Losing hair is a terrible beauty mishap for every woman. Thus, it is essential to keep your body healthy to avoid hair loss.
Hormonal imbalance is one of the most well-known culprits of hair loss. It is substantial to keep hormones in check because they are the chemical messengers that control different processes in your body. Though it's reasonable to experience hormonal fluctuations, these irregularities can be signs of a health problem.
Despite being a common cause of getting bald, many people are still unaware of why and how hormonal imbalance happens.
Hormonal Imbalance: Why It Happens
Hormones don't just act up just because your body wants to. Here are some factors causing hormonal imbalance.
1. Endocrine problems
Hormonal imbalance happens when the endocrine glands encounter some difficulties. These glands are in charge of your hormone production, storage, and distribution in the body. An endocrine gland malfunction can adversely affect other hormone-producing organs, which causes hormone imbalance.
2. Thyroid issues
Your thyroid gland is responsible for thyroid hormone production. These hormones regulate your body's metabolic processes. Little or excessive hormone production of the thyroid can affect your body's metabolism. When something goes wrong with your thyroid, there's a higher chance for the hormonal imbalance to happen and change your cells' protein synthesis.
3. Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can disturb your body's normal hormone levels. This medical practice supplements your body with synthetic hormones to replace your diminishing level of natural hormones. Supplying your body with artificial hormones can intrude on your natural hormone production.
HRT medications come in different forms: pills, creams, rings, gels, and injections. You can even perform this treatment even at home. It is essential to consult an expert before undergoing HRT to avoid experiencing adverse side effects.
4. Medical Conditions
Illnesses can also be another underlying cause of hormonal imbalance. Diabetes is among the medical conditions that disturb your hormone levels.
When your body cannot produce enough insulin, it also affects your blood glucose level. A sugar build-up in your blood prevents your blood vessels from carrying oxygen to various parts of the body, especially your hair. Diabetes can disrupt your hair growth cycle. Diabetic people are more likely to experience alopecia areata.
Cancer can also disturb your body's hormonal levels. The cancer cells trigger the excessive production of estrogen among female cancer patients. Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, alter the number of hormones, usually by decreasing the levels. These medical procedures can also block the diverse processes controlled by your hormones.
5. Pregnancy and Menopause
Childbirth is a life-changing moment for every woman. Your body undergoes many physical and internal changes. During pregnancy, progesterone levels reach their peak. However, progesterone levels plummet after giving birth, allowing the estrogen hormone to dominate the system. It's not good news since an excessive amount of estrogen can inflame your thyroid glands.
This hormonal imbalance also triggers postpartum effects such as crazy mood swings, disrupted sleep cycle, and even temporary hair loss, which can last for a few months.
Women in their menopausal stage are also prone to hormonal disparity since estrogen levels gradually decrease during this period. A decline in female hormones allows androgens to take over and cause unwanted physical changes in a woman's body.
This inevitable factor can impact your adrenal glands responsible for producing cortisol. When you feel threatened or endangered, your glands shoot loads of cortisol into your system. This "fight-or-flight" hormone releases glucose into your bloodstream towards your brain. Cortisol also assists other chemicals in cell and tissue restoration.
After the threat has passed, your hormones go back to its normal state. However, constant stress can extend high cortisol levels, thereby jeopardizing and halting most of your bodily functions.
Stress can also trigger the production of testosterone's by-product dihydrotestosterone. DHT miniaturizes your hair follicles; hence its increase can hamper your hair growth.
Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
Though hormonal influxes happen internally, you can still see noticeable physical changes in your body. Watch out for the following symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
1. Extreme fatigue
A lack of hormones can disrupt your body's metabolism, and most of the produced energy will be given to more vital functions. As a result, you'll feel less energetic than you usually do. Too much progesterone in your body also hinders you from enjoying your beauty rest.
2. Weight gain or loss
People suffering from hypothyroidism tend to gain more weight and become obese, while an increase in thyroid hormones causes you to lose weight.
The thyroid gland secretes hormones anchored to metabolism. An excess in thyroid hormones revs up your body's ability to break down nutrients. On the other hand, thyroid hormone deficiency slows down your metabolism, including digestion.
3. Irritated and dry skin
During menopause, the estrogen hormone, which is responsible for collagen production, begins to decline. A lack of estrogen also disables your skin from retaining its moisture. In turn, your skin becomes dry and itchy.
4. Disrupted sleep cycle
Hormonal imbalance happens typically to women. Women are gifted with the female hormone progesterone, which helps them get a good night's sleep. But a spike or drop of progesterone levels can affect your sleep quality.
Menstrual periods can also alter your sleeping patterns. Female hormone fluctuations can cause your uterus to contract. These menstrual cramps occur before or during your period, which may disrupt your sleep cycle due to pain.
5. Stress and anxiety
Being stressed is a prevalent symptom of hormonal changes. When high levels of cortisol remain active in your body, bodily reactions become unstable. Studies also show the link between stress, anxiety, and sex hormones. Having high-stress levels can deter sex hormone production. This decline can trigger anxiety.
6. Change in appetite and weight
The "hunger" hormone ghrelin stirs your appetite. Ghrelin also participates in insulin production. An increase of ghrelin in your blood can affect your weight and sugar levels. Your food consumption impacts your ghrelin level. The more you try to curb your calorie intake, the higher your stomach produces ghrelin.
On the other hand, leptin is the hormone that pacifies your appetite. Since leptin comes from your fat cells, its level depends on your body's fat storage. The thicker the person is, the higher your body circulates leptin.
When your body's hunger hormonal levels fluctuate, your appetite and weight are both affected.
When your hormones are out of balance, acne breakouts become every girl's worst beauty havoc. Acne vulgaris or hormonal acne is a skin condition common to pubescent girls and boys. Still, hormonal influxes can trigger acne among adults.
Acne can be rooted in your androgens' excess oil production. This sebum accumulation can clog your pores and cause inflammations. Your oily skin also attracts microbes, which can cause acne.
The effects of hormonal acne are temporary and reversible. You can use topical ointments or plant-based remedies. Above all, you need to focus on your diet and hair grooming habits.
8. Mood swings
When your hormones go erratic, your mood also becomes uncontrollable. An influx of hormones can agitate your emotions. For instance, a sudden increase and decrease in your happy hormones can affect your mood. You may feel irritable, anxious, and sad the moment these hormones start to decline.
HOW HORMONAL IMBALANCE AFFECTS HAIR GROWTH
Hormones matter. These are vital chemical messengers that take part in hair growth.
An increase in androgens can produce an unwanted hormone known as DHT, which impedes hair follicle growth. When happy hormones get affected, stress becomes more evident. Hence it slows down your hair growth.
Your hair and scalp also need a good dose of hormones to lock in moisture and prevent irritations. Without enough estrogen, your strands may become dull and brittle. Dry and scaly patches may start to appear on your scalp.
Hormones also affect your nutrient consumption. A change in appetite prevents you from feeding yourself with a sufficient amount of healthy foods.
Therefore, experiencing hormonal imbalance must not be taken for granted. If you think your hormones are behind your thinning and weakening hair strands, you immediately need action.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Your body naturally secretes hormones. Thus, how you take good care of yourself creates a significant impact on your hormone production.
So what must you do to keep your hormones in check? First, improve your lifestyle. Begin by junking your unhealthy habits. Second, learn how to manage yourself during stressful situations. You have already learned the hostile effects of stress on your body, so you must avoid getting stressed as much as possible. Third, always prioritize sleeping. Hormone regulation also depends on your resting time. Sleep helps your cells and follicles to regenerate. Fourth, nourish yourself with enough protein to help hormone regulation. Lastly, always get regular check-ups. Do not self-medicate yourself with hormonal pills when experiencing hair growth problems.