Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Hair Is Falling Out!

Women are shocked and surprised that their hair is falling out, and they frequently report to their doctor  that “My hair is falling out by the handful!”  Hair loss can be traumatic, but around 100 to 200 strands of hair loss a day is normal.  Shedding of hair usually occurs on a 5 to 7 year cycle of growth and shedding.  At any time 10 percent of hair is in a resting phase and not growing.  When it grows, the hair root (follicle) will push out the old strand with a new, short strand.

The most common type of hair loss, called alopecia, is hereditary thinning.  It is popularly believed that it is inherited through the mother, but can come from either or both parents.  Fifty percent of people (both men and women) will develop some hereditary hair loss by 50 years of age, but it can occur in some people as early as age 20 or in their teens.  In females it is referred to as female pattern thinning.

Improper hair care and hair treatments can damage hair and cause it to break off.  Hormones can cause hair loss.  In and around menopause when the estrogen of women goes down, hair thinning may be noticed.  Around age 60 or 70 aging can cause further thinning.  Low serum iron and low thyroid levels can also cause hair loss. Stress (such as a death in the family, birth of a baby, severe illness with high fever, major surgery, or stressful relationships) may trigger a shedding episode.

There are many products at drugstores that claim to build back hair volume.  Most are empty claims.  Hair, like nails, is made up of protein.  Eating adequate amounts of protein helps keep hair in peak condition.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Why Are My Allergies So Bad This Year?

Why Are My Allergies So Bad This Year?

There can be bad allergy years and better years.  What causes the difference? People who suffer from pollen allergies should hope for favorable weather.  A dream year is one in which there is a long winter and rain in the spring.  This is, if mold allergy is not a problem!  Allergy season, when there are allergic reactions to tree, grass, or weed pollen, depends largely on weather, both day to day and season to season. If a summer is hot and dry, the buds of the dormant winter trees will be stressed and there will be fewer flower buds during the spring.  A harsh winter can also reduce the pollen load by damaging the tree buds.  Rain in the spring may wash out the tree pollen from the air.

A dry spring with sunny skies and breezes are the ideal conditions for pollen to be released and spread.  If the winter is long and spring is short, everything seems to bloom at once.  Itchy eyes and drippy noses result.  The recent torrential downpours in many parts of the country have caused high damage, but are an advantage for people with pollen allergy.  The rain has washed out any pollen in the air.  However, the rains can make growing conditions ideal for summer grasses and weeds, increasing the allergies during that time.  Rain also affects how much pollen is present day to day.  High-pollen days may alternate with low-pollen days.   The allergy season, both short term and long term is weather-driven and varies from region to region.