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PCOS and Hair loss

By Shahzeen Baig, PCOS nutritionist, BmedSci|MHumNutr

PCOS is one of the leading causes of hair loss in women. This metabolic disorder causes several hormonal imbalances that cause male pattern hair thinning in women.

Usually alongside hair loss women also have acne and excessive hair on other areas of the body. This can be incredibly frustrating as women find their confidence and self esteem are both significantly affected by hairloss.

Hair loss in women with PCOS is largely associated with elevated male androgen levels. These cause disturbances to the hair follicles causing the hair to fall out. Additionally these male androgens increase oil production in skin glands, this is what causes increased acne alongside hairloss.

Hairloss can be reduced with the right lifestyle changes. However it must be noted that one needs to be patient as reducing male androgen levels (testosterone, DHEA) takes time, patience and consistency.

Top 3 Tips for Reducing Hair Loss:

Take Zinc

Zinc deficiency is common in women with PCOS. Taking a high strength zinc supplement helps the body excrete excess testosterone. No particular zinc supplement, just a high strength one.

Balance Blood Sugar Levels

One of the main drivers of high testosterone levels in Women with PCOS is insulin resistance. This is where the cells of women with PCOS become resistant to insulin. This results in consistently high blood sugar and insulin levels. These become signalling molecules and signal to the ovaries to produce more testosterone. In order to balance blood sugar levels combine protein, fat and carbohydrates together at every meal. This helps to reduce insulin resistance.

Manage Stress

Stress increases levels of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is also one of the key drivers of high testosterone levels. It is important to identify key drivers of stress in one’s life and work on reducing these.

If one consistently follows these steps they can effectively reduce hair loss.

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