When I was a veg*n I struggled with hair loss, excessively long periods, and depression during my period. About four years into mostly paleo, I went through a period where my periods were just right, but now they are only 1-2 days. I also now have started getting small black hairs in places where I never had them before, like near my nipples and on my chin which makes me super annoyed. I wonder if I've swung too far in the wrong direction and now have testosterone dominance? But I've tried to decrease meat/fat in my diet though and increase plant foods and it doesn't seem to have any effect. My OBGYN didn't seem to think I had a problem, so maybe I'm just being sensitive. I also went off HBC pills two years ago. Any tips would be appreciated!
Pluck them! That's what I do. My hormones are normal and I've always been a bitty fuzzy all over with the hair near the nipples after puberty (I'm 27 now). I've never had a chin hair though, but plenty of women do. Not everything we find unnattractive about ourselves is a health problem. We're chemically complex mammals. We grow and lose hair and our hormones change throughout our lives even when we're perfectly healthy.
What you want to try to do is reduce the activity/level of an enzyme called 5 alpha reductase type 2. This is responsible for transformation of testosterone to di-hydrotestosterone in the skin. Women with significant hirsutism have elevated serum levels of a marker called 3 alpha androstanediol glucuronide, which is the final metabolite created by the T-> DHT conversion process (you do not have hirsutism from your description, but are sort of leaning a little in that direction) and an indication the type 2 levels are elevated. Some doctors prescribe powerful 5 alpha reductase type 2 inhibitors for hirsutism "off label", but I would recommend staying well away from those (possible permanent epigenetic changes).
To approach this via diet consume foods that contain natural 5 alpha reductase type 2 inhibitors. These include diindolylmethane (cruciferous vegetables), foods high in DHA/EPA, theobromine (dark chocolate, cacao), resveratrol (red wine) to name a few. Of these, a study on identical twins have shown theobromine to be one of the stronger ones. I'll be posting a question soon regarding certain free fatty acids, their contents in various oils, and their potential effect on the neuroendocrine system via the alpha reductase pathway, so understand there is no free lunch - 5a R2 is important for allopregnanolone synthesis in the brain, so don't overdo it. A sign of overdoing it would be development of PMS symptoms.
Elevated free testosterone favors increased DHT conversion. Speculating here, but high vitamin D3 levels tend to reduce sex hormone binding globulin, increasing free T and free estradiol (the reason why sunbathing is associated with elevated libido). So, unwanted hair growth might be one potential downside of elevating 25(OH) D3 above whatever the normal human level is supposed to be.
Hope this helps - Kaz
I've had very good luck with spearmint tea. Two strong cups (let steep in hot water 10 minutes) a day and my nasty hairs have pretty much vanished. I drink it iced in summer and reheat it in the winter. It's supposed to "balance hormones" although I must admit I don't understand the mechanism.
Your DHT levels are up, I was on Proscar (DHT inhibitor) for almost a decade and had some of the least amount of body hair of any man I knew. As soon as i got off I started getting hair that I never had. DHT is much more metabolically active than testosterone.
Oh No! Your Inner Ape is trying to claw its way out!
You better feed it some bananas STAT!
(Seriously it is pretty normal for me too, and the only times I don't see them are when I have been pretty sick)
I started having a random dark hair on my chin when I was in my early 20's and now there are 5 or 6 that I have to keep an eye out for. I also have some around my nipples that I've had since high school. I haven't noticed any changes since changing my eating habits, so I think it's just how my body is. As another poster said, get a good pair of tweezers. They seem to sprout out of nowhere, so I keep a pair in my purse too.
I hate to say it, I also had success with cutting back on red meat. I replaced the beef/lamb with wild salmon and shellfish and within a month, they had completely stopped growing in. I used to have to pluck my chin/jawline everyday (and sometimes twice.) I was also vegan/raw vegan before paleo and had the same issues you had. I'm 21, and my mom has the same problem but said she didn't have the issue until menopause, so it is slightly disconcerting.
For what it's worth, I don't think it's sat fat... I'm using massive loads of butter, still. It would be interesting to get someone in here that has some info on what specifically in red meat could be causing this.
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