For quite some time, this question has always been asked, “Can DHEA Cause Hair Loss? The human body makes an endogenous hormone known as DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and is emitted by our adrenal glands. It serves as a forerunner to the androgen and estrogen hormones of both genders. The DHEA levels in a human body diminished after reaching the age of 30. Individuals who have Non-insulin dependent diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes), adrenal insufficiency, anorexia, end-stage kidney disease, AIDS and those severely sick have low DHEA levels in their body. Drugs such as corticosteroids, danazol, opiates and insulin can also reduce DHEA levels.
Dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA is prescribed to patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE. The intake of this drug lessens exhaustion, improves difficulty in thinking and enhances their state of life. It was likewise proven that it has helped treat depression, adrenal insufficiency and helped in the initiation of labor.
DHEA, like in any and androgenic steroid, is also blamed for the loss hair among men as well as women. It is because DHEA is inclined to amplify DHT (drihydrotestosterone) levels together with testosterone wherein DHT is the major culprit for hair loss. Incidentally, DHT is also an androgen that is principally created in the testes, prostate gland, adrenal glands and hair follicles via the enzyme 5a-reductase by way of minimizing the 4.5 dual-bond of testosterone.
DHEA Side Effects
Oral DHEA supplements reported the following side effects even when they are taken in the prescribed doses: nasal congestion, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, headache and acne. On the other hand, women manifest other symptoms such as irregular menstruation, headache, mood changes and insomnia. DHEA supplements are not recommended for patients with history of hypercoagulability, irregular heart rhythm and liver disease.
DHEA supplements’ normal daily dosage is 5 – 25 mg. I have read in some forums that those who experienced tremendous hair loss were those people who had 100 mg of DHEA in a day. This only proves that excessive dosage of DHEA can absolutely lead to loss hair. Men who are taking DHEA supplements may have the probability of thwarting hair loss by taking Proscar, a DHT inhibitor.
The common cause of hair loss in both sexes is androgenic alopecia. It is a medical hair problem which is also known as alopecia androgenetica or androgenetic alopecia . You will be surprised to know that this hair loss problem also happens to orangutans and chimpanzees.
Nevertheless, this hair loss issue is generally referred to as male pattern baldness. Traditional pattern baldness is illustrated by a distinct hair loss, which starts on top of the temples. The hair on the crown of the head thins out although hair remains along the sides and the back part of the head. This kind of balding is termed as “Hippocratic balding” and does not completely develop to baldness.
How does our hair grow?
Our hair follicle creates hair in parts. Lasting from 2 – 6 years is the growing period (anagen) and moves to the resting period that lasts for 3 months and finishes off at the telogen period (falling of hair) whereby new hair is pushed to the surface by the follicle.
Recent medical studies showed that male hormone DHT (dehydrotestosterone), which is changed from testosterone, joins to the hair follicles and is principally to be blamed for hair loss. It causes the follicles to move on to its resting period at a faster phase thereby prompting the hair to be thinner in every growth phase. Alopecia (hair loss) is both a problem for both sexes.
Can DHEA supplementation cause hair loss among women?
Women’s ovaries generate superior amounts of estrogen during their procreative years. Heart disease among women is low due to the estrogen’s cardioprotective characteristic. But when women are at their menopausal stage, which roughly starts at the age of 50, their sex hormone levels which includes estrogen, testosterone, pregnenolone, progesterone and DHEA decreases. This quick loss of hormonal defense is contributory to a variety of diseases that affect women such as osteoporosis and heart disease. The depletion of estrogen results to the menopausal symptoms that women experience. On the other hand, the reduction in DHEA and testosterone were blamed for women’s diminished strength, energy, libido, bone density and muscle mass.
Hence, menopausal women were given DHEA therapy. However, DHEA therapy is inclined to increase the blood levels of male sex hormones like testosterone. This in turn leads to minimal hair growth to some women. Nevertheless, DHEA has good advantages for women such as decreasing symptoms of menopause and improving their bone metabolism and most of all, increases their sexual desire.
Available in pharmacies, health food shops and groceries, DHEA is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands that works on the body (similar to testosterone) and is transformed into estrogen and testosterone.
Can DHEA contribute to hair loss?
This is either a yes or a no. Up to the present, DHEA cannot be blamed purely for hair loss.
First, you must know some things about DHEA. All the DHEA needed in a person’s body is naturally produced when he is below 30 years old. High DHEA can either be bad or washed out as it will be transformed to hormones that the body does not need like testosterone and DHT.
Some individuals react to it as DHEA cause hair loss. It is because the body transforms DHEA to testosterone and subsequently to DHT which is the primary culprit to hair loss. However, this does not happen to everyone taking DHEA. Women will really be affected by this since DHEA is one of the principal hormones that cause female hair loss.
Even as DHEA can be purchased even without a prescription, you still need to take precaution in using it. DHEA must be treated like other hormones. We can say that DHEA cause hair loss but it will depend on the person taking DHEA supplements. Remember, there are other factors that affect baldness or hair loss, heredity, other illnesses, wrong choice of shampoos, scalp problems to name a few. So before you blame it all to DHEA, examine the things you are using and check on your genes. It may be contributory but again, it may not be the sole culprit of your loss hair.