Menopause And Hair Loss

Hair Loss During Menopause

Menopausal hair thinning is a common condition that most women suffer from as they enter the perimenopausal and menopause stages. Hormonal changes, weak immune system, hereditary factors, and nutritional changes are some of the things that can trigger hair loss. Although this condition is usually considered to be subtle in women (unlike men who normally have bald spots), its effects are typically distressing when it becomes worse.

Below is an overview of hair thinning in menopausal women, its effects, treatment options, and also management techniques.

The Menopause

When women hit their mid-40s, they start experiencing biological changes as their bodies evolve in anticipation of menopause. However, apart from actually reaching that age, external factors can also cause hair thinning and loss.

Causes Of Hair Loss

Hormones

Hormones are the primary cause of thin hair and sometimes hair loss in menopausal women. It should be noted that estrogen is required for the healthy development of thick hair. For instance, during pregnancy, women tend to have high levels of female hormones. During this period, women normally have fuller, thicker, and healthier hair.

But what happens exactly during menopause?

During this phase, the level of estrogen in the body starts to decline. On the other hand, the production of androgens, i.e. the male hormones, begin to increase. The compounding effect of this hormonal change is that hair follicles start to produce thinner hairs.

It should be noted that genetics also plays a crucial role in determining the strength of your hair. So, the combination of genetics with low levels of estrogen will lead to the development of progressively thinner and weaker hair follicles.

Hormonal change is the main culprit of thinning hair during menopause.

Thyroid disease:

Both menopause and thyroid disorders share the same symptoms. It is also worth noting that women who are at the menopausal age are more likely to develop thyroid disorders, i.e., hyperthyroidism. A prolonged and severe state of hypothyroidism can make your hair thinner and even lead to hair loss.

Nutritional changes:

The human body contains estrogen receptors, which are found in the hypothalamus gland. These receptors are responsible for controlling the way that the body uses its energy. They are also crucial in determining the rate of metabolism and hunger pangs. Once a woman reaches menopause, the level of estrogen rapidly declines. This has a direct impact on the way the estrogen receptors in the brain function. Overall, the resulting effect is that a female is highly likely to change their diet. They may be attracted to fast foods that are highly processed and sugary. These foods usually lack the essential nutrients and as a result, cause iron deficiency. The low iron content in the body is what sometimes causes thinning hair.

Illnesses:

The low levels of progesterone during menopause can trigger several illnesses. During this stage, a woman’s immune system is usually weak, and they are at a high risk of contracting infections. Menopause brings typically the onset of autoimmune disorders, which may damage the hair follicles and cause hair to thin or fall out. For instance, Lupus, Crohn’s disease, alopecia, and psoriasis are some of the autoimmune diseases that may cause hair thinning and sometimes hair loss.

Stress:

Besides illnesses, chronic stress is another condition that’s also common at this point. Due to other factors, people at this age tend to become more stressed. Clinically, there is a direct link between stress and hair thinning. High levels of stress in the body usually causes hormonal changes. The resulting impact of this is often visible through the hair in the form of thinning, and sometimes hair falling out.

Effects of Hair Thinning

The effects of hair thinning and hair loss during menopause can be devastating. Many women end up suffering from low self-esteem. According to physicians, society typically attributes healthy and thick hair to beauty and youth. To many women, having healthy hair makes them feel beautiful, and losing it can do the opposite.

It should be noted that psychological studies associate thinning hair to anxiety and depression. Furthermore, it can result in social withdrawal. But it doesn’t matter if your hair loss is caused by hormonal changes, diet, or an underlying medical condition. It’s still possible to restore hair thinning in menopausal women.

How to Treat Hair Loss And Hair Thinning

Menopausal women treat their thinning hair. Some of the effective treatment options include:

Using Hair Thinning Shampoos

Some shampoos can help to increase hair volume, making it thicker. These shampoos contain amino acids and vitamins which nourish the scalp and enhance the generation of healthier hair. To achieve the best results, use the strengthening shampoo every day.

Folic Acid Supplements

These supplements contain B-vitamins, which are vital for the generation of new cells. When dealing with hair thinning, folic acid supplements help the hair follicles to generate new hair effectively. However, there is a need for more research to determine the effectiveness of B-vitamins and hair thickening.

Minoxidil

It’s also known as Rogaine. This is an FDA-approved hair thinning and hair loss treatment that’s sold over-the-counter. Minoxidil enhances the thickening of thin hair. For better results, it should be applied on the scalp every day. If you are going to use minoxidil, you need to take it for almost 4 months to get tangible results. Additionally, you can use it in the form of foam or liquid.

Note: Minoxidil should be used consistently every day, or you may fail to see tangible results. Additionally, it may have adverse effects on some people. They include unwanted hair growth in areas such as the neck region and face. Furthermore, scalp irritation is a common side effect.

Home-based Laser Therapy

Previously, the FDA approved the use of laser therapy by dermatologists only. However, you can now use it at home. Home-based laser therapy designed for hair helps to enhance the development of new cells. As a result, it promotes the regrowth of thick healthier hair. But just like minoxidil, it may take several months before you get any positive results.

Note: As much as home-baser laser hair therapy is good, it’s actually costly. The equipment used in this process usually costs hundreds of dollars. This is obviously a significant investment, and you need first to consider other options.

Spironolactone

It’s also known as Aldactone. This is a prescription drug that’s normally prescribed to people, including menopausal women, suffering from hair thinning caused by androgen production. Spironolactone is considered a “water pill” and its also an anti-androgen.

It’s one of the better remedies for thinning hair in women who have reached menopause. This is because it helps to regulate hormonal fluctuations in this phase. However, the doctor needs to carry out blood tests before prescribing this drug.

Biotin

Biotin is also known as vitamin-B7. Biotin is a nutrient that’s considered water-soluble, and you can find it in various foods. As a solution for hair thinning and loss, it’s recommended that the affected person uses a biotin supplement. It promotes the breakdown of enzymes and can, therefore, lead to the development of thick hair.

Note: Biotin contains vitamin B7; hence, it shouldn’t be used together with Vitamin B5 supplements. This is because the combination of these vitamins typically reduces the effectiveness of one another.

Essential Oils

These are natural but highly effective liquids which are obtained from specific plants. They are commonly used in alternative medicine, including aromatherapy. One of the best types of essential oils for hair thinning is lavender oil. Evidence suggests that it can effectively minimize balding spots. When lavender oil is combined with thyme or rosemary, it often leads to the growth of thicker and healthier hair.

Fatty Acids

Fatty acids include omega-3 and -6. Fatty acids are also referred to as essential fatty acids because they can’t be produced naturally by the body. They are useful in facilitating the growth of thicker hair. It should be noted that omega-3 fatty acids help to fight inflammation. So, if your hair thinning is a result of an underlying medical condition, then this essential fatty acid can help to improve your condition. Omega-6-fatty acids, on the other hand, help to improve the skin’s health. Therefore, it can help to improve the scalp’s health and lead to the growth of thicker hair.

Corticosteroids

Just like omega-3 fatty acids, Corticosteroids help to fight underlying inflammation. The prescription drug can help to treat hair thinning thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) helps to improve the quality of your hair. Additionally, it makes it thicker and more pronounced on the head. Generally, hormone replacement is a form of therapy that helps to reduce the negative effects of menopause. It helps to increase the level of female hormones in the body and restore it to normal levels.

Note: Women can only undergo estrogen hormone replacement therapy if they have removed their uterus. This is because this medical procedure increases the risk of uterine cancer, and doctors won’t allow patients to use it due to safety issues.

Other Management Techniques

Transitioning to menopause is not easy. The body comes with a lot of physical changes. Besides that, there are a lot of emotional effects that occur. All these experiences can leave you feeling depressed with low self-esteem. Apart from the remedies mentioned above, some of the management techniques that you can use to prevent hair loss during menopause include:

Exercising

Exercising is not directly related to hair thinning, but it can be beneficial. Engaging in physical activities can help to improve your general health. Remember that stress and diseases usually peak during this phase.

Furthermore, they are among the major causes of hair thinning. But by exercising, you can minimize the severity of stress and reduce your chances of getting inflammatory diseases. This way, you will end up protecting your hair indirectly.

Avoid Stress

As stated above, menopausal women are at a high risk of developing chronic stress. The psychological effect of menopause is usually draining. However, stress causes typically adverse health effects, including hair thinning. It creates a decline in estrogen production, which generally leads to hair thinning or hair loss.

So, it’s essential to avoid stress. Engage in stress-reducing activities that can help to calm your body and relax your mind. They include yoga, meditation, tai chi, and Pilates, among others.

Drink Adequate Water

The effects of menopause also include physical appearance. Apart from skin changes, most women end up with hair loss/thinning. To reduce its impact, it’s important to drink adequate water daily. Ensure that you drink at least 8 glasses of water. It helps to flush out toxins in the body, which leads to inflammation.

Watch Your Diet

When a woman is in menopause, their diet matters. Their physical and emotional well-being requires that they attend to their nutritional needs. A significant percentage of their daily diet should be composed of fruits and vegetables.

Additionally, calcium-rich foods such as milk and yogurt are important for the development of bones. On the other hand, iron-rich foods like eggs, fish, and red meat supply the body with fiber. It’s important to avoid spicy food. Furthermore, cut your alcohol intake and ensure that you avoid caffeinated drinks.

Scalp Massage

This is a cheap management technique that’s readily available. Scalp massage enhances the development of thicker and healthier hair. You can do this when you wash your hair. Simply apply a gentle pressure on your scalp using your fingertips. Scalp massage enhances the flow of blood and also removes dead skin cells, which may hinder healthy hair growth.

Conclusion

According to research studies, more than 50 percent of women in menopause normally experience hair loss and thinning. This is a common condition that affects a large part of the population. Although hormonal change is usually considered as the main culprit, there are still other factors that can cause hair thinning.

Therefore, it’s important to consult a trichologist to determine the cause of hair thinning. Apart from prescription drugs, you can also use OTC medications. Furthermore, there are also home-based management techniques that can help nourish your hair. If you are a woman in menopause experiencing this condition, remember that you’re not alone. Also, don’t forget that it IS possible to grow your hair back thicker and healthier.

Eating To Improve Eczema

Living with eczema can be miserable if proper precautions aren’t implemented. Bathing habits, clothing, scratching, house cleanliness – all of these are factors that can increase or reduce eczema outbreaks. But for many, the main factor that is causing eczema is what you are eating.

From a young age, babies breastfed by mothers who take probiotics and avoid drinking cow’s milk have a lower chance of developing eczema.

Adults can also reduce the frequency of itchy red rashes on their skin by limiting the consumption of inflammatory foods, taking allergens off their meals, and following a diet that suits their needs without sacrificing vital vitamins or nutrients.

Anti-inflammatory Foods Reduce Eczema Symptoms

Eczema is an inflammatory condition, so it makes sense that eating anti-inflammatories will bring balance to your skin.

Omega-3 fatty acids have excellent anti-inflammatory capabilities. You should try and consume at least 250 mg every day from:

  • fatty fish like salmon and herring
  • green leafy vegetables
  • linseed oil
  • walnuts
  • supplements

Probiotics

Probiotic foods and drinks like yogurt, miso soup, and sauerkraut can balance the gut’s bacteria and, by extension, fight off inflammation from the inside out.

Flavanoids

Apples, spinach, cherries, and other colorful fruits and vegetables have a high concentration of flavonoids that help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

It’s vital to cut on the consumption of trans and saturated fats found in hydrogenated oils and red meats. Fats can also be found in milk, eggs, and other foods that release the T cells that cause inflammation.

Eczema diet plans

There is a connection between eating certain foods and eczema flares. As a result, several eczema diets advise how to reduce symptoms by eating healthily.

The Mediterranean diet, for example, emphasizes eating fruits, green vegetables, red wine, fish, and healthy fats like olive oil. This diet is rich in antioxidants but low in the saturated fatty acids, which are behind inflammation.

The anti-inflammatory diet, on the other hand, eliminates inflammatory and processed foods, emphasizing eating fruits, whole grains, vegetables, fish, and healthy fats.

It’s important to remember that these diet plans aren’t one-size-fits-all, so you may need a diet that is more personalized to your needs.

Eliminate allergens from your meals

Eczema sufferers with food allergies may or may not benefit from following an elimination diet. This plan involves avoiding foods that trigger allergic reactions, such as milk, soy, wheat, chocolate, gluten, and peanuts.

However, the source of allergic reactions can vary from person to person. In which case, cutting out foods, one at a time, from your diet can help you identify the cause of your flares.

This type of diet is recommended for people with hand or dyshidrotic eczema since they can benefit from avoiding flare-inducing allergens like nickel, cobalt, and Balsam of Peru.

Regardless of which type of eczema you have, you should consult with a nutritional therapist who can suggest alternative food sources so you won’t be missing out on any essential vitamins and nutrients.

Stop Eating Gluten

Some studies point to a link between eczema and celiac disease. Whether that’s the case or not, both conditions seem to share gluten-sensitivity as one of their symptoms. So you may see improvements in your skin if you remove gluten from your diet.

Luckily, gluten replacement has gained popularity in recent years. So there are many healthy and tasty gluten-free alternatives to bread, pasta, and other wheat, rye, or barley-based products.

A third way between elimination and eating gluten-free products involves rotating gluten foods in and out of your menu every four to five days. This is a good middle point since it helps you keep a varied diet, stops it from getting boring and repetitive, and may also improve your symptoms.

If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease and also have eczema, you may find that some of your eczema symptoms with be resolved by following a gluten-free diet.

Eat healthy white and red meats

We have already mentioned the benefits of fatty fish, but no eczema diet would be complete without a moderate amount of chicken and red meats.

Protein keeps your skin, brain cells, and muscles functioning; without adequate amounts, your body could start swelling, your immune system could crash, and your skin rashes would worsen and become more frequent.

When buying meat, it’s important to choose animals raised using free-range methods to avoid the presence of harmful hormones or toxins. Only the freshest cuts should be used, and all the fatty pieces should be cut off before cooking it.

Finally, any bones left can be used to prepare a nutritious beef or chicken broth, which is incredibly rich in glycine — a skin-repairing amino acid.

Use supplements to complement your diet

Although it is recommended to get all your vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from food, sometimes this isn’t possible. Supplements are a useful alternative if you don’t have time to cook or can’t overeat a certain food because it would increase your flare-ups. Some vital vitamins and minerals which are particularly relevant for eczema include vitamin D, C, E, B6, flavonoids, zinc sulfate, selenium, and probiotic bacteria. Most of these can be found in multivitamins, but it’s recommended you talk to your dermatologist and nutritionist beforehand so you can get a prescription tailored just for you.

The best advice you can follow is to stay away from anything which triggers your flares. You should keep in touch with both a nutritionist and a dermatologist to make sure your eating habits are helping instead of hindering you.

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and stay away from inflammatory foods and other allergens, and you should see improvements in your skin condition.

National Eczema Association

If you have any further questions about eczema or want advice about therapies for eczema then you should be in contact with the National Eczema Association.

Do you have one of these skin conditions? Gluten could make it worse

In recent years, many people have opted to go on a gluten-free diet in the hope of trying to eat healthily. While some sources say that gluten can only cause health-related issues to those with Celiac disease, other sources say it can also be a problem to other people as well.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a class of proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. They are called prolamins. It contains two main proteins called glutenin and gliadin. These proteins are highly elastic and are what make dough suitable for making baked products.

Gluten can be responsible for causing or worsening a number of skin conditions. Some proteins in gluten such as gliadin can cause increased production of intestinal proteins known as Zonulin. This causes gaps to open in the intestinal cells called enterocytes which are usually tightly bonded. This results in the body producing antibodies against the gliadin.

In 25 percent of the people with Celiac disease (which is a condition brought about by severe gluten intolerance), a rash called dermatitis herpetiformis may appear. But this is not the only skin condition caused by gluten. It can cause a variety of skin conditions not only to people with Celiac disease but also to a larger group of people who have Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Some hyperpigmentation and inflammatory skin conditions have also been linked to gluten. Below are some skins conditions that can be brought about or worsened by gluten consumption.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

As mentioned earlier, this is an inflammation of the skin that causes itchy rashes that appears on the elbows, buttocks, knees, scalp, and back in about 25 percent of the people suffering from Celiac disease. While medication can be prescribed for this rash, mostly in the form of over the counter creams, reports indicate that maintaining a gluten-free diet can be effective in clearing this skin condition.

Psoriasis

This is a condition that causes a red, scaly, itchy and dry rash on the skin. According to reported cases, there is a link between this condition and gluten not only in people with Celiac disease but also to those with gluten sensitivity. The condition has been linked with gliadin, one of the main proteins in gluten. Many people with Psoriasis, once they go on and maintain a gluten-free diet, report dramatic improvements in their skin condition.

Eczema

Eczema causes a white, scaly rash on the skin. While this condition mostly affects children, it can also appear in adults. According to some reported cases, Eczema has been linked to gluten. In cases where the patients went on a gluten-free diet, there was an improvement in their skin conditions.

Acne

80 percent of the people in western culture between ages 11 and 30 suffer from acne. This hyperpigmentation condition causes red, pus-filled pimples to appear on the skin. While there are no medical reports linking acne to gluten, many people have reported considerable improvements after adopting a gluten-free diet combined with low-carb intake.

Alopecia Areata

This skin condition causes hair loss and has been linked with Celiac disease. A reported 0.7 percent to 3.8 percent of the people with Celiac disease are said to have Alopecia Areata. Some reports in the past seemed to indicate that it affects male adults more than the females, but new studies show that it can equally affect both. Most people with this condition experience hair regrowth after going on a gluten-free diet. Even in some cases where people don’t have Celiac disease, hair growth has be attributed to a gluten-free diet.

There are many other skin conditions that have been linked to gluten including chronic urticaria, Keratosis pilaris, cutaneous vasculitis and many others.

Diet recommendations

A paleo diet is recommended if you have the skin conditions mentioned above including:

• Fish – Mackerel, Salmon, and Herring are some of the fish that are great for skin health. They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammations and keep your skin moisturized and thick.

• Fruits – fruits such as Avocados, tomatoes are good for your skin.

• Vegetables – Spinach, Broccoli, walnuts, sunflower seeds, red or yellow bell peppers, and sweet potatoes are also good for your skin

Conclusion

There have been significant and considerable reports to ascertain the relationship between gluten and skin conditions. While there are many non-Celiac people with gluten sensitivity, a large number of people don’t suffer from any gluten effects. It’s important to mind what you eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle.