Hair loss often seems like a taboo subject for women, go online and there is so much information for men, but for women less so. It is something I get asked a lot about and it is a serious topic to address as it affects self-esteem, confidence and quality of life. So what is causing hair loss in women?
One of the most common causes of hair loss in young women is iron deficiency, in particular low iron stores. The first thing I would suggest is go to your doctor and have a blood test to check your ferritin levels. Ferritin is a blood protein that contains iron. Low ferritin means you have too few red blood cells and, therefore, an iron deficiency. It is best not to supplement with iron until you know for sure that you are deficient, as high ferritin can lead to hemochrombtosis; it’s all about the perfect balance.
Another area to address for hair loss is adrenal fatigue. If you are clinically stressed, struggling with sleep or your menstrual cycle is out of sync, then your adrenals may not be functioning optimally and this can have an impact on your hair.
Adrenal fatigue refers to an imbalance of the hormone cortisol. During the day your body usually experiences three main surges of cortisol, but this does not happen overnight. However, if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, the opposite happens; this results in a bad nights sleep and will leave you feeling tired and groggy when you wake up. This backwards cycle can lead to thyroid disfunction, which is another common cause of hair loss. Your adrenals and your thyroid work alongside each other, if one isn’t working, it will pull the other down with it.
At least one in five women have a thyroid disorder. If you are gaining weight, but can’t understand why, have hair loss, fatigue, or mood swings, then you likely have a thyroid issue. Your thyroid gland is located at the front of your neck and it is the largest in your endocrine system. It is largely responsible for making energy by regulating your internal body temperature. Thyroid hormones are governed by two main nutrients; iodine (60% of which is held in our thyroid gland) and L-Tyrosine (an amino acid that synthesises what the thyroid creates).
The good news is you can fix both you adrenals and your thyroid dysfunction. Firstly, you can help your adrenals recover with regularity. I would suggest starting by having a regular bedtime and regular meal times, and also scheduling the same day/time you exercise. This may seem difficult if you have a hectic schedule, but your adrenals will thank you for it.
Also, and I probably can’t say this enough on my blogs, but it is so important to eat right. Caffeine, sugars, white flour/carbs and alcohol are all bad for the adrenals and the thyroid. Eat more berries, nuts, seeds and leafy greens (preferably cooked cruciferous vegetables, not raw). You can also supplement to help the adrenals; if you suffer more from anxiety then try Ashwaghanda and for low mood, consider Rhodiola Rosea. Remember, the main things to avoid are overexercising, having an empty stomach and late nights.
When it comes to the thyroid, however, you may need to break everything down to understand where it’s going wrong. Get tested for TSH levels, T4 and T3 uptake, as well as thyroid antibodies. Once you know where you stand, you can start by feeding your body correctly - sea vegetables are a great source of iodine, while coconut oil and avocados contain essential fatty acids which are essential for building hormones. You may also need to address hormone replacement medication, but I prefer bioidentical hormones. If you are deficient in Vitamin D, this can also have adverse effect on you thyroid, so supplementing is crucial – nearly everyone has suboptimal vitamin D levels and can benefit from a vitamin D supplement.
Supplements to Support Healthy Hair Growth
- Viviscal is a naturally derived hair growth supplement that supports healthy hair growth from within. It is also one of the most clinically researched hair supplements. You can purchase this directly from my site in shop and then go to supplements www.drrabiamalik.com or via the link below
- Iron supplements can be sourced on www.amazon.co.uk – I like floradix and spatone.
- Biotin is a great supplement to aid hair growth and can also be found on www.amazon.co.uk
- Supplements to support Adrenals
- Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosa can each be found on www.amazon.co.uk
- Supplements to support Thyroid function
- Vitamin D can be found on www.amazon.co.uk – I like the BetterYou spray
- Hormone Balancing Complex https://www.wildnutrition.com/collections/hormonal-health/products/botanical-menopause-complex