By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC and Annah Gillette
Have you ever stopped to wonder why your hair is a different texture than it was when you were a child? Or perhaps why one day it seems like your hair is falling out by the fistful and the next overgrowing? While many factors affect the health and texture of your hair (think humidity, stress-levels, chemical treatments, the sun), it’s your hormones that actually have a lot to do with it.
The thyroid gland affects almost every metabolic process in the body through the hormones it produces. According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 20 million people in the United States have some form of thyroid condition. In addition, up to 60 percent of those with a thyroid condition are unaware that they have it.
Your thyroid can be found at the front of your neck, near to the collar bone. It’s a butterfly-shaped gland that plays a key role in the endocrine system, working to create, distribute, and regulate hormones in your body. Thyroid hormones regulate your body’s metabolism to provide cells with the energy they need to function. The most common thyroid problems involve the abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Imbalanced levels of any thyroid hormone can lead to hair loss.
Like worry or fear, stress can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. Even low levels of chronic stress can erode energy levels over time, leaving you feeling less motivated to do daily activities. Did you know that it is easy to sometimes confuse signals of hunger with thirst? Thirst can masquerade as fatigue and negatively impact your mood. Even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic.
Advanced adrenal fatigue can also cause hair loss. This is due to something known as the telogen or fall out phase. When this happens, the body stops growing hair to focus all of its efforts on healing and repairing. New hair temporarily stops growing, and as the old hair is shed, it appears to get thinner and patchier. Although hair usually grows back, the stress of having this condition can often leave the sufferer feeling trapped in a seemingly vicious cycle.
Looking after your appearance can often be low on the list of priorities when you’re tired and just about making it through the day. However, keeping an eye on your skin, hair and nails may prove to be a useful way of monitoring improvements in your health.
The best way to determine if you have a thyroid disorder, adrenal fatigue or hormone imbalance is to consider comprehensive testing. Our tests can determine your hormone, adrenal, and thyroid functions to help you start supporting optimal hair and body health!
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Medical disclaimer: Our tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.
Jantz G L Ph.D. The physical dangers of stress: Is being stressed out more harmful than you realize? Hope for Relationships. 2014.