We all want healthy skin and hair. Owning a medical practice/medspa in Scottsdale, Arizona, this is something I hear often. But how do we achieve healthy skin and hair, and perhaps more importantly, how do we diagnose and eliminate things that could be inhibiting them? Here are two helpful tips that can help not just your skin and hair but your overall health this summer.
Hormones are chemical substances that control and coordinate activities throughout the body. In many instances, hormones can be the key to diagnosing and understanding different ailments. I implore you to have your hormones checked if you are concerned about not only healthy skin and hair but also your overall health.
Some hormones that play an essential role in our skin and hair health are estrogen and testosterone. As it relates to women, it is vital to check your estradiol (or 17 beta-estradiol) estrogen, a type of estrogen made by the breasts, ovaries, and adrenal glands, as well as the placenta during pregnancy. An E2 test measures the amount of the hormone estradiol in your blood. It can be helpful when diagnosing abnormal periods, vaginal bleeding, infertility, and more.
When it comes to testosterone, you want to know your levels of total and free T. Total testosterone measures how much testosterone you have in your blood in total. In contrast, free T refers to the usually around two percent of the testosterone that is not bound to either sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) or albumin. Typically, one will have lower levels of free T if they have more SHBG, as more SHBG molecules in your blood mean more of your testosterone will be bound and not "free."
Specifically, as it relates to testosterone, you want to check your levels of extrathyroidal thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3) — two hormones released by your thyroid — as well as TSH which is produced by the pituitary gland in your brain. Knowing these hormone levels in your body can be crucial to understanding your health and what ails you.
Please keep in mind that almost as important as having these tests performed is who is performing them. It is crucial to have them interpreted by a medical expert who understands what values people (especially women) should have and does not simply go off the lab's reference ranges.
Decrease Inflammation Via Diet
Another helpful tip is to decrease inflammation through your diet. The biggest culprits for inflammation are sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, artificial trans fats, vegetable and seed oils, refined carbohydrates, excessive alcohol, and processed meat. But it really comes down to two main culprits: gluten and dairy.
If you have been listening to me for a while, then you have undoubtedly heard my opinions on what the overconsumption of gluten and dairy is doing to our diets. I hate to sound like a broken record, but your health begins with your diet, and eliminating these two thins is essential. Yes, pizza and pasta are delicious, but they can be doing severe damage to not just your skin and hair, but your overall health.
As for gluten, most people don't realize that it actually contains no essential nutrients. And yet it is an everyday staple in our diets. Furthermore, an alarming percentage of wheat crops today are sprayed with the harmful pesticide Roundup. I wouldn't spray Roundup on my garden, let alone willfully ingest it. This product contains glyphosate. Swallowing products with glyphosate can cause increased saliva, burns in the mouth and throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In conclusion, understanding our hormones and changing our diet can have a dramatic positive impact on our hair and skin. Performing necessary hormone tests (and having a skilled medical professional interpret and diagnose the results) as well as eliminating dairy and gluten from one's diet are essential steps anyone can take. In addition to stronger, healthier hair, you will see reductions in brain fog and increased libido and energy. For help with libido, hormones, nutrition, and more, feel free to call my Scottsdale office and schedule a consultation.