Hormonal changes that can cause hair loss in women
Hair loss can be influenced by various factors, including hormonal changes. Hormones play a crucial role in regulating the growth and shedding of hair. Here are some common hormonal causes of hair loss and potential treatments:
- Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA):
- Cause: Also known as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness, AGA is primarily genetic and is linked to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes hair follicles to shrink, leading to hair thinning and eventual loss.
- Treatment: Medications such as finasteride and minoxidil can help manage AGA by reducing the effects of DHT and promoting hair growth. Non-medical supplements like HR23+ have also shown to help reduce excessive shedding, and support the function of healthy hair growth. HR23+ hair supplement has a 91% success rate n women with androgenic alopecia.
- Hormonal Changes in Women:
- Cause: Hormonal fluctuations due to pregnancy, childbirth (postpartum hair loss), menopause (menopausal hair loss), and conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can contribute to hair loss in women.
- Treatment: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or specific medications, such as spironolactone or oral contraceptives, may be recommended to address hormonal imbalances and manage hair loss.
- Thyroid Disorders:
- Cause: Conditions like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can disrupt the balance of hormones in the body, leading to hair loss. Here’s more information about thyroid disorders and the effects on hair loss.
- Treatment: Managing the underlying thyroid disorder through medication and lifestyle changes may help prevent further hair loss.
- Cushing’s Syndrome:
- Cause: Excess production of cortisol, a stress hormone, as seen in Cushing’s syndrome, can lead to hair thinning and loss.
- Treatment: Addressing the underlying cause of elevated cortisol levels is essential. This may involve surgery, radiation, or medication. It is advised to speak to a specialist for more complex cases.
- Medications and Hormonal Changes:
- Cause: Certain medications, such as those for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout, and high blood pressure, can cause hair loss as a side effect. Hormonal birth control and hormone replacement therapy can also influence hair health.
- Treatment: In some cases, adjusting medications or finding alternative treatments may be necessary. Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial to determine the best course of action.
- Alopecia Areata:
- Cause: An autoimmune condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, leading to hair loss. This leads to bald patches across the scalp, and other areas of the body.
- Treatment: Corticosteroids, immunotherapy, and other medications can be prescribed to suppress the immune response and encourage hair regrowth.
How to diagnose your hair loss type
Diagnosing the specific type of hair loss you may be experiencing often requires consultation with a healthcare professional, typically a dermatologist or a trichologist (a specialist in hair and scalp disorders). However, here are some general steps and information that may help you understand and discuss your hair loss:
- Take note of the pattern of hair loss. Is it localised in specific areas, or is it diffuse across the scalp?
- Examine the hair strands. Are they miniaturised (thinner and shorter than normal)?
- Check for any signs of inflammation, redness, or scaling on the scalp.
- Medical History:
- Provide your doctor with a detailed medical history, including any recent illnesses, medications, stress levels, and significant life changes.
- Mention any family history of hair loss, as genetic factors can play a role.
- Lifestyle Factors:
- Consider any recent changes in your lifestyle, diet, or hair care routine that may contribute to hair loss.
- Evaluate stress levels, as excessive stress can be a factor in some types of hair loss.
- Blood Tests:
- Your healthcare provider may recommend blood tests to check for underlying medical conditions such as hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iron, vitamin D), or thyroid disorders.
- Scalp Biopsy:
- In some cases, a scalp biopsy may be recommended to examine the hair follicles and determine the cause of hair loss more precisely.
- Diagnostic Imaging:
- In certain situations, diagnostic imaging such as a dermoscopy or a scalp biopsy may be used to get a closer look at the scalp and hair follicles.
Remember, self-diagnosis may not be accurate, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough examination and proper diagnosis. They can recommend appropriate treatments or interventions based on the specific type of hair loss identified.