GUT HEALTH AND HAIR HEALTH

Posted by Nina Kairouz on

GUT HEALTH AND HAIR HEALTH

 

“Studies have confirmed that the gut microbiome not only supports the production of some of the nutrients needed for growing hair, it also can regulate the hormones that control the transition between the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases of hair and can even maintain conditions in your body that favor healthy hair”

 

Much research suggests that maintaining a healthy gut is the first step to healing many common health problems, including,  hair thinning and hair loss, due to the way our bacteria helps us process biotin. In actuality, the healthier our gut microbiome the more robust hair regrow the may occur.

 

 

WHAT IS GUT MICROBIOME:

            In words we can understand, it’s a hangout of microorganisms inside of our body and about 5 pounds worth of them like to hangout in the cool spot in the neighborhood:  our gut.  Gut microbiome is responsible for the bacteria that works to limit the factors that lead to hair loss and encourage the hair growth cycle.

 

            I read this quote recently and it helped me make so much sense around the connection of gut and hair;

 

"Our microbiome is truly amazing," says nutritionist and probiotic researcher Alicia Harper. "Scientists have confirmed it is extremely important for our overall physical health and can even send signals directly to our brain. A microbiome that is overloaded with bad bacteria and lacking good bacteria can cause inflammation throughout the whole body. Inflammation on the scalp has been shown to kill off hair follicles. The microbiome also has a direct impact on the hormones in our body. Some of these hormones are needed for the anagen, catagen, and telogen hair growth phases. " This means that an imbalanced microbiome can throw hair follicles our of wack, causing hair loss. "If your hair loss is caused by inflammation then definitely try to work on getting probiotic-rich foods into your diet," Alicia says.

 

 

 

 

MY STORY:

So where do we begin. I’ll tell you my story so that maybe it helps knowing that my understanding the  gut health and hair connection wasn’t beaucause someone paid me or told me, but because I went through the loss and discovery of what worked for me. I began losing my hair after my second child four and a half years ago and then further loss after a much needed breast-lift (anesthesia is a doozy for me and my hair everytime) all that left me very stressed and depleted. I noticed hair just shedding it actually felt like it was just popping right off the follicle and bulbs attached. I would count hairs and dread washing my hair as the hair would just fill my brush. EVERY TIME and sometimes w just running my fingers through my hair. And yes I have a lot to start with but I remember the moment I realized I could see through my hair, I was  at work at the salon and I could not believe how all of a sudden I noticed my hair was so thin.

The worst part is I was getting no answers and every add or product I would but I would use and never understood the WHY. Why is worked how I needed to adjust a new regimen and what the heck does gut health even have to do with it. I had always been that person who ate anything and everything but well that was about to get a rude awakening and the reality was I was no longer a 20 year old living off air and fast food. I was a 36 year old (now 40) with two kids, stress, fatigue, bad water intake, adrenal fatigue, and terrible eating habits.

So what did I do, I took every supplement under the sun. If it said hair, skin and nails on it I was taking it.

I would just read something and decide well I need that supplement too! Never changes my eating habits or sleep or stress levels. I just only know one speed and it’s : power through.

And as you can already guess three years into being my own nutritionist with no education nothing worked and if anything my gut and stool just seemed to be worse. Much worse. Pain cramping and bloating constantly.

I still could not see how nutrition had any role and it was only at the point when the bloating  and cramping became so painful and after a meal I would be distended that ended up seeing a gastroenterologist after the recommendation of my general doctor. Not sure if you anything like me but I wait until I’m in pain or incredible discomfort to seek help. Grew up in constant fight or flight. And so we scheduled a colonoscopyAnd she had me start on the FODMAP diet to begin a process of elimination and it was literally in a few days I noticed…. RELIEF. SUCH SWEET RELIEF. And I was dumbfounded!

We did the colonoscopy (luckily found some pre cancerous polyps) and my lining was still in good shape and nothing stood out to her besides that having a tortuous colon means I need more fiber and to work with a nutritionist to change my diet.

She said get off the pre and probiotics because they end up doing more harm then good and begin to learn how to get it all from a BALANCED DIET that works for My Body and gut.

Oooooooohhhhhh so you mean not everyone needs to be eating the same way. That even though avocados are good for you they cause ME inflammation!!!!!!!!! And I learned that by doing the FODMAP for three months and working with Lauren a nutritionist on how to do this.

Because let me tell you: I don’t cook I don’t understand food groups I assume if I shovel vegetables in my mouth or drink it in a smoothie I’m good. So much to learn and who has the time!

 

You want to know what I noticed three months in, which is about the normal cycle of new hair growth…soooooo many new baby hairs popping out of my follicles and I remember calling Lauren Cornell saying OH MY GOD HOW IS THIS WORKING.

 

I recently read this quote and it helped me piece some more parts of this puzzle together that gut health and hair growth go hand on hand; “Proper nutrition is important for overall health and can affect the rate at which one hair grows," says Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr. Michele Green.

The gut microbiome breaks down the probiotics and foods that you consume thus turning it into many of the nutrients needed for growing hair.

The quote goes on the say; "Poor nutrition can cause malabsorption as well as inflammation in the body which can disrupt the growth cycle of the hair," says Dr. Green. "Inflammation does not allow the cells to repair completely which results in a weakening of the cells. When this reparative process does not occur, it causes cell damage which results in hair loss. A nutrient dense diet can give you the benefits of longer, stronger and healthy hair, because it aids in proper absorption, which in turn facilitates cellular turnover and hormonal balance."

PERIOD. OF COURSE. THERE IT IS! Not the whole puzzle but a big hunky piece!

THE STEPS U CAN TAKE:

So I spoke to nutritionist Lauren Cornell recently AND HERE IS HOW SHE EXPLAINS IT. A simple easy step by step guide to gut health.

  1. Don’t over supplement
  2. Get your blood panel done. Check for thyroid, vitamin D, Iron (full iron panel especially for women), vitamin B. Deficiencies all contribute to hair loss and follicle unhealth
  3. Find YOUR balanced diet (everyone is different and it’s one fad or another that will work. Like for me I can’t eat too many avocados(the good stuff) or certain greens because I get incredibly bloated distended and triggers IBS for me. I tend to be anemic so I do eat a minimal but important amount of meat in my diet
  4. Stay away from the TESTS. You’ve seen the commercials and probably gotten ads for food sensitively testing etc instead Lauren says seek out a qualified Nutritionist to guide u to your best balanced and least inflammatory
  5. Don’t over supplement (can’t stress enough) get probiotics from your Food. Messing w the natural micro biome of your gut w adding outside help when not needed can be more harmful then good. I learned that the hard way and from my Gastroenterologist Doctor.I had no idea. The industry is not very regulated Lauren states so be your own educated consumer and ask questions.
  6. And the most obvious important and still annoying factors: Get sleep, hydrate, minimize stress (lol) and balanced diet.

 

One piece of the hair puzzle.

Now let’s keep going!

 

 

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