonal changes or imbalance. These hormones not only affect the hair on your scalp, but also your facial hair. When the male hormone becomes more dominant in women , women tend to experience hirsutism, which is marked by excessive hair growth on areas like upper lip, chin, side locks and cheeks, confirms Dr Bijlani.
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Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
Androgenetic alopecia, a type of hair loss commonly called male or female pattern baldness, was only partially understood until the last few decades. For many years, scientists thought that androgenetic alopecia was caused by the predominance of the male sex hormone, testosterone, which women also have in trace amounts under normal conditions. But while testosterone is at the core of the balding process, dihydrotestosterone is now thought to be the main culprit.
DHT, a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, is the enemy of hair follicles on your head. Simply put, under certain conditions DHT wants those follicles dead. This simple action is at the root of many kinds of hair loss.
Testosterone converts to DHT with the aid of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Scientists now believe that it’s not the amount of circulating testosterone that’s the problem but the level of DHT binding to receptors in scalp follicles. DHT shrinks hair follicles, making it impossible for healthy hair to survive.
The hormonal process of testosterone converting to DHT, which then harms hair follicles, happens in both men and women. Under normal conditions, women have a minute fraction of the level of testosterone that men have, but even a lower level can cause DHT- triggered hair loss in women.
Pop A Quality Multivitamin
Nutrients, or lack thereof, can affect hair growth, too. Vitamin A helps fat synthesis in hair follicles, encouraging growth vitamin E helps protect your hair cells from damage and B vitamins also help to restore hair thickness and shine. Vitamin C and zinc also help to repair cellular damage from the inside out, which makes for a healthy mane.
Unfortunately, theres no magic solution, pill or product that will correct hair loss entirely. But if you think of your hormones as a cast of characters, knowing which ones are leading the show and which ones are only playing a supporting role can help you get to the bottom of the issue. If you havent already, take my free hormone quiz it can help you determine what tests you may want to request from your doctor and which lifestyle or dietary changes may benefit you most. In the meantime, manage your stress levels and get enough sleep. This will help with general hormone balance and can protect your precious locks from any further damage.
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How Is A Hormonal Imbalance Diagnosed
First, make an appointment with a health care provider for a physical exam. The health care provider will ask about your symptoms. Then, depending on your symptoms, they will suggest which hormone imbalance tests to do. These could be evaluations like:
- Blood test: Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroxine, TTH, insulin, and cortisol levels can be detected in the blood.
- Pelvic exam: A health care provider will search for any lumps or cysts.
- Ultrasound: Images of your uterus, ovaries, thyroid, and pituitary gland can be obtained.
How Hormone Replacement Treatment Affects Your Hair
Most of us have heard about hot flashes and mood changes during menopause, but what about hair thinning? Many women experience hair loss during menopause, but hormone replacement treatment may be able to help. Thinning hair during menopause can seriously affect your sense of well-being and your self-esteem. However, youre not alone with menopausal hair loss. An estimated 21 million women in the U. S. will experience hair loss at some point in their lives, many of them during and after menopause. Our providers can help you determine underlying causes of hair thinning during menopause and help you find personalized treatment plans to help you feel better.
Hormone replacement treatment can help improve your quality of life during menopause.
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/6stress And Hair Loss
When it comes to stress associated with hair loss, there are three different types to it: Telogen effluvium, Trichotillomania and Alopecia areata.
Telogen effluvium: In such cases, the mental stressors push hair follicles to a resting phase, making it easy to fall out over time.
Trichotillomania is the unsuppressable urge to pull out hair from the scalp, even eyebrows. This can be a result of major stress.
Alopecia areata, as we have discussed, is an autoimmune disease, which can be caused by stress. However, many other factors can also lead to it.
Is Low Estrogen Really The Problem
Looking at the Relationship Between Progesterone, Estrogen and Hair Loss
Some doctors may automatically assume that its LOW estrogen thats causing your hair loss, particularly if youre going through menopause.
Other experts, however, dispute this, pointing to an IMBALANCE of hormones as the possible cause of your thinning hair.
Our bodies produce both estrogen and progesterone during our childbearing years and these hormones work most effectively when balanced.
Progesterone plays a variety of roles in the human body and helps
- reduce water retention
- use fat to produce energy
- maintain libido
- improve mental function
As we begin to approach menopause, the amount of progesterone we produce starts to drop, until it stops altogether AFTER menopause.
Estrogen drops too, but its available from other sources AND our bodies continue making it to some extent outside the ovaries.
But very little progesterone is available from other sources and once our ovaries stop producing it, the balance between the estrogen and progesterone in our bodies becomes upset.
Hair loss plus a whole host of other typically menopausal symptoms can be the result.
The imbalance between the estrogen and progesterone in your body would simply increase.
Its vitally important, therefore, to have your hormone levels tested to ensure that your hormones are balanced and that you dont have too MUCH estrogen in relation to progesterone a situation known as estrogen dominance.
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Causes Of Hirsutism In Women
Some of the possible causes of hirsutism in women include:
- polycystic ovary syndrome about nine in 10 women with hirsutism have PCOS
- androgen-secreting tumour an abnormal growth on the ovary or the adrenal gland that produces androgens
- Cushings syndrome the umbrella term for a collection of hormonal disorders characterised by high levels of the hormone cortisol
- adrenal hyperplasia a group of disorders in which adrenal gland hormones are produced in the incorrect amounts
- hyperinsulinaemia the overproduction of the hormone insulin, usually linked with diabetes
- hyperprolactinaemia abnormally high levels of the hormone prolactin, which is normally associated with breastfeeding
- certain medications for example, anabolic steroids cause unwanted hair growth as a side effect
- uncommonly, anorexia nervosa, hypothyroidism and acromegaly.
Topical Solutions To Hair Regrowth
I think its a great idea to add some topical solutions while addressing the underlying causes we covered above but really, you will get the best results when you focus on fixing the root causes of your hair loss.
For ALL hair loss, these short-term topical solutions include:
Rosemary essential oil is commonly used in topical treatments for hair loss. It may work by increasing blood flow, by lowering inflammation, or due to its effects as a DHT inhibitor. In this study, rosemary essential oil was comparable to the hair loss treatment, minoxidil.
Nigella sativa oil is a fatty oil which is a powerful antioxidant. Oxidative stress due to any of the above causes may be behind hair loss, and Nigella sativa may help. An animal study showed its potential in protecting against chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
Fenugreek is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries as a medicine. Fenugreek has long been known as a hair growth tonic. Now studies are showing it to stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles and to act as a natural DHT blocker to prevent miniaturization and subsequent hair loss.
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