More and more women write me and ask, “Why Is My Hair Falling Out?” They report finding hair on their pillows when they wake up in the morning. Others see a brush full of hair in their brush. Unlike men who seem to accept hair loss fairly easily, feminine hair loss has cultural implications that can be quite painful for women. So, I am going to discuss reasons why you experience hair loss and what you can do to slow the process and regrow healthy hair.
Side Effect of Medication
Check to see if hair loss is a side effect of any medication you are taking. If you don’t have the paperwork from your pharmacist, you can go to http://wikipedia.comand search for your medication. Wikipedia is a great resource for information about your medications – formulas, interactions, side effects, contraindications, etc. If you find that hair loss is a side effect of one of your medications, you may want to discuss alternatives with your doctor.
Factors that Create Hair Loss: Stress, Mineral Deficiency, Hormone Imbalances, Poor Diet
In June, 2017, during my talk, Magnesium Deficiency May Trigger 65 Health Challenges, I give comprehensive information about the relationship between mineral deficiency, hormone imbalances, poor diet, and hair loss. Here is a word-for-word transcription of my words.
Hair Loss, Stress, and Mineral Deficiency
Question: What does Dr. Dean think of magnesium deficiency and hair loss, specifically chronic telegenic effluvium. Can I spray ReMag spray on my scalp as well as take it internally?
Dr. Dean: What that is is the precipitate hair loss that is caused after a major stress, such as surgery or giving birth. What will happen is if the body is severely stressed, severely nutrient depleted, three months after the major stress, you will have a significant hair loss. If you are not able to replace those nutrients, the hair will continue to fall out.
She’s asking, “Can I spray ReMag on my scalp as well as take it internally? Now, ReMag magnesium is going to help hair loss but that type of hair loss often is related to thyroid deficiency. For that, I would recommend the ReMyte along with the ReMag. We have had many people who say that as soon as they start taking their ReMyte, their hair starts staying put, and they grow their hair back. So, with that type of hair loss it’s a ReMag and ReMyte treatment protocol.
Now, this is next question.
Hair Loss, Hormone Imbalances
and Poor Diet
Question: My hair is falling out a lot. The hair brush is full of hair when I brush. Sometimes it just falls out on its own when I’m sitting working, having dinner, whatever. My doctor says it is DHT. (Now, DHT is dihydrotestosterone.) Can magnesium help with that? Can it stop the hair falling? Is it hormones? It is change of life? How do I stop the hot flashes as well?
Dr. Dean: Even though this woman didn’t give her age, it appears that she is menopausal in age and losing hair. Her doctor said, “It’s DHT.” What I say about this, and it’s interesting because it relates to a hormone challenge and endocrine disorder that women have called, PCOS (“Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome”). Now, I talk about the triad of thyroid, adrenals, and sex hormones. In the thyroid it is Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism. In the adrenals it’s weakening, diminished function. You know, adrenal fatigue/adrenal burnout. But, in the sex hormones, usually I just say, “PMS, menopause, perimenopause.” But I really haven’t paid enough attention to PCOS. I did in the new book (2017 Edition of The Magnesium Miracle) put in a short description of PCOS and how it relates to magnesium.
What happens in PCOS, and then I’ll get to the hair loss, is PCOS is a deficiency of progesterone and relative excess of estrogen. So, the underlying hormone deficiency in PCOS is progesterone. Progesterone makes cortisol. It’s like a precursor to making cortisol, which is the chronic stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. So, when you are under a lot of stress or chronic stress, you use up your progesterone to make cortisol, and then that cortisol, as I have said many times and many of you may know, increases belly fat. That’s where glucose is stored. So, there’s a lot going on with PCOS, and it’s fascinating. Thank goodness this is archived, so you can listen to it again.
So, with PCOS there’s low progesterone. With chronic stress progesterone is diverted to make cortisol. So, the stress is lowering the progesterone. Of course, progesterone is needed to stabilize your early pregnancy, so there’s your infertility and miscarriage associated with PCOS.
When it comes to hair loss in women elevated insulin stimulates testosterone production. Elevated insulin will happen when you are on a high carb or sugar diet, eating junk food and sugars. If you eat sugars, insulin has to come out to drop your sugar down so it won’t be too high. This excess insulin when it’s out there in the blood stream will make testosterone. It will make it from the ovaries and cause hair growth and loss in the totally wrong places, cause acne and backne (acne on the back).
What’s interesting about PCOS is a lot of ovarian cysts where a follicle is made every month to try to get pregnant with, and there’s the improper balance of hormones that arrests the follicles and they stay there as cysts. So, the lack of progesterone is causing the follicles to build up, and those follicles help make testosterone. You have this incredible vicious cycle. Who knows where it starts? But where you want to end it is by avoiding sugars and simple carbohydrates because you want to keep your insulin down.
Let’s go over this again. Insulin is capable of stimulating testosterone production, and at the same time these high levels of insulin (They will shoot up every time you have sugar.) inhibit sex hormone binding globulin (supposed to bind up free testosterone that can go anywhere in the body and trigger symptoms). Then, we come to the DHT that this woman’s doctor told her about. DHT is converted from testosterone. You get this extra testosterone. It breaks down to DHT, and apparently, DHT is the factor in hair loss because DHT binds the receptors in the hair follicles in scalp, shrinks them, and they “suffocate and die.” If you have enough sex hormone binding globulin, it would bind up your testosterone, and it wouldn’t convert into DHT. You are inhibiting this sex hormone binding globulin by your excess insulin.
This is how intricate the body is. Everything causes everything which is what is so frustrating when doctors say, “This drug will do this one little thing, and then everything will be fine.” Nothing works like that in the body. I’m saying PCOS is another example of total body meltdown. Then, just to reinforce what I said earlier, eating sugar and carbs elevates insulin which stimulates testosterone production in the ovaries causing hair growth and loss in the wrong places, acne and backne. Insulin is inhibiting sex hormone binding globulin.
What Can I Do?
The Dietary Intervention here is including natural phyto-estrogens in your diet. Eating chick peas, lentils, beans, pulses, and flax seeds increases sex binding globulin which binds up testosterone.
Of course, there’s also magnesium. Low magnesium ion levels and high calcium:magnesium ratios are directly associated with insulin resistance. Insulin is necessary to open cells to glucose, but only if the cells have sufficient amounts of magnesium. If insulin is not allowed to work because there is not enough magnesium, it will just get higher and higher to try and push its way into cell receptors. So, magnesium is necessary for proper insulin function.
With a change in your nutritional plan and supplementing your minerals with ReMag and ReMyte there is every hope that you can create healthy hair growth again.
Dr. Carolyn Dean