Are you losing a lot of hair every day? If you feel you are shedding over 125 strands on an average daily, you may want to figure out what is causing the problem.1It could be linked to hyperthyroidism, menopause, diabetes, immune system problems, an imbalance of female hormones, or even stress.
Depending on what has brought on the balding or hair loss, your treatment or process for restoring hormonal balance will need to change.2
Here are some common reversible causes of hair fall that can be fixed by adjusting hormonal balance and treating the underlying hormonal problem.
If you have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), treating your thyroid problem should also help with the hair fall.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to thyroid problems, and that is why ensuring you get enough should improve immune function and help your metabolism and your thyroid. This in turn will translate to less hair fall.3Try and get some sunshine to bridge a vitamin D deficiency and eat fatty fish or fortified foods that are rich in the nutrient.
Switch to whole grain foods to up your vitamin B12 intake as well. This is another nutrient that is associated with hypothyroidism.4Nutrient-rich ginger too helps improve endocrine function, making it useful for treating hypothyroidism.5
Ayurvedic remedies like ashwagandha, triphala, kanchanar guggulu, and varunadi kasaya can also help. You can procure these after consulting a trained practitioner.6
In diabetics, one of the signs of peripheral arterial disease, besides cold feet and slow/absent pulse, is hair loss. Physical activity can help improve circulation to the extremities. So try getting active.
Begin with a 5 to 10-minute warm-up like a walk or cycling at low speed. Follow this up with an equal amount of stretching. Once you are done with the main workout, cool down for around 5 to 10 minutes.7Remember to take necessary precautions to prevent trauma to the feet, though – using air/silica gel midsoles and cotton-polyester or polyester socks can help.
Exercise is also useful for improving insulin sensitivity. It helps modulate how your body transports and uses glucose. It has also been found to improve the regulation of hepatic glucose output and lipid metabolism. All of these mean that you should be able to get your diabetes and related hormonal imbalances under better control.8
Female Hormone Imbalance
Female pattern baldness tends to happen when a woman experiences hormonal shifts, like the peak of estrogen followed by a sudden dip after childbirth. Or when the early phases of menopause hit in the late 40s or early 50s.9
You can help your system by reducing your intake of alcohol and caffeine and by stopping smoking. All of these cause estrogen levels to increase, rocking that careful natural balance of the hormone in the body. A study suggests having more polyphenol and fiber-rich foods to lower estrogen. So things like berries and flaxseeds should top your list.10
The male sex hormone testosterone along with other androgens stimulates hair growth. But when present in excess in women, it can cause facial hair growth to increase while bringing on loss of hair on the head through male pattern baldness and/or thinning of hair.11
Again, exercise can be an effective way to correct the hormonal imbalance and reduce the testosterone as well as free testosterone (bio available testosterone that can bind with receptors of the muscle, brain, and various organs) in the body.
One study of postmenopausal women with excess testosterone revealed that a year of moderate intensity exercise helped with fat loss of 0.5-2 percent and a corresponding reduction of between 4.7 percent and 10.4 percent in testosterone and free testosterone.12
Immune System Problems
Alopecia areata or balding that causes coin-sized patches of hair loss occurs more in young adults and may need you to build up the body’s immunity. Combat oxidative stress by consuming more antioxidant-rich foods like turmeric, garlic, onion, broccoli, spinach, legumes, pomegranate, and blueberries. This can also slow down age-related graying.13
Excess Cortisol From Stress
Stress, whether due to emotional reasons, major life events, or physical stress from things like having a baby, can cause hair fall. If the stress trigger is temporary, then as the pressure eases, hair should start growing again. But if you live a life that is fraught with constant stress triggers, alternative therapy can help bring back the balance of stress hormones like cortisol.
Ayurvedic remedy ashwagandha can ease stress and anxiety by regulating stress-hormone cortisol levels in the body. This adaptogenic property allows your body to recover better from stress by raising or lowering cortisol hormone levels when they are too low or too high.14Use yoga or meditation to help relax your body and mind and manage stress better so it does not wreak havoc on your hormone levels.
|↑1||Understanding Hair Loss, American Hair Loss Council.|
|↑2||Hair Loss, NHS.|
|↑3||Mackawy, Amal Mohammed Husein, Bushra Mohammed Al-Ayed, and Bashayer Mater Al-Rashidi. “Vitamin D deficiency and its association with thyroid disease.” International journal of health sciences 7, no. 3 (2013): 267.|
|↑4||Jabbar, Abdul, Aasma Yawar, Sabiha Waseem, Najmul Islam, Naeem Ul Haque, Lubna Zuberi, Ataullah Khan, and Jaweed Akhter. “Vitamin B12 deficiency common in primary hypothyroidism.” Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association 58, no. 5 (2008): 258.|
|↑5||Al-Suhaimi, Ebtesam A., Noorah A. Al-Riziza, and Reham A. Al-Essa. “Physiological and therapeutical roles of ginger and turmeric on endocrine functions.” The American journal of Chinese medicine 39, no. 02 (2011): 215-231.|
|↑6||Panthi, Sharad, and Tianshu Gao. “Diagnosis and management of primary hypothyroidism in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Traditional Indian Medicine (Ayurveda).” Int J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1 (1): 009 12, no. 009 (2015).|
|↑7||American Diabetes Association. “Physical activity/exercise and diabetes.” Diabetes care 27, no. suppl 1 (2004): s58-s62.|
|↑8||Borghouts, L. B., and H. A. Keizer. “Exercise and insulin sensitivity: a review.” International journal of sports medicine 21, no. 01 (2000): 1-12.|
|↑9||Hair Loss, American Academy of Dermatology.|
|↑10||Sowers, MaryFran R., Sybil Crawford, Daniel S. McConnell, John F. Randolph, Ellen B. Gold, Margaret K. Wilkin, and Bill Lasley. “Selected diet and lifestyle factors are associated with estrogen metabolites in a multiracial/ethnic population of women.” the Journal of Nutrition 136, no. 6 (2006): 1588-1595.|
|↑11||Testosterone, US National Library of Medicine.|
|↑12||McTiernan, Anne, Shelley S. Tworoger, Kumar B. Rajan, Yutaka Yasui, Bess Sorenson, Cornelia M. Ulrich, Jessica Chubak et al. “Effect of exercise on serum androgens in postmenopausal women: a 12-month randomized clinical trial.” Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 13, no. 7 (2004): 1099-1105.|
|↑13||Lobo, Vijaya, Avinash Patil, A. Phatak, and Naresh Chandra. “Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health.” Pharmacognosy reviews 4, no. 8 (2010): 118.|
|↑14||Umadevi, M. “Traditional and medicinal uses of Withania somnifera.” The Pharma Innovation 1, no. 9 (2012).|