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Alopecia

Q: Hi Lesley,

I am 57 years of age and over the past 7 years have noticed my hair is really thinning all over with only about one quarter of the volume or less - than it was. Have you any advice - thank you.

Carole


A: There are several common types of hair loss/ hair thinning in women. General shedding of hair is typically hair lost throughout the head. You'll often notice more hair in drains and in the shower, in hair brushes, and when you brush your hair, but there are no specific patches of loss or even baldness. Typically, with both an under-active or an over-active thyroid (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism) prior to treatment, this is the most common form of hair loss in general. In menopausal women the most common cause of hair loss is a low thyroid function. So, it’s very important to get your thyroid function checked out.

A second type of hair loss is more commonly associated with fungal infection or auto-immune alopecia areata, and involves circular patches of hair loss, in some cases, complete loss of hair in these small patches. These sorts of hair loss problems are not particularly associated with thyroid problems.

If we eliminate the above two, sometimes hair loss or thinning occurs as a result of stress, excessive weight loss or iron deficiency. The Mayo Clinic reports about 20 percent of women with thinning hair suffer from an iron deficiency.

Alopecia areata is thought to be an autoimmune disease. The immune system makes white blood cells (lymphocytes) and antibodies to protect against foreign objects such as bacteria, viruses, and other germs. In autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes part or parts of the body as foreign. In people with alopecia areata, many white blood cells gather around the affected hair roots (hair follicles) which are mistaken as foreign. This causes some mild inflammation which leads in some way to hairs becoming weak and falling out to cause the bald patches.

I would certainly give our supplement SIMBA (African potato tuber) a try. SIMBA works to balance and regulate the immune system and restore normal immune functioning and we have had great success with auto-immune conditions. You do need to persevere as SIMBA takes around 6 weeks to really get into the system and begin to take effect (it's a huge task ahead of a humble plant!) So you need to persevere with SIMBA for around 6 to 8 months before you assess the benefits.

To support healthy hair growth you should take a good multivitamin that includes hair-healthy vitamins such as B, C, D and E. Other important nutrients are calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron so make sure any multi vitamin and mineral supplement you take contains all these. A fish oil supplement containing vitamin D and essential fatty acids will help help to support healthy immunity and soothe inflammation.

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