Hair Loss: Pattern Baldness or Alopecia Areata? Know The Difference!

by Nakita Valerio, B.A, CSN, BMSA Technician on September 28, 2015
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Hair Loss: Pattern Baldness or Alopecia Areata? Know the difference

Losing your hair can be embarrassing and unsightly, but more importantly, it is a symptom of a greater underlying issue for concern. Hair loss can point to significant mineral and vitamin deficiencies, adrenal exhaustion or endocrine system burnout.

There are two main types of hair loss to be looked at: male/female pattern baldness and alopecia areata.  The first is usually determined by imbalanced hormones and excess inflammation,whereas the second is classified as an autoimmune disorder.

For male and female pattern baldness, what usually happens is this: an imbalance of progresterone-testosterone-estrogen causes an upregulation of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase which stimulates an overproduction of a hormone commonly called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Excess inflammation and estrogen dominance have been implicated in the upregulation the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme and so getting those things back into balance is critical for those who are losing their hair!

Related article: How DIM (Diindolylmethane) & D-Glucarate Help Battle Estrogen Dominance.

One of the best things that both man and woman can take for this is nature's number one DHT blocker : saw palmetto ! This is arguably the most widely studied herb in the repertoire for male prostatic health, but it also has major implications for hair loss because the mechanism of action by which it blocks DHT is the same. In just 11 major clinical studies (of literally hundreds), it was found that again and again, saw palmetto made a significant difference for volume voided, maximum flow of urine, dysuria, nocturia, volume of prostate, and the sensation of incomplete voiding. How does it accomplish this? The fruit of serenoa repens contains numerous fatty acids and their ethyl esters which are said to be estrogenic and hypocholesterolemic as well as potent inhibitors of 5-alpha reductase enzyme, thereby decreasing tissue DHT. DHT (dihydrotestoterone) has been implicated numerous times as a causative factor in BPH and pattern baldness as it exerts its effects by binding to androgen receptors in the nucleus of prostate cells.

When it comes to alopecia areata, this is more of an issue of autoimmune function, as mentioned.  Current evidence suggests that alopecia areata is caused by an abnormality in the immune system. This particular abnormality leads to autoimmunity, a misguided immune system that tends to attack its own body. As a result, the immune system attacks particular tissues of the body. In alopecia areata, for unknown reasons, the body's own immune system attacks the hair follicles and disrupts normal hair formation. Biopsies of affected skin show immune lymphocytes penetrating into the hair bulb of the hair follicles. Alopecia areata is occasionally associated with other autoimmune conditions such as allergic disorders, thyroid disease, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. The diagnosis or treatment of these diseases is unlikely to affect the course of alopecia areata. Sometimes, alopecia areata occurs within family members, suggesting a role of genes.

For most autoimmune disorders, a standard regimen of a quality multivitamin, Vitamin D3,  probiotics and essential fats is the bare minimum. You might also benefit from testing for food allergies and other underlying exacerbaters of inflammation.

Related article: Is Vitamin D Right for You?

In all cases of hair loss, you will also want to supplement with biotin, B Vitamins, a multi-mineral formula and silica. These have been shown to increase follicular health, reducing overall hair loss.

In health,

Nakita

Nakita - Optimum Health Vitamins blogger

 

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Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.

                                 

Topics: Male Health

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