Hair loss is not uncommon among women, especially as women age. In fact, it may be one of the many symptoms of menopause, which is what happens when the body makes changes in hormone production to accommodate the physical needs of older women. One change involves the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone related to testosterone. During menopause, a woman’s production of DHT increases as her production of estrogen decreases. The over-abundance of DHT damages hair follicles, according to the American Hair Loss Association, resulting in hair loss. Because self-esteem, confidence, and emotional well-being can suffer when a person experiences hair loss, it is a good idea to be proactive about hair loss, to stop hair loss before it starts. Below are a few suggestions that may help you prevent hair loss during menopause. You can implement these suggestions at any point in your life; you do not have to wait until you start seeing signs of menopause or hair loss before you take measures to address it.
When it comes to hair loss, nutrition is of the utmost importance. The well-known adage, “You are what you eat,” is also true for your hair: its health reflects the dietary choices you make. For instance, if you do not consume enough vitamins and minerals, especially iron, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and vitamins B, C, D, and E, your hair will suffer for it, even to the point where you experience hair loss. For that reason, to prevent hair loss during menopause, make sure you are getting enough of these vitamins, from natural sources like fruits and vegetables if possible, and from dietary supplements if necessary. Doing so is a good first step to protecting the health of your hair.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, processed and refined carbohydrates play a vital role when it comes to preventing hair loss—though instead of eating processed and refined carbohydrates in abundance, you should avoid them! The Women to Women website explains that these kinds of foods cause your body to create more insulin. In turn, insulin triggers your body to create more testosterone, which accelerates hair loss. In order to prevent hair loss, even hair loss that could occur during menopause, eat natural foods like apples and grapes when you need a snack.
Furthermore, you should avoid crash diets. Crash diets create nutrient deficiencies when your hair needs a plethora of nutrients. A diet that is healthy for your hair will also be healthy for your body. If you are concerned about any extra inches or pounds you might have, lose those inches or pounds with a balanced diet and exercise, not by depleting yourself and your hair of vital nutrients.
Watching what you eat is not the only step you can take to prevent hair loss during menopause. Because stress is often a leading factor contributing to hair loss, you should monitor the stress you experience throughout the day and look for ways to minimize or negate any stress that does occur. There are many exercises you can do to help you reduce the effects of stress, including meditation and yoga. Other options recommended by the MayoClinic.com include progressive muscle relaxation, regular exercise, and visualization. It is also recommended that you pay attention to any physical signs of stress, such as tension in your shoulders or your neck, so that you can focus on targeting those physical signs as shortcuts to relaxation.
Massages and acupuncture can also be useful aides to reduce your stress. Not only can they relieve tension, but they also promote blood circulation. Scalp massages are especially useful for this: they ensure that your hair follicles are getting the blood, and with it the nutrients, needed for hair growth. For that reason, scalp massages are an enjoyable way to prevent hair loss.
If, despite following these suggestions, you do experience substantial hair loss during menopause, you should talk with your doctor. Though hair loss is usually not the result of a life-threatening condition, certain kinds of hair loss could be the result of other, potentially treatable problems. For instance, hair loss can be the result of thyroid, kidney, or liver problems. Your doctor may be able to help you determine the best course of action to prevent or stop hair loss, and to look out for your overall health.
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