Hair Loss And Weight Gain: What Is The Link
Excess weight gain and high body mass index are associated with multiple health issues and metabolic syndromes that may trigger hair loss. Numerous studies have found a connection between weight gain and hair loss:
- A study on Taiwanese men reported that higher BMI could increase the severity of androgenic alopecia 01031-1/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 1).
- Metabolic syndromes like waist circumference and hypertension also trigger female pattern hair loss. A study demonstrated that the severity of pattern baldness increased with weight gain .
- A study on middle-aged women concluded that insulin resistance could increase the risk of androgenic alopecia , especially in women with a family history of AGA . Obesity is also one of the causes of insulin resistance .
Multiple underlying conditions can trigger unexplained weight gain or vice-versa. This complex process can cause an avalanche of issues, including hair loss. In the next section, we take a deeper dive into the possible causes of sudden weight gain and hair loss.
Who Should Be Tested
If you think you have symptoms of a thyroid problem, ask your doctor if you should be tested. People with symptoms or risk factors may need tests more often. Hypothyroidism more frequently affects women over age 60. Hyperthyroidism is also more common in women. A family history raises your risk of either disorder.
Im Always Getting Sick Or I Take A Long Time To Recover
Blame it on: High adrenalin and cortisol
Apart from stress management, the adrenals are also responsible for regulating your immune system. Remember a problematic project at work or a family crises that took time to resolve? You had sufficient energy and focus to get through the hard time . But, as soon as it was over, you fell sick. Sound familiar?
Ongoing stress can weaken the adrenals so much so that they are not able to sufficiently stimulate the immune system to keep you healthy. Im not just talking here about superficial conditions like cold and flu but more serious ones like cancer or autoimmune conditions.
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Does Menopause Cause Hair Loss
Hormonal changes due to menopause can contribute to . The most common causes of sudden rapid hair loss, or telogen effluvium, are stress and fluctuating hormones that occur during the menopause transition. Female pattern hair loss is also very common. It is more prevalent after menopause because hormones play a role. Underlying medical conditions, heredity and certain styling practices may also influence hair loss.
To help prevent hair loss, adhere to a well-balanced diet. Certain supplements may help. Also, be gentle to your hair and follicles. Avoid hairstyles that cause pulling. Minimize the use of direct heat on the hair and keep hair well-conditioned.Natural oils like argan oil, Jamaican black castor oil or olive oil may help. Over-the-counter products, such as minoxidil, or laser caps or helmets may provide some benefit. It takes up to four months for any of these treatments to work. If, after four months, there is no improvement, then its time to make an appointment with a doctor. Hormone replacement therapy has been shown to help some women with hair loss.
Become A Pleasure Seeker
When you add oxytocin-releasing activities to your like, it helps rebalance the adrenal deficiency. What makes gives you lots of joy? Here are a few ideas:
- Watch a comedy series or film: Not only does laughter boost your immune system, it directly reduces levels of cortisol and epinephrine.
- Use music to calm you: Try some classical or ambient music. Or just put on a CD of soundscapes from nature.
- Enjoy a relaxing aromatherapy bath: Add some candles and close your eyes. Enjoy!
- Schedule a massage that gives you lots of pleasure. If you have limited funds, think about doing a massage swap with a friend where you do it for each other.
- Orgasm on a regular basis: that gives us a HUGE oxytocin release.
- Embrace a child or a pet: regular touch is very healing.
- Do the twist: Take up dancing join a class or follow online tutorials at home. Research shows that taking up tango dancing can relieve stress more than meditation.
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Does Stress Cause Acne
When youre stressed, your body produces cortisol. Cortisol ramps up the processes that help us deal with stressors, like converting protein to energy and releasing glycogen, and suppresses peripheral processes like digestion, cell regeneration and endocrine regulation. Unfortunately, most women are burdened with chronic, unrelenting stress, calling on the adrenal glands to continuously produce cortisol.
When cortisol is chronically elevated, the body doesnt have the opportunity to shift its priorities back to its peripheral functions and it gradually deteriorates. A host of symptoms results, including fatigue, weight gain, depression and acne.
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What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss And Weight Gain In Women
Hair loss and weight gain may occur naturally as you age however, they may also be signs of an undiagnosed condition. Unexplained weight gain without a change in exercise or eating habits may be a signal that something is wrong. Hair loss may manifest as a thinning of scalp or eyebrow hair. Hair may come out in clumps or just thin noticeably over time. If you experience unexplained weight gain and hair loss, see your doctor or an endocrinologist.
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How Stress Disrupts Hair Growth
Hair normally grows in a healthy cyclical pattern with hair follicles cycling through four distinct phases:
1. Active growth or anagen2. Transition or catagen3. Resting or telogen4. Returning growth or mesanagen
When youre under a great deal of stress, this normal pattern of hair growth may become disrupted. Stress can block active growth and force more follicles to remain in the resting phase. When growth is stalled, hair becomes weak and thin, eventually breaking off. An imbalance in the hair growth cycle isnt hard to miss: you see much more hair on your hairbrush and thinning hair on the scalp. When a large group of follicles all turn off in one place, bald spots may appear. Most of the time this occurs slowly, but in some cases it can happen all at once, causing a clump of hair to fall out.
The negative effects of stress on hair growth has long been known. The process by which stress influences hair loss, however, has remained a mystery until now.
Learn More With Overcoming Estrogen Dominance
The body has an amazing ability to heal. We just need to give it the right resources.
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, my goal is to empower and give you the tools to take control of your hormones and health.
More than 70% of women experience estrogen dominance. The symptoms range from lumpy and fibrocystic breasts to thyroid nodules, hot flashes, fibroids, uterine polyps, painful, heavy or irregular periods to infertility and miscarriages, from mood swings to insomnia, weight gain to fatigue.
So many women have experienced the pain and frustration that comes when they feel their symptoms and complaints are dismissed or minimized. This is particularly true for women who are experiencing the symptoms of hormone imbalance. Even when doctors do offer treatment, its typically in the form of prescription medication or invasive surgical procedures.
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, I hope to show that those extreme interventions are often unnecessary, and to give women a roadmap to reverse estrogen dominance using food, herbs, supplements and natural protocols to rebalance hormones.
To get your copy of Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, go here.
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I Feel Wired At Bedtime But Exhausted In The Mornings
Blame it on: High and low cortisol at the wrong times of day
When you suffer adrenal fatigue:
You struggle to drag yourself from bed
Your body is clever and registers that your cortisol levels have been chronically high, so it tries to put the brakes on cortisol by reducing its normal daily production. Then instead of the normal peak of cortisol you would get in the morning, you get a flat line.
The impacts can be seen in people who suffer Addisons disease, due to low cortisol and experience extreme fatigue, abdominal pain, depression, decreased appetite and salt cravings .
Interestingly, John F Kennedy suffered from Addisons disease but managed to keep it a secret throughout his presidency.
When on autopsy was conducted after his death his adrenal glands were in such a bad state, there was hardly any tissue left.
Interestingly, he also suffered colitis which may well have been involved in triggering his thyroid issues . Due to his ailments he took steroid drugs which over many years, affected his bones. The resulting chronic back pain led him to wear a back brace to support his degenerating spine.
Youre exhausted and drained, but cant sleep.
I Cant Think Straight Im Foggy
Blame it on: High cortisol and its effect on the hippocampus.
Ever noticed how hard it is to keep your mind operating on all four cylinders when youre having a heavy-duty day? You sit at the computer but cant focus, go to the shops but forget what you need to buy, misplace your keys or wallet or both. This mental meltdown is a direct result of adrenal fatigue.
Stress induced brain drain is caused by the hippocampus, a little seahorse shaped organ in the brain involved in our short term memory. With too much cortisol in the brain, dendrites start to shrink and dont work as properly.
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Very Low Protein Diets
Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are essential for hair growth. Thats because amino acids are necessary for the production of keratin, the main structural protein of hair.
Protein malnutrition when your body doesnt get enough protein can result in hair loss. Thus, if youre following a low calorie weight loss diet that doesnt contain enough protein, you may experience hair loss as a result .
When your protein needs arent met, your body prioritizes important protein-dependent functions like tissue repair, digestion, pH and water balance regulation, and hormone production. Because hair growth isnt essential to keep you alive, hair loss may occur .
Additionally, deficiencies in specific amino acids, such as histidine, leucine, valine, and cysteine, are common in people with hair loss.
In a study in 100 people with hair loss, researchers observed histidine and leucine deficiencies in large percentages of participants across several types of alopecia, including androgenic alopecia and TE (
For example, a 2018 study that included 50 people who underwent sleeve gastrectomy, a surgical procedure that removes a large portion of the stomach, observed hair loss in 56% of the participants. Hair loss was more common in women .
Notably, the participants with hair loss had much lower levels of zinc and vitamin B12 both before and after surgery .
Phase : Tired But Wired
Once constant pressures or a taxing situation puts you under chronic stress, the repeated triggering of your adrenal glands can cause high cortisol release one moment and low another. You cant get going so you start to rely more and more on coffee and tea to try to boost your flagging energy levels. But this article explains why the caffeine only causes further hormonal imbalance.
How Stress Steals Your Other Hormones
Normally pregnenolone works as a precursor hormone to help produce testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA . When your body is struggling to keep up with stress, it diverts an important hormone called pregnenolone to making more cortisol instead of progesterone. This reaction is known as the pregnenolone steal see the chart below:
The classic example is a woman stressed about getting pregnant who then adopts a child as her stress levels go down with the new baby, she gets pregnant with her own child. Im sure you have heard of stories like that. As her pregnenolone is not longer directed to over-produce cortisol, she can now also produce sufficient progesterone and get pregnant.
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Tired Cant Lose Weight Hair Falling Out And Suffering From Constipationit Could Be Your Thyroid
Many people think that losing weight is a simple matter of taking in less energy than you expend. While calories consumed and used are a key to weight loss they are not the only factors. Hormonal balance is key to help achieve lasting weight loss. One of the key hormones involved in weight loss are regulated by the thyroid gland.
Its Not You, Its Your Thyroid
Thyroid disorders are the second most common endocrine disorder after diabetes. It is estimated that 10% of the North American population is suffering from a thyroid condition. The news only gets worse for post menopausal women, when rates go up to 20%. This increase is post menopausal women is likely due to the influence of estrogen and progesterone on thyroid hormone. Post partum is also a trying time for the thyroid, and many women will experience symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Thyroid Problems Commonly Present in the Postpartum Period
TSH: first line testing, done to try and determine is the thyroid is responding properly to its stimulus.
T3 and T4: the active forms of thyroid hormone, T3 is much more active than T4
Reverse T3: Sometimes, especially when the body is under stress instead of converting T4 to the more active T3, it will convert it to reverse T3, an inactive form of T3.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
There are many symptoms, but the most common are:
Congestive Heart Failure Overview
Congestive heart failure refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, myocarditis, and cardiomyopathies are just a few potential causes of congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure may include fatigue, breathlessness, palpitations, angina, and edema. Physical examination, patient history, blood tests, and imaging tests are used to diagnose congestive heart failure. Treatment of heart failure consists of lifestyle modification and taking medications to decrease fluid in the body and ease the strain on the heart. The prognosis of a patient with congestive heart failure depends on the stage of the heart failure and the overall condition of the individual.
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Dealing With Thinning Hair And Hair Loss
Hair loss from hypothyroidism is usually not a big problem, Dr. Pearce says. It should stop with thyroid treatment, although this could take several months.
Pearce adds that hypothyroidism might not be the culprit when it comes to hair loss or thinning there could be an unrelated genetic cause. Or the problem might be certain medications, stress, iron loss, or simply aging.
Hypothyroidism treatment wont help hair thats thinning for other reasons. But if thyroid issues are to blame, try these solutions:
Complications Of Autoimmune Conditions
Autoimmune diseases can potentially put you at risk for serious complications. These vary by condition, but some of the more common ones include:
- Heart disease: Conditions that cause inflammation, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the heart.
- Mood disorders: Long-term pain and fatigue, which are symptoms of many autoimmune diseases, are often associated with depression and anxiety.
- Neuropathy: Nerve damage or neuropathy can develop with many autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and SjÃ¶gren’s syndrome. This can lead to feeling numb and weak in the arms or legs.
- Deep vein thrombosis: Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease lead to an increased risk of developing blood clots. These clots may travel to the lungs and cause a blockage, known as a pulmonary embolism.
- Organ damage: Autoimmune diseases that cause harm to specific organs can lead to significant damage if not properly treated. For example, type 1 diabetes can cause kidney failure.
Talk to your healthcare provider about what you can do to minimize the risk of complications that are associated with your condition.
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Hair Regrowth Treatment Options For Menopausal Hair Loss
Hair loss due to menopause can be frustrating, embarrassing and temporary. Treatment options are available, and the right treatment option may help reverse your hair loss. Prescription: Two medication, spironolactone and finasteride are antiandrogen medications used to treat postmenopausal women Platelet-rich plasma injections: A new and minimally invasive option used as a natural approach for treating follicle damage, hair loss and thinning hair. Low level laser therapy: Options include combs, in-office domes, and portable home units that can be worn like a hat, offer women the convenience of using treatment products in the privacy of their home or at their doctor’s office. Nutritional supplements: Certain vitamins and minerals have been known to support healthy hair growth and could be incorporated into your daily diet. It is important to remember treating hair loss takes time. Initial changes in hair regrowth often go unnoticed. Keep this in mind, it might take several months before you start to notice real improvement. If you are experiencing hair loss or thinning hair due to menopause and are interested in learning more about hair loss, regrowth treatment and product options, or to consult with a Capillus specialist in your area or call Capillus for more information at 888 6249 or Toll-Free at 1 272-9599.
When Should You See A Doctor
What constitutes an abnormal amount of hair loss? While most of us experience some hair loss, if youre noticing a sudden and dramatic change in your scalp or the appearance of bald patches, its time to reach out to your doctor.
If someone in your family has experienced alopecia or other forms of rapid hair loss, you should also consider consulting a physician since there could be genetic factors at play.
However, if you have been experiencing excessive shedding , then it is probably time for you to speak with a medical professional.
Additionally, if youve been experiencing any signs of fatigue or weight gain that doesnt seem to improve over the course of several months, you should make an appointment with your doctor just in case theres a more serious condition behind this symptom.
Thinning hair is a common side effect of weight loss. As body fat is lost, the body produces less estrogen, which is necessary for maintaining healthy hair growth.
However, this doesnt mean that all thinning hair is due to weight loss, as there are other factors that can cause thinning hair. But if your hair is becoming noticeably thinner and lighter in color, it may be time to see your doctor.
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