Hair Loss And Hormonal Imbalance
Hair fall is a common problem faced by men and women today. According to global Google statistics, 59% of women and 77% of men between the ages of 25-44 are looking for hairfall solutions. Some common causes of hair loss in men and women include humidity, stress levels, chemical treatments and dandruff.
Did you know! Hormones can cause hair fall in men and women?
Hormones play an important role in our body. It is the chemical messenger of the body that regularizes several major bodily functions, such as metabolism and reproduction. Hormonal imbalance occurs when your body’s hormones or glands stop functioning properly this can lead to hair fall problems.
It is normal to lose 50 to 100 strands of hair in a day. This is a part of your normal hair growth cycle that includes three different phases namely, the anagen phase, where the hair grows from the roots, the catagen phase where the hair separates itself from the roots and finally, the telogen phase here the separated strands settles in the root. However, when there is a hormonal imbalance, it can interfere with this cycle.
Hormones that can cause hair loss
It can also helpyou feel energized, control your mood swings tomake your hair growth phase last longer and improve hair quality.
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How To Prevent Hair Loss During Menopause
During perimenopause and menopause, the natural but extreme declines in estrogen levels can cause hair loss for many women between the ages of 40 and 55. Perimenopause is the transitional period prior to menopause when the first natural reduction in estrogen levels occurs. On average, menopause begins at age 51. During menopause, womens bodies produce even less estrogen, which can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and yes, even hair loss.
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How To Manage And Treat Pcos
With an approximate one in five Indian women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome , doctors say that more awareness is needed about the condition, especially because it can be controlled by proper diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. A major side effect of the hormone disorder? Acne and hair loss. These are also the symptoms that most patients present with first. We spoke to a dermatologist and a gynaecologist for their take.
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Thinning Hair And Hormonal Imbalance: The Link
Thinning hair is a common, although irritating symptom of menopause. Typically, everyone loses around 100 hairs per day. Bodies naturally replace this hair loss, but it becomes harder for the body to do so with age. Many women experience thinning hair and hair loss during the menopause transition because of the fluctuation of hormones, specifically estrogen. Thinning hair is defined as the loss of hair density, rather than the complete loss of hair.Thinning hair results in patchy areas on the scalp, and can severely affect a womans self-confidence. Thinning hair can be caused by a number of things, like poor diet, vitamin deficiency, and excess stress, however, the primary physical cause of thinning hair in women is hormonal imbalance.
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Hormones Can Trigger Adult Breakouts Too
Theres a reason why most adult acne sufferers are women. Women have more hormonal variances throughout the month.
Most of us, even if we dont have consistent acne, can identify with PMS pimples. Many women find they break out a week or so before their period.
Pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause are other times when acne commonly flares up because of the hormonal shifts within the body.
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Hormone Problems That Start In The Brain
The hypothalamus is the portion of the brain that lies near the pituitary gland. It helps regulate hormone secretion in various parts of the body, controlling functions like body temperature, mood, hunger, thirst, sleep, fatigue, sex drive, and circadian rhythms. Dysfunction of the hypothalamus may produce many symptoms depending on which hormone systems are affected. Supplementing hormone levels that are low may help relieve symptoms. If the hypothalamus is malfunctioning due to the presence of a tumor, treating the tumor may provide relief.
Millions Of Women Facing Adult Acne
For all too many women, the acne that they once feared would flare up just in time for prom as a teenager has resurfaced into their adult years – causing anxiety for events from weddings to job interviews. The reason? Chronic, persistent acne is a common medical condition for women who either have suffered with it since adolescence or for those who first develop it during adulthood. Either way, the physical and emotional toll that acne causes can be devastating.
Speaking at ACADEMY ’04, the American Academy of Dermatology’s summer scientific session in New York, dermatologist Diane S. Berson, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, N.Y., discussed the causes of adult acne in women and various treatment options.
“When adult women experience acne outbreaks, hormones are usually the primary culprit,” said Dr. Berson. “Hormonal acne can be particularly frustrating because it may not respond to the same over-the-counter treatments that worked for some women during their teenage years.”
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When To Consult A Doctor
Since so many factors could be at play, she recommends making an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to go over your concerns. Though, you can also make an appointment with an OB/GYN, as theyre specialized in disorders like PCOS, which could be at play.
Either way, if you are concerned about any excessive hair growth, its important to raise questions on the matter to your doctor of choice. That way, youll be able to approach your hair growth with medical expertise and its possible that you may even be able to rule out disorders that need medical management.
What Is Hormonal Acne Anyway
First, its important to understand the difference between hormonal acne and good old-fashioned pimples. Hormonal acne is intrinsically linked to your hormones, resulting in cyclical breakouts that usually coincide with a persons menstrual cycle, Joshua Zeichner, M.D.2, board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, tells SELF. It can also match up with other hormonal shifts in your life, meaning your menopausal acne or postpartum pimples could be hormonal.
One important thing to note: Hormonal acne is technically not a medical term, board-certified dermatologist Ife J. Rodney, M.D.3, founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics and professor of dermatology at Howard University and George Washington University, tells SELF. However, when a person tends to get very specific types of breakouts around the time of their period or when their body is experiencing vast hormonal shifts for other reasons , dermatologists generally describe it as hormonal acne.
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Restore Hormonal Balance With Lifestyle Medicine
In order to reverse your acne, you need to first identify which of the above imbalances apply to you. Work alongside a doctor trained by Nick Delgado and the A4M who are experts in natural hormone balance and have them use a combination of urine, blood and saliva tests to identify hormone imbalances . You can also purchase an at-home hormone test kit which checks for the most common hormonal imbalances here:
The Hair Follicle Cycle
The hair follicle cycle is divided into three main distinct phases: the anagen, the catagen, and the telogen . Some authors also identify one additional phase: the exogen.
Hair growth phases: anagen , catagen , telogen , exogen .
The most prolonged phase is the anagen, which lasts 27 years. It is also called the growing phase. During this phase, cells divide rapidly at the lower part of the hair, while matrix cells migrate outward.
The catagen phase is a short transition period, which is defined as involution or regression. This phase lasts around three weeks. During this phase, the hair shaft loses the connections from the papillae and contracts.
The telogen phase can also be referred to as the resting stage. This phase can last about three months and is described as the regression of the matrix and retraction of the papilla to a location near the bulge. There is no significant proliferation or apoptosis during this phase.
The exogen phase is an additional distinct phase where the active hair shaft and new hair continue to grow.
At any given time, up to 8590% of the hair on the scalp remains in the anagen phase, whereas the remaining follicles are either in the catagen phase for 2% of the time or in the telogen phase for the remaining 1015% of the time . However, this percentage of telogen hair can be overestimated, with novel data indicating that only 3.6% remain in the telogen phase .
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Excess Face And Body Hair
Waxing, laser hair removal and electrolysis can be useful measures for reducing body hair growth. Of these, laser is the treatment most likely to result in a significant reduction in excess hair growth. However, repeated treatments are needed over time, and treatment can be costly. If you are considering laser hair removal, it is important to have this performed by a trained professional who uses the correct machine or technique for your skin type. Results can vary depending on your hair colour and skin type.
Some dermatologist practices offer laser hair removal and have particular expertise in treating women with PCOS. They will be able to tell you whether laser hair removal will work on your skin type.
What Role Does Hormone Replacement Treatment Play In Hair Thinning During Menopause
Hormone replacement treatment during menopause may help with thinning hair if its related to hormone changes. Our provider may prescribe estrogen replacement therapy to help bring your hormones back into balance and back up to healthy baseline levels if you have low estrogen during menopause. This may help your hair in a few ways.
First, as we learned, estrogen plays a significant role during hair growth. Increasing estrogen levels during hormone replacement treatment may help your hair stay in the growing phase for longer than it would without hormone injections. It can also help your body keep testosterone levels in balance to help reduce the shrinking effects testosterone can have on hair follicles. In addition, some studies show that if you start hormone imbalance treatment early on for menopause symptoms, it may help you maintain your current hair density. This can help you reduce how much hair you lose throughout the course of menopause.
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Hormonal Imbalance And Hair Loss: What You Need To Know
By Dr. May Eusebio-Alpapara, MD Updated on March 29, 2021
The process of maintaining healthy and beautiful hair is complex. There is more to hair maintenance than ones daily routine of hair products and supplements. Like the skin, the hair is also in tune with and may reflect a persons health and well-being.
A simple complaint of baldness, hair thinning, or excess shedding warrants a thorough examination since it may be a manifestation of an underlying illness or condition like hormonal imbalance.
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Besides medications, the treatment for hair loss can also include a hair transplant. In this procedure, small pieces of the scalp containing hair follicles are transferred to the bald areas. The surgery can be risky because it involves the usual risks of surgery, including shock and pain. Furthermore, it is expensive and is often not covered by insurance. But if you dont want to live with a bald area thats affecting your confidence and your appearance, hair transplant surgery may be the right option.
If the baldness is caused by a fungal infection, you can consider undergoing a hair transplant. In this procedure, tiny pieces of scalp are removed and moved to the bald spots. Despite the risks, this procedure is highly effective and is often covered by health insurance plans. A hair transplant can cost thousands of dollars, and you will most likely need to pay a large part of it out of pocket. The only downside to hair transplant surgery is the high cost.
Although alopecia is an embarrassing problem for many people, it can also be caused by trauma. People who undergo painful procedures on their hair may be at risk for traumatizing alopecia. This condition often results in thinning or falling hair. In some cases, the scalp becomes red and the scalp can even become inflamed. Antibiotics and antimalarial drugs may also be prescribed to help treat this disorder.
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The Importance Of Proper Skin Care
Since women with acne often have drier and more sensitive skin than they experienced during their adolescent years, Dr. Berson advised that they should talk to their dermatologist about appropriate skin care. Gently washing the face with mild facial cleansers is usually recommended and vigorous scrubbing should be avoided, as it can irritate the skin and make acne worse. In addition, toners containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid may help remove surface oils during the premenstrual period, which can contribute to acne flares, or for those with oily skin. Since some acne therapies can cause dryness, Dr. Berson recommended that women use a light moisturizer.
“Making slight modifications to your daily skin care regimen can go a long way in improving the appearance of your skin,” said Dr. Berson. “For instance, daily sun protection is essential as some acne medications can increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Also, when buying cosmetics or other skin or hair care products, look for ones labeled noncomedogenic – meaning that they do not clog pores and are less likely to cause acne. Your dermatologist is the best source of information when choosing skin care products that can work in tandem with your acne therapy to improve the overall appearance of your skin.”
Now Lets Go Through What Some Of The Hormone Imbalances You Can Suffer From Look Like
First, we have some saliva test results from my patients. I use saliva testing a lot because its very easy for patients to do. You can do it at home and its also good because it gives us a slightly different look at the hormones compared to blood tests. This is because saliva comes out of your body, so its carrying hormone levels which are very similar to what are next to your cells.
Whereas the blood is telling you about whats being transported out to your cells, which is slightly different.
In this example here, what we can see is the testosterone is high. It should be 100 but its up over 200, so thats double the amount of testosterone. Also, you can see progesterones on the lower side as well. This combination of low female hormone and high male sex hormone spells trouble for your skin because its going to trigger excess oil production, particularly in the week before a period.
In this next chart, weve got high testosterone, low progesterone and high estrogen. You can see the progesterone is not out of range, but its sitting down the bottom end. This test was done 21 days from the start of a period and at this point in the cycle, progesterone should be at the upper end, not the lower end, of the range.
The other hormones are up at the top end of the ranges. High testosterone is particularly problematic because its going to increase oil production, and the high estrogens are an issue too because theyre contributing to progesterone suppression.
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How Do You Treat Hormonal Hair Loss
While a healthy lifestyle and diet plays an integral role in maintaining your hair growth rate and quality, your genes may also result in hair loss and hair thinning. There are a wide variety of hair growth products, both herbal and medicinal, as well as treatments that you may avail. Aided by a healthy diet, multivitamins, and a stress-free lifestyle, you can see the best results.
The Role Of Hormones On Hair Loss
Androgen hormones, sometimes referred to as male hormones, like DHEA and testosterone, play the largest role in your overall hair growth. When your levels of these hormones are too high, you may experience excess hair growth, especially on the body or face. However, when your hormone levels drop, the reverse occurs and can lead to thinning hair and even hair loss.
The hormones produced by your thyroid also play an important role in hair growth and hair loss. When your thyroid isnt active enough , your metabolism slows. To compensate, your body begins to shut down less important functions, such as hair growth.
Menopausal women and women with polycystic ovarian syndrome or who are pregnant may also notice changes in their hair growth. This is typically because of changes or imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels. The largest drop in estrogen occurs in perimenopause and menopause. Stress can exacerbate the effects of the loss of estrogen, causing further hair loss and thinning
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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.