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5 Suprising Remedies That Stop Hair Loss Backed By Science

5 Suprising Remedies That Stop Hair Loss Backed By Science

Hair loss isn’t just a man’s problem. It affects women, too. Hair loss in women is usually not as noticeable because women suffer from hair thinning instead of pattern baldness, and they can cover up their condition with the use of certain hair styles.

What Causes Hair Loss?

Many factors affect hair health and can lead to hair loss. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Stress
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Genetics
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Certain medications
  • Certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy

Note that you can’t really avoid many of those. In addition, there is one major cause of male pattern baldness that you need to be wary of: excess DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the body.

DHT is an androgen present in both men and women. Testosterone conversion results in the formation of DHT. Excessive DHT levels in the body directly affect the hair follicles. Hair follicles are the structures in the dermal layer of the skin responsible for hair growth. Excess DHT levels are often the result of another condition called estrogen dominance. Since the DHT hormone opposes the negative effects of estrogen, the body try to increase it to protect itself from the side effects of excess estrogen levels.

When there is too much DHT in the hair follicles, the cells in the area cannot efficiently absorb nutrients. This will lead to shrinkage of the hair follicles and eventual hair thinning, complete follicle death, and consequently baldness.

Understanding the causes are important because it makes it easier to make a plan on how to approach and treat your hair loss.

Using Chili Peppers To Stop Hair Loss

Chilli peppers contain capsaicin – the compound which is responsible for its hotness. This compound is also known to help promote better hair growth.

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More studies are underway to form a deeper understanding of exactly how this hot compound works. What is known is that it speeds up hair growth by stimulating the action of IGF-1. This insulin-like growth factor activates the sensory neurons in the hair follicles that promote faster hair growth.

Studies show that this effect is more evident if capsaicin is taken together with soy isoflavones.

You can’t really live on just Chilli peppers so hair loss wise, it would be a good idea to start with capsaicin supplements or topical creams instead.

Try Soy Isoflavones

Soy is an excellent natural source of plant-based protein. Including this food in your daily diet can help provide more protein that hair follicles can use for hair growth.

Recent studies found that isoflavones derived from soy could help with hair loss. Soy isoflavones are organic compounds that work like phytoestrogens. They nudge DHT out of the hair follicles, reducing DHT accumulation.

The phytoestrogens in soy isoflavones are weak – and that’s a good thing. This means that they can reduce how much DHT binds to the hair follicles but will not cause any hormonal imbalance or affect estrogen in the body.

The weak estrogenic activity of isoflavones competes with DHT at the receptors in the hair follicles. That means less DHT accumulates in the hair follicles which will leave more space for nutrients from the blood to pass through and nourish the hair follicles.

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This eases the burden on the hair follicles. The follicles will be better nourished and their function is not hampered by too much DHT attached to its membranes, leading to better hair health and reduced hair loss.

Soy is also a healthy food that can help improve your overall health.

Try Weight Loss Supplements Carnitine and Raspberry Ketones

You’d be surprised that some supplements traditionally used for weight loss have been found to have potent capabilities to stop hair loss in both topical and pill forms.

You know Carnitine as a weight loss supplement, but recent studies showed its mechanism may have positive effects beyond weight loss.

One such study was conducted in Germany, at the University of Lubeck. Carnitine demonstrated the ability to stimulate elongation of the hair shaft, reducing cell death and enhancing hair growth.

According to the study, carnitine was able to produce these effects by boosting the proliferation of follicular keratinocytes – the epidermal cells that produce keratin, which hair strands are made of. It also slowed down cellular death.

Prolonging the life and function of the keratinocytes within the hair follicles means you get to benefit from a healthier scalp and consequently, thicker hair.

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Carnitine helps transport fatty acids that easily enter the hair follicles. These fats are easily burned by the cells to produce energy. The increase in energy helps the hair follicles to function better, which can result in more hair growth and reduced hair loss.

Hair loss can also be an effect of oxidative damage. This is the destruction of the cells from exposure to toxins and free radicals. Carnitine may help in protecting the cells, including the hair follicles, from oxidative damage, guarding against hair loss.

Raspberry ketones are another widely known weight loss supplement. This substance is found in red raspberries, kiwis, strawberries and cranberries.

Like carnitine, raspberry ketones gained attention as a weight loss substance, having similar characteristics to capsaicin. One study in Japan was able to demonstrate raspberry ketones ability to grow hair. Around 50% of the participants in this study experienced hair growth after a 5-month treatment with raspberry ketones. The participants were suffering from alopecia or spot baldness.

Another study found how raspberry ketones work towards promoting hair growth. They work by stimulating the sensory nerve endings around the hair follicles. This stimulation leads to increased hair growth.

Use Essential Oils to Boost Hair Growth

Hair loss can also be reversed using essential oils. Long before science was able to isolate and study raspberry ketones, soy isoflavones, carnitine, and capsaicin, people were already using essential oils on their hair.

The top 3 essential oils recommended for reducing hair loss are rosemary, cedarwood and clary sage essential oils. Add these essential oils to your favorite hair loss shampoo for greater benefits.

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Rosemary oil enhances hair growth for thicker hair. This effect is believed to be a result of the oil’s positive effect on cellular metabolism.

Cedarwood oil increases blood flow to the scalp. More nutrients are delivered to the hair follicles that can help boost hair growth. This essential oil can help treat hair thinning and certain types of alopecia (baldness).

Clary sage oil balances scalp oils. It can help keep the hair healthy and shiny. Try not to use too much though because doing so can cause oily hair and other scalp and hair problems. Clary sage essential oil helps control the amount of scalp oil for healthier hair. This oil also works similarly to rosemary essential oil. It increases cellular metabolism for faster hair growth and has hormonal balancing properties that can help in controlling excess DHT.

Conclusion

Hair loss affects everyone. It can happen even as early as in your twenties. Try a natural remedy free of side effects, compared to pharmaceutical treatments. Do something about your hair loss before the problem gets out of control. Even small dietary changes such as a cup of tea per day can help improve your hair loss.

The key to success is to address hair loss early. Do not wait for bald spots to appear before you do something about it.

Featured photo credit: Licensed from stockunlimited.com (Image ID : 1932056) via stockunlimited.com

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Alex Eriksson

Founder & CEO, Anabolic Health

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Published on November 14, 2018

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

Symptoms of Fatigue

Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

  • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
  • mental blocks
  • lack of motivation
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • muscle weakness
  • slowed reflexes and responses
  • impaired decision-making and judgement
  • moodiness, such as irritability
  • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • reduced immune system function
  • blurry vision
  • short-term memory problems
  • poor concentration
  • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

Causes of Fatigue

The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

  • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
  • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
  • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

Medical Causes of Fatigue

If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

Thyroid disease

An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much sleep 
  • Alcohol and drugs 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
  • Poor diet 

Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

  • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
  • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
  • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
  • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

Psychological Causes of Fatigue

Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

  • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
  • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

1. Tell The Truth

Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

  • How you feel
  • What time of day it is
  • What may have contributed to your fatigue
  • How your mind and body reacts

This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

2. Reduce Your Commitments

When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

4. Express More Gratitude

Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

5. Focus On Yourself

Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

7. Take a Power Nap

When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

8. Take More Exercise

The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

9. Get More Quality Sleep

To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

10. Improve Your Diet

Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

11. Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

12. Get Hydrated

Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

The Bottom Line

These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
[2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
[3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
[4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
[5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
[6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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