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Your Menopause Might Cause Hair Loss

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Think of your menopause as a reversed pregnancy. When you became pregnant earlier in life, all of your hormones were running rampant as they made way for your baby’s development. Your hair grew thicker, your breasts grew larger, and your moods grew less stable as your belly grew bigger. Since menopause occurs when the body slowly stops all of its baby-making abilities, your hormones will do the opposite, but you will certainly still feel the effects. Menopause brings on a whole new set of hormone-driven problems and issues that you’ve probably never had to deal with before, and it can make you feel absolutely crazy. Generally, the symptoms usually last all the way through the menopause, which is markedly over when you haven’t had your period for an entire year. One unfortunate and common change that happens to women going through menopause is hair loss and hair thinning.

Because your hormones are so abnormal during menopause, you could lose a considerable amount of hair. For anyone going through menopause currently, I don’t have to tell you how heartbreaking this can be as it seems to be a fast-paced and permanent slide into the age of the elderly. However, don’t worry too much if you notice your hair thinning during menopause because the change is not necessarily permanent. Studies show that hair often grows back after menopause has run its course. Your hormones will become regulated again someday after they have settled back into their usual routine. If your hair doesn’t seem to go back to normal after menopause has ceased, your doctor might want to check you for a metabolic or endocrine disease as hair loss can be an indicator.

The fact that we could lose our hair during menopause truly only adds insult to injury. Though it’s disheartening, you should keep in mind that the change—along with all the other changes—is temporary. In post-menopause, all of your hormones will regulate once again, and you will return to normal. Your hair will grow back, and your mood will stabilize. To offset some of the symptoms during menopause, stay as healthy as possible by getting adequate exercise and eating a healthy diet.

– Yvonne S. Thornton, M. D., M. P. H.