Hormones, Hair Loss, And What You Can Do
Hair loss can be scary. We’re not talking about male-pattern baldness. We’re talking about handfuls of hair coming out in your brush, thinning eyelashes and eyebrows. If you’re losing hair like this, your body is trying to tell you something.
There are three main reasons you might be experiencing this type of hair loss. Check out the video for the whole story.
In general, when you lose weight, hormone imbalances can become more evident. That’s because weight loss (and also weight gain) affects all of your body’s systems. Because hormones attach themselves to receptor sites in your body’s cells, cells that grow rapidly — like hair, nails and even cells in the bowels — can be disproportionately affected when you have a hormonal imbalance.
1. Inefficient conversion of T4 to T3 hormone.
The thyroid produces 85% of the T4 hormone in your body. In the liver, T4 is processed and converted to T3. T3 is our fat-burning hormone, which is a good thing. But if you’ve got too much T4 that’s not being properly converted or processed, you end up with a hormonal imbalance. Symptoms can include hair loss, cracked heels, and constipation.
In this case, “washing” those receptor cells by supporting them with key supplements like selenium and iodine can help the problem. First, be sure to have your T4 and T3 checked by your physician.
2. Testosterone imbalance
Women produce testosterone too! In fact, testosterone production plummets right around menopause in women. But losing or gaining weight can also affect your testosterone levels. If you have lost weight, but still feel doughy and soft, testosterone imbalance could be part of the issues.
If the liver isn’t properly processing testosterone, the body produces DHT, a different type of testosterone than inhibits hair follicles from getting the nutrients they need. Patchy hair loss can be a symptom.
Ask your doctor to test your total testosterone, free testosterone, and DHT levels, along with measuring your SBHG (sex-binding hormone globules). SBHG can mask your testosterone receptor sites, so even if it looks like your levels are fine, your cells may not be utilizing it.
3. Vitamin D deficiency or toxicity
This is one of the most common causes of hair loss. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s stored in the liver. If you lose or gain more than 10% of your body weight in a 2-year period, it’s a good idea to have your levels checked. Luckily, a vitamin D imbalance is easily corrected with supplementation. However, it’s important not to guess — to actually have your labs run. That’s because too much vitamin D can show the same symptoms as too little.