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Hair Loss - Explained

Hair loss is a one of the top concerns I see in the aging population.

If you have ever wondered why it is dfficult to maintain a full head of hair when you are older, consider your changing hormone levels.

Estrogen and progesterone help hair follicles stay in a phase of growth. When estrogen and progesterone levels decrease during menopause, it becomes more difficult for your hair follicles to stay in this phase of growth; hence, hair loss.

Aging also changes the levels of dihydrotestosteronne (DHT) in the body. DHT is the active form of testosterone and can decrease the life span of an active hair follicle; hence, hair loss.

Let's not forget about the thyroid. We often associate aging with changes in "female and male hormones" (i.e. estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) but it is common for the thryoid to slow down with aging. (This is another contributing factor to unexplained weight gain during aging but that discussion is for another post).

Thyroid hormones are important for increasing hair growth activity within hair follicles and increasing the length of time the hair follicles stay in the growth phase. Studies show that too little and too much thyroid hormone can speed up hair loss so it is critical that thyroid function is carefully monitored.

The pattern, timing, and duration of hair loss are just some factors I consider when evaluating that root cause. Optimizing hormones is a constant balancing act. Starting early and proper monitoring can help you prevent further hair loss.

Author
Dr. Krisel Nagallo, Naturopathic Physician Dr. Krisel Nagallo Dr. Krisel Nagallo is an Arizona-licensed naturopathic physician with a passion for wellness education. She values educating patients as Medical Director at Phoenix Anti-Aging Clinic. Her blog features her clinical experiences in addressing health issues we experience on a daily basis. When she is not seeing patients, she inspires future health professionals as Adjunct Faculty (Grand Canyon University, Phoenix AZ) and interviews naturopathic doctor hopefuls as an Admissions Panelist for Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (Tempe, AZ).

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