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Adrenal Fatigue And Hair Loss

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Can Adrenal Fatigue Cause Hair Loss

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Hair loss is often caused by an imbalance in hormone levels. One of the hormones most closely associated with hair loss is cortisol. Understanding how hormones and hair loss are connected, and how to regulate the effects of it, can help lead to healthier hair.

What is cortisol?

Cortisol is a hormone made by the adrenal glands in response to both good and bad stress. While it gets a lot of negative press, Cortisol actually does several good things for the body. It helps the body efficiently turning fat and sugar into energy, and it helps manage stress.

Cortisol and the Flight-or-Fight Response

One of the main triggers that tells the body to release cortisol is stress. This is known as the flight-or-fight response. Historically this happened when, for example, a tiger was chasing our ancestors. Today it can happen when you are already late for work and get stuck in traffic, when you fight with your spouse about chores, or when your in-laws are visiting. However, the difference is that when the cortisol levels were raised in our ancestors it led to physical action. The stress of today is normally not followed by flight or fight, which makes Cortisol levels build up in our bodies, and that can be damaging.

How Hormones and Hair Loss are Connected Through Stress

Reducing Stress


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Does Adrenal Fatigue Cause Hair Loss

The connection between adrenal fatigue and hair loss can be hard to spot because you only feel the effects of stress and fatigue over time. And hair loss, as well, can be something that creeps up on you.

However, you should know that there is a direct correlation between stress and your hair growth cycle. Like adrenal fatigue, hair loss occurs because of an imbalance of hormone levels. So regulating hormones like cortisol can lead to healthier hair.

Heres how science says adrenal fatigue and hair loss works:

  • Among the many bodily functions that cortisol controls, it regulates your hair follicles’ growth cycle.
  • However, prolonged stress exposure interrupts cortisol production, which then disrupts cell signaling that controls the transitions of the hair follicle growth cycle.
  • This disruption can prematurely arrest the hairs cycle, moving it into a resting phase, rather than a regular growth phase. In a few months, affected hair will fall out while youre brushing your hair or even washing your hair.

This is a common stress-related hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium.

You might be wondering, though, how do you know if you know you have telogen effluvium and that your hair loss is not simply part of the natural cycle of hair growth and shedding?

The signs are specific. And if youre already experiencing adrenal fatigue, the chances of telogen effluvium are even higher.

Here are common signs of telogen effluvium :

How Adrenal Fatigue Support & Rebalancing Can Tame Your ‘fight Or Flight Response’

You aren’t alone if you’ve never sat down to think about your adrenal cortex or your adrenal medulla – the two sections of the adrenal organs – and what part they play in your daily life. Aside from sounding vaguely like galactic quadrants from a futuristic film plot, the adrenal glands are actually the stars of the endocrine system. They are small triangular shaped glands that are perched on top of the kidneys – but don’t let their size distract from the power they have.

These two-part glands are responsible for producing some pretty strong hormones. The outer part of each gland produces two very distinct and important hormones. The first is called cortisol, and its job is to control stress by smoothing out the edges when stress is high, and it also plays a key role in regulating your metabolism. The second hormone created by the outer portion of the adrenal gland is called aldosterone, and it helps to stabilize and keep your blood pressure under control. Both of those hormones are essential to life.

The inner part of the gland is where your adrenaline is produced, and while this is not required for living, it does help give you that burst of energy needed in emergency or life-threatening situations.

Read Also: What Triggers Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Treatments For Hair Loss

There are many treatment options available for those who suffer from hair loss or thinning hair, such as:

  • Follicular unit transplantation: With follicular unit transplantation , skin grafts containing hair follicles are transplanted into areas of hair loss or thinning.
  • Follicular unit extraction: With follicular unit extraction , no skin grafts are involved. Rather, follicular units are taken from the back of the head and transplanted where hair has thinned.
  • Non-surgical treatments: Non-surgical treatments are an option for those who wish to avoid surgery. Some non-surgical treatments include platelet-rich plasma therapy and ACell laser therapy.

Why Does It Happen

Thyroid Diet Reverse Adrenal Fatigue, Hair Loss, Estrogen ...

Adrenal fatigue is directly related to the overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal glands located above the kidneys which eventually results in the lack of production of cortisol. It is when this lack of production occurs that the body enters this state of fatigue.

The overproduction of cortisol can occur through a single high stressful event in ones life, as well as a natural reaction to the fast-paced, repetitive nature of the world we live in today. It is the accumulation of stressful events that can lead to the over-stimulation of the adrenals and eventual failure of the adrenals to properly produce the necessary cortisol to meet the demands of the body and maintain homeostasis .

When talking again about that reliance on caffeinated drinks or other stimulates, it is this reliance that can create a vicious cycle with our bodys production of cortisol. Our body cannot meet the necessary demands for cortisol production when we ingest these stimulants, therefore decreasing our ability to get good recovery sleep. This ultimately produces a stronger, daily reliance on stimulants.

Cortisol is necessary for life- we all need some. However, when under chronic stress, cortisol is not our friend. As cortisol levels become higher, a cascade of events is initiated and the previously mentioned symptoms occur.

Also Check: Does Anxiety Cause Extreme Fatigue

Stress Makes You Sick

Stress a fact of modern day living and the cause of so many diseases. Stress has been linked to heart disease, cancer, allergies, autoimmune disease, thyroid dysfunction, mood disorders and obesity.

While stress affects many parts of the body, the adrenals are responsible for creating the stress response. The adrenals are small glands that lie on top of your kidneys. These amazing glands have multiple functions.

The adrenal glands control blood pressure, orchestrate protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism, influence the immune system and run the stress response.

Thats a lot of responsibility for one pair of glands.

How To Relieve Stress

The best way to tackle hair loss caused by irregular cortisol production is to reduce sustained stress levels. This article about managing anxiety and hair loss provides some simple steps towards making life a little less zany, and a little more zen. Relieving stress can help minimize the links between cortisol levels and hair loss.

The first simple steps to reduce your stress levels are to ensure you have a healthy diet and take regular exercise. Ensuring that you provide your body with all the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs to create a great environment for hair growth can be simple. Rather than throwing out your dinner plans, why not try supplementing your diet with Viviscal Extra Strength?

Personally, I have always found running to be a highly effective stress relief technique. The monotony and rhythmic pacing help me to get into a state of relaxation, focusing the mind on the regularity of my breathing, rather than what grinds my gears!

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How To Avoid Adrenal Fatigue & Find Balance

Every individual is susceptible to adrenal fatigue. We are much more inclined to develop adrenal fatigue if making certain unhealthy lifestyle choices such as: poor diet, lack of exercise, little to no sleep, and/or professional pressures.

These same lifestyle choices, however, can be altered gradually to help fight your way out of adrenal fatigue. Work towards proper nutritional choices, slowly eliminate or reduce your amount of caffeinated drinks, and develop a consistent sleep schedule. Weve got a great blog for How to Get Better Sleep at Night, which you can check out here or watch below!

Finding Balance with Hormones

Even though cortisol is necessary for life, too much of a good thing can have far reaching effects on our health. To soften our bodies response to cortisol overload, balancing the other hormones is necessary.

If your hormones are already out of balance, then even a little stress can seem insurmountable.

So while for some, making better or healthier life choices may help with their adrenal fatigue, others may have to look deeper to find the answers. Which is why if youve tried to correct the issue yourself to no avail, you should have your hormone levels tested to see if they are imbalanced.

Finding and achieving this balance is vital to your health and quality of life.

Supplements To The Rescue

Adrenal Fatigue and Hair Loss

Gelatin, pantothenic acid and other B vitamins, collagen, and biotin are all important components of hair and may promote hair growth.

Use caution with biotinas the regular use of supplemental biotincan cause false lab results for thyroid and other lab markers.

If you are supplementing with biotin, its very important that you discontinue it 7 days prior to your lab draw.

Read Biotin and False Results for Thyroid Labsfor important detailed information about concerns related to high-dose biotin supplementation.

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How Does Chronic Inflammation Stress You Out

What is inflammation? You probably know the word flammable which means something can go up in flames. The word inflammation comes from the Latin, inflamare, meaning to set on fire. In the human body, the fire happens in your tissues and organs where you cannot see it. It is often silent which means you dont feel it.

In the short run, inflammation heals injury and prevents an infection. Conversely, long term inflammation is the cause of 90% of all chronic diseases.

Inflammation is the bodys way of responding to harm. In the short run, inflammation is good. If you step on a dirty object, inflammation heals the injury and prevents an infection. When it happens all the time, it is a threat to your health. Long term inflammation is involved in 90% of all chronic diseases. These include heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers disease, arthritis, and many others. Inflammation is one of the causes of adrenal fatigue.

Foods You Should Avoid

Now that you know what foods you can have, it’s time to learn about what foods are best to avoid so that you can lower your risk of getting adrenal fatigue.

It probably comes as no surprise that the foods you shouldn’t have in an adrenal fatigue diet are processed or high in sugar. Below is a list of some examples of foods you need to avoid:

  • Fizzy drinks
  • Alcohol
  • White flour and sugar

You should also try and make sure that you eat regularly throughout the day and do not skip breakfast otherwise, your body will use up essential nutrients as fuel for the body and deplete your energy levels. So, eating little amounts throughout the day helps to keep your energy up.

You also need to make sure you are drinking plenty of water! Hydration is important for everyone, but if you have adrenal fatigue, staying hydrated will help you better deal with the symptoms and lead to reduced stress levels to help treat or prevent the condition.

Read Also: What Doctor Treats Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What Does Stress/cortisol Have To Do With Hair Loss

When we experience ongoing stress, those spiked stress levels can disrupt the hairs natural growth cycle. A disruption in your hairs growth cycle can lead to excess shedding and thinning of the hair.

Extended stress leads to longer periods of high cortisol levels. While the adrenal glands are busy making extra cortisol, they make less of the hormones which support healthy hair growth. Sustained high cortisol levels can also lead to other health problems, including a decrease in cell regeneration, impaired mental function, decreased metabolism, and a weakened immune system.

Treat The Underlying Condition

Relationship between adrenal fatigue and Hair loss

The symptoms of adrenal fatigue, especially hair loss, can be devastating. You may be scrambling to treat the symptoms, but only by treating the underlying conditions can you resolve the problem.

With blood tests, your doctor can determine if you suffer from a deficiency in any of the hormones that play a role in hair growth. This includes the androgen hormones DHEA and testosterone.

The deficiency is likely to be caused by an underlying condition, though.

These conditions include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, pituitary gland dysfunction, obesity, diabetes, etc. A hormonal deficiency can also be caused by certain medications, including chemotherapy.

Your doctor will very likely want to rule these conditions and causes out first.

If you have unexplained hormonal deficiencies, then adrenal fatigue or insufficiency may be to blame. If thats the case, then youll likely be referred to an endocrinologist.

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What Is Adrenal Fatigue

As mentioned, the adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones, including adrenaline, cortisol, and dehydroepiandrosterone .

Adrenal fatigue occurs when the glands are unable to produce the right level of hormones.

As the hormones produced by the adrenal glands play various roles in the body, the symptoms of adrenal fatigue can be varied and numerous. The more common symptoms include :

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of body hair
  • Hyperpigmentation

The cause of adrenal fatigue is still debated in the medical community. One theory is that adrenal fatigue is a milder form of adrenal insufficiency and that its caused by chronic stress.

How Cortisol Affects Our Other Hormones

Were going to be focusing on three of our most important hormones: testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. Be sure to check out the many benefits of each in some of our other blogs or head over to our hormone replacement therapy page.

Lets look at how cortisol directly affects these other three vital hormones in our bodies, in response when our stress levels are on the rise.

When stress causes cortisol to increase:

  • Progesterone leading to anxiety, depression, hair loss, dry skin, heavy periods, PMS, weight gain, vaginal dryness and thyroid dysfunction .
  • Testosteronecausing irritability, fatigue, sleep disturbances, menstrual irregularities, loss of motivation and interest, impotence and loss of libido.
  • Estrogen increases: resulting in estrogen dominance, PMS, fibroids, decreased thyroid function, weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and blood clots

So you can see, these hormones are necessary to our overall health and vitality. Cortisol can disrupt the balance of these hormones, harming us from the inside out.

When cortisol levels rise, we see: immune suppression , insomnia and sleep disturbances, irritability, anxiety, lower thyroid function, sugar cravings, increase cholesterol and higher blood pressure.

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Adrenal Glands Stress Hormones And Hair Loss

The adrenal glands are a very important piece of the human endocrine system. Located just above the kidneys, the adrenal glands are responsible for the production of several hormones that are designed to help mammals, like human beings, thrive in a world that is naturally plagued with mental, physical, and emotional challenges.

Stress management is key, however. Failure to properly manage stress may inhibit the long-term ability of the adrenal glands to produce a natural balance of hormones. This adrenal gland dysfunction may trigger a variety of serious side effects, including fatigue, weight loss, dizziness, nausea, and hair loss.

The Effect Of Adrenal Fatigue To Hair Growth

How to Reverse Hair Loss: Ferritin and Adrenal Fatigue

Hair loss can be a devastating disease for both men and women. The hair molds the shape of our face to make us more attractive. It protects the skull from heat and cold temperatures. The main function of the hair in the body is for thermoregulation.

Hair growth is regulated by specific hormones. These are the same hormones that gave us our secondary sexual characteristics like the formation of the Adam apple in males and the breast and body curvature in females. These hormones are called the Androgenic hormones.

Androgenic hormones are produced in the Adrenal glands and regulated by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands or what is now known collectively as the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis. The HPG axis is an important part of the neuroendocrine system of the body because each of the glands regulates the function of another. This regulatory mechanism is known as the feedback mechanisms. So just imagine how the destruction of this system which is known as Adrenal fatigue, affects the body and how it causes hair loss.

The two main hormones that are linked to hair loss are the Testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone . Testosterone comes from DHEA. First, Cholesterol, which is the precursor of Gonadal and steroid hormones is acted upon by certain enzymes to become Pregninolone, then further acted upon to become DHEA.

Also Check: What Is Me Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Did A Major Liver Detox

Knowing that the liver is largely responsible for the neutralization and elimination of mutated and excess hormones like thyroid and estrogen, I embarked on a highly tailor-made liver detoxification protocol. Even though Ive lived a very clean life for the past 7 years, it appeared that there are still residual burdens that inhibit the liver from detoxing our body properly.

If you wonder what are the symptoms of a sluggish liver, read this post. Its key to your healing to understand the Phase 1 and Phase 2 part as well as the different detoxification pathways that will help you get back on your feet.

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Are you losing your hair and looking for a natural hair regrowth solution? We have Natural Hair Loss Treatment and Natural Hair Regrowth Solutions for Adrenal Fatigue and other conditions such as hair loss due to hormone imbalance:

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