Adrenal Fatigue And Hair Growth
I was just wondering if anybody out there has similar issues…I was recently diagnosed with adrenal fatigue Looking on line, some of the more “over the counter” means of treatment seem to focus on raising hormones that in women lead to hair loss, and facial hair growth. This medical issue takes a while to build up, so I’ve been trying to take stock of my hair growth patterns over the past 4 years. It has taken 4.5 years to go from APL to maybe just touching waist.The question is, does anyone have experience with this? How does it affect hair growth? I assume that when I am healthy, hair will grow slightly quicker, so would treatment have quicker growth as a perk? Or should I brace myself for hair loss/slooooow growth? Either way, I’ll be treating it, I just would like to know what I can look forward to, and if slow hair growth is a secondary result of this condition.
Tailbone, with deliciously oily strands…hmm…I should probably take a picture with clean hair. At some point. Next stop, classic! And maybe some henna…
Treat The Underlying Condition
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.
Quickly Get Relief From Adrenal Fatigue
If you suspect that you have adrenal fatigue, it would be a good idea to get a holistic physician to do a thorough examination and consultation. Hormone problems are incredibly intractable conditions to reverse and professional advice is warranted in most cases.
In the meantime, you can quickly provide your adrenals relief if you do the following:
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How Stress Hormones May Cause Hair Loss
Though beneficial in the immediate sense, the ongoing production of stress hormones may lead to adrenal fatigue. This condition is characterized by the ongoing production of cortisol in response to lingering environmental stress. With only so much production capacity, the adrenal glands begin to produce cortisol at the expense of other important hormones, like aldosterone and other androgens.
For men, the sudden drop in testosterone may not necessarily cause immediate side effects. Male reproductive organs, like the testes, can often make up the difference in the production of testosterone and other powerful androgens. For women, however, adrenal fatigue can be a more serious problem. Sudden decreases in the production of testosterone and DHEA can be lasting, particularly in women who are experiencing menopause .
Upped The Cruciferous Vegetables
Here is a great opportunity for me to finally address why Im one of these crazy thyroid experts who recommends cruciferous vegetables. In case you dont know what they are its the brassica family of goodness like kale, broccoli, chards, spinach, cauliflower, etc. In their raw form, they are known to slow down the thyroid and this is why, as thyroid patients, we should consume them in a cooked form. Many websites and writers have an obsessive tendency to view nutrition in black and white and recommend for people with thyroid conditions to cut them out completely. I dont agree with this approach most of my clients eat cooked cruciferous veggies in moderation and heal well.
Why I like cruciferous vegetables? They are the superstars of the vegetables there are no other veggies that are as rich in Vitamin A carotenoids, Vitamin C, folic acid, Vitamin K and fiber. As it is, most people are nutritionally depleted and rely heavily on supplements which they dont even absorb properly so why deprive your body of this wonderful nutrients?
In my own journey since January 2013 till today, Ive added at least 1-2 servings of cooked cruciferous vegetables per day. In fact, if you see my result below, my TSH dropped from 1.02 to 0.82 which is most certainly not a sign of going hypo.
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A Path To Reversing Hypothyroidism
Ive come to accept the fact that the management of my health will always be a journey and not a destination. If you are familiar with the Buddhist way of life, you are probably smiling. And, if you not in short, it just means embracing life as it unfolds, treating it with appreciation, kindness and forgiveness rather than be solely focused on a specific goal. Because the reality is: we lose ourselves in the pursuits of a goal, never live in the present, never appreciate what we have and once we reach the destination/goal, we are still not happy and we want more.
This is a very personal blog post that details the challenges and steps I have taken in the past year on my continuous journey of healing. It might be specific to me but I have a feeling that many of you will find yourselves in my tales, too.
While Adrenal Fatigue Can Cause Hair Loss With The Right Treatment You Can Stop It And Begin The Regrowth Process
Healing from adrenal fatigue takes time, and if your hair health takes a hit from excess stress, remember that this pause in your hairs growth cycle is temporary. With focused nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle changes, you can revive and restore your hair. In addition to the things Ive referenced above, implementing a restorative hair care routine with supportive products is important as well.
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How To Do A Postural Hypotension Blood Pressure Test
Postural hypotension is a drop in blood pressure that occurs upon rising from a horizontal position. It is commonly expressed as a feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness, a head rush, or standing up too fast. To do this test, you will need a blood pressure cuff. Lie down and rest for 5 minutes.
An Introduction To The Adrenal Glands
The endocrine system is a network of glands that release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones control mood, growth, metabolism, reproduction, and so much more.
This system is made up of various glands throughout the body, including:
- the ovaries
- the testes
The adrenal glands are located just above the kidneys. They have an outer cortex which is responsible for hormone production, and an inner medulla which is responsible for producing neurotransmitters like noradrenaline and adrenaline .
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Elevated Cortisol Level
If a person has elevated cortisol levels for a long time, symptoms of cortisol excess become apparent. Common nonspecific symptoms, which are due to the over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system, include fatigue, weakness, increased thirst and urinary frequency, irritability, and depression.
What Supplements Are Best For Adrenal Fatigue And Hair Loss
Supplements are a great way to bridge the gap in our diets. While I do think its important to focus on high quality, nutrient dense foods as a means of supporting our body, we must acknowledge the reality that our fruits and vegetables are not as nutrient dense as they once were.
Unfortunately, the nature of modern farming practice is that the quality of vitamins and minerals in the soil have been gradually degraded over hundreds of years, meaning that less and less of these vital micronutrients are making their way into the food we eat. In fact, to get the same amount of vitamin A from an orange as our grandparents would have done, we would need to eat eight oranges today.
The following is a list of supplements that support adrenal health, thyroid, overall metabolism and thus hair regrowth! Please consult your doctor before starting new supplements.
Many of us are deficient in magnesium. This is the number one supplement I would recommend to someone starting out! This has a slew of health benefits including promoting better sleep, calming, can help with muscle/body cramps, supports healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure, nerve function and more. Click here for a magnesium recommendation.
Heres a few supplements/tinctures that are worth looking into. These are ones that I have tried personally and have enjoyed.
Hydrolyzed collagen powder
Beef Gelatin powder
Dessicated oyster capsules
Dessicated beef liver capsules
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Recovering From Adrenal Fatigue
Even though hair density does decrease with age, telogen effluvium can speed up the process. While many cases of this particular do clear up on their own, adrenal fatigue-related hair loss wont necessarily resolve itself without your intervention.
The good news is that you can reverse telogen effluvium and support overall hair health if you adjust a few lifestyle factors.
What Is A Functional Medicine Approach For Treating Adrenal Fatigue
One of the ways we treat adrenal imbalance is through the use of natural compounds which help to keep the stress response under control. These compounds are known as adaptogens.
When lifestyle changes are used in conjunction with a Functional Medicine approach, which includes testing and rebalancing hormone levels, ensuring you get proper nutrition, and identify and eliminating the causes of internal stress, recovery from adrenal fatigue is definitely possible.
Did you know?
Adrenal fatigue is brought on by extended periods of chronic stress, or other underlying medical issues like Cushing syndrome. When this happens, your adrenal system can’t stop releasing cortisol, and can have the affect lowering the production of other hormones.
Things you can do to avoid adrenal fatigue
As with other hormonal conditions, adrenal fatigue can be caused by chronic inflammation triggered by allergies, leaky gut, toxicities or infection.
Practice deep breathing, mindfulness or meditation. This will help you to relax and reduce the stress that leads to continued inflammation.
Skip the snooze button
Getting between 8-10 hours of sleep per night is essential. It allows your body to reset and reduce the amount of stress naturally.
Get some time outside
Go for a small hike in the woods, or explore your city. The movement is good for your heart and metabolism, and walking helps to reduce stress – which will help to reduce inflammation.
Cut it out
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Does Adrenal Fatigue Show Up In Blood Tests
Theres no approved test for adrenal fatigue. Blood tests cant detect a small drop in adrenal production. The suggested treatments for healthy adrenal function are a diet low in sugar, caffeine, and junk food, and targeted nutritional supplementation that includes vitamins and minerals: Vitamins B5, B6, and B12.
What Does Adrenal Crisis Mean
Adrenal crisis is a medical emergency. Its the most serious complication of adrenal insufficiency and happens due to a severe lack of cortisol. An adrenal crisis can be life-threatening. Symptoms of adrenal crisis include:
- Severe pain in your lower body that comes on quickly.
- Bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.
- Confusion and loss of consciousness.
- Low blood glucose,
- Low blood pressure.
If you have adrenal insufficiency, you should always have an injectable form of glucocorticoid medicine with you and you should wear some type of medical alert jewelry with that information. Make sure your family and friends know how to give the injection in the case of an emergency.
Other hormone imbalances and symptoms can occur with adrenal disorders. These include having too much potassium or not enough sodium in your blood.
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But There Is More Work To Be Done
Is it perfect yet? No.
Its the journey, remember?
Btw, if you are frustrated with your doctor not wanting to order the right tests for you , you can do it yourself on Your Lab Work.
I still have to work, what I suspect, is my gut absorbability.
In spite of eating meat 3-4 times per week and taking vit B complex, my B12 is only 348 and I would like it to be in the 800 range as thats what is recommended by functional medicine for people with autoimmune conditions.
The same thing goes with my Vitmain D levels in spite of taking perhaps not a high enough dose of fermented cod liver oil, I would like it to go up higher. I suspect its the same reason my guts ability to absorb vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, my TPO antibodies, even though lowest ever now at 66, I want to get them down to below 30. This will classify me for being free of Hashimotos. Even though I have no symptoms of hypothyroiditis , I still want to get them below 30. Because this is my work.
Here is what my next action plan is: test for gluten cross-reactivity. There are foods that may not contain gluten but our bodys immune system labels them as antigens if you have a gluten sensitivity . The list is a little scary: chocolate, quinoa, rice and hemp seeds are on this list, too. Auch. And, they all happen to be a part of my regular diet. It does not mean that I have a sensitive to all of them but even eating one of them can be causing digestive disbiosis and hence the absorbability issue.
How Are Adrenal Disorders Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will likely start by asking questions about your symptoms. They will then order tests to determine the levels of hormones in your saliva, blood and urine.
If your provider suspects tumors, they might order imaging tests such as CT scans, MRIs or nuclear imaging tests.
Your regular healthcare provider may refer you to an endocrinologist, a specialist in hormones and diseases of the endocrine system.
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Do You Know The Symptoms Of High Cortisol
Possible signs of high cortisol Sudden weight gain Weight gain is one of the first symptoms of high cortisol. Skin symptoms The skin is also affected by hypercortisolism. It can cause the development of: Acne Purple lesions on the breasts, abdomen, and thighs Bruising Increased facial and body Musculoskeletal symptoms High cortisol can also affect the muscles and bones. More items
When Should I Contact My Healthcare Provider About Adrenal Disorders
You should always contact your healthcare provider when you have symptoms that concern you, with or without a diagnosis of an adrenal disorder. Some of these might include:
- Losing weight without trying, or gaining weight primarily in the upper body.
- Feeling so tired that you cant get through your daily tasks.
- Being in any type of pain that is severe or that doesnt stop.
- Experiencing changes in hair growth.
- Experiencing skin changes, like bruising easily or developing stretch marks.
If you have adrenal insufficiency, ask your doctor for an injectable glucocorticoid that you can carry with you. Make sure that you know how to inject yourself, and that your family and friends also know how and when to inject you.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
The adrenal glands play an important part in keeping your body healthy. Disorders of these glands can affect many body functions. Your healthcare provider may suggest you see an endocrinologist regularly to monitor your condition. Your treatment plan might change when your situation changes, such as when you are in a high-stress time during an illness or surgery. Most of the adrenal disorders are manageable when you become an active part of your healthcare team.
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What Is Cushing’s Syndrome
Cushing’s syndrome is the result of excessive corticosteroids in the body. The main cause is overproduction of adrenocorticotropin hormone in the pituitary gland. ACTH causes the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids, so too much of ACTH means too much of corticosteroids. Another main cause is taking long-term external steroids like prednisone . In addition, certain lung cancers and other tumors outside the pituitary gland may produce corticotropins. Other causes include benign or cancerous tumors on the adrenal glands. Rarely, Cushing syndrome can be an inherited endocrine disorder.
What If The Stress Never Ends
Remember, I said, if youre lucky, you get insulin resistant? Its how your hypothalamus saves you from your stressful life. That weight gain around your middle is like a buoy helping you float through the stressors of your life. Your hypothalamus is just helping you survive until the world is safe. If you get treed by that tiger, then you can survive on that extra fat youve stored around your middle!
Now in the wild, you would either get eaten by the tiger or out smart it. You would not be chased forever. Today stressors are constant.
The hypothalamus does not know the difference between a tiger chasing you and you being late for work. The adrenal response is the same: Adrenaline > Cortisol > DHEA. Over and over and over again, day after day, week after week, for months, maybe years on end, the stress of modern day life puts a toll on the adrenals. Eventually they become fatigued, producing less and less cortisol and DHEA until you can hardly function.
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Your Hair Growth Cycle
After getting to know what adrenal fatigue is, this time, youll understand how your hair grows by being familiar with the different stages. They will allow you to connect how the growth cycle relates to adrenal fatigue. Here are the three stages:
This stage is also known as the anagen phase. This is the time the hair grows for 1 cm in a month, and this usually lasts for 3-5 years. The growing stage begins at the papilla which is the large structure found at the base of every hair follicle.
The transitional stage is also termed as the catagen phase. This stage allows every hair follicle to renew itself when the papilla detaches itself and rest by cutting the strand from its blood supply.
Most of your hair strands in your head are in the resting phase, and telogen is also the other name for this stage. During this stage, the hair follicles are found to be dormant for around one to four months but they will begin to grow again after some time. When this happens, the base of your hair breaks from the root and theres the shedding of your hair. From here, your new hair shaft emerges when the telogen phase is complete, and this normally results in hair loss.