Bottom Line/HEALTH: As women reach menopause, somehow they start losing their hair a little bit more. And I don’t mean going bald, but I just mean there’s more and more hair on the brush and in the shower drain. So what can somebody do to reduce that?
Holly Lucille, ND, RN: One of the most important things is trying to figure out why. First of all, as we reach menopause, hormones are on their decline naturally. This is a natural phase. And here’s the thing that happens: estrogen starts going a little bit quicker than testosterone, and so an increase in testosterone sometimes is linked, depending on how it’s being metabolized by the body, with hair loss.
So hormonal imbalances can definitely do that. There’s a normal variation, because of course you get that increased testosterone – it’s falling off your head, but where is it falling onto? Your chin, right? So if you see an elderly woman in her 80s and 90s, it’s kind of a natural thing. If you go back, this happens. Of course, we’ve got grooming techniques that we can deal with these things.
But when I was talking about hair loss, there are also a couple different things we want to think about. Low thyroid, which is very common around menopause, needs to be discovered because that could be a contributing factor. Low iron. There’s a lab test called ferritin, which many times is not drawn by your physician, so that’s f-e-r-r-i-t-i-n, and that’s a value of iron storage. Anything under 50 with that, I see a lot of increased hair loss. If iron is deficient, we can actually use absorbable iron – I like it in the bisglycinate form along with vitamin C – that’s going to make a big difference with hair loss.
And then also, there’s an amino acid called lysine that has been a contributing factor when it’s low to hair loss. So thinking about small supplementation over a month, just to see if that makes a difference as well.
Bottom Line: Okay, so try lysine, check for iron, and also check for thyroid. Before they go do the iron test, can they try eating a more iron-rich diet?
Dr. Lucille: Sure, of course.
Bottom Line: If not a lot of red meat, at least the spinach, etc.
Dr. Lucille: Yeah. I call them floppy greens, all of those. Blackstrap molasses is an amazing source of iron. So go ahead and get those in. See if it makes a difference.
Bottom Line: All right, that’s great. Thank you, Dr. Holly Lucille.