Hair Loss And Menopause
Menopause is a natural biological process that all women go through, usually in their 40s or 50s. During this time, the body adjusts to fluctuating hormone levels and the menstrual cycle ends. Along with that, women experience many other symptoms, such as hot flashes, changes in mood, changes in body fat distribution and sleep problems. Another common occurrence during menopause? Hair loss.
Dr. Lady Dy of Dy Dermatology Center in Glenview, Illinois, specializes in hair loss treatments. Patients from across the country seek her servicesincluding women who are experiencing hair loss from menopause.
Hair loss is often disheartening to those who experience it. Many are too embarrassed to talk about it or assume that there is no treatment. Dr. Dy educates women on menopause, how it changes their bodies, and what she can do to help.
Can Estrogen Cause Weight Gain
Estrogen levels that are too high or too low can cause weight gain. High levels of estrogen in the body can irritate the cells that produce insulin in your body, making you insulin resistant and blood sugar levels rise, leading to weight gain. Low levels of estrogen can also cause a very stubborn type of weight gain.
Vitamin B12 The Energy Vitamin
To keep hair follicles active, you need healthy blood flow the oxygen-rich red blood cells feed the hair follicles. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, does exactly that it promotes healthy hair growth by assisting in the production of these red blood cells.
Vitamin B12 is nicknamed the energy vitamin, and it makes sense that its deficiency can manifest as weakness and fatigue symptoms that appear to overlap with other types of deficiencies described in this blog. If you’re worried you may be deficient, a serum vitamin B12 test can rule out abnormalities. B12 deficiency is usually more prominent in folks with digestive issues , in older adults, vegans, vegetarians, and with excessive alcohol intake. Vitamin B12 is found in animal-sourced foods such as meat and dairy, and in some fermented veggies. Plants dont make vitamin B12, but during the fermentation process, certain types of bacteria can supply some of this nutrient.
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Checking Your Estrogen Levels
If youre worried that you may have low estrogen levels, its important to talk to your healthcare provider.
Getting your estrogen levels checked is a simple process. Your healthcare provider will take a blood sample or request that you provide a saliva or urine sample. This sample will be tested for estrone , estradiol and estriol in a lab.
If your estrogen levels are below the reference range, your healthcare provider may request an additional test to help determine the possible cause.
Can Men Use Progesterone Therapy To Treat Hair Loss
As mentioned above, progesterone therapy is typically recommended for women experiencing pattern hair loss. However, there are men who use this treatment either alone or in conjunction with other methods and see positive results.
Progesterone is a precursor to testosterone, but it can also help to inhibit the activities of 5-alpha-reductase .
If you do decide to go ahead with progesterone therapy, I recommend adding in a few other methods. For example, you could add other 5AR inhibitors to your hair care routine and diet, or even add in such practices as microneedling and scalp massage.
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Mechanism Of Estrogen Action
Estrogens are the terminal ligand in the biosynthetic pathway of gonadal steroid hormones and are synthesized from androgens by the loss of the C-19 angular methyl group and the formation of an aromatic A ring by the aromatase complex . Estrone is derived from androstenedione, whereas estradiol is formed from testosterone. Estrone and estradiol are interconvertable due to different isoenzymes of 17-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase .
The principle source of estrogen biosynthesis is the ovary in females of reproductive age. In men, estradiol can be produced in peripheral tissues by the actions of aromatase on testosterone . Humans, along with some other primates are unusual in that the adrenal cortex secretes large quantities of adrenal androgens, including dehydroepiandrosterone , which can then be converted into active steroids in peripheral tissues providing they have the appropriate enzymes . DHEA synthesized in the adrenal zona reticularis serves as the main precursor of active estrogens in post-menopausal women. Notwithstanding, the production of DHEA also decreases with age. Serum concentrations are low prior to puberty, reaching a peak in adulthood. However, throughout adult life, levels decline and by the 7th decade are reduced to only 10%20% of the peak concentrations in both sexes . Therefore, with aging the precursor steroids for peripheral estrogen biosynthesis are reduced.
Estrogen receptor: non-genomic signaling
Classical mechanism of action: genomic signaling
What Is The Best Vitamin For Hair Loss
The 5 Best Vitamins for Hair Loss Prevention, Based on Research
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Get Glucose Levels Under Control
With insulin resistance linked to low progesterone absorption, its vital that you get your glucose levels under control.
Avoiding refined carbohydrates and instead consuming lower glycaemic index foods will help. However this will likely require the help of an endocrinologist and perhaps even a registered dietitian.
How Common Is Female Hair Loss
Just like male hair loss, female hair loss becomes more common with age. Studies show that only 12% of women between the ages of 20 and 29 show some degree of hair loss, from loss around the hairline or temples to diffuse, overall thinning.
On the other hand, women aged 80 and up have a more than 60% chance of experiencing some degree of hormonal hair loss. Because hormonal hair loss is partly caused by a genetic sensitivity to DHT, your risk of hair loss could be higher if your mother, siblings or other female relatives have hair loss.
If youre concerned about hair loss, its important to take action quickly. Because hair loss is gradual and affected by DHT, acting quickly allows you to minimize hair loss and maintain as much of your hair as possible.
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What Is Hair Loss
Hair loss is a common problem these days and no single factor can be attributed to it. Hair loss afflicts millions of peopleand not just men, though their hair loss is often the most noticeable. Most women, too, experience some degree of hair loss as they grow older. The causes of hair loss are several and vary from person to person. Creative Image Laser Solutions in Brownwood, Texas will help get your hair, and confidence back. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for hair loss treatments.
What Is The Prognosis/outlook For Women With Hair Loss
Your diagnosis determines the prognosis:
- Anagen and telogen shedding may stop with time.
- Treat any diseases associated with hair loss.
- Disguise or cover your hair loss using a wig or hat.
- Early treatment of alopecia may reduce the speed of thinning and may promote regrowth.
While hair loss is not itself dangerous, women with hair loss tend to be very upset by the changes to their appearance. These negative feelings can affect self-esteem and social lives. Recent studies suggest that FPHL can be associated with conditions that include metabolic syndrome, endocrine disorders and diabetes.
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Hormonal Imbalance Hair Loss: 4 Common Causes
Hormonal imbalance hair loss can occur for a wide variety of reasons.
Sometimes it is triggered by hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause.
In other cases, factors such as stress or irregular thyroid levels may be affecting your hairline.
Lets take a look at the 4 most common causes of hair loss with hormone imbalance.
Vitamin D The Sunshine Vitamin And So Much More
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is essential to our immunity, bone health and many other processes. With regard to hair, it actually helps create new hair follicles by initiating the anagen phase. It does so by regulating the expression of genes that are required for hair follicle cycling. A number of symptoms, such as hair loss, can occur when the body lacks enough vitamin D. Its not surprising then when researchers found suboptimal serum vitamin D levels in women with telogen effluvium or female pattern hair loss . Moreover, patients with alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition which gives rise to hair loss, also have low serum vitamin D levels . Emerging clinical research is putting forward recommendations to evaluate serum vitamin D levels in patients with hair loss .
Most people can get the bulk of their vitamin D through sunlight exposure or through diet. Some foods are naturally rich in this nutrient, such as fatty fish , mushrooms, or foods fortified with vitamin D . Vegan or vegetarian diets tend to provide less vitamin D, so supplements may be needed. Additionally, finding a balance between protecting skin from sun exposure and absorbing the vitamin may be essential to achieving optimal vitamin D levels.
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Estrogen And Hair Loss: The Basics
Estrogen is one of the most important female sex hormones. Its responsible for several aspects of your health, including controlling your menstrual cycle and promoting optimal brain, bone, heart and skin health.
Before menopause, your body produces three forms of estrogen: estradiol, estriol and estrone. During menopause, your body stops producing estradiol and estriol, and only produces estrone.
Some women develop menopausal hair loss as they enter menopause in their 40s, 50s or 60s. Experts believe that reduced levels of estrogen and other hormones may play a role in menopausal hair loss.
Research shows that estrogen is linked to hair growth. For example, during pregnancy, when estrogen levels are high, its common for hair density to increase, with a reduced level of shedding. However, pregnancy hair loss could be common as well.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Excess weight can put stress on the body, and this can lead to hormonal imbalances.
To bring your hormones back into alignment, then, its important to maintain a healthy weight.
For the majority of individuals, this can be done through exercise and healthy eating. However, its best to consult with your physician prior to the start of a new diet or exercise regimen.
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How Estrogen And Hair Loss Are Connected
Estrogen slows your hairs growing stage, also known as the anagen phase, of the hair growth cycle. This means that your hair could be in the growing stage at any time, a big reason why women generally have more hair than men.
Remember that high estrogen levels override the effects of testosterone. This means that it can help prevent the hair loss that is naturally associated with the male hormone. In fact, studies show that estrogen can even stimulate new hair growth.
Estrogens effect on hair loss is most evident during pregnancy. Higher concentrations of estrogen give women thicker, healthier hair than normal during pregnancy and when women are breastfeeding.
What Is The Relationship Between Hair Loss In Women And Menopause
During menopause, you might see one of two things happen with your hair. You might start growing hair where you didnt before. Or, you might see the hair you have start to thin. One cause may be changing levels of hormones during menopause. Estrogen and progesterone levels fall, meaning that the effects of the androgens, male hormones, are increased.
During and after menopause, hair might become finer because hair follicles shrink. Hair grows more slowly and falls out more easily in these cases.
Your healthcare provider will do a thorough examination and take a detailed history to help you deal with changes in hair growth. You may be directed to have your iron levels or thyroid hormone levels tested. Your medications might be changed if what you take is found to affect hair loss or growth.
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Estrogen Increases The Amount Of Time That Hair Spends In The Growing Phase So When Estrogen Declines Hair Loses These Protective Effects
Estrogen increases the amount of time that hair spends in the growing phase, so when estrogen declines, hair loses these protective effects. Additionally, androgenic effects of testosterone can also be intensified where testosterones metabolite dihydrotestosterone can produce progressively weaker hair due to the follicles failure to thrive . When menopausal symptoms are present, a simple-to-collect saliva test can assess the levels of estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, and help both patient and practitioner decide on the best therapeutic strategy.
PCOS: This is a common female endocrine disorder based on a cluster of symptoms, with hyperandrogenism taking center stage . In PCOS, the Alice in Wonderland equivalent reality of elevated androgens, women lose scalp hair, while simultaneously growing hair in places where men usually get it and where women certainly dont want it face, chest and back. Although there is no cure for PCOS, treatment is usually focused on managing symptoms. A laboratory workup is typically performed for saliva steroids and blood levels of HbA1c and fasting insulin.
Why Does It Happen
FPHL is very common and increases with age and varies across ethnic groups. Although it can happen at any age, the condition occurs most commonly following the menopause. This does not mean that hormones alone are to blame, although oestrogen may have a protective role, helping to keep hair in the growing phase. Age itself is a factor and whilst women can take care of their hair cosmetically, it is one aspect of the ageing process we cannot always control. Genetics are important too and you may notice a family link with both male and female hair loss. Occasionally times of acute stress on the body will influence hair growth, eg illness, emotional stresses and crash dieting. Some medications may have an influence too.
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Will Estrogen Help Me Lose Weight
Some evidence suggests that estrogen hormone therapy increases a womans resting metabolic rate. This might help slow weight gain. Lack of estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and blood sugar less effectively, which would increase fat storage and make it harder to lose weight. Other age-related factors.
How To Hide Thinning Hair After Menopause
If hair continues to thin after menopause and natural treatments have been ineffective, there are things that can help camouflage this issue. Some hair stylists will suggest shortening the length of hair. This adds volume and reduces the weight of hair. It can also help hide problem spots.
Some more permanent but also costly options include topical hair growth products, hair extensions, wigs, surgical hair transplants, and low-level laser scalp treatments.
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