Curing Insomnia

InsomniaWhat is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a condition where an individual can have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep. 30-40% of Americans have sleep issues each year. When sleep disorders last longer than one month, they are classified as a chronic sleep disorder. Scientists do not know why we sleep, but the lack of sleep can affect our mood, our physical wellness, and our overall happiness. REM sleep is the time when we tend to dream, and we should have several episodes of REM sleep each night. Failure to reach REM sleep will have a negative effect on regenerative hormones that are produced while we sleep.

The Natural Sleep Hormone – Melatonin

Melatonin is secreted at night when darkness is approaching and it causes us to become sleepy and lowers our body temperature. Many prescription medications can block the production of Melatonin. You can ask our pharmacists if the medications you are taking may be depleting Melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep.

There are also lifestyle changes one can enact to improve the quality of sleep. If you have sleep issues, you should first examine the amount of caffeine you are consuming, especially at night. Alcohol will cause poor sleep, especially if taken in excess. To stimulate the production of Melatonin in the evening you should turn your lights down. Staring at computer screens, video games, or television just before bedtime can make Melatonin production difficult. Exercise can improve the quality of sleep, and eating meals too close to bedtime can adversely affect sleep.

Many individuals turn to prescription medications to try to address sleep disorders. However, these medications can become problematic as they can adversely affect the normal sleep cycle, especially the REM sleep cycle. We recommend starting with a quality sleep supplement to help restore the natural sleep rhythm. Magnesium is a mineral that acts as a calmative and helps our muscles relax, helping us to fall asleep more easily. Combinations of sleep-inducing ingredients such as magnesium, Melatonin, Valerian root, passionflower, and L-Theanine can induce a natural sleep onset. L-Theanine is a unique amino acid that acts as a calmative for us when taken during the day, but can help to improve sleep when taken at bedtime. L-Theanine is especially useful for those individuals who only sleep 4-5 hours a night.

If you have sleep problems, we invite you to ask our pharmacists for safe and effective recommendations to help you restore your natural sleep cycle.

8 Facts About Heart Health

heart diseaseFebruary is National American Heart Month which makes it a great time to raise awareness about heart disease and other heart-related issues to ensure that your heart stays healthy for years to come.

Studies show that heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. Therefore, it’s vital to educate yourself on how to lower your risk. Keep the following heart-related facts in mind this month so you can learn healthy habits for the future.

1. Ten Minutes of Exercise Helps Your Heart

Simply ten minutes of physical activity each day can lower your risk of having a heart attack significantly. Aiming for thirty minutes a day could potentially lower your risk even more.

2. Less Screen Time is Heart Healthy

If you tend to spend four or more hours per day sitting in front of your TV, computer, laptop or other device, your risk of having a heart attack is almost double. Limit screen time and spend more time on your feet to reduce this risk.

3. Heart Disease Starts Early

Heart disease isn’t something that develops when you’re older. In fact, it starts when you’re a teenager or young adult. Being obese during childhood can make the risk of having heart disease even higher when you become an adult.

4. Stress and Heart Disease Go Hand in Hand

Stress is one of the biggest factors that leads to heart disease. Find ways to reduce stress, such as deep breathing. Learn to keep your anger in check in order to lower your risk of having a heart attack.

5. More Sleep Is Better for Your Heart

Those who get more sleep each night have a lower risk of heart disease. Women who get less than five hours of sleep, have a 39 percent chance higher of having heart disease.

6. Laughter Protects Your Heart

Laughing is healthy for your blood vessels. It helps them relax and expand, which keeps your heart working properly.

7. Heart Disease Fatality Rates Are High

Heart disease fatality rates are around 40 percent, which is higher than deaths associated with all types of cancer. More than 25,000 people in the U.S. die from heart disease every day.

8. Age is the Biggest Risk Factor

Although heart disease can start when you are young, age is the biggest risk factor. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle. Even though you can’t control certain risk factors, such as a family history of heart disease, making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk overall.

If you want more information on how to keep your heart healthy, contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills. We can also help you out if you are on different medications and are interested in prescription consolidation.

Sports Medicine Compounding

football_helmet_medical_care_first_aid_medicine_thinkstock_76800167-100579749-primary.idgePutting the Warrior Back in “Weekend Warrior”

As we grow older, our competitive spirit rarely falters. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our bodies. Recovery times that used to entail a few hours now seem to entail a few days; or worse weeks. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort while participating in your favorite sporting activity we may be able to help you, so that you can continue to enjoy the sports that you love for as long as possible.

Compounding for Common Sports Related Injuries

Our compounding pharmacists have the ability to compound medications that treat the following sports related injuries:

  • Connective Tissue Disorders
  • Muscle Soreness
  • Low Back Pain
  • Chronic Joint Pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Osteoarthritis Pain
  • Sciatica
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Achilles Tendinopathy

And many more!

How We Can Help!

We have the ability to compound several types of medications in topical form that are made specifically for your unique circumstances; thereby creating a medication that is effective, well tolerated, and easy to use. We can also combine medications together into one delivery form, thereby increasing your chances of experiencing the greatest pain relief; and getting you back on the court/field/track as soon as possible. Topical medication administration has been used for decades, and some potential advantages of utilizing topical medications for sports related injuries include:

  • Ease of application
  • Achievement of efficacy with a lower dose
  • Site specific drug delivery
  • Improved patient compliance and adherence
  • Avoidance of risks associated with oral administration
Don’t let your pain keep you from living the quality of life you’d like to! For more information on how we can help you, please call and ask to speak with one of our compounding pharmacists. You’ll be glad you did!

New Year’s Health Resolutions

2019

The new year offers everyone another opportunity to make healthier choices for themselves and their loved ones.

The American Medical Association has offered 10 health recommendations to help patients “determine where they can make the most impactful, long-lasting improvements in their health.”

Avoid sugary drinks. Nothing hits the sweet spot like anhydrous dextrose. That is just one of a long list of sweeteners frequently added to drinks that make it easy to add unneeded calories to your diet. One 20-ounce sports drink has 122 calories of added sugars while a 12-ounce can of regular soda has 126 calories of added sugars. Instead, try drinking water, coffee, unsweetened tea or other calorie-free drinks. When you do drink beverages with sugar, go for milk or all-fruit juices that boost your dairy or fruit intake.

Know your risk for type 2 diabetes. One in three Americans has prediabetes, yet only one in 10 knows it. Prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, with as many as 30 percent of patients with prediabetes progressing to diabetes within five years. Yet diabetes is not inevitable. Eating more healthfully, exercising regularly and losing between 5 and 7 percent of one’s body weight can prevent diabetes. Take a self-screening test now to determine your risk, talk to your physician and find out about widely available, evidence-based diabetes prevention programs that can help. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about prediabetes.

Move more. Every healthy adult between 18 and 65 years old needs at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity five days a week. These are activities in which you move your large muscles in a rhythmic manner for a sustained period. They include walking briskly, bicycling slowly or gardening. This kind of movement makes your heart beat more quickly and over time it makes your cardiovascular disease system healthier.

Another healthy alternative is to get at least 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity three days a week. This category includes jogging, running, swimming laps, singles’ tennis, dancing, cycling 10 mph or faster, jumping rope or uphill hiking.

Avoid processed food and added sodium. This is a category of unhealthy choices hidden right under our noses, in the form of many packaged foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, pasta, dressings, sauces, soups or gravies. You may, of course, consult the nutrition label to seek out lower-sodium options. A less confusing route is probably to opt for fresh, frozen or canned foods without any added sauces or seasonings. By seasoning your own food when you cook at home, you control how much sodium is used. And try out other herbs and spices to get the kick you want instead of shaking on more salt.

Know your blood pressure numbers. Visit LowerYourHBP.orgto find resources on understanding your numbers. Visit your physician and commit to a planto get your hypertension under control.

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you are a woman, that means up to one drink a day, and two drinks daily for men, as defined by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans—which the AMA supports. And only adults of legal drinking age ought to drink alcohol. Keep in mind that not every drink equals “one drink,” depending on the alcohol content.

Talk with your doctor about tobacco use and quit. Your physician will help you drop the tobacco habit for good with evidence-based, Food and Drug Administration-approved cessation aids. Electronic cigarettes do not fall into that category. A U.S. surgeon general report notes that evidence for e-cigarettes as quit-smoking devices is lacking, adding that the “health impacts of frequent exposure to the toxicants in e-cigarette aerosol are not well understood, though several are known carcinogens.”

And while you’re at it, make your home and car smoke-free. Declaring this the policy of your abode and automobile can help eliminate your exposure—and the exposure of loved ones—to secondhand smoke. Giving friends, family and colleagues who are smokers one less place to light up may also encourage them to take the necessary step of quitting.

Manage stress. The good news on this front is that a good diet and daily exercise, as noted above, are key ingredients to maintaining and improving your mental health. So you are killing two birds with one stone by eating better and moving more. Another essential element on this front is to realize the power of saying “No.” It is never easy to do this, but taking better care of yourself will make you a better colleague and friend over the long run. Lastly, do not see it as a sign of weakness to ask for help from a friend or mental health professional when you need it. We are here for each other.

Safely store and properly dispose of all your prescription medications.If you are taking prescription opioids, follow your physician’s instructions and safely store those medicines. Among other things, medication safety in this area means that you should:

  • Organize and keep careful track of prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Keep stronger medicines separate from items more commonly found in medicine cabinets, keep medicines in the original bottle or container that it came in and never mix medications in the same bottle.
  • Keep medicines secure. Ensure that all lids close tightly, and treat medications like you would other valuables. Make sure they are concealed when guests or visitors are in your home. You may even consider installing a lock box in your medicine cabinet.

If you have any unused medication left over, you should properly dispose of it. Use this U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration search toolto locate nearby public drug-disposal locations.

Make sure your family is up-to-date on its immunizations. Work with your physician to ensure that you are all following the recommendationsof the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. And remember that it is not too late to get your flu shot. Here are six reasons patients give for avoiding flu vaccination—and how to counter them.

Sourced by:

Kevin B. O’Reilly

News Editor

American Medical Association

2018 Holiday Hours

We hope you are all having a wonderful season with family and friends. For your reference, please note our pharmacy’s upcoming hours of business during the holidays. Thank you!

holiday hours

Compounding for Fertility

compounding for fertilityWhat is Fertility Compounding

In the U.S. alone, one in ten couples have fertility issues. Fertility treatments are highly specialized and must often be customized for each individual. Pharmaceutical compounding has made several major areas of progress for fertility treatments. Fertility medications created at The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can treat a wide range of different fertility problems based on the cause. There are many factors that affect fertility even for healthy people. A fertility physician can find the specific causes of the fertility issue and create a customized treatment with our skilled pharmacists for each individual. We offer the benefit of being able to create a wide range of different routes of administration for fertility treatments such as oral capsules, topical gels, suppositories, injections, oral suspension, and other treatments as needed.

Factors That Affect Fertility

Here are a few factors that can affect fertility in both men and women:

  • AGE – Age is the strongest predictor of fertility. Fertility for Men starts to decline at age 35. It starts to decline for women after age 32, although there are many cases of women having children even after the age of 50. There is a higher chance of miscarriage and birth abnormalities for women after the age of 40.
  • STDs – Sexually transmitted diseases can affect fertility for both men and women. Diseases such as syphilis, HPV, gonorrhea, and others can cause fertility problems and by affecting the reproductive organs. Early and effective treatment of STDs can prevent fertility problems from arising.
  • WEIGHT – Weight has a significant influence on fertility, however, weight problems can be treated with the proper diet along with certain compounded medications. For both men and women, body fat levels can affect fertility. Excess body fat in both men and women can cause hormone production abnormalities. Body fat levels that are too low can shut down the reproductive system entirely.
  • HORMONE IMBALANCES – Hormonal imbalances can result from many different causes, for women they can affect the ovulation cycle, making them too long or too short, or stopping them altogether. Hormone imbalances are regularly treated at compounding pharmacies with customized treatments based on each individual’s hormone levels.
  • MEDICATIONS – Many medications can have fertility side effects that result in low libido or other fertility problems. Many of fertility side effects are temporary, and some of the medications that can affect fertility include antibiotics, anti-depressants, and painkillers. Compounded medications can also be created to reverse fertility problems caused by medications.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARD EXPOSURE – There are several different types of environmental hazards that can lead to fertility issues such as radiation, microwave emissions, high temperatures, chemicals, prolonged exposure to stress, and several other factors can cause fertility problems.
  • DRUGS AND ALCOHOL – Several types of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol can cause a wide range of different fertility problems. Smoking can cause fertility problems for women. Even moderate alcohol consumption can cause fertility problems. Addictions to drugs and alcohol can be treated with compounded medications.

Compounding Fertility Treatments

Compounding fertility medications has proven to be successful in treating fertility issues. We can create customized fertility medications based on the individual needs of the patient and directions of fertility physicians. Contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills today to learn more!

How to Detox After Wildfire Smoke Inhalation

wildfire-smoke-air-face-maskFor much of the west coast, wildfire smoke inhalation is unavoidable. This was especially true in the Los Angeles County and Ventura County area, where the wind-fueled blazes still burns acres of land.

Detoxing after smoke exposure is essential to your long-term and short term health. Detox solutions can include:

  1. Drinking LOTS of Water
  2. Drinking Hot Liquids
  3. Using a Saline Nasal Spray
  4. Rinsing Your Sinuses with a Neti Pot
  5. Breathing in Steam with Thyme
  6. Receiving a Vitamin Rich IV Drip
  7. Loading Your Diet with Ginger
  8. Increasing Your Vitamin C Intake
  9. Upping Your Glutathione Levels

We have all been encouraged to stay indoors. Some heeded these warnings. Some individuals fled to less smoky environments. And, some folks attempted to cover their faces with cloths or mask. Unfortunately, if you were here when the fires began, you were most likely exposed.

The concern with the exposure isn’t so much getting a large fleck of ash in your eye. Yes, smoke exposure can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like irritated sinuses, eye irritation, and shortness of breath. However, the real concern is the fine particles.

Jane Greenhalgh explained in her recent NPR article, ‘Is All That Wildfire Smoke Damaging My Lungs?’ it’s the, “particulate matter that’s 2.5 microns or less in diameter — that are the biggest health hazard. They’re so small you can’t see them.

Here are nine tips to help you detox and protect your lung from long-term damage after wildfire smoke inhalation:

1. Water. Drink LOTS of Water

Drink water. Drink LOTS of water. This is not a new mantra. It’s not a revolutionary tip. You’ve probably heard it hundreds of times before. Unfortunately, the vast majority of individuals are dehydrated. This is particularly an issue when you’re trying to detox after the harmful effects of fire.

Wildfire smoke inhalation causes microscopic particles to get trapped in your lungs. They can get into your bloodstream. And, they can travel throughout your body contaminate other organs.

Water helps flush these particles from your system. Ten, 8-ounce glasses of water is a good target in general. If you’re detoxing, aim to increase this intake to 12 or 14 glasses.

2. Drink Hot Liquids

Cilia are a short eyelash-like filament that covers the tissue of cells. When operating correctly, they beat in unison, creating a current that can move particles throughout the body (via Encyclopedia Britannica).

When there is a decrease in air quality, it can cause the cilium (plural for cilia) to stop moving. Hot liquids can encourage the cilium to start moving again. This can promote the movement (and removal) of mucous and saliva, which often contains high levels of contaminants.

Bonus Tip: A good ‘hot liquid’ drink can be made by steeping Slippery Elm and Marshmallow Root in hot water. These two herbs support, moisten, and relax the fragile tissues in your mouth, throat, and lungs.

3. Use a Saline Nasal Spray

It’s easy for smoke exposure to cause irritated sinuses, irritation to the eyes, and shortness of breath. A saline nasal spray can help you moisten and soothe the inside of your nose. This can promote the expulsion of foreign matter and provide immediate relief.

4. Rinse Sinus with a Neti Pot

Think of a neti pot as a nasal spray on steroids. In short – a neti pot allows you to perform a thorough, natural nasal rinse. It helps you remove foreign substances. When you’re exposed to smoke, pollutants can easily get trapped in your nasal passage. If allowed to remain, they can easily travel to the lungs and cause additional issues.

Generally, a rinsing with a neti pot can reduce congestion and improve symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and dry nasal passages.

5. Breathe Steam with Thyme

Thyme has a wide variety of benefits, including:

  • Anti- Microbial
  • Anti-Viral
  • Anti-Fungal

Breathing a steam, rich with thyme, can help expel foreign substances, clear passageways, and reduce the irritation level of your sinuses. The simplest way to create thyme-filled steam is to add 1 – 2 TBS of thyme to a large bowl. Pour in boiling water. Lower your head so it’s inches from the hot water. Cover head and bowl with a large towel, trapping steam under the towel. Breathe deeply for 1 – 2 minutes. Repeat as needed.

6. Receive a Vitamin Rich IV Drip

IV drip therapy allows you to give your body a huge boost of the key vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its peak. Depending on your doctor, they can help you a specific cocktail to meet your individual needs.

7. Load Your Diet with Ginger

Ginger is another fabulous, natural detoxifier. Not only does it contain chemical compounds that help the lungs function, ginger improves blood circulation. Plus, ginger is downright delicious.

It’s great in stir-fries, dressings, and marinades. Ginger can also be sliced and steeped in hot water to make a ginger tea. You may want to add a little lemon juice and honey to temper the flavor, as it can be very intense.

8. Up Your Vitamin C

Another natural antioxidant is Vitamin C. During the late fall and early winter, satsumas and pomegranates offer an easy and delicious way to add more Vitamin C to your diet. You may also consider a daily vitamin supplement.

9. Up Your Glutathione Levels

Glutathione is another natural antioxidant. It supports the production of cellular energy and can help protect your DNA from oxidative damage (a common side effect of smoke exposure).

Get Help

Our pharmacists are prepared to help you detox and restore your health. Please contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills to learn more.

 

Sourced by: Tru Health Medicine

High Dose Biotin & Multiple Sclerosis

ms and compoundingWhat is Biotin?

Biotin goes by several other names: vitamin H, vitamin B7, and coenzyme R. Biotin is an essential molecule to biological processes which cannot be produced in the body. Like all vitamins, it must be ingested in the diet. Currently, high dose biotin at a dose of 300 mg every day is being clinically investigated for the improvement of symptoms in progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). This dose is 10,000 times higher than the adequate daily intake recommendations. Current disease-modifying therapies are used only to delay progression of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) or for active progressive disease. There is currently no disease-modifying therapy for patients with non-active progressive MS. Preliminary evidence has suggested biotin may be able to improve symptoms in PPMS and SPMS while being well tolerated. Still, these results are in their infancy and high dose biotin is not yet FDA approved for this indication.

How Dose Biotin Work?

Biotin is a cofactor for four essential enzymes in the human body which help the body build fatty acids from smaller molecular building blocks. Without biotin these enzymes cannot function. The destruction of the fatty myelin sheath surrounding nerves is thought to be the underlying pathology of MS. It is theorized that supplying large amounts of biotin helps these enzymes function to recreate the myelin sheath thereby increasing overall function for the patient.

The Role of the Compounding Pharmacy

Because high dose forms of biotin are not currently commercially available due to its investigational status, 300 mg biotin capsules must be compounded in a compounding pharmacy. Over the counter supplemental preparations come in 10 mg doses which would require the user to ingest 30 pills per day to follow a “high dose” regimen. The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills has the tools to provide a full daily dose in a single capsule. Additionally, we follow much stricter practices than companies that sell over the counter nutritional supplements ensuring that your product is USP (United States Pharmacopeia) grade, and is confirmed to be precisely what your doctor prescribed.

Contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills to discuss compounding options to help you improve your symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Benefits of Compounding for Children

Child refuses  to take a medicineIt’s no secret that most kids don’t like taking medicine. There’s nothing fun about being sick, and taking medicine just seems to make it worse. But it doesn’t have to be that way. While there’s no guarantee that taking medicine will ever become an entirely pleasurable event, there are some ways to help.

One of the best involves compounding medications, the art and science of preparing customized medications for patients. From flavoring medications to make them taste better, to providing individualized strengths and dosage forms, a compounding pharmacist from The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can help make taking medication easier and less stressful for your child – and you!

Pediatric compounding – more effective than a spoonful of sugar.

Children are especially suited for custom compounded prescriptions. For various reasons, commercially manufactured drug forms sometimes may not meet the needs of every child. Compounding can benefit young patients in a variety of ways.

Working closely with a compounding pharmacist, your child’s pediatrician can prescribe medications for:
  • Pain relief
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Oral thrush
  • Diabetes
  • Head lice
  • Diaper rash
  • Skin disorders
  • Cold sores/fever blisters
  • And much more!

Flavored Medicine

Many children refuse medication because of its texture or color, or simply because they know it’s medicine. The child who refuses to take his or her medicine because of the taste is a prime candidate for compounded medication.

Many medications can be transformed into colorful, pleasantly flavored dosage forms, which are dispensed in childproof packaging. Dozens of enticing flavors are available to our compounding pharmacists, who can enhance the taste and color of a medication without changing the medication’s effectiveness.

Unique Dosage Forms

Many children have a very difficult time swallowing capsules or tablets, especially if they have to take more than one medication during the day. To solve this problem, your pediatrician and our compounding pharmacists can develop and prepare medications in alternate dosage forms your child won’t mind taking. These include:

  • Oral liquids
  • Lollipops
  • Gummy treats
  • Topical gels
  • Effervescent drinks

Some compounded medications can be administered using special pacifiers or bottles for infants – and most can be administered in any number of great flavors.

Strength and Ingredient Variations

Each child is unique. Children differ in size and individual needs. Some have allergies and varying drug tolerances, requiring medications which are sugar-freegluten-freecasein-freesoy-free, or dye-free. As a result, can be a challenge to find a commercially available medication suitable for your child’s individual needs. Our compounding pharmacists work closely with your caring pediatrician to formulate a medication which meets all of your child’s requirements.

Autism

Children affected by autism often have unique physical or psychological challenges that can be exacerbated by ingredients found in food and medicine – for instance casein, soy, sugars, gluten, dyes, carbohydrates, and heavy metals (such as aluminum). Parents must manage their child’s unique dietary restrictions, including the ingredients in the medications they take.

Because each child’s body has its own unique needs, commercially available medications sometimes may not provide the appropriate dosage form or ingredients needed. For these children, compounded medications are a critical tool.

PCCA Pharmacy Consultant Tricia Heitman, PharmD, explained, “Most compounded medications for children with autism are for younger kids who can be especially finicky and can’t or won’t take capsules or pills. Compounded medications in different dosage forms and flavors are often the only way to administer key ingredients such as melatonin, amino acid and vitamin mixtures that are crucial in managing autism.

“Parents and practitioners working with children with autism must manage ingredients that can trigger reactions, such as hyperactivity, irritability, depression and acting-out, or serious gastrointestinal problems. As the largest supplier to compounding pharmacies in the U.S., we have a special obligation to develop unique products to serve the 1 in 68 children with autism.”

PCCA has several products that benefit the autism community, including:

  • SuspendAll™: A suspension base for oral medications that is free of ingredients known to cause reactions in autistic children.
  • Anhydrous Lipoderm®: A quick-absorbing cream used to deliver medications transdermally. It does not use aluminum silicate – a common binding agent.
  • Effervescent Powder™ Base: A powder base for oral medications that effervesces when mixed with water and is used to help make medications more palatable.

Your child deserves individualized pediatric care. Ask a pharmacist at The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills about personalized compounded prescriptions for children today!

Root Cause of Women’s Hair Loss

women's hair lossMany women complain about hair loss. The majority of them are in the perimenopause and menopausal phases of their lives. It is interesting to note that during these phases, hormonal imbalance tends to be in play along with other factors like stress, medications (birth control pills and synthetic hormones), thyroid dysfunction, and poor diet and lifestyle choices. Let’s explore some common causes of hormonal imbalance related to hair loss.

Progesterone and Estrogen Levels Out of Balance

During perimenopause, our vital hormones like estrogen and progesterone begin to decline in production. Unfortunately, when progesterone levels get too low, estrogen dominance (a state of having too much estrogen in one’s body relative to progesterone) can occur. This can trigger excessive hair shedding and ultimately, hair loss. Also, low estrogen levels and increased testosterone levels during perimenopause and menopause can result in hair loss.

Estrogen is your friend when it’s appropriately balanced with progesterone. It stabilizes your mood, provides energy, and contributes to a healthy sex drive. However, too much estrogen caused by weight gain, perimenopause or toxicity from exposure to endocrine disruptors (elements in our food, water, and plastic products), can lead to thinning hair. Also, during and after pregnancy, for example, estrogen levels peak and then dip, causing sudden hair loss for many women.

Progesterone is our natural androgen (testosterone and DHEA) receptor blocker. In other words, it protects the hair follicle from testosterone. Progesterone is the reason women’s hair grow so thick during pregnancy. To have adequate progesterone, we must ovulate regularly. Women on birth control pills and women with a condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) do not ovulate, and do not make enough progesterone. (The progestins in the pill are NOT progesterone.) Another cause of progesterone deficiency is stress, which forces the body to convert progesterone into the stress hormone cortisol. Magnesium is essential for progesterone production and calms the stress response. Magnesium is another androgen receptor blocker. This is why women who want to recover their hair should be on magnesium. Bioidentical progesterone replacement is an option if you are low but must be done along with correcting insulin resistance and thyroid deficiencies.

Insulin Impairment, PCOS, Testosterone

Insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, affects fat storage, heart health, and hair growth. One published study in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Risk found that women with some markers of insulin resistance have a greater risk for androgenic alopecia (AGA), or female pattern baldness.

Insulin resistance is a condition where we become resistant to our excessively produced amount of insulin in response to too much ingestion of processed foods high in refined sugars. It can lead to inflammation, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, facial hair growth and scalp hair loss in women. Other causes of insulin resistance include omega-6 vegetable oil, smoking, vitamin D deficiency, birth control pills, and a problem with intestinal bacteria due to antibiotic use.

Testosterone can cause hair loss. Although estrogen is the primary woman’s hormone, women also produce testosterone and other androgens like DHEA. As the body ages, women may begin to convert these androgens to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a more potent form of testosterone. DHT is responsible for hair thinning and hair loss. Women with PCOS have high testosterone on blood tests. Some have normal testosterone but still show signs of testosterone insensitivity such as acne and facial hair. The testosterone of PCOS is usually caused by insulin resistance.

Thyroid Disease

Too little or too high levels of thyroid can cause hair loss. When estrogen levels are higher due to low levels of progesterone, estrogen can compete with thyroid hormone at the receptor, creating low thyroid symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, and hair loss.

Cortisol and Stress

Hair loss may be the first indication that your stress level is taking a toll on your body. Stress seems to be a part of all of our lives and it is reaching epidemic proportions. Excessive physical stress, including high intensity exercise, or emotional stress associated with illness, injury, and trauma may cause hair to stop growing and enter a period of dormancy which is followed by hair falling out two or three months later

Cortisol is the stress hormone that gives the body its fight or flight response to stressful situations. High or low cortisol levels can cause hair loss. Increased cortisol levels due to prolonged stress can increase androgen production and raise blood sugar as well as block thyroid receptors. This can lead to hypothyroid causing hair thinning and hair loss.

How to Maintain Your Mane

  1. Get tested to see what your baseline hormone levels are, including estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and diurnal cortisol. Get a complete blood count, fasting blood glucose, iron levels, and a complete thyroid panel. These assessments can give you a better understanding of what hormonal issues may be at the root of your problem.
  2. Change your eating habits to eating more wholesome, nutritious, unprocessed foods by incorporating more fiber, more protein, fruits and vegetables, and drinking more water. Cut down on fast foods, processed and refined sugars, sodas, etc.
  3. Replenish your body with key nutrients that we are often deficient in that can affect hair growth such as vitamins A, E, B, C, D; omega-3 fatty acids; lysine; magnesium; selenium; copper; and zinc.
  4. Nurture your adrenals to keep cortisol in balance with adaptogenic herbs, meditation, light exercise such as yoga, Pilates, or walking daily. Manage your stress. Be sure to sleep. Deep sleep can help you heal in order to repair cellular damage. This helps with general hormone balance and can protect your precious locks from any further damage.

The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills is here to help you live healthy and happy. We are happy to discuss compounding options to assist you with hair growth. Contact us today!

 

Source: Zoom Heaton