The condition known as telogen effluvium is caused when too many hairs shift from the active growing phase (anagen) to the resting phase (telogen). The cause of telogen effluvium can vary, but it is closely related to changes in hormone levels. These fluctuations in hormone levels can be both natural and artificial.
Hormones and Hair Growth
Hormones play an important role in regulating the natural cycle of hair growth. Adrenal androgens, specifically DHEA and DHEA-S, are the dominant hormones that regulate this step in the natural cycle. Changes in the level of these androgens, as well as other hormones, can influence the rate at which hairs move from their active growth phase to the telogen phase.
Thyroid Hormones and Telogen Effluvium
Research has shown that when levels of thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are off, telogen effluvium may occur. Significant changes in levels of these hormones can cause the shedding of telogen hairs. On the other hand, when T3 and T4 levels are balanced and within the normal range, telogen effluvium is less likely.
Estrogens and Telogen Effluvium
Estrogens are another important hormone when it comes to the regulation of telogen effluvium. Estrogen levels are naturally highest during pregnancy, and that is usually when telogen effluvium symptoms will be most pronounced. Lower estrogen levels in menopausal women may also contribute to hair loss related to telogen effluvium.
Testosterone and Telogen Effluvium
Testosterone, the primary androgen responsible for male hormones, can also be responsible for telogen effluvium. Testosterone plays a major role in the regulation of hair growth and when it is lowered, telogen effluvium can occur.
Artificial Hormone Fluctuations and Telogen Effluvium
Changes in hormones that are not naturally occurring can also lead to telogen effluvium. This can include things such as changes in diet, changes in medications, and changes in hormone replacement therapy. Pregnant women and those on birth control pills may also see changes in their hormones that can lead to telogen effluvium.
Health Factors and Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium can also be related to overall health. Stress, illness, fatigue, and even crash diets can lead to telogen effluvium by initiating a significant shift in hormones. Improving general health, reducing stress, and paying attention to changes in weight and diet can help to prevent the onset of telogen effluvium.
It is clear that hormones play an important role in telogen effluvium and health. Changes in levels of adrenal androgens, thyroid hormones, estrogens, testosterone and other hormones can lead to telogen effluvium. Looking at the overall health of the body and making sure hormone levels are in balance is important in regulation of telogen effluvium and for good overall health.
Keywords: telogen effluvium, hormone levels, adrenal androgens, thyroid hormones, estrogens, testosterone, health, diet, stress