Adrenal Fatigue is when your adrenal glands are not functioning optimally, because they’ve been over-functioning due to a heightened stress response for a long period of time. Eventually wearing them out.
And unfortunately, adrenal fatigue can cause hair loss.
When one has adrenal fatigue, they don’t produce adequate levels of the stress hormone cortisol to optimally run their system. Too much cortisol production is called Cushing’s disease, and no cortisol production at all is called Addison’s disease. Adrenal fatigue is on the Addison’s disease side of the spectrum. In adrenal fatigue, you can still produce cortisol, but you have a poor response to stress.
Initially when you’re under a major stressor, your adrenals are producing too much cortisol before they get exhausted. Excess cortisol is catabolic. It breaks down tissues, including hair follicles. The hair loss you see with stress-induced, excessive cortisol production is usually falling out in patchy clumps. You can lose your entire head of hair.
So, why does adrenal fatigue cause hair loss?
Over time, if the stress doesn’t let up and your adrenals are not supported, your adrenal glands become fatigued and no longer produce enough cortisol. You will see excess shedding and slower hair growth, which results in thinning hair. That’s because cortisol has a partner hormone called DHEA which helps you metabolize protein and fat. If you don’t metabolize protein and fat appropriately, you’re not going to grow healthy hair. Because your adrenal glands are run under the same hypothalamus system that controls your thyroid, your glucose metabolism, as well as your cellular metabolism, your hair loss can be profound. You’ll shed hair more rapidly than you can grow new hair.
So how do you get your hair back?
First, you need to give your adrenals what they need to heal. I always start with nutraceutical hypothalamic support. If you don’t correct the HPA axis, you will not be able to get your adrenals functioning normally. Using Genesis Gold® can make a huge difference in treating adrenal fatigue. I also recommend extra adrenal adaptogens – herbs and glandulars – to help your adrenals heal faster. But you must correct the misfiring in the HPA axis with hypothalamic support. Then, if your hormone production is really low, whether it be your thyroid hormone, adrenal hormones, or sex hormones, you may need bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to temporarily support adrenal function.
You cannot help what life throws at you, but you can change the way you respond to it. Your stress reaction is a learned response, which can be changed through many different modalities. You just have to find the one that works best for you.
If you have any questions about adrenal fatigue and hair loss, please join me in our Hormone Support Group, where you’ll get access to our free Hormone Reboot Training. I hope to see you there!