Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND
“After I lost 65% of my hair, I got on the internet to find out more about what was going on. This is when I found out that this was not normal and it was not part of aging and that I could have a hormonal imbalance.” Rosemary – 56 yrs old
For women, thinning hair or hair loss is more than just a cosmetic concern. Besides being so important for first impressions, your hair is also a reflection of your overall health status. It is not part of aging! Instead it is part of a hormonal imbalance and once you understand the root cause of your hair thinning then you can choose the best natural method to reverse it. In the process, you are bound to not only improve your hair thinning but also your long-term health and well-being.
Accelerated hair loss and thinning hair can happen at any age and one of the most common reasons is due to thyroid imbalances. It is not only important to test the blood for TSH but also for free T4 and free T3. Studies have shown that to reverse and stop hair thinning, your TSH should be under 2 and your free T3 should be between 4.1 to 5.9. Note that you may have been told that your thyroid is “normal” and yet not be in these levels or even worse, your free T4 and free T3 may not have even been tested.
Another common reason for hair thinning, especially during menopause or peri-menopause can be estrogen and testosterone deficiency. This is a time of our lives when many hormones decline because our ovaries stop working as efficiently as when we are younger. This same hormonal imbalance can also contribute to unwanted hair growth on the chin and face.
Thinning hair can also be part of a polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) problem. PCOS is a syndrome in which there are high levels of androgens which causes hair loss from the scalp. With PCOS, you can also experience facial hair, acne, weight gain and infertility. And yes, both extremes can cause hair thinning and hair loss – low levels of hormones and high levels of hormones.
Stress can indirectly be a cause too because stress affects our adrenal glands. Our body in an attempt to keep our adrenals healthy, it affects the imbalance of other hormones.
If you are having hair thinning or hair loss then you need a comprehensive hormonal evaluation. This can be done through the blood, saliva or urine testing. If you are going to get assessed with blood work, make sure you are going to see a practitioner trained in functional and anti-aging medicine who will have a good understanding on how to balance your hormones. It is important that the right tests are ordered and that the results are interpreted with the right ranges. Otherwise, you may be given a “normal” diagnosis when levels are not optimal.