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Please enjoy my blog posts below, or CLICK HERE to go to the new Laurel Acupuncture Clinic website. Thank you!

Welcome

Welcome to the website for Jim Chialtas, L.Ac., and Laurel Acupuncture Clinic of Functional Medicine, located in San Diego.

Click on the tabs above to learn more about what Functional Medicine is, and about many of the health concerns I specialize in. Or scroll down for my blog. You might find it helpful to use the labels in the lower right column to find topics that interest you.

In addition to seeing clients privately in my clinic, I also offer many of the same services remotely to US residents. Please feel free to contact me to set up a consultation or appointment. Thank you!

2/18/11

Hair loss in women: Stress or something more masculine?

It is quite astonishing really the number of women I hear of complaining of hair loss these days. It may not be massive hair loss mind you, but this is something that we tend to pay attention to. It is something that a great many men end up looking forward to if they like it or not, but for women, it is a whole other thing completely. Hair loss in a woman when it is bad can be a significant source of anxiety and poor self image. So what is going on? Why do I hear about it so often these days? Well, like many other medical conditions, hair loss has a lot to do with our lifestyle. It may just be possible that you are contributing directly to your hair loss every day without knowing it.

There are several common reasons for hair loss in women. Stress can certainly do it. I have known women who when stressed actually get bald spots which will eventually re-grow. Low thyroid conditions can certainly lead to hair loss and are particularly common in women. But the big one that I want to talk about today is hair loss due to elevated blood sugar, Insulin and Testosterone.

Yep, when a woman ends up with elevated Testosterone she will lose her hair. But why you ask does a woman get elevated Testosterone in the first place? I suppose that there could be some tumor somewhere producing it, but that is extremely uncommon. The most common reason is elevated blood sugar and/or Insulin. The way it goes is that when we eat sugar, or a lot of simple carbohydrates, our body responds by producing Insulin in an attempt to get that high blood sugar back down. The more sugar the more Insulin. It just so happens that Insulin, besides helping to lower our blood sugar, ends up turning on an enzyme in women called 17, 20 lyase which is found in the Thecal cells of the ovaries. This enzyme produces Testosterone. So the more sugar that is consumed, the more Insulin is produced and therefore the more Testosterone a woman will make. This will lead to not only hair loss, but can also lead to irregular periods, infertility, Polycystic Ovaries, unexplained weight gain, and unwanted hair growth on the face and chest for example. Add to that all of the health concerns with elevated blood sugar by itself as being the leading cause of heart disease and stroke and the fact that this can often times lead to full blown diabetes it becomes really important to pay attention to this hair loss. All cosmetic concerns aside for a moment, this is a sign of some serious stuff here!

At the very beginning of this article I said how astonishing it was to see so many of these complaints. But then when you think of it, how many people (not just women) do you know who head straight for Starbucks or similar establishment for their liquid dessert, first thing in the morning? If you really stop and add up all the sugar that we consume every day either by choice or consequence, it is easy to see how there could be so much hair loss going on. If this is a concern of yours, please, come in and get worked-up and see which one of these mechanisms are at play. You may not only be able to fix your hair, but you could be protecting yourself from much worse things than hair loss.