Below is an adapted translation of an article on high testosterone levels in women, by Westin Childs, a practitioner and a specialist in functional medicine. Childs has a blog for patients, writes the most accessible, shows printouts of the tests on which he relies, and gives specific recommendations. For women suffering from hirsutism, this article is useful in a meaningful sense, and as an illustration of the approach.
Weight gain, acne, hair loss (and hirsutism - hairbug.ru comment) - do you have any of this? This is not a complete list of symptoms of high testosterone levels in the blood of women. Why does testosterone levels increase and what needs to be done to reduce it?
Any doctor is able to say that the concentration of testosterone is above normal, but very few people are ready to voice recommendations for solving the problem. To move towards a normal life, you need to understand what exactly happens to your body.
In this case, the problem is that in 95% of cases a high level of testosterone is not a syndrome, but a symptom of another hormonal imbalance. Therefore, the main task is to find this imbalance and solve the problem associated with it - then the concentration of testosterone in the blood will decrease.
Symptoms of High Testosterone
Before proceeding to discuss the causes of high levels of testosterone in the blood and how to correct it, you need to list the symptoms of this condition.
So, the main symptoms of increased testosterone:
- Weight gain (especially fast) or inability to lose it.
- Hair loss, especially male and normal levels of thyroid hormone.
- Acne, a change in the oily skin and hair, is common cystic acne, especially on the chin.
- Mood changes: depression, irritability, anxiety, frequent mood changes.
- Imbalance of other hormones: a violation of the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, thyroid hormone deficiency (Childs does not consider this cause in detail, so read my article on how thyroid hormone deficiency, or hypothyroidism, is associated with testosterone - hairbug.ru comment), excess adrenal androgens (eg, DHAE-C).
As you can see, these are non-specific, very non-specific symptoms inherent in other hormonal abnormalities. For example, a lack of thyroid hormones can lead to weight gain and hair loss, but in this case, the hair will fall out evenly, without bald patches, like in men. Excess thyroid hormones can lead to acne, but they are rarely cystic and have no tendency to occur on the chin. Thus, these symptoms will help determine where exactly the hormone failure occurred. Then hypotheses need to be tested in the laboratory.
Laboratory testing of blood testosterone levels
So let's talk about how abnormal testosterone levels look. Consider a few examples. In the first example, the woman has a high level of free testosterone and an upper limit of the norm of total testosterone.
You can see that only free testosterone is marked as high, but in reality, the patient has an excess of testosterone. How do I know? The fact is that I see facial hair, acne and overweight. See: free testosterone is a physiologically active form of testosterone, a high concentration of which is responsible for the symptoms listed above. (Total testosterone has practically no diagnostic value at all - approx. Hairbug.ru)
In the case of this patient, the reason was insulin resistance. Working in this direction, we managed to reduce the level of free testosterone in the blood with it, and the symptoms disappeared.
Again we see a high level of free testosterone and a completely normal level of total testosterone. The family doctor did not notice any problems, because excessive hair growth was weak, the weight was at the upper limit of the norm, but the girl suffered from sudden mood swings and irritability.
That is why it is so important to study the symptoms together with laboratory tests to see and diagnose the problem.
I also want to show you an example of low testosterone levels in the blood.
The main problem of the patient was insulin resistance, so I gave the value of glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (HbA1c is a specific marker that helps to assess the average glucose in the blood over the last 2-3 months - hairbug.ru comment). Remember: high levels of insulin can cause both high and low testosterone levels, depending on the patient. And both of these conditions are equally bad.
Now you know how to identify elevated testosterone levels, and what symptoms should be monitored.
6 reasons for high testosterone levels in women
When the level of hormones rises high enough, it becomes more difficult to find out exactly what started the process. This situation is fundamentally different from low levels, when “adding missing” is enough to reduce the symptoms. Therefore, most general practitioners are confused when faced with an increase in hormone levels.
1. Insulin resistance
The relationship between insulin resistance (or simply - a high level of sugar in the blood) and testosterone is HUGE (for more on this connection, see a separate material - hairbug.ru comment). Insulin is able to lower and increase testosterone levels. In men, the hormone usually lowers testosterone levels, and in women there are both options. To determine the connection in your body, you need to donate blood for glycated hemoglobin A1c, fasting insulin along with total and free testosterone. If a high level of insulin is found along with a high level of free testosterone, insulin causes hormonal imbalance.
Women with high levels of testosterone in combination with insulin resistance acquire PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Such patients have high levels of insulin, testosterone and estrogen and low levels of progesterone. This leads to moderate growth of facial hair, but in some cases hormonal imbalance also causes darkening of the skin, deposition of fat on the abdomen and extreme mood swings. Usually, the worse the insulin on an empty stomach, the more symptoms appear.
2. The dominance of estrogen over progesterone
All hormones in our body interact with each other. Treat them like a web: you cannot touch a single thread without disturbing the others, but to change the whole web you can simply tear off one thread. This principle holds true for the hormonal system. Hormones play at the same time, so if one gets out of the program, it will lead to a failure in the rest.
The female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are especially closely related. The exact mechanism of communication between them is unknown, but they definitely affect testosterone levels. Take, for example, women with premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (severe form of premenstrual syndrome - note.hairbug.ru). These conditions are associated with the dominance of estrogen, and in these women an increase in testosterone and DHEA levels was found. Compare them with women during menopause, when a low level of estrogen is combined with a complete absence of progesterone, and later testosterone levels in the blood also decrease (but the whiskers still start to grow, again due to the mutual concentration of sex hormones - hairbug.ru comment) . One thing is clear: changes in estrogen and progesterone concentrations affect testosterone concentrations.
3. Low physical activity
Training is an additional help for your body to utilize excess testosterone. Although there is no direct link between physical activity and testosterone levels, exercise helps with excess insulin levels, which in turn lowers high testosterone levels. The mechanism is simple: low insulin is normal testosterone, high insulin is high testosterone. Physical activity allows you to lower the level of insulin, increasing the sensitivity of your body cells to it.
In addition, physical activity helps to overcome the eternal companion of abnormal testosterone levels - overweight.
4. Diseases of the adrenal glands (high level of DHEA)
Diseases of the adrenal glands are less common. Anything that provokes excessive work of the adrenal glands can lead to an increase in testosterone levels. To understand this, look at a diagram of how your body secretes testosterone:
It is seen that testosterone precursors are DHA, pregnenolone, progesterone and androstenedione. If they become more, then testosterone levels can increase.
There are also a number of conditions leading to increased production of DHEA and testosterone: hyperplasia of the adrenal cortex, severe stress and the associated depletion of the adrenal glands, excessive use of supplements with DHA / pregnenolone / progesterone and, again, insulin resistance. Therefore, checking levels of DHA in the blood and cortisol in daily urine is a good test when looking for the causes of elevated testosterone levels. Remember that hormones do not work independently.
5. High levels of the hormone leptin (leptin resistance)
Leptin creates conditions that make it difficult to lose weight. If you do not know what leptin resistance is, please read this article in English about how it disables the utilization of excess weight.
In short, leptin resistance is a condition where you have too much leptin in your body and you get fat, but your brain does not see it. Hunger reigns in the head, and the body swells from fat. Leptin not only regulates the feeling of satiety, but is also part of the reward system.
Leptin, produced by fat cells, is involved in the regulation of appetite, metabolism, tells the brain when to store fat and when it is time to burn. Guess what happens if leptin sensitivity decreases. Your brain stops receiving reports of satiety transmitted by leptin, and begins to give the opposite commands: metabolism slows down, you think you're hungry, your body stops consuming accumulated calories.
And not only that: leptin controls the secretion of testosterone. The more leptin, the more it stimulates the endocrine glands to secrete testosterone. (Here it is somehow opaque, I did not manage to find a single article confirming that leptin stimulates the secretion of steroids, rather, on the contrary, nevertheless, there is definitely a link between leptin and testosterone, see my article on leptin and hairiness - hairbug. ru)
A high level of leptin was also found in women suffering from insulin resistance (which in itself increases testosterone).
Being overweight can increase testosterone levels on its own. Fat cells increase testosterone secretion by enhancing the activity of the 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzyme (type 5). Forget this long title: the main thing here is that fat increases testosterone by itself, and even by reducing the sensitivity of other tissues to insulin.
The moral of the story is that you need to lose weight in addition to all other treatments.
How to lower testosterone levels in women?
First you need to decide why you have elevated levels of testosterone in the blood. The task is to heal the root cause. Below I will talk about the methods of treatment of the six reasons that I mentioned earlier.
High insulin levels:
- Add high-intensity loads: an increase in muscle mass increases tissue sensitivity to insulin.
- Reduce carbohydrate intake (especially refined carbohydrates - sugar, bread, pasta, etc.), for example, as in the Nourishing Ketosis diet.
- Consider the possibility of taking T3 thyroid hormone to speed up the metabolism and increase the sensitivity of cells to insulin (note that this is T3, not T4, but only T4 is sold in Russia - hairbug.ru).
- Consider the possibility of taking special medications that increase insulin sensitivity: SGLT-2 inhibitors, Metformin, GLP-1 agonists, alpha-amylase inhibitors.
- Consider taking supplements: Berberine (1000-2000 mg / day), alpha-lipoic acid (600-1200 mg / day), magnesium, chromium, PolyGlycopleX - all of these supplements can help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels.
Imbalance of estrogen and progesterone:
- Make sure that your thyroid gland functions normally: hypothyroidism causes estrogen dominance over progesterone.
- Make sure that the metabolism of estrogen in your body is optimal, for this the work of the liver and proper nutrition are important.
- During menopause, consider taking bioidentical hormones (a mixture of progesterone and estradiol / estriol).
- Consider taking dietary supplements to support estrogen metabolism: vitamin B12 (sublingual 5000 mcg / day), 5-MTHF, DIM or Indole-3-carbinol, milk thistle, sulfur in the form of MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), bio-identical progesterone (20-40 mg transdermally on days 14-28 of the cycle).
- Increase salt intake (Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt).
- Learn to work with stress and switch from the negative (yoga, meditation, walking, etc.)
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.
- Reduce consumption of amphetamine-based stimulant drugs (adderall, concerta, phentermine, etc.)
- Sleep at least 8 hours a day, eliminate daytime sleep, to avoid problems with falling asleep at night, do not overeat at night, so that excess energy does not fall on time before going to bed.
- Consider the possibility of taking the following dietary supplements: adaptogens for the adrenal glands, adrenal hormones, vitamins B6 and C. For problems with falling asleep - melatonin.
- Consider the possibility of periodic medical fasting (meaning skipping some meals on a schedule every few days and fasting days - approx. Hairbug.ru)
- Reduce carbohydrate intake, including fructose.
- To compensate for hypothyroidism and treat insulin resistance, against the background of which recovery of leptin sensitivity is unlikely.
- Add high intensity loads.
- Consider the possibility of taking special drugs to increase the sensitivity to lepina: Byetta, Victoza, Bydureon or Symlin. In my experience, it is very difficult to overcome resistance to leptin without drugs. When used correctly, they can significantly adjust the weight and hormones in the blood.
- Consider the possibility of taking dietary supplements: fish oil, zinc, leucine and supplements recommended for insulin resistance. There are no specialized supplements that help with an excess of leptin.
To reduce the high concentration of testosterone in the blood is possible, but for this you need to find the root cause of the failure. If you can properly diagnose this cause and cure it, the symptoms will decrease rapidly.
Usually high testosterone levels are associated with one or more of the following reasons: insulin resistance or leptin resistance, problems in the mutual concentration of estrogen and progesterone, adrenal gland diseases, unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
If you are serious about solving a problem with high levels of testosterone, find a doctor who understands how hormones are related to each other and is ready to devote your time to get to the bottom of the cause.
Selectively quoting materials from the site, do not forget to mark the source: it has been observed that people who do not do this are starting to overgrow with animal fur. Full copying of articles is prohibited..
"Hairy question" Do not replace your doctortherefore, take my advice and my experience with a fair amount of skepticism: your body is your genetic characteristics and a combination of acquired diseases.
What is testosterone?
By itself, this hormone is synthesized in the male genitals of the testicles (testicles) and belongs to the category of steroids. Hair and testosterone are closely related and the visual appearance of a specific representative of the stronger sex directly depends on its activity.
testosterone - the male hormone
The most important functions of the hormone remain:
- Activation and maintenance of normal spermatogenesis. Without a sufficient amount of it can develop partial or complete sterility.
- The formation of secondary sexual characteristics. The coarsening of the voice, the increase in the adam and genitals, the active growth of hair throughout the body - the results of the influence of the hormone. It is logical to think that the abundance of this substance would have to provide thick and lush hair, however, it is often possible to see a situation when testosterone is elevated and hair falls out.
- Anabolic property. Due to the effect of the hormone, muscle mass growth is activated.
One way or another, but testosterone remains an indispensable substance in the body of every man.
Why does hair fall out?
If the hormone is so necessary for the body, the quite natural question begins: “How to explain baldness?”. Для ответа на него нужно обратить внимание на биохимические изменения данного соединения. В организме представителя сильного пола тестостерон может пребывать в различных формах. Все зависит от конкретной необходимости в каждой ситуации.
Its most common types are:
- Free testosterone.
- Dihydrotestosterone (DGT).
The latter is formed under the influence of 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme contributes to the change of the initial structure of the biologically active substance with the appearance of its new functional capabilities.
DGT is considered to be the main "culprit" of male pattern baldness. It has a complex effect on the structure of the entire hair, provoking its loss.
One of the causes of hair loss can be low or high testosterone levels in a man’s body.
Its main effects are:
- Contraction of smooth muscle fibers around the bulb. The diameter of the hole through which the rod comes out is narrowed, and it is literally pushed out of the natural “place of residence”.
- The microcirculation process in the area of the skin around the follicle is impaired. This further weakens the root, which contributes to even more rapid loss.
As you can see, DHT directly affects the state of hair, mainly affecting its appearance. However, it is necessary to take into account that the bulb does not die off under the influence of this form of testosterone, therefore with qualitative treatment one can hope for a good final result.
According to American scientists from Michigan, hair loss due to increased testosterone is an unconfirmed fact. Alopecia has been studied in 2,000 men. The overall level of all forms of sex hormone was about the same.
Based on the data, scientists have concluded that not so much testosterone affects the hair, as their sensitivity to its effects. That is why various forms of therapy problems with the use of aggressive drugs suppressing the activity of natural hormones are ineffective.
In addition, another interesting fact was proved. In a study at the same university of men aged 40 to 47 with symptoms of early baldness and without it, it was found that the percentage of patients with prostate cancer among hairless men is 25-25% lower than in the normal population. Nevertheless, the effect of testosterone on the growth of tumors has not yet been reliably studied.
Low hormone count
When it comes to alopecia, in most cases, they talk about increased amounts of active male substance, which turns into DHT and stimulates hair loss.
low testosterone levels can also cause hair loss
But what happens with the hair when testosterone levels are below normal.
The most prominent signs of this situation are:
- Muscle weakness and weight loss.
- Loss of sexual desire. Violation of ejaculation, impotence.
- Loss of "secondary vegetation" on the hands, feet, face, and the like.
- Some feminization of the body of a man with an increase in the hips or gynecomastia is possible.
In any case, this situation requires attention and appropriate correction to prevent irreversible changes in the reproductive system.
Hair and testosterone are two interrelated concepts. Depending on the amount of the hormone and its activity, the density of the hair may vary. However, every man is unique and difficult to predict exactly how this will affect his hair.
Testosterone is to blame
Testosterone is considered the main cause of irreversible hair loss in men. The same male hormone that is responsible for the sexual activity of men, for the production of sperm, as well as for muscle mass and bone condition. Testosterone affects the manifestation of certain masculine qualities of a character, such as aggressiveness, assertiveness, and so on.
This hormone in the blood is transformed into the active form - dihydrotestosterone (abbreviated DHT). He is not capable of the best way to influence the hair follicles of the head, making them weak. The hair begins to fall out hard, and the new ones simply cannot grow anymore, because over time, DHT leads to the death of the hair follicles.
Thus, testosterone can be called the main cause of baldness in men. This is scientifically verified. And it is better for men to come to terms with this. To enhance or reduce the effects of testosterone can genes.
If there were bald relatives in the family, then the probability of losing hair on the head naturally increases.
But it is not the amount of the male hormone that is inherited, but the sensitivity of the hair follicles to its variety, DHT.
The fact that a bald man is considered to be a tireless lover with unshakable potency is a myth. He is refuted by scientific research: the amount of testosterone in men with baldness and hair on the head is the same. An excess of testosterone can harm a man, as it increases the chances of developing prostate cancer and heart and vascular diseases.
Are there any other reasons for baldness?
There are several factors contributing to hair loss.
- Stress can cause reversible alopecia. In this case, the hair falls out evenly or in separate areas, the hair follicles seem to sleep, and new hairs do not grow for a while. The process is reversible, and hair is restored, but complex help may be required.
- Disorders in the thyroid, for example, hypothyroidism.
- Fungal lesions of the skin.
- Hormonal disruptions, including those caused artificially. This refers to the fascination with steroid hormones, which are often taken for rapid muscle building.
- The impact of toxic substances, and long-term. Working in hazardous areas can lead to hair loss.
- But the leading cause of baldness is still the male hormone testosterone and the presence of bald relatives in the genus.
Down with the myths!
Finally, we will dispel several well-known myths about this process.
- Myth 1. Being bald is the lot of mature husbands.
In fact, a young man at the age of 20-25 years can begin to go bald. This is the so-called early baldness. By the age of 30, a full-fledged bald spot can already form.
- Myth 2. Caps, hats, caps lead to problems with hair.
There is no connection between wearing hats and baldness. The only thing that a not very clean hat can lead to is an unpleasant smell and dandruff.
- Myth 3. There are miracle drugs that will help return the old luxurious hair.
There is no panacea for baldness. You can pause this process, slow down, but it will not work out completely, and in time he will take his own. And what pharmacology offers only helps in 50% of cases and has side effects, such as a decrease in libido and problems with the scalp when rubbing these remedies.
- Myth 4. Styling products have a bad effect on hair, their use can lead to baldness.
Modern varnishes, mousses, foams carefully treat hair. Their use is safe, they do not cause any harm, they are perfectly washed off with water. The main thing is to feel the measure and observe your own hygiene.
- Myth 5. The sun has a destructive effect on hair.
Heat, direct sunlight over dry hair. It is enough to cover your head with a cap, hat or hide in the shade - and no problems. The same applies to the solarium. Cover your hair with special disposable caps.
How does testosterone, with its normal amount in the body
Hormones are highly active biological substances. Their oversupply, or vice versa, the lack of - a negative impact on the state of the hormone. With the right and proper concentration of testosterone in the male body, it performs the following functions:
- Provides the correct growth and development of the skeleton in childhood and adolescence.
- Regulates the development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics. This hormone is responsible not only for the growth and development of the genital organs, but also for male-type hair growth on the body.
- Responsible for the formation of a male voice. In boys, the voice usually begins to "cut through" during puberty, that is, in 12-14 years.
- It gives birth and stimulates sexual desire. The effect of testosterone extends to the central nervous system. In the brain, testosterone activates cells responsible for libido. This hormone forms the tastes of men, and prompts the choice of sexual partner.
- It protects against weight gain, accelerating the absorption of fat, which enters the body with food.
- It protects the male vessels from the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on them. It is because of this, older men, who have a reduced physiological hormone level, suffer from ischemic heart disease.
- Stimulates the growth and maturation of red blood cells, cells that transfer hemoglobin.
- It acts as an antidepressant. Doctors have proven that with the normal content of this hormone in the male body, the central nervous system works more stably, and the risk of developing depressive states is lower.
This is not all the functions of this hormone. The effect of testosterone covers all organs and systems!
What happens when an elevated hormone concentration
Men, trying to give their body a more pumped and embossed look, very often take special blends with steroids, or make themselves injections with them. Indeed, muscle mass is growing faster, but the side effects and effects of such an uncontrolled intake of steroids are enormous.
Making themselves injections with steroids, most of them do not even suspect, which leads to a malfunction of the endocrine and nervous system, disrupts the metabolism. The consequences of such self-treatment can be treated later throughout life.
The first side effects are manifested in hair loss. Hair falls on the male type, and form a bald patch on the back of the head. It is almost impossible to restore hair growth afterwards. A hair transplant is done, or mesotherapy is performed, injecting the head with preparations. But the result of such treatment does not always lead to the expected effects, and the hair can only recover a little. Usually, if the hair loss has already begun, it is very difficult to stop this process.
In addition to hair loss, increased testosterone levels lead to:
- Violation of behavior, in the form of rage and aggression.
- Sleep disturbance. Being in constant high excitement, in a fierce state, it is very difficult for the body to tune in to sleep. For such sleep disorders, it is rare to use sleeping pills and sedatives, since the reason lies in the hormonal background.
- The appearance of acne on the surface of the whole body. Pimples look like teenage acne. Such acne is difficult to local cosmetic treatment. After healing some acne, the latter are already appearing. Such acne can leave behind scars, scars and areas of hyperpigmentation. Treat such acne need an endocrinologist and andrologist. Almost immediately after the normalization of testosterone levels in the blood, these acne disappear.
What happens when there is a shortage of testosterone
Reduced testosterone levels can be a side effect of taking any medication, such as proton pump inhibitors. With a lack of testosterone, a man has an erection worsening, even impotence may occur. It can change the voice, hair growth on the chest, figure. The character becomes more whiny, there are mood swings. Sleep at the same time can be both strong and restless. But male-pattern baldness is not typical for such men, beautiful hair and good hair growth are a side effect of the decrease in sex hormones. With this problem, hormone replacement therapy is carried out, and all male functions are restored.
Communication testosterone and excess weight
The amount of fat and testosterone levels are closely related in the male body. With a reduced level of this hormone, fat begins to quickly be deposited in the waist and hips. In this case, fat accumulates on the female type. Such fat deposits have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. Men who have a lot of excess fat in the waist and hips are more likely to develop atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Increased fat deposition is an indication for blood tests for hormones. Very often, it is excess fat that can be the first signal of a failure in hormonal secretion. After normalization of testosterone levels and the transition to a balanced diet, the fat gradually begins to be processed into energy, and the man returns to his usual physical form.
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in a man’s life. The effect of testosterone applies to all processes in the body. But do not assume that by raising its level, you can become more courageous and beautiful. Aggression, fat on the sides and baldness are side effects of an increased level of this hormone.
A hormone that affects hair loss?
Testosterone is an essential hormone. It is responsible for the vital processes of the body. Dihydrotestosterone is formed from testosterone. How does this happen?
A certain amount of testosterone is stored in the circulatory system in an inactive state. In the process of vital activity of the organism, the hormone is transformed into dihydrotestosterone.
Modern medicine has proven that dihydrotestosterone adversely affects the root system of the hair, inhibiting it. In most cases, it is this hormone that causes irreparable damage to the hair follicles.
But do not forget that this problem may be associated with other circumstances, such as:
- nervous stress
- suffered nervous shocks,
- unhealthy diet
- bad ecology and stuff.
Medical practice has shown, if you bring in the normal level of testosterone, in this case, baldness stops immediately. Dihydrotestosterone needs testosterone, because without the latter the synthesis process is not possible. The hormone can lead to baldness, - both men and women.
Elevated levels of dihydrotestosterone adversely affect the hair roots, which is why at the first signs of loss should first pay attention to this hormone.
It is characteristic that the issue of dihydrotestosterone and hair loss in women has more rare cases, and the mechanism of action occurs at the level of androgenic alopecia, which leads to baldness. In the male half of the population, the cause of hair loss is an increase in the level of the hormone in the blood. If you notice the presence of a problem at the earliest stage, the cause of which was an increased level of the hormone, in this case it will be much easier to cope with the ailment.
What if follicle-stimulating hormone is elevated? You need to start with an examination by a doctor who will prescribe the correct course of therapy. This hormone is responsible for the proper maturation of the eggs.
Read more about the rate of FSH in women here.
On the imbalance of luteinizing hormone, read here.
If the hormone is produced in double doses, then the so-called androgenic alopecia occurs. Hair bulbs are compressed under the pressure of the hormone, so that the hair weakens, grows poorly and eventually dies off. Based on this, we can conclude that testosterone itself and its derivative do not allow the hair bulb to perform its functions.
It is very easy to notice the first symptoms of androgenic alopecia in women, because in addition to bald patches on the head, in most cases acne is observed on the face, the hairiness of the hands and sweating are increased, and antennae begin to grow on the upper lip.
By itself, testosterone can not go into dihydrotestosterone, this should serve as a nudge.
Typically, this may occur due to the following factors:
- adrenal and thyroid dysfunction,
- taking various hormonal contraceptives,
- stressful situations.
It is important to know that even with a normal testosterone level, hair loss can begin. This is due to the fact that women are particularly sensitive to increasing this hormone.
Even if this hormone is slightly increased, being within the limits of permissible, the effect of baldness will still be present.
Symptoms of dihydrotestosterone alopecia
It is important to know the first signs that appear when there is an excess of dihydrotestosterone, because this will help determine the presence of a problem and begin timely treatment.
So, the effect of baldness due to increased testosterone is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- hairs weaken over the entire length, becoming brittle and thin,
- the most frequent zones of baldness are from the top of the head to the areas of the temporal lobes,
- in place of lost hair grows down.
As previously mentioned, in addition to these symptoms, women may experience acne on the face, increased hairiness on the arms and legs, the presence of small antennae above the upper lip. The first symptoms, indicating an increased level of testosterone, are fairly easy to recognize, and everyone will cope with it. It is very important to immediately respond to them and seek help from a highly qualified specialist.
All of the above symptoms indicate that the level of testosterone in the human body is elevated, which is why the baldness effect occurs.
Definitely, treatment should be done only by an experienced trichologist.
At the initial stage of the survey, he conducts a visual inspection and takes all the necessary analyzes. Эти меры помогут поставить более точный анализ и, следовательно, определить наиболее эффективный курс терапии.
Если же данные обследования подтвердят, что облысение происходит из-за гормонального дисбаланса в организме, в таком случае пациенту потребуется пройти дополнительные обследования у гинеколога, уролога и эндокринолога.
First of all, the trichologist recommends testing for testosterone levels in the body, since an elevated level of this hormone is the most common cause of baldness. In addition, an experienced doctor counts the number of hairs in the affected area of the scalp and estimates the number of epithelium. This procedure must be performed to determine the level of alopecia.
In addition to hormonal drugs, the doctor in most cases prescribes:
- the use of lotions for hair restoration, the use of natural shampoos and masks,
- decoctions of herbs for rubbing in the affected areas,
- compresses and ointments to strengthen hair and roots,
- following a healthy diet
- avoiding bad habits such as alcohol and smoking.
At the same time, one should not forget about frequent walks in the fresh air, it is necessary to observe the recommended temperature conditions and to be engaged in one’s own physical training.
In severe cases, male and female baldness is treated by hair transplantation, as well as by means of laser therapy. However, these extreme measures are applied only when all other ways to restore normal hair growth were not effective.
In another topic: dihydrotestosterone is the norm in women. What should it be, what does this hormone influence and what does it regulate? Read the material in another article on the link.
About the correct delivery of blood for calcitonin, read the link.
For the treatment of male pattern baldness most commonly used drugs containing Minoxidil and Finasteride. The latter is contained in a popular drug called "Propecia." It is worth emphasizing that the use of this drug is allowed only to men. When taken regularly, the hair loss stops and the hair follicles begin to recover.
Minoxidil, as a means to restore hair with elevated testosterone, can be prescribed for women. However, it should be borne in mind that for men, the content of Minoxidil in the drug should be at the level of 6-15%. Medications with a lower concentration of Minoxidil are suitable for women.
Treatment for women may be limited to the usual low-carb diet. This will help restore the natural hormonal imbalance.
However, in more advanced cases, a woman may be prescribed Metformin.
It is worth remembering that the self-treatment of the disease will not bring results. For androgenic alopecia, an urgent need is to contact an experienced specialist who will perform the necessary tests and prescribe the most effective therapy with the use of drugs.
In any case, when more than a hundred hairs fall out per day, in 99% there is alopecia. Recognizing an elevated level in the body of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone is not difficult even for a specialist. It is very important to pay attention to the first symptoms, which appear quite acutely, and take appropriate measures immediately.
Testosterone levels and baldness
Experts have shown that for male pattern baldness there are three of the most important and common reasons:
- gene predisposition
- hormonal level (increased or decreased amount of testosterone),
- the age with which the production of the male sex hormone is also inextricably linked.
According to statistics, by the age of 45, a third of the male population of the planet are beginning to lose hair, and by the retirement age, every second person is bald in varying degrees of expression.
Early baldness is characteristic of men who have experienced intense hair loss from generation to generation. This does not mean that you will certainly become flaunting at 30, but your body is exposed to such danger.
Testosterone is needed by all cells of the male body. Muscle tissues use free hormone to build up weight. But other tissues require the transformed and more active hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It affects the libido, increases the potency and sexual desire, improves the quality of sperm. And sadly, adversely affects the hair.
Under its influence, the scalp around the hair follicles becomes less elastic, which affects hair growth and their quality - they become thin and weak. Over time, the follicle stops working altogether, although it does not die. Theoretically, the resumption of its functions is possible.
Therefore, the conclusion suggests itself: the lack of hair in a man testifies to his sexuality and irreducible energy in bed. But studies have shown that potency and testosterone in this case are normal - as in the bald representatives of the stronger sex, and in the hairy.
Interesting fact. The less hair on a man’s head, the more they will grow in other places: in the nose, in the ears, on the chest and on the back.
Low testosterone and baldness are also possible. To a greater extent this applies to male-type hair: on the chest, legs, face. There are other unpleasant symptoms:
- deterioration of general well-being,
- fast fatiguability,
- mood swings, tendency to depression,
- loss of muscle mass on the background of total weight gain due to body fat,
- deterioration of sexual functions.
The effect of testosterone at low levels - baldness of the front of the head
Hair loss treatment
Alopecia testosterone provokes in both high and low concentrations in the blood. Alas, there is no universal medicine that can completely rid a man of baldness. But to suspend the process means there. True, they are not safe for health, and can provoke a lot of trouble. But the choice is yours.
- Drugs that reduce the rate of hair loss. They block the production of dihydrotestosterone, significantly reducing its effect on the hair follicles. To date, there are two such tools. However, their regular use may cause a decrease in libido and impotence. A significant drawback for men in the reproductive period - these drugs affect the quality of sperm, damaging sperm.
- A means of local use. It is applied directly to the scalp, stimulates the blood supply to all layers of the dermis and improves the quality of the hair follicles, which affects hair growth. But there is a significant disadvantage - the drug acts exactly as long as it is used regularly. Contraindicated in people suffering from cardiovascular pathologies.
- Hair transplant from the back of the head to the bald spot. A method that requires multiple procedures, since in one session it is impossible to cover the entire area of the bald. A significant drawback is the high price and time frame.
- "Closure" bald - a radical surgical method. With the help of special technologies, the skin on the head in the area of baldness is stretched and then simply cut out. Let's face it - the option is not for the faint of heart.
- The use of stem cells is a new, expensive and little-studied in terms of consequences for the general condition of the body.
Contraindications and side effects
Surgical methods are used only in a hospital setting and are performed by experienced trichologist surgeons. During the preparation for the planned procedure, they will conduct a full range of studies and will tell you whether you can carry out this or that intervention and what its consequences will be.
But before using any method, you need to contact an andrologist to determine the level of testosterone and find out the true cause of baldness. Take medications, even if they are local action or popular recipes that increase or decrease the level of testosterone, you need only under the supervision of a physician.
- blood diseases
- kidney and liver disease,
- cardiovascular pathologies,
- oncological diseases,
- individual intolerance to drugs,
- history of allergic reactions (use with caution).
Also, drugs, especially increasing the level of testosterone, can cause the following side effects:
- manifestations of aggression, irritability and irritability,
- increase in blood pressure, up to hypertensive crisis,
- acne and puffiness
- increased hair loss.
It should be remembered that the drug can not be taken uncontrollably and unnecessarily. Consultation specialist will save you from many troubles. Indeed, in the case of testosterone, any changes in its level can cause serious problems, including the occurrence of cancer.
Myths and truth about baldness
Many myths and delusions are associated with baldness - starting with the fact that hair starts to fall out from standing on the head, ending with the fact that you can go bald by constantly wearing a cap. Most of these statements are not confirmed.
Considering the importance of the problem of hair preservation, in recent decades a breakthrough has been made in the study of both the causes of baldness and ways to stop it. We can definitely say that we were lucky much more than our grandfathers and fathers.
Who is balding faster?
It is believed that on the head of a person there is on average between 100 and 150 thousand hairs, in blondes there are more of them, in brunettes and redheads - less. About 100 hairs fall out every day, but new ones grow in their place. If the hair does not grow, then the person becomes bald.
Approximately 25% of men who have reached the age of 30 have varying degrees of baldness. Among men over 60, more than 70% either become bald or start losing hair (1). The medical term for alopecia is alopecia.
Causes of hair loss
Hair loss can be caused by both external factors (stress, unhealthy diet) and internal, genetic, causes. More than 60% of cases of hair loss in men are associated with alopecia due to hereditary causes (2).
Earlier it was believed that baldness is transmitted through the female line, but recent studies show that the dependence is transmitted through the male line. If your father or grandfather had hair problems, your chance of balding is 2.5 above average (3).
Hair Loss and Testosterone
Our DNA contains such a parameter as the sensitivity of the hair bulb to one of the forms of the male sex hormone testosterone - dihydrotestosterone. The stronger the hair root is exposed to it, the faster the hair dies.
Hair loss occurs gradually - hair becomes thinner, shorter and lighter. In the absence of proper treatment, after 10-12 years, the mouth of the follicles overgrow with connective tissue, and they can no longer even produce gun hair.
Nutrition and Hair Loss
Other causes of baldness include, first of all, transferred diseases, medication use, stress, strict diets, as well as the lack of a number of trace elements - group B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc and selenium.
In addition, do not forget that the hair is a protein structure, and when there is a lack of protein in the diet, there is a significant weakening of both the hair and the hair bulb. In the long run, this can lead to baldness.
Does sport affect hair?
Despite the fact that strength training leads to an increase in testosterone levels, there are currently no studies showing that weight training can accelerate the development of baldness in men who are predisposed to hair loss (4).
On the contrary, there is evidence that a sedentary lifestyle and the lack of an adequate level of physical activity can cause earlier hair loss in men (5). In any case, this topic needs further study.
Mechanism of occurrence
Testosterone is one of the main male hormones, in addition to a direct effect on the strength of erection and sexual desire, it depends on him low timbre in men, their hairiness, growth rate of mustache and beard, as well as other secondary sexual characteristics.
Experts note that in recent decades, androgenic alopecia in men is increasingly diagnosed at a young age, which is largely due to the modern rhythm of life and bad habits. The reasons that men begin to rapidly lose hair on their heads are the change in the general hormonal level caused by the increase in the amount of a special form of testosterone - dihydrotesterone. Also interconnected testosterone and beard. The causes of baldness can be determined as follows:
- Significant increase in blood concentration of dihydrotestosterone.
- High susceptibility of hair follicles to the effects of this hormone.
- Testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone under the action of a special enzyme 5a-reductase, if this enzyme significantly increases its activity, the level of dihydro-testora begins to grow rapidly.
The concentration of testosterone in men may increase under the influence of one of the following reasons, or a combination of them:
- Genetic conditionality of increased testosterone levels.
- Diseases of the internal organs: problems in the gastrointestinal tract or urogenital system.
- Available inflammatory or any infectious diseases.
- Overweight and obesity, poor diet.
- The lack of certain vitamins in the body.
- Wrong lifestyle, unhealthy habits, in particular alcohol abuse and smoking.
- Constant stress, a tendency to depression, violation of the regime of work and rest, chronic fatigue.
- Acceptance of certain drugs.
- Frequent overcooling or overheating.
- Problems with metabolism.
The tendency to androgenic alopecia in men in almost 95% of cases is determined by genetic predisposition, and in 75% this is due to maternal inheritance.
Manifestations of pathology
Symptoms of alopecia in men are determined quite simply: the main symptom of pathology is the gradual thinning and loss of hair (including beard, mustache), which usually begins in the parietal region or in the area of the temples and forehead. A man does not experience any physical discomfort, hair loss is not accompanied by any skin inflammation or itching. Gradually, the men form significant bald patches and bald patches, which gradually increase, while the hairiness on the legs, arms and chest does not decrease, but can also increase markedly.
There are several stages that androgenic alopecia occurs in its development:
- At the initial stage, the bald areas have a small size; they are located along the hairline above the forehead and in the area of the temples.
- Alopecia begins to expand by several centimeters, and the bald areas have the shape of a triangle.
- Hair begins to fall heavily in the area of the temples and forehead.
- Begins to head bald.
- Three areas of baldness begin to be well defined: the top of the head, the forehead and the temples.
- All hairless areas are merged into one.
- Alopecia covers an increasingly large area.
- Bald head takes the form of a horseshoe, around which are the remnants of hair, which in this area can remain quite thick.
Symptoms of androgenic alopecia can manifest themselves individually, very often in men, along with a decrease in the number of hairs in certain parts of the head, hairiness of other parts of the body increases, the same symptoms are often present in women suffering from this disease.
Although androgenic hair loss has very specific external symptoms, to establish an accurate diagnosis, it is recommended that a number of studies be conducted to rule out the presence of various dermatological pathologies.
Diagnosis of androgenic alopecia is primarily aimed at analyzing the condition of hair follicles, which is within the competence of trichologists, but for an accurate diagnosis and determination of the causes of baldness it is also necessary to study the genetic background and endocrine system. The diagnosis can only be established on the basis of a comprehensive examination using laboratory diagnostic methods.
Diagnosis begins with anamnesis, during which the following questions are clarified:
- The intensity and localization of hair loss zones.
- The duration of the process of hair loss and the nature of its course.
- Changes in the hairiness of other parts of the body.
- The growth rate of mustache and beard.
- Analysis of hereditary predisposition factors.
- The degree of oily hair on the head.
- The condition of the skin in the head, the presence of dandruff and inflammation.
Next, a number of laboratory tests are appointed, the main ones are:
- Analysis of hormonal levels, including the determination of the level of thyroid hormones and androgens, primarily testosterone.
- General and biochemical analysis of blood.
- Conduct immunogram.
- Blood test for Wasserman reaction.
In addition to general analyzes, for the diagnosis of androgenic alopecia, it is also necessary to conduct specific studies, including the following methods:
- Phototrichogram, which allows to detect androgenic alopecia at the initial stage, as well as to carry out its differential diagnosis with other diseases that can cause hair loss.
- Trichoscopy, which is used to determine the indicators of fatness of the hairline and scalp.
- Blood cultures for the detection of possible fungal infections.
Постановка точного диагноза андрогенной алопеции возможна только при обобщении результатов всех указанных анализов, на основании которых может быть назначено комплексное лечение.
Причины раннего облысения
- genetic predisposition (a specific set of genes transmitted by the recessive manner),
- hormones (elevated levels of dihydrotestosterone),
- age limits (25-45 years).
A man can not begin to lose hair because he was 30 years old or in the blood increased testosterone levels. To start the process you need a set of specially adapted genes. Thanks to them, testosterone acts on individual hair follicle receptors.
How does testosterone affect hair loss?
Free testosterone can not affect certain receptors, as it has no relationship with them. Even with androgenic alopecia, testosterone levels may be within normal limits. The amount of its other fraction, dihydrotestosterone, has been increased.
How does baldness occur under hormonal effects?
The enzyme 5-alpha reductase is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. This enzyme, activating in the blood, binds to the free fraction of testosterone. After the interaction of these two substances, two hydroxyl groups are attached to the testosterone molecule, which provides access to the bloodstream of the active fraction of dehydrogenase. The increased level of the latter in the hair follicle has a detrimental effect on the growth and development of the hair. In fact, this enzyme does not kill hair and does not destroy hair follicles. It gradually blocks the intake of nutrients with blood flow in the capillary system. Over time, the hair becomes thinner, resembles a gun. Hair becomes colorless and very thin. After a few years, the hair follicle ceases its activity altogether, even such hair disappears. In the affected follicle, the bulb itself does not suffer: it does not sclerose, but simply ceases to function. So this phenomenon is reversible.
Signs of androgenic alopecia
Baldness, due to a combination of hereditary factors and increased dihydrotestosterone, has its own characteristics. And according to clinical signs, we can assume the correct diagnosis.
Distinctive features of androgenic alopecia:
- characteristic areas of hair loss (parietal bumps and frontal region),
- staging of baldness characteristic of this type of pathology,
- increased levels of dihydrotestosterone,
- the presence of a hereditary chain (persistent follow-up in the male half of one kind of baldness).
Staging of baldness is practiced quite accurately in almost every man suffering from androgenic alopecia.
Stages of androgenic alopecia
The mechanism of hair loss has 7 stages:
- It begins with a shift of the hairline from the forehead and thinning of the hair in the androgen-dependent areas (frontal lobe and parietal bumps),
- The hairline starts to form a triangle. In this case, the hair on the parietal zones, in the temples and forehead, partially fall out and thin
- The feeding of the hair follicles is stopped in the region of the parietal tubercles and there is a complete loss of hair in this zone (even vellus hair ceases to grow),
- The parietal zone is free of hair, hair begins to fall in the temples and forehead. At the same time between the two areas of baldness clearly visible area of thick hair, which delimits the pleshina,
- Hair on top of the head becomes more sparse. The parietal zone of the bald area increases in size, the growth line at the temples moves further, which also increases the area of hair loss,
- The bald patches on the parietal mounds and the frontal-temporal region are delimited from each other only by a thin track of sparse hair,
- The distinction between baldness zones disappears, they merge into one. Over time, it moves to the neck, back of the head and the area above the auricles.
Specific therapy involves the immediate elimination of the cause that caused baldness.
Modern medicine has developed drugs that can locally affect the hair follicle, improving its growth. The best known drug is Minoxidil and other preparations based on Minoxidil. Its mechanism of action, aimed at improving hair growth, is not fully understood. It is believed that the active substance minoxidil improves the nutrition of the hair, which provokes an improvement in its growth (read here).
The second specific link that can be affected is 5-alpha reductase. But inhibitors of 5-alpha-reductase should be used only under the strict supervision of the attending physician, since these drugs have a number of side effects. They can provoke gynecomastia, slowing or stopping the maturation of sperm, and be a risk factor for malignant neoplasms. One of the representatives of 5-alpha reductase blockers is Finasteride.
Nonspecific therapy is aimed at symptomatic treatment. Basically, external agents are used that will help improve the local blood supply, and help feed the hair from the outside with useful components.
Examples of non-specific therapies include:
- electrical effects on the scalp by D’arsonvalem,
- scalp massage
- active serum electrophoresis,
- applying nourishing hair masks.
Recently, a surgical technique has been developed to combat androgenic alopecia - hair follicle transplantation using the STRIP and FUE methods.
Effect of testosterone on hair growth
On average, every man loses up to one hundred hairs every day, but the same amount grows during the day. But a lack of the hormone testosterone can lead to baldness. on the head, chest and face. But if there is a certain predisposition, the hormone will turn into DHT, which leads to thinning and loss of hair in mature years.
Such transformation of the hormone occurs due to the influence of reductase (the enzyme that the adrenal glands and the prostate produce).
It turns out that the bulb remains alive, but over time:
- hair becomes thinner
- there are more bald spots,
- hair loss begins
- bulbs gradually die off or shrink.
There are risk groups that are most susceptible to this problem, this applies to:
- fair-skinned and fair-haired men,
- men from the Caucasus and eastern countries,
- men with a genetic predisposition
- constant stress
- exposure to external factors.
Elevated levels of the hormone is a real problem that develops into pathology, which can lead to a number of consequences. This happens due to malfunctioning of the adrenal glands, prostate and thyroid gland. This deviation is called "hyperandrogenism."
This condition is characterized by the appearance of a large amount of hair on the chest, abdomen, back, legs, scrotum and in the anus. But bald patches may appear on the head, hair will become thinner and weaker.
Also a high level of testosterone indicates a number of signs:
- aggressiveness and irritability,
- the appearance of wounds and inflamed acne through the body,
- problems with the testicles,
- heart problems, respiratory and circulatory system.
This happens not only because of the disruption of the kidneys, adrenal glands and pancreas, but also when taking synthetic drugs to build muscle. Therefore, more often the rest of these problems suffer bodybuilders, athletes. They have disrupted secretion of own testosterone production in the body.
If you notice a strong body hair, it is important to consult a doctor and get tested to normalize the work of the hormonal system. Because later on the symptoms with increased testosterone will be added:
- kidney and liver failure
- high cholesterol
How does this affect male pattern baldness?
Why do men go bald when hormone levels change? Depending on the level of testosterone in the body of a man, the first changes will affect hairiness in different parts of the body. First of all, problems will begin to appear on the beard, head and chest. Later, armpits, legs, back and scrotum may suffer. Note that with a low level of testosterone, hair falls out, while high - grows abundantly. Although there are exceptions.
With an increase in testosterone levels in the body, the men's beard begins to grow stronger, faster. Usually you have to shave every day, because the hair is coarse, it makes its way through the skin after a few hours. This phenomenon may be accompanied by the appearance of ulcers and wounds. If the hormone testosterone is lowered, then the beard grows poorly, there are places on the face where there is no hair at all, bald patches can occur.
Regardless of the level of testosterone in the body of a man, the hair on his head will be the first to suffer. Baldness is usually observed with a high or low hormone level. Because the hormone is inhibited by a special enzyme, turning into DHT, which leads to the destruction of hair follicles.
When testosterone is too high, the situation is different, because the hormone is unevenly distributed, affecting the growth of hair of the chest or back. And on the head begins some "avitaminosis."
With low testosterone levels, male chest hair will be almost absent, will be thin and look like down. A high content of the hormone has a different effect - the entire chest to the abdomen is covered with hard and long hair.
In normal testosterone, the back of the men is almost no hair. This is peculiar only to Eastern nations. But the increased level of the hormone indicates problems when the hair grows particularly thick in the shoulders and along the spine.
Communication of high levels of hormone and alopecia
Why do men grow bald at high levels of the hormone? Speaking about the high level of testosterone and hair loss in men, experts have not yet reached a consensus, have not found a relationship.
Because recent studies in America, conducted on several thousand patients, have shown that the level of the hormone in the bulb of the head is almost the same for everyone. Therefore, the growth of hair does not affect testosterone, and sensitivity to it.
Therefore, an overabundance can lead to the fact that testosterone starts to inhibit and destroy the structure of the bulbs, especially when taking anabolic steroids, artificial drugs. Therefore, treatment with aggressive medications does not work.
Treatment due to the normalization of indicators
Immediately select that certain methods for the treatment of baldness due to unstable testosterone does not exist. Most therapy is aimed at the transformation of the hormone into dihydrotestosterone with the help of hormonal pills. Treatment may not be safe, because discontinuation of medication leads to a return of symptoms.
You also need to follow the following rules:
- Watch the food, refuse fatty and smoked food.
- Take care of hygiene.
- Change the comb.
- Choose natural, organic shampoos and hair conditioners.
- Give up bad habits.
You can also buy decoctions and masks to stimulate hair growth.
Particularly effective inhibitors of 5-alpha-reductase - substances that stimulate the production of the hormone without adverse reactions of the body.
You can also use the following recipes:
- Rub castor oil or sea buckthorn oil in the hair roots, covering the head with a towel. Repeat the procedure three or four times a week.
- Rinse the hair with broth based onion peel, burdock or linden.
- Make a mask of yolk and vegetable oil (1 tablespoon). They need to be mixed and applied to clean hair, rubbing into the roots. Keep the mask for 20 minutes, and then rinse with clean water.