A woman’s hair can operate like a canary in a coal mine, signaling danger. When hair begins to thin, it is often the first sign of an underlying imbalance or deficiency that, if not addressed, can significantly undermine good heath in a big way. Chances are good that when hormone imbalances are successfully addressed, hair will begin to re-grow and again look and feel the way it once did.
About two-thirds of all women experience hair loss (which is considered a dermatological disorder) at sometime in their lives. The American Academy of Dermatology says about 40% of women have noticeable hair loss by age 40. Many are told by their doctors that their hair loss is inevitable because of aging, but this sort of diagnosis does nothing to help restore hair or health.
Thinning Hair, Your Thyroid, and Hormones
An emerging body of research is showing that a likely factor for hair loss is low thyroid, a condition known as hypothroidism. This disease is at epidemic levels and affects mostly women.
One groundbreaking study investigated the impact of the primary thyroid hormones made in the human body, known as T3 and T4, on scalp hair follicles in their growth phase. The researchers found that T4 increased the proliferation of cells responsible for hair growth. When combined with T3, reduction in rate of follicle death was observed.
In addition, T4 prolonged the hair growth phase. T3 and T4 together also increased production of melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color. This is solid evidence of the connection between thyroid hormone and a full head of hair.
Low level of thyroid hormone can cause hair loss because it slows the metabolic rate throughout the body, a reason that low thyroid and weight gain often go hand in hand. This slowing extends to scalp follicles, resulting in premature release of the hair shaft and root, and a delay in producing replacement hairs. Early graying is another indication of low thyroid, as is the loss of hairs from the temporal edges of the eyebrows.
Related: 9 Natural Remedies for Hair Loss and Hair Thinning
Because thyroid hormones power metabolism, the sum of all physical and chemical processes in the body, the list of other symptoms indicating hypothyroidism is long. One of the most telling is a body temperature below 97.7° fahrenheit on a regular basis. Other symptoms include:
- Faint heartbeat
- Slowed pulse
- Low blood pressure
- Feeling cold all the time
- Dry skin
- Muscle weakness (including the heart muscle)
- Cystic breasts or ovaries
- Depressed immune system
Undiagnosed thyroid disease can put women at risk for serious conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, or infertility. Here are 7 natural treatments for hypothyroidism.
Is it a surprise to learn that the primary steroid hormone in women is testosterone, just as it is in men?
Young healthy females have up to 10 times more testosterone than estrogen circulating in their bodies. But levels of testosterone can begin to decline as early as the late 20’s or early 30’s, setting off hormonal imbalance and conversion. This can lead to hair on the top of the head thinning, while facial hair develops and the rest of the body hair coarsens. What’s behind this?
Current thinking says a portion of the remaining testosterone and other androgens such as DHEA convert to another hormone known as DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is thought to be the reason why so many men have baldness on the top of their head. Research has shown that natural supplements can at least partially stop this conversion.
A new breed of doctors who specialize in anti-aging medicine or bioidentical hormone replacement are essentially the only group with the knowledge to get you on the right track hormonally.
Stress and Hormones
Unrelenting stress is a real issue for many people in today’s world, and thinning hair can be the result – followed by more serious disease. Before hair can re-grow, stress levels must be brought down significantly, and periods of calm restored.
There is a hormone at work here too, known as cortisol. This hormone is what powers the fight or flight response to stressful situation, and helps regulate glucose metabolism, blood pressure, immunity, and inflammation. The thinking here is that cortisol should be active in the body only for short periods of time. However, when high stress becomes continual and cortisol levels soar, all bets are off and thinning hair is only the beginning. The dysregulation of cortisol can lead to metabolic syndrome, blood sugar imbalances, increased inflammation, decreased bone density, hampered immunity, abdominal fat buildup, and more.
We may think of stress as emotional, but high levels of prolonged stress can be the result of poor diet or just the aging process itself. When all of the body’s hormones are not fully present and in balance, ongoing stress is the result.
To keep cortisol at healthy levels, take whatever steps are necessary to reduce stress. Good ideas include allowing yourself time to relax everyday, exercising, and eating a plant-based diet.
Stress and the Hormone Known as Vitamin D
Hair loss may also be the result of a deficiency in vitamin D. Disinformation from the sunscreen industry has caused many Americans to fear the sun and stay indoors, with not only hair loss as an outcome but also an increased risk of cancer.
Numerous cells and tissues in the body have receptors for vitamin D in addition to the skin. Studies of mice and humans lacking these receptors have shown that hair loss is one of the outcomes.
5 thoughts on “A Primary Reason that Could be Causing Thinning Hair – Aging is NOT It”
Other reasons can be a poor diet lacking zinc, animal and vegetables protein, and biotin, along with the 8 essential amino acids. Also a gut that does not have enough of the acid to dissolve the foods we eat, can lead to malnutrition, even though we may be eating properly.
Thank you for providing this article. It is very enlightening and my wife has these symptoms also.
However, I would like to point out that I think that it would be good to also do an article on men and hypothyroidism because men also get that stage. The reason that I say this is that while many of the symptoms are the same, men don’t get cysts in the breast, unless they have man boobs, like women do. You know women are not the only sex in this world. In 2003 I was diagnosed by an internal medicine doctor when he did a complete thyroid panel on me as he did in my wife. The other doctors only did a T2 and T3 test that proved to be unreliable and I had sixteen of the symptoms of hypothyroidism that a Doctor Gerald Brownstiene published after the false positive T2, T3 test.
I also learned that the old reliable “Synthroid” drug is not a complete drug for restoring the functions of the gland. I learned that North Atlantic Kelp, Dulse, L-Tyrosine and selinium are also required to aid the thyroid in producing the T2, T3 and T4 hormones. Once I started taking these my body was no longer cold and my hands became warm again.
Oh, by the way, I also quit taking the statin drugs just before I began the above regimen.
One more thing that I should have added in the above note is that one of the leading causes of hypothyroidism in men is the consumption of soy proteins. This is an anathema to the heavily subsidized soy crop because the Feds pump big money into soy crops each year just like they do in raising wheat.
However, soy products and by products are known, scientifically to depress thyroid functions and in some cases have shut down the thyroid. Don’t believe me? Check it out.
Not only Soy, but radiation at any level does the same.
I am curious more about women’s hair loss. it’s mentioned that women’s testosterone goes down in their 20s and 30s, and may be related to hair loss, whereas men’s DHEA is converted to DHT (perhaps too much male hormone or just the wrong conversion?) tAnd this is attributing to hair loss for men?But women it’s the opposite? Can you explain this further please? So how do women help boost their testosterone naturally as it is argued this is the problem for women? Can women take DHEA safely, if their testosterone is low, such as in my case it’s very low and I am in my 30s. Will DHEA help bring up my testosterone levels safely? Or can it be converted to other hormones, driving my estrogen up or cause other problems?
I would be willing to bet that Monsanto’s Round Up, which is being DUMPED on wheat and corn crops and then turned into mass produced food products such as bread, rolls, crackers, etc. has a lot to do with the hair loss in both American men and women as well as the 70% obesitiy/overweight rate currently. Our bodies were not designed to process toxic chemicals and industrial waste products, yet these monsters continue to dump them in our food and water.