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Losing Hair????

A client of mine said to me that she thought only males go bald, she’s a female but she is losing her hair. I know we are used to seeing male pattern balding which is hereditary, but there are lots of reasons for our hair to fall out. Female-pattern hair loss, called androgenic or androgenetic alopecia, is basically the female version of male pattern baldness. “If you come from a family where women started to have hair loss at a certain age, then you might be more prone to it,” Unlike men, women don't tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair.

Starting with physical stress, any kind of physical trauma—surgery, a car accident, or a severe illness, even the flu—can cause temporary hair loss. This can trigger a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. Hair has a programmed life cycle: a growth phase, rest phase and shedding phase.

“When you have a really stressful event, it can shock the hair cycle, pushing more hair into the shedding phase,” Pregnancy is one example of the type of physical stress that can cause hair loss (that and hormones). Just as pregnancy hormone changes can cause hair loss, so can switching or going off birth-control pills. This can also cause telogen effluvium, and it may be more likely if you have a family history of hair loss. The change in the hormonal balance that occurs at menopause may also have the same result. “The androgen, (male hormone), receptors on the scalp become activated.”

Overdoing vitamin A-containing supplements or medications can trigger hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The Daily Value for vitamin A is 5,000 International Units (IU) per day for adults and kids over age 4; supplements can contain 2,500 to 10,000 IU.

If you don't get enough protein in your diet, your body may ration protein by shutting down hair growth. This can happen about two to three months after a drop in protein intake.

Emotional stress is less likely to cause hair loss than physical stress, but it can happen, for instance. More often, though, emotional stress won’t actually precipitate the hair loss. It will exacerbate a problem that’s already there.

Almost one in 10 women aged 20 through 49 suffers from anemia due to an iron deficiency (the most common type of anemia), which is an easily fixable cause of hair loss.

Hypothyroidism is the medical term for having an underactive thyroid gland. Thinning hair and eyebrows is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.

Although relatively uncommon in the U.S., low levels of vitamin B are another correctable cause of hair loss.

Alopecia areata and basically is a result of an overactive immune system. “The body gets confused,” “The immune system sees the hair as foreign and targets it by mistake.”

Sudden weight loss is a form of physical trauma that can result in thinning hair. This could happen even if the weight loss is ultimately good for you. It’s possible that the weight loss itself is stressing your body or that not eating right can result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is another imbalance in male and female sex hormones. Because male hormones are overrepresented in PCOS, women may also experience more hair on the face and body.

And finally, certain classes of medication may also promote hair loss. More common among them are certain blood thinners and the blood-pressure drugs known as beta-blockers. Other drugs that might cause hair loss include methotrexate (used to treat rheumatic conditions and some skin conditions), lithium (for bipolar disorder), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, and possibly antidepressants.

Check with your health care practitioner about these conditions, take an adrenal stress test and be sure you are getting enough B vitamins, especially Biotin. I also, like a product called BioSil which has ch-OSA, an advanced collagen generator.

Radhia Gleis, CCN, Wellness Director, Martin’s Wellness, LakeHills Pharmacy.

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