Hair Loss and Progesterone

by Linda Otley
(Scotland)

I am 48 years old and perimenopausal. Since the birth of my third child 5 years ago, I have suffered from hair loss, anemia and erratic periods. 18 months ago my FSH and LH levels confirmed that I had entered the perimenopause.

To help with hot flushes, hair loss, depression, lack of sleep my doctor prescribed a low dose HRT (Femoston 1/10). I took HRT for approximately 5 months. Whilst relieving some of the menopausal symptoms, the hair loss continued, as did the anemia. My doctor suggested iron tablets (causing diarrhoea, not pleasant).

Around 2-3 weeks ago, I discovered your site. I cannot describe the relief I felt when reading about Natpro and quickly set about finding a UK supplier. I have subsequently come off the HRT completely and have started 200mg of Natpro per day, along with the Inositol (2000mg) and N-Acetyl Cysteine (600mg, a Vitamin B complex and Flaxeed Oil, whilst still maintaining the slow-release iron tablets with Vitamin C.

So far, I have had no hot flushes (brilliant) and I am sleeping like a baby at night. However, the hair loss is continuing (I know it is early days) and the mood swings are still present. My question is this: is this symptomatic of oestrogen dominance? Has anyone else experienced hair loss and has progesterone helped? My instinct is to tough it out and stick with the cream, especially as my GP could offer nothing more than an appointment for a wig fitting. I would really appreciate your comments and advice!

Comments for Hair Loss and Progesterone

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Sep 30, 2010
Hair Loss and Progesterone
by: Wray

Hi Linda I couldn't help but laugh at your comment about the wig fitting! That about sums up all the help most of us are likely to get. So pleased the hot flushes have gone, and the sleeping better too. The hair loss will take time to resolve. You'll probably find some has started growing back again, but because the hair is so small you can't see it. Hair grows at the rate of about 4mm per day, slower as we age, and you haven't been on the nutrients or progesterone for long. Normal daily hair loss is 50-100 hairs. In some cases alopecia can be caused by an iron deficiency, so the iron you're taking could possibly help. I'm happy you're taking those other supplements too, although you could do with more cysteine. The enzyme 5 alpha-reductase converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is implicated in alopecia. Progesterone inhibits 5 alpha-reductase activity by 97 +/- 5.3%. Please see here, here, here and here. It can take 3-6 months for progesterone to help, so I'm amazed you've responded so quickly. The mood swings should go too, but as you are now in peri-menopause, they will take time to stop. Please see our page on Peri-menopause. The amount you are using is good, and will raise progesterone levels until that is the dominant hormone. If you can please stay on it for about a month, using it daily. You say your cycle is erratic now, so it's too difficult to follow. You might find you can reduce the amount before the month is up, just see how you get on. Take care Wray

Oct 04, 2010
Peri Menopause and Hair Loss
by: Linda Otley

Hi again Wray. Thank you so much for your reply. I do have another question in relation to hair loss. I live in the Highlands of Scotland (not the warmest place on the planet); we have just entered October, the days are getting shorter and there is a distinct lack of sunshine! Since an adequate level of Vitamin D is necessary for healthy hair follicles, do you consider that a high strength supplement could be beneficial for those likely to be deficient in this vitamin? I see many women in Scotland with poor hair - could there be a link here? Thanks again for your kind words - I was having a really horrid day and you cheered me up no end.

Oct 08, 2010
Peri Menopause and Hair Loss
by: Wray

Hi Linda So pleased I cheered you up! I wish I had positive news about vitamin D being beneficial for hair follicles, but in all the studies I've dug up it seems not. A great deal of research has been done on vitamin D, hair growth and alopecia. It's hugely complex, but alopecia appears to be caused by a malfunctioning or mutation of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) within the hair follicle keratinocytes, see here. Some cells are capable of metabolising calcidiol to the active metabolite of vitamin D, calcitriol, which plays a role in hair follicle cycling, see here. But it's still not understood how the VDR maintains normal hair cycling, the molecular pathways have not been found. Unfortunately studies in both animals and humans have not found alopecia to be caused by a vitamin D deficiency, see here and here. Please see these two very recent studies too, here and here. More on hair loss, see here. I'm all in favour of everyone having a test done for vitamin D, in fact I'm sure people are fed up with me asking! And in taking a minimum of 5000iu's per day. It's the most important vitamin there is, a deficiency linked to so many disorders it's impossible to go into them here. But if you're interested please see the Vitamin D council website. 30-50% of people have a deficiency, particularly those living in climates with little sun, living above 32 degrees latitude, work indoors, spend little time in the sun and have dark skin. Scotland gets little sun, Edinburgh being nearly 56 degrees north. For instance Scotland has the highest MS prevalence in the world, see here. See here too. But who knows, maybe hair loss has nothing to do with the VDR, calcidiol or calcitriol, but the precursor, cholecalciferol or vitamin D as we know it. Take care Wray

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