Hair Loss Treatments
One of the most common yet least talked about symptoms of menopause, hair loss can be devastating for the millions of women who suffer from it. Americans spend one billion dollars per year on hair loss treatments. Unfortunately, according to The American Hair Loss Society, 99% of these treatments are ineffective. For women in particular, most do not want to sit back and let their hair fall out slowly without taking action, as hair is associated with femininity and youth. Luckily, there are alternative solutions that are safe and effective for the multitudes of women experiencing hair loss.
It's only natural to find hair loss upsetting. Menopausal hair loss can cause hair to become thin and brittle, and in extreme cases, small patches of baldness may emerge. Luckily, there are adjustments to diet, lifestyle, and hair-care habits that can be made to put a stop to hair loss and stimulate regrowth.
Many women define their femininity and beauty by the appearance, fullness, and thickness of their hair. Dyes, henna treatments, straighteners, and bleach are all products that are popularly used to enhance this appearance, but problematically these usually lead to hair damage and subsequent hair loss.
As hair loss for menopausal women is a direct result of fluctuating hormone levels, namely estrogen and testosterone, to reverse the symptom it is best to address the problem at the hormonal source.
Though it used to be popular to prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat this fundamental imbalance, persistent links to breast and ovarian cancer, along with heart disease and blood clots, have caused most healthcare professionals to rethink this drastic option. Many agree that the most effective approach is to combine a few changes in lifestyle with alternative treatment options.
Three Approaches to Treat Hair Loss
Three levels of approaches can be considered for treating menopause symptoms. These are categorized as: (1) Lifestyle Changes, (2) Alternative Medicine, and (3) Medications.
It is recommended to begin with the least risky option, lifestyle changes, before progressing to the next stage of treatment. Drugs and surgery should be used only in extreme cases.
1. Lifestyle Changes that Promote Hair Growth
This primary level of treatment involves the least amount of risk, though conversely it requires the highest amount of self discipline. Many times some simple changes in lifestyle can reap huge benefits in fighting hair loss and achieving a higher overall level of health.
Of particular importance in the battle against hair loss is a balanced diet. Deficiencies in B or C vitamins, not enough iron or protein, or an extreme diet of any kind can cause hair to fall out.
Cutting out caffeine and alcohol, exercising regularly, and practicing stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation can also help promote regenerative hair growth. Taking care to not pull or twist hair in destructive ways and avoiding other physical traumas such as harsh processing techniques or an excess of heat in styling will also help to protect hair.
Foods that Promote Hair Growth
Protein. Liver, brewer's yeast, fish, eggs, beans, cottage cheese, yogurt, and tofu.
Iron. Liver, whole grain cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, dates, and raisins.
B vitamins. Eggs, meat, and poultry.
Essential fatty acids. Walnuts, canola oil, fish, and soy.
Vitamin E. Avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
Sulfur. Meats, fish, nuts, legumes, and vegetables (especially onions).
Making these lifestyle changes is easier said than done, especially if one is accustomed to a certain routine. In addition, while these changes will help alleviate many symptoms, they do not address the problem directly at the hormonal source, so further treatment may be necessary.
Alternative medicine has proven to be excellent for treating hair loss in a safe and natural way.
2. Alternative Remedies for Hair Loss
Alternative approaches involve little to no risk and can be an extremely effective way to treat hair loss. This level of approach includes several different therapies. Herbal remedies are the most prominent, though in addition women may turn to such techniques as acupuncture or scalp massage in order to help stimulate hair follicles and regenerate hair growth. All of these can be valid and effective options, though most women find that herbal remedies are the easiest alternative treatment to follow, as the others require a greater time and monetary commitment. In addition, herbal remedies are the only viable option to treat the hormonal imbalance directly at its source.
In the case of herbal remedies, there are two types of herbs that can be used for treating hair loss: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating herbal supplements.
Phytoestrogenic herbs (e.g. black cohosh) contain estrogenic components produced by plants. These herbs, at first, do treat the hormonal imbalance by introducing these plant-based estrogens into the body. However, as a result of adding outside hormones, a woman's body may become less capable of producing estrogen on its own. This causes a further decrease of the body's own hormone levels.
By contrast, hormone-regulating herbs, as the name suggests, don't contain any estrogen. These herbs stimulate a woman's hormone production by nourishing the endocrine glands, causing them to more efficiently produce natural hormones. This ultimately results in balancing not only estrogen, but also testosterone. Hormone-regulating herbal supplements (such as Macafem) can be considered the safest way to treat hair loss naturally as the body creates its own hormones and doesn't require any outside assistance.
From "Nature and Health Magazine", Dr. Chacon says:
"Macafem nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which override your body's natural endocrine functioning with synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands." Click on the following link to discover more about Macafem
A combination of approaches is usually the most effective route to take. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative approaches will most likely be the best way to alleviate hair loss. However, for some women the symptoms will be so severe that a more drastic treatment is necessary. In taking the leap into pharmaceutical and surgical options, side effects are inevitable, yet sometimes they can be worth it if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Interventions at the third level involve the highest risk and often the highest costs. The most common drug therapy for treating the 34 menopause symptoms in the US is HRT. This may be a quick and strong way to combat hormonal imbalance, but unfortunately, it entails serious side effects and increases the risk of different types of cancer, as the following study has proven.
In 1991, The National Institute of Health
(NIH) launched the Women's Health Initiative
(WHI), the largest clinical trial ever undertaken in the United States. The WHI was designed to provide answers concerning possible benefits and risks associated with use of HRT. This study was canceled in July 2002, after it was proven that synthetic hormones increase risks of ovarian and breast cancer as well as heart disease, blood clots and strokes. The findings were published in, The Journal of the American Medical Association
(JAMA), and to this date have not been disputed.
Hair transplant surgeries, scalp lifts, or laser therapy are other options for serious cosmetic changes, but they entail a great deal of time, money, and are not without side effects, as is the case with any sort of surgical procedure.
If symptoms are at the level of severity that a woman is still considering this final option, it is wise to speak to a healthcare professional for guidance.
These three levels of approaches are not mutually exclusive. A woman may use different approaches at different times or any combination of them, depending on the duration and severity of symptoms. Today more and more women find that dealing with menopause symptoms is best accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.
A Safe Way of Treating Hair Loss
Non-estrogenic herbs for treating hormonal imbalance, as seen in the second approach, are considered to be the most effective solution. Low costs and the non existence of side effects are only some of the reasons why this treatment option is preferred.
Macafem, for example, is an excellent non-estrogenic herb. It's simple: rather than putting hormones from the outside into your body artificially, Macafem stimulates your hormone glands into producing the necessary hormones naturally. This is what makes Macafem so unique. Click on the following link if you want to learn more about Macafem