Low Metabolic Rate Or Hypothyroidism
If you have a low metabolic rate, your liver will not be able to efficiently clear out excess estrogen. Breaking down hormones is one of the livers primary tasks, but it can become sluggish in the case of low metabolism or true hypothyroidism. This is due to an overburdening of the liver, with its enzymes slowed down due to a lower temperature and lower cellular energy.
Lets Talk About Hormone Replacement Treatment For Menopause
At HerKare, our focus is to help women feel their best with personalized health care solutions. We understand the many ways menopause can impact your life, so we work with you to find treatments that are tailored to you. Our providers take the time to listen, then well work together to find ways to help you improve your physical, emotional, and sexual health. Were here to help you enjoy life, not just push through unwanted menopause symptoms. Schedule an appointment online today!
Why Does Your Estrogen Level Matter
Estrogen is a hormone. Although present in the body in small amounts, hormones have big roles in maintaining your health.
Estrogen is commonly associated with the female body. Men also produce estrogen, but women produce it in higher levels.
The hormone estrogen:
- is responsible for the sexual development of girls when they reach puberty
- controls the growth of the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle and at the beginning of a pregnancy
- causes breast changes in teenagers and women who are pregnant
- is involved in bone and cholesterol metabolism
- regulates food intake, body weight, glucose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity
Girls who havent reached puberty and women approaching menopause are most likely to experience low estrogen. Still, women of all ages can develop low estrogen.
Common symptoms of low estrogen include:
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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.
How Is Progesterone Linked To Hair Loss
As a vital hormone, progesterone contributes to a number of important functions within the body. For women, this includes the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.
A lack of progesterone can lead to a variety of health issues, including hair loss. But why?
In the case of hair loss, progesterone is actually a natural inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase. This is an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT, and DHT is believed to be the main cause of pattern hair loss in both men and women.
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Without the presence of progesterone , 5AR is able to perform its converting activities. This means more DHT is produced, triggering further hair thinning and loss in those with Androgenetic Alopecia .
Hair Loss Due To Hormones: Will It Grow Back
Hair loss due to hormones is a reality for many people after menopause as well as during pregnancy. But will it grow back? The answer is yes, but there are also things that can help the body along.
Wash hair regularly with a mild shampoo. Treat hair gently. Dont comb or brush hair when its wet. Using the fingers to detangle is a gentler option. Putting hair up in a tight bun or ponytail can cause added stress on the hair and its follicles.
Finally, try to limit the use of hair dryers or irons on hair, as they can dry and damage it.
Here are five tips to prevent hair loss during the menopausal transition and after menopause:
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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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.
How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done
The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:
- Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
- Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
- Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
- Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.
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Estrogen And Stress Hormones
I credit Danny Roddys health research for spreading the word about estrogen and its connection to hair loss. In his book, Hair Like a Fox, he explains some little known facts about estrogen, discovered by pioneers in the field of endocrinology. For instance, the endocrinologist Hans Selye called estrogen the shock hormone for its tendency to mimic actual shock in humans.
Roddy also shows that estrogen has the ability to decrease the metabolic rate and stimulate the release of prolactin the molting hormone. Prolactin leaches calcium from the bones after pregnancy in order to mineralize breast milk to feed the newborn.
Estrogen in excess causes extreme stress to the body. Dr. Ray Peat has stated that cortisol, in the case of high stress, can dissolve some of the bodys tissues. Excess estrogen, cortisol and prolactin all have a negative compound effect together stealing nutrients away from the skin and hair, and further suppressing progesterone production.
What Is Progesterone
Progesterone is a natural steroid and sex hormone that is produced within both female and male bodies.
It plays a more significant role in women , but is also a precursor to testosterone in men and is necessary for their reproductive health.
Progesterone is typically produced by the ovaries at the end of the menstrual cycle. This helps to keep the cycle in check, and it also leads to the production of estrogen and cortisone.
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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.
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.
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.
Lifestyle And Habit Changes
If you have low estrogen levels due to a lifestyle factor for example, excessive exercise your healthcare provider may suggest making changes to increase your estrogen production.
You may need to adjust your activity level or diet. If youve experienced weight gain over time or are clinically obese, your healthcare provider may suggest losing weight. Other lifestyle changes, such as reducing your stress levels, may also help to promote optimal hormone production.
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An Overview Of Menopause
Menopause is officially diagnosed in women after they have not experienced a menstrual period for more than one year. The age women experience it varies, but the average age in the U.S. is 51. You will experience many symptoms during menopause, which are caused by a decreased production of estrogen and progesterone in your ovaries.
In the months or years leading up to menopause , you might experience these signs and symptoms:
- Irregular periods
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Thinning hair and dry skin
- Loss of breast fullness
While menopause is inevitable, there are ways to manage symptoms. To learn more about menopause, visit the Mayo Clinic website.
While all of the symptoms caused by menopause can be difficult to deal with, Dr. Dy specializes in treating women who experience hair loss.
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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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.
Midlife Hormonal Changes May Contribute To Thinning Hair
Hair loss might also be related to a shift in hormones, says Faubion. Androgens, a group of hormones that include testosterone and androstenedione, dont increase during the menopause transition, but the ratio between estrogen and androgen changes, so you have less estrogen and relatively more androgen, she explains.
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What Can Be Done To Stop Hair Thinning
There are no miracle medications that make women’s hair grow at a faster rate. However, there are a number of steps that women can take to boost their estrogen hormones and slow down their hair loss:
- Taking regular exercise can help to boost a woman’s estrogen hormone levels and prevent hair loss and thinning. A healthy body is more able to balance its hormone levels than an unhealthy one.
- Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is vitally important however, foods that are rich in protein and iron are especially good at prompting hair growth.
- Natural supplements have also been shown to encourage the production of estrogen levels and slow down the rate of hair thinning and hair loss.
- Extreme hair loss caused by estrogen deficiency can be treated with certain prescribed medications, like lotions that can stop or slow down hair loss and hair thinning. They are available through a doctor’s prescription.
However, all of these treatments are more focused on the slowing down of hair loss caused by estrogen deficiency rather than on encouraging new hair growth. There are different management methods that women can make their hair look thicker and more voluminous.
- Choose a flattering haircut, but stay away from layers, as these can cause hair to look flat and limp.
- Use a volume boosting shampoo and conditioner to make hair look thicker.
- Avoid using hair styling tools, such as straightening irons, and stiff hairsprays that can cause hair to become brittle and break.
Can Low Estrogen Cause Hair Loss
Estrogen is one of several essential sex hormones in your body. During puberty, it plays a major role in starting your menstrual cycle and defining your female physical features.
Throughout your life, estrogen is responsible for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, keeping your bones strong and healthy and affecting certain aspects of your brain function.
Although the link between estrogen and hair health isnt completely understood, experts believe that these hormone levels do play a protective role against hair loss.
This is because most research shows that women with low levels of estrogen are more likely to develop female pattern hair loss as a result of the hormonal imbalance.
Female pattern hair loss is the womens equivalent of male pattern baldness . Its caused by a combination of hormonal and genetic factors.
Unlike male pattern baldness, which usually causes a receding hairline or bald spot around the crown, female pattern hair loss generally causes your hair to thin around your part line .
Over time, this type of hair loss can become more severe until the hair on the top of your scalp has an almost see-through appearance.
When we talk androgenetic alopecia, were usually talking about men. But, believe it or not, female hair loss loss is quite common in women, especially as we age. In fact, research shows that around 21 million women in the United States alone show some degree of female hair loss.
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