Are You Experiencing Hair Loss or Thinning?

It is no secret that a common symptom of COVID-19 is hair loss. Many people who had the infection in the past are noticing hair thinning and increased hair loss on their scalp.

It is thought that the hair loss is not caused by COVID-19 itself, but rather the physiological and emotional stress that the virus puts on the body long term. Even for people who haven’t had the virus, the stressors of the last year can definitely have an effect on your hair cycle and hair growth patterns.

Common Causes of Hair Loss

1. Stress

It is normal to lose 50-100 strands of hair daily. When stress is a factor, however, our hair cycle shifts to a shedding phase where people will start to lose up to 3 times as much. While this cycle is typically temporary, it can be traumatic to individuals experiencing it.

2. Thyroid Imbalances

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that is responsible for your body’s metabolism and energy–but did you know that it also has an effect on hair growth?

Individuals who have thyroid hormone imbalances often notice increased hair loss and thinning on their scalp and/or eyebrows. This can occur when your body makes too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) AND too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).

When having bloodwork ran, it is important that your doctor looks at all of your thyroid hormones. In the past, it was not uncommon for providers to only run a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), however, getting more comprehensive thyroid labs, including T3 and T4, is important for properly diagnosing thyroid disorders.

3. Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies are very common and may be contributing to hair loss. Poor diet, impaired gut integrity and absorption problems can all contribute to nutritional deficiencies. Some common nutrient deficiencies that can contribute to hair loss include Vitamin D, Zinc, Biotin, Iron, Vitamin E and Vitamin C.

Working with a doctor to help discover if your body is depleted of certain nutrients and why can help improve your overall health—and help you get back your full head of hair.

4. Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can have a big effect on hair loss and thinning, especially if your body is metabolizing hormones improperly.

Testosterone is a hormone that is necessary for energy and libido in both men AND women. While testosterone is needed to make sure you feel your best if it is not metabolized to the proper form it can contribute to increased hair loss. An activated form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is often responsible for male patterned baldness.

Your provider will look at your hormone labs and assess your symptoms to see if this may be a reason you are experiencing hair loss. There are many supplements and medications that can reduce the production of DHT and keep your hormones on the healthiest metabolic pathways possible.

Before and after pictures 0-12 weeks

While finding the root cause is always our goal, there are options available to help hair grow while we treat the causes listed above.

Some of Our Favorite Hair Growth “Remedies” Include:

1. Collagen powder

Collagen helps to promote hair growth by providing the amino acids necessary to build hair proteins and strengthen the hair root. It also has the added benefits of improved skin elasticity, strengthened nails, and joint protection.

2. Peptides

It is a common joke in our office to say, “there’s a peptide for that”, and this holds true for hair growth as well. The copper peptide (GHK-Cu), can help to improve hair growth by decreasing inflammation at the scalp, increasing blood flow to the hair follicle and fighting off free radicals that may lead to excess hair loss.

The copper peptide is applied topically to the scalp daily. Patient’s often notice improvement in hair growth and thickness within 4-8 weeks.

3. Hair Restoration Treatments

Hair restoration injections are another way to improve hair growth and thickness. This procedure utilizes growth factors in your blood to help stimulate the growth follicles into their active growth phase. These growth factors are injected into the scalp where thinning is occurring.

See our Instagram page (@LiveWellWellnessCenter) to learn about Dr. Jess’ personal experience with hair loss and how she was able to improve hair growth and thickness along her hair line in 8 weeks.

If you are interested in learning more about how to improve hair growth, setup a free consultation with one of our providers. They will work with you to find the best solution to help improve your hair growth and get you feeling and looking your best again.

Improve Your Quality of Life With Peptide Therapy — Ipamorelin and CJC

Peptide therapy is a new and exciting field in anti-aging and integrative medicine.  There are many different types of peptides available, all of which work to stimulate different biological processes.  Some of the most commonly used peptides work by stimulating our bodies natural production of human growth hormone (hGH).  

What is Growth Hormone?

Human Growth Hormone (hGH) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain.  Growth hormone is naturally released throughout the day in bursts following exercise, trauma and during sleep—with most production occurring at night.

Growth hormone acts on many different tissues and body systems.  It has many roles in the body, including utilizing and breaking down body fat, stimulating the growth of bone and cartilage, and aiding in overall repair and recovery. 

How Peptide Therapy Can Improve Growth Hormone Production

Peptides are long chains of amino acids that work to help stimulate, or “wake up”, certain biological activities.  The specific shape of a peptide, along with its amino acid sequence allows it to target specific biological roles in the body.  

Peptides like Ipamorelin and CJC work by sending signals to the pituitary gland to increase production of Human Growth Hormone. Because ipamorelin and CJC stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, it enhances your bodies ability to produce GH without shutting down production. 

Decline in Growth Hormone Production As We Age

As we age, human growth hormone production declines.  Consequently, our bodies begin to show the effects and many people start to experience changes in their bodies like decreased muscle mass, lower energy, poor sleep, and higher body fat percentage.  Utilizing peptides that target growth hormone production (GHRP’s) can help to improve your quality of life and vitality. 

What are the Benefits of Ipamorelin and CJC?

  • Improves lean muscle mass
  • Decreases body fat
  • Improves athletic performance and recovery
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Increase joint health and flexibility
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved memory and cognition
  • Increase recovery after workouts and after injuries
  • Powerful antiaging benefits

Why Use Ipamorelin and CJC together?

Ipamorelin and CJC work on two different receptors.  Combined, they work together to maximize growth hormone production.  

How Ipamorelin and CJC are Administered

Ipamorelin and CJC are administered as a subcutaneous injection 5 out of 7 days a week.  Dosing amounts and timing varies depending on your individual goals.  Your provider will work with you to come up with the best dosing strategy to maximize your individual goals. 

When Will I Start to Notice the Effects?

The first benefit people typically notice is deeper and more restful sleep within the first week of starting the peptides.  After 2 to 4 weeks, you should expect to notice enhance recovery with workouts, improved mental clarity, improved skin elasticity, and improved energy.  Body composition changes typically occur around 6 weeks and will continue to progress. 

Optimal results typically occur after 3 to 6 months.  After that time you can choose to either continue therapy or can take a break from therapy for a period of time.  Once optimal results are achieved, HGH production often maintains itself for several months. 

How to Get Started

If you think that peptide therapy may benefit you, call our office to setup an appointment with one of our providers.  They will work with you to get you started on the right peptides for your unique symptoms and goals.   

Setup a complimentary “Meet and Greet” appointment to see how peptides can help improve your quality of life.

Are You Starting 2021 Feeling Tired and Fatigued?

Many people are starting out 2021 feeling stressed, burnt out, and lets be honest…tired!  From fighting a pandemic, to murder hornets and a crazy election, we all could use a spa day to unwind and reset.  With the roller coaster of emotions that 2020 year has brought come many unwanted symptoms.  One of the most common ones we treat in the office being fatigue.

Why Are You Feeling Tired All of the Time?

One of the things we all have in common right now is a higher stress load.  Our bodies make a lot of changes in order to help us to “cope” with stress.  When a stressor is perceived (hello COVID-19), our adrenal glands respond by pumping out excess cortisol, our stress hormone.  In return our body shifts to a more on edge state, commonly referred to as “fight or flight” mode. This switches our bodies priorities so that it can better respond to a stimulus and stay on guard for incoming danger.

While stress is often perceived as a bad thing, cortisol is a necessary hormone for everyday functions.  It is the hormone responsible for helping us to feel awake and energized in the morning and is also important for blood sugar regulation and a healthy metabolism. 

The problem occurs when our “fight or flight” mode is not able to turn off. 

This is something that is all too common.  Many of us have some form of chronic stress—just think about the long work hours, chores that need to be done, the kids school projects, and the extended family drama.  Now add in working from home, home-schooling, and not being able to see your loved ones—and you’ve got a major stress load. 

With chronic stress, our adrenal glands have to work so hard at pumping out cortisol, that it gets to a point where it can no longer produce what it needs to function properly.  In return we start to see many different physiological things occur.

  1.  Hormonal Imbalances—our bodies start to favor cortisol production over sex hormone production.  Why? Because having babies is not our bodies priority when stress is a factor.

    This turns into hormonal imbalances in both men and women.  Women will often notice shortened cycles, heavy bleeding and worsened PMS symptoms.  Men may experience low testosterone symptoms like fatigue, low libido and decreased muscle mass.
  1. Poor Thyroid Function—Our thyroid is another important organ when it comes to healthy metabolism levels and energy production.  Oftentimes when our adrenal glands start to suffer we will see the thyroid gland initially work harder to make up, and then it eventually will start to decline as well.  This is one of the reasons why hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism are so common.  

    Common hypothyroid symptoms—fatigue, brain fog, cold intolerance, dry skin, brittle nails, hair loss, constipation, weight gain, water retention/feeling puffy
  1.  Nutritional Deficiencies—Our adrenal glands help our bodies to control salt and sugar regulation.  With adrenal fatigue and chronic stress, oftentimes we will have an increase in salt and sugar cravings for this reason.  This often leads to less healthy diet decisions and nutritional deficiencies.
  1.  Weight gain—Do you notice that you have difficulty losing weight with stress?  Well there is a physiological reason for this.  In hunter/gatherer times, stressful times often included famine, where our ancestors may have had to live off of very few calories for long periods of time.  To cope, our bodies held onto any excess fat it could since it did not know when the next meal would be coming.

    Because of this, adrenal fatigue and chronic stress are very common reasons for stubborn weight loss, especially difficulty losing weight around the midsection. 
  1.  Immune dysfunction—Did you know that chronic stress can cause your immune system to weaken?  This can make you more susceptible to viral infections like the common cold and even chronic viral infections like EBV.  

    We treat patients all of the time who have reactivated, chronic viral infections like Epstein-Barr Virus, cytomegalovirus and HHV6—due to chronic stress and a weakened immune response.

So I May Be Feeling Tired Due to Chronic Stress and Adrenal Fatigue….Now What?

Luckily there are many treatment options available that can help your body better cope with a high stress environment and get you feeling like yourself again.

Some things that you can start now at home…

  1. Switch up your exercise routine—Exercise is a form of stress.  This is why it is important to switch your exercise routine to more restorative options rather than high cardio options if you have adrenal fatigue. Trade your high intensity cardio to more restorative exercises like yoga, Pilates, walking and resistance training. 
  1. Eat meals regularly—The last thing you want is for your body to constantly wonder when it is getting its next meal.  While intermittent fasting is great for some conditions, it is not the best thing to do if you are experiencing adrenal fatigue.  Aim to eat a meal or healthy snack every 3-4 hours during the day.  And opt for healthy options like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
  1. Make sleep a priority—Now is the time to make sleep a big priority in your life.  This will help to reset your natural cortisol curve.  Aim to get 8 hours of sleep a night and set a bedtime before midnight for optimal healing.
  1. Practice mindfulness—Finding times during the day to be mindful and allow your mind to reset and feel calm is an important practice when it comes to managing stress.  Mindfulness may mean different things for everybody.  Some of our favorite techniques—guided meditation, journaling, and deep breathing exercises.

Work with a Naturopathic Doctor at Live Well

Everyone is different with how their bodies respond to stress and the type of treatment they may need to help their adrenal glands and hormones to function properly again.  Balancing your hormones, getting on the right diet and exercise routine, treating your thyroid, and taking the right supplements are just a few ways that we can help you feel more energized.

Your physician at Live Well will run lab work based off your unique symptoms and medical history.  Labs often include AM cortisol levels, comprehensive thyroid testing, sex hormones, and common nutritional deficiencies.  If during your history your provider thinks that there may be other things contributing to your fatigue, then they can run additional blood work as well.

Based off your labs, symptoms and medical history your physician will then provide you with an individualized treatment plan that may include a combination of targeted supplement therapies, diet and lifestyle counseling, prescription medications if needed and possible IV nutritional therapy if you are a good candidate.  There are multiple adrenal supplements and medications that we utilize depending on your current stress levels, your cortisol production and your symptoms.  The best thing about your treatment plan…it will be completely individualized to YOU.

If you think that your symptoms may be due to adrenal fatigue and chronic stress, we would love to help you get back to feeling your best self again.  Call our office to schedule a free “Meet and Greet” appointment with one of our naturopathic medical doctors to see if they would be a good fit for you.

What you should know about the coronavirus

What You Should Know About the Novel Coronavirus

Written by: Michelle McConnell, NMD

It’s hard not to be worried with all the new media circulating about the Novel Coronavirus. We want to give you some information about this virus and how it compares to other well known viruses so you can make healthy decisions to stay well.  There are also ways you can help your own body be its best in order to survive this winter without catching any of the problematic bugs that make us sick. We often say here at Live Well, it’s not about the bug, really, it’s about the terrain (body and immune system). How healthy is your terrain?

The family of coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1960’s in chickens. There are seven strains that infect humans and they are thought to be a significant percentage of the common colds every year. There are strains that only infect animals as well. If you fully vaccinate your pet you will notice that one of the vaccinations is for the coronavirus. We have known about the coronavirus for a while now but the difference this year is there is a new strain and it is very infectious.

Historically, pandemics are scary because these events have killed vast populations very quickly. A pandemic is the widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time that crosses into another continent or can even be worldwide. There are three ways a virus is evaluated as an impact to human health. A virus is measured for its speed at which it spreads in a population called its R0  (“R-naught”), the ability for a virus to survive in the environment to infect others, and the severity of disease. Let’s compare the novel coronavirus to other well known annual viruses as well as those that have been deemed a threat to the community.

The R0 for the Flu is somewhere around 1.3-2 for comparison. This means that if you are sick you have the ability to pass the flu onto 1.3 -2 other people. The well known SARS or swine flu was much more contagious at an R0  of 2-4. Novel coronavirus falls about an R0 of 2-4 so this makes it more easily spread throughout populations which to medical professionals can be scary.

A good analogy to understand when the medical community identifies a new virus is when a region is told there is going to be a big storm coming. We know it is going to hit a community but we cannot say for sure how bad it will be. The best plan of action is to be prepared and be careful, limit travel and take precaution. This applies to anything seen as a new disease such as a virus. It is new, there is no vaccination for it, it may spread fast so if we don’t get the word out it could be bad.  On the other hand, it could be just another cold or flu type bug as well.

The media tends to really drive home the fear but for the most part this has not been very different from some of the other smaller outbreaks.  So far the Novel Coronavirus has about the same statistics as SARS with less deadly consequences.

The symptoms to look out for are much like a severe flu.

According to The Lancet, out of 41 patients in a study, all of them developed pneumonia, three quarters had a cough and more than half had breathing difficulties. According to the CDC situation report as of February 3rd there are 17,391 cases worldwide, 2296 severe cases, and 361 deaths.. In the US there are 11 confirmed cases with one identified in Arizona. This was an ASU student that had recently traveled to the point of origin, in Wuhan City, China. These statistics are slightly higher than the flu statistics. As a comparison the flu kills 290,000 to 650,000 per year worldwide and has a mortality rate of 2%. The coronavirus currently is at 2% as well.

So should you panic? Keeping the facts in perspective is important. Yes, this virus is unpleasant, yes it moves fast and yes it can kill. However, looking at the facts compared to the flu; it moves faster but still has the same mortality rate as the flu. It is also important to remember the situation is new and can change at anytime.

Learn how you can best prepare yourself for any season of sickness. Learn what to always have in the home and what information you can count on to help prevent getting sick.