|Posted on December 4, 2015 at 11:50 AM||comments (2)|
By Autumn Frandsen, ND
High DHT more than likely. Believe it or not, what is believed to cause Male Pattern Baldness is often a cause for hirsutism or facial hair growth in women. DHT is a sex steroid and an androgen hormone that is formed from the conversion of testosterone into a more potent form instead of converting into estrogen. 5α-reductase, an enzyme, synthesizes DHT in the adrenal glands, hair follicles, testes and prostate in men and in the ovaries in women. It is responsible for growth of the prostate in males and the beginning of puberty in females. Excess levels can cause balding (androgenic alopecia) and it women it is likely to cause thinning of the hair on the head and excess hair growth in the pubic region, on the face, around the nipples. Excess amounts can also lower libido and cause acne.
DHEA is the precursor to testosterone and is often high in conjunction with high testosterone or high estrogen, but in some cases neither testosterone nor estrogens are high while DHEA may be elevated. This could indicate that there is an imbalance in the ratio of the two and the body is attempting to correct it. How does it often do that? By upregulating the 5-alpha reductase, thereby causing elevated DHT. In women, hair loss has actually been linked to higher testosterone:estrogen ratios than non-thinning women. In younger balding men, elevated estrogen levels are also common. Typically in both males and females, an imbalance of the testosterone:estrogen ratio is associated with hair loss when the estrogen is higher. In females, when the testosterone is higher, you typically see facial hair growth, amenorrhea, and acne although this is not always the case. I have seen high levels of DHEA and DHT and normal levels of both testosterone and estrogen. In this case, I often look at the thyroid. For many men, an underactive thyroid also coincides with a lower-than-desired testosterone:estrogen ratio (the inverse is true for women usually). These levels lead to higher DHT conversion, which then leads to hair loss in men and hirsutism and/or alopecia in women.
The endocrine system, and specifically your adrenals and thyroid, are the body’s center for hormone production and regulation due to the top down signaling cascade. If you have an underperforming thyroid, you probably often have cold hands/feet, poor circulation, nagging fatigue, irritability, a low body temperature, and imbalanced hormone levels. Another external symptom of a suppressed thyroid gland (or hypothyroidism) is a decrease in eyebrow hair thickness on the outside of your eyebrows.
It is important to get your hormones checked if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms. Some other factors to take into consideration are endocrine disruptors such as herbicides, pesticides, plastics, chemicals from the halide family (fluoride, chloride, and bromide), electromagnetic pollution, and stress. Adrenal, pituitary, and sex organ tumors are less prevalent causes but should be ruled out as well. That being said: Below are a few suggestions for those with thinning hair and those with hirsutism.
Drink Spearmint tea. Generally people find that three cups per day is the magic number. Don’t expect immediate results, but over the course of a few months, there should be noticeable improvement.
Balance your hormones with herbs. Schizandra and Vitex agnus-castus are two of my favorite herbs because of their ability to tonify organs as well as modulate hormone signaling.
De-stress. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, not overextending yourself, and yoga are all great techniques for decreasing stress.
Androgenic Alopecia (Hair loss)
Essential oil blends of ylang ylang, lavender, and rosemary carried in coconut oil can be applied topically daily to areas of reduced hair growth on the scalp. The combination awakens the follicles and can strengthen hair that may be weakened due to poor nutrient absorption caused by high DHT.
Get labs done to measure ferritin, iron saturation levels, total iron binding capacity, and thyroid hormone levels. Low iron can contribute to hair loss and can cause low thyroid function as well.
Digestive enzymes are helpful for safeguarding against poor nutrient absorption. Remember, hair growth requires cellular energy, which requires a certain recipe of nutrients. A biotin and vitamin E supplement may not be the end all be all of hair and nail treatments.
Again, de-stress. And examine the meds you are taking. Accutane, anti-depressants, birth control pills, and blood thinners often have an effect.
Ashwaganda is a great herb to help nourish the adrenals and modestly increase testosterone. For those with a low testosterone: estrogen ratio, this would be very beneficial.
Essential fatty acids are extremely important in nearly all aspects of health. If the hair loss is due to an inflammatory process, one should consume more of the EPA component of fish oils or EFA’s.
Testing for an imbalance in hormones often requires more than just examining the estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels in the body. A thorough look at the hormones from the pituitary to the sex organ output is often necessary. Heavy metal levels in the body should also be considered as high levels of mercury can contribute to hair loss. Those with mercury amalgam fillings should consider a safer alternative.
|Posted on March 13, 2014 at 5:10 PM||comments (0)|
By Autumn Frandsen, ND
About this time of year, I often hear the phrase “Something must be going around”, explaining away the itchy sore throat, fatigue, and headaches that many people are experiencing. Because many people have not been aware of allergies in their former years, the possibility of having an allergic reaction now does not even enter their minds. However, if there is a trend where one gets sick at the onset of a new season, it is most likely an allergy. Pollens, grasses, shrubs, and trees are all in bloom in the spring and are the cause of allergy flare-ups at that time, and ragweed, molds, smuts, and some flowers are responsible for symptoms in the fall. Even those who have never had previous experience with allergies are vulnerable.
There are many reasons why one may develop late onset seasonal allergies. During periods of significant stress in our lives, our bodies and immune systems are not functioning optimally. Vitamin C is utilized by the adrenal glands in the production of all of the adrenal hormones, most notably cortisol. When you are faced with a stressful situation, your vitamin C is rapidly used up in the production of cortisol and related stress-response hormones. As vitamin C is also very important for our immune function, our bodies are less likely to ward off invaders. When the acute stress subsides, our immune systems are free to utilize the vitamin C and often go overboard in their attempt to play catch-up. That is when you see symptoms like a runny nose, post-nasal drip, and cough. They are the body’s way of expelling foreign bodies.
Because many of our defense mechanisms are in our gut, or gastrointestinal tract, people often exhibit GI disturbance as another sign of allergic response to both environmental allergens and foods. Over time if we are exposed to high mold levels, high pollen count, or the same foods over and over again, our gut immune component starts to become impacted. This can also lead to symptoms of depression as 90% of our serotonin stores are found in our GI system. It is very important to desensitize our systems to potential allergens that we encounter both daily and rarely. We must also repair both our gut lining and adrenal function in order to prevent further deterioration.
Many allergists use antigen therapy based on lab testing or skin prick testing which is administered as a shot. There is no way for them to determine to what degree your body is reacting to something so those with a mild allergy who wish to be desensitized are given the same substance as those with a severe allergy. This can lead to major reactions in those with severe sensitivity. It is very important to tailor the treatment to each individual. Using electrodermal screening, it is possible to evaluate to what level someone is sensitive. Then a remedy specific for that level can be given orally. This is ideal for people with hyperreactive immune systems, younger and older people, and those who have a phobia of needles. While the patient is being desensitized, we can work on optimizing their adrenal function. The ultimate outcome is elimination or decrease of allergies, more energy, and better immune function.
|Posted on March 6, 2014 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
By Autumn Frandsen, ND
Fatigue and pain are two complaints that every physician hears at least once a day and a growing number of people in the USA are experiencing at least once a day. They are the two most prevalent symptoms that patients describe when they become desperate for help. Every day I hear a version of phrase “I have been to fifteen different doctors and no one can tell me why I’m exhausted or at least give me something to fix it”. So what is keeping these doctors from finding the answer?
Many times the answer cannot be found by simply looking at lab results. Both pain and fatigue can be manifestations of deep underlying issues and labeling it chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia still does not explain why a person is experiencing it or how to treat it now so that the patient does not undergo a lifelong struggle. Many doctors believe that both pain and fatigue are psychosomatic disorders and will refer to a psychiatrist. While that may be the case in a few, many others are struggling with chronic lyme disease, mold sensitivity, food intolerances, hormonal imbalance, lack of essential nutrients, and/or heavy metal toxicity just as the tip of the iceberg.
Diagnosing any condition can be costly and often erroneous. Each practitioner is trained differently and not every one of them has been educated on the endless avenues one can take when ordering lab work. This often leads to a multitude of doctor’s visits and unanswered questions. Often even when a diagnosis is made, the doctor is at a loss for how to treat the patient. That is where Autonomic Response Testing comes in handy.
Autonomic Response Testing, or ART, is a method of diagnosing and treating developed by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD and Louisa Williams, ND, DC that can help the practitioner hone in on what is causing the dysfunction in the body. Severe fatigue and pain are not “normal” and it is important to pinpoint what is occurring in the body to cause this discomfort. There are many levels of imbalance that can contribute to the symptoms a person may exhibit. The goal of ART is to determine which layers need to be addressed first, how to treat the problems in the manner that the person tolerates best, and to monitor the patient’s strength over time. The technique respects that if there is a block in a patient’s biofield then they will not heal completely, no matter what therapies are used.
The biofield is a quantum-level energy field that pervades the biochemical body and instructs it about how to function correctly. If blockages or other distortions exist in this field, the information is unable to properly instruct the biochemical body, and physical illness can result. ART can detect where the blockages lie and allows the practitioner to treat it with the most appropriate therapy or substance. On any given day a patient can be exposed to a multitude of viruses, bacteria, chemicals, foods, emotional influences, and even temperature changes. Any of those things can play a role in a person’s health that no lab will detect and any practitioner could only speculate about. With the help of bioresonance, those trained in ART can put the puzzle pieces together and explain why a patient is tired and how to wake them up. The sessions often last two hours for the initial visit and a half hour to an hour for subsequent visits. During these sessions, a patient will learn what their obstacles to cure are and will most likely experience some emotional healing or awareness, physical healing, and mental growth. It is perfect for those people that need to be heard and often feel misunderstood.
There are no religious implications involved with ART and the sessions will go in the direction the patient’s body needs them to go in order to determine what is best for their health at that moment in time. It is generally very relaxing and in this society of high stress, most patients suffering from adrenal fatigue benefit from just the testing session itself, let alone the adjunct therapies and interventions. Most people have the tools they need to heal inside them and for those people it is a matter of unlocking that, and for those that don’t, it is important to introduce only that which the body can handle.
|Posted on January 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM||comments (0)|
By Autumn Frandsen N.D.
Almost daily a patient rattles off a list of complaints with anxiety being included 90 percent of the time. Often, it is dismissed by the patient and his or her former doctors as a personality trait, a problem that has been with the patient for so long they have adopted it as part of who they are. For some, anxiety is a new phenomenon that hits them suddenly like a Mack truck.
What Contributes to Anxiety
When I question the patient about when it began there is almost always a trigger, however anxietyinsidious it may be. Some may have experienced it for the first time when a challenging milestone is reached, such as entering high school or college. For some it crept up on them after moving into a new home or the birth of their children. Although all of these have different precipitating factors, they may not be handled drastically differently. For the women who slowly started to feel worse after the birth of a child they may notice that can no longer find time to exercise, or they are not eating as well as they used to. With the stress of pregnancy and birthing a woman’s body, i.e. the adrenals, may not be able to cope with the consumption of allergenic foods like they once did. Whatever the exact cause one thing is certain, exercise and an anti-inflammatory/elimination diet will undoubtedly help.
Food, Inflammation and Stress
When a person is inflamed, their muscles become tight, causing them to hold onto toxins and producing physical pain. The pain alone is enough to make someone anxious. That aside, the body is less capable of detoxifying and the recirculation of these toxins causes inflammation in numerous sites, stressing the body. When the body is stressed, it is in a sympathetic state which means that all parasympathetic functions are downregulated, such as digestion. When foods are not digested properly they can escape through the lining of the gut and cause a heightened allergic response, i.e. more stress on the body. Reducing the reaction-causing foods one eats will reduce the stress on the body, thereby reducing anxiety. Exercise can be just as important (and cost effective) in treating anxiety as it promotes bowel movements and detoxification, increases the parasympathetic (relax) response post workout and causes fat cells to release and anxiety causing toxins they may be holding onto.
So when you are feeling stressed or anxious, a cheap and easy cure may just be to slow down, assess your diet, and take a lovely walk around the block.