Adrenal Stress or Strain May Show Up On Your Head First

The adrenal gland makes cortisol, it makes adrenal androgens (male hormones) and it makes a molecule called aldosterone. In fact these compounds comprise whole families of hormones and our heath is very dependent on this gland. If we have no adrenal function at all: this is an acute emergency that needs to be treated right away. We use a lot of steroids for treatment of other medical conditions: from bug bites, to serious infections, and even a short bit of steroid us can plunge a women into acute adrenal problems. Chronic illness, or chronic stress can lead to the paradoxical conditions of too much cortisol being secreted over time, or not enough cortisol if the gland becomes overwhelmed. Over production of certain paths of adrenal hormones is called congenital adrenal hyperplasia. This disease may seem like polycystic ovarian disease. Women can have cycles that are off or abnormal amounts of hair growth, or too little hair growth. One of the most common first complaints of chronic adrenal stress from women is that they are losing their hair. Hair loss is cyclical, some seasons it will grow and in some seasons you will lose more. In general we lose about 100 hairs a day. Exactly how much you lose, and how thick your hair is at the end of the hair loss is related to both age and genetics. All hair follicles can respond to nutrition, stress, pregnancy, menopause, and medication exposure. But, certain hair loss may be related to unique hormonal patterns. In puberty, usually breast development occurs first and then one of the adrenal gland androgens (male hormones) dihydroepiandosterone or DHEA may be responsible . This adrenal gland hormone is thus a stimulus for pubic hair growth. The pubic hair appearance, at approximately the same time as underarm (axillary) hair appearance, comes from a separate but similar hormonal influences. And changes in adrenal hormones can cause loss of pubic hair as well. Adrenal stress can be detected by several symptoms, and tested for with blood work, but one obvious symptom, other than disordered menstrual cycles or infertility, may just be losing pubic hair. Factors that cause graying of hair and factors that cause hair loss might be related, but they may be separate as well. Age and medication and stress are more likely to be related to graying of the hair.  

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