Let’s talk about some of the most common causes for hair loss:
–Androgen / testosterone / male hormone imbalances affecting both male and women. There are a few reasons why this may become a problem, but the simple explanation is too much can be produced by several factors and imbalances. Such include: PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), insulin resistance, diabetes, genetics and aging. This is why it’s important to treat the root cause.
–Thyroid disorders – low thyroid function can go undetected for years before it appears on blood work. This is why optimizing all of your hormone levels is key. Don’t wait until you need a prescription. Thyroid medications can also be the cause of your hair loss – it can be driving your thyroid hormone pathways into inactive form, which can greatly impact your metabolism as well as hair / scalp health.
–Estrogen / progesterone imbalances are not as talked about but too much or too little can also be quite damaging.
Most likely, your medical doctor hasn’t tested your hormones in depth. That’s okay, this is what naturopathic medicine is for, Dr. Tali, a Toronto naturopath, will guide you every step of the way, testing your hormones in depth using a Comprehensive Hormone Test, if needed.
It is no secret that to grow luscious hair you need your nutrients. Common nutrient deficiencies will cause your hair to thin and fall out. Dr. Tali assesses your nutrient profile using biochemical blood work and sometimes hair analysis testing (depending on your case).
Some of the common deficiencies are:
vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, iron, B vitamins, omega 3 and protein. Protein is essential for hair growth, and unfortunately many people don’t consume enough of it.
Even if you start taking these supplements, one of the reasons it may not be working is if you have digestive issues – deficiency in enzymes and indigestion may lower your absorption rate. If you have gas, bloating, constipation / diarrhea, this needs to be addressed. Dr. Tali dives deep right into your digestion.
Autoimune disorders – Alopecia (baldness):
Autoimmune disease happens when the body’s own immune system starts attacking it’s own cells. What happens with Alopecia, the immune system starts attacking hair follicles. This results in severe hair loss, often in clumps. Autoimmune / Alopecia can be effectively treated using evidence based naturopathic medicine. Such treatments include: herbal medicine, supplements, diet, nutrition and lifestyle modifications. Each person is unique and treatment needs to be individualized.
Why? Stress is on of the biggest driving forces to a diseased state. It affects your hormones, you digestion, the quality of nutrient absorption etc. It can also drive your body into an autoimmune state. In fact, research has shown that those with high stress levels or who have been diagnosed with a stress related disorder (such as anxiety), are much more likely to develop MULTIPLE autoimmune disorders. Stress is the driving factor to an inflammatory state, predisposing you to much more than just Alopecia, but also to a factorial state of diseases. Sometimes we can’t remove the stressful situation from our life, therefore Dr. Tali works on building resiliency to your daily stressors. Working on adrenal glands is key, and you will be provided with an individualized solution.
Other ways stress can affect hair loss:
Telogen effluvium – causes hair follicles to be at resting phase resulting in temporary hair loss.
Trichotillomania- irresistible plucking of hair all over the body due to stress and anxiety – eyebrows, eyelashes, hair on head, etc.
Other causes include: Medications, Menopause, Anorexia / eating disorder, Genetics/ family history, Pregnancy and childbirth, Food sensitivities (it increases inflammation in the body)
The Missing Link – Scalp Health
Itchy scalp? Irritated scalp? Sensitive scalp? Greasy scalp?
There could be an underlined cause providing a bad environment for your hair growth. Psoriasis, Candida (fungus), Eczema and Dermatitis provide an inflammatory environment pushing the hair to fall out. Seborrheic dermatitis is a fairly common condition as well.
Diagnosis, Testing & Treatment for Hair Loss
Its important to get right to the root cause of your hair loss. As mentioned before, band-aid solutions won’t work long term and it’s in your best interest to dive deep into your health and rule out the possible causes.
You will be given a comprehensive blood work to assess all nutrient deficiencies. Depending on your individual case, you may also be offered a diagnostic test such as:
Food intolerance testing
Comprehensive stool analysis
Comprehensive female hormone testing
Adrenal gland hormone testing
Hair metal analysis
Dr. Tali uses evidence based treatment which includes herbal medicine, supplementation, nutrition, acupuncture, diet and lifestyle as part of her naturopathic medical treatment. Your treatment will be individualized according to your body and needs.