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Why Am I Losing My Hair?

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Everyone loses hair all the time, maybe up to 100 strands a day. They fall out, then grow back in, and the cycle starts over again. But eventually, most guys will start to notice that they’re losing more than before -- and it’s not growing back.

As many as 85% of men will have some sort of hair loss in their lifetime. It can happen for different reasons.

Most Common Cause: Male Pattern Baldness
Up to 95% of guys with thinning hair can blame it on this condition. It’s caused by genes you get from your parents.

Scientists think the gene may affect how sensitive your hair follicles are to a hormone called DHT, which makes them shrink. As they get smaller, the hair that grows back tends to be finer, thinner, and shorter. Eventually, it takes longer for hair to grow back. Then, the follicles will shrink so that no hair grows at all.

Male pattern baldness shows up in a telltale shape: a receding hairline with thinning strands around the crown of your head. Over time, that area will go bald, but you’ll still have a horseshoe pattern of hair above your ears circling to the lower back of the head.

Men with this trait can start to lose their locks as early as their early teens. In general, the sooner it starts, the greater the loss will be.

Other types of hair loss tend to happen faster than male pattern baldness.

Spot baldness, or alopecia areata, makes your hair fall out in smooth, round patches, but it usually grows back. The condition is a type of autoimmune disease, which means your body attacks itself. In this case, it destroys your hair.

Scarring alopecia is a rare disease that destroys your hair follicles and makes scar tissue form in their place. Hair will not grow back.

Other Reasons for Hair Loss

When your locks fall out suddenly, instead of gradually thinning over time, it’s usually from something other than male pattern baldness. Other causes include:

-Diseases like anemia or a thyroid problem

-Radiation or chemotherapy treatments

-Medications, such as blood thinners, high doses of vitamin A, and steroids that some men take to help build muscle, called anabolic steroids

-Scalp infections

-Problems with your diet, like getting too little iron or too much vitamin A

-Stress

-Keeping hairstyles like tight ponytails, cornrows, or braids for many years

-For most of these issues, your hair will grow back once you take care of what’s causing it.

Are There Any Risks to Hair Loss?

Male pattern baldness generally isn’t a sign of a serious medical problem, but it has been linked with some other conditions including coronary heart disease, an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.

If you notice your hair starting to fall out, keep track of the pattern and how much you’re losing. You can talk to your doctor to rule out a more serious problem.

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Men and Hair Loss: What Are the Options?

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It may seem a peculiar American vanity that men have in-boxes full of hair loss treatment offers and spend billions of dollars on hair loss treatments each year. Not so. As Gersh Kuntzman illustrates in his book Hair! Mankind's Historic Quest to End Baldness, chrome-dome anxiety has tormented us for ages. Caesar's laurel wreaths? Classic red herring, Kuntzman says.

Baldness is biblical, too -- from the Maccabees to Samson and Delilah (a story Kuntzman calls "practically a commercial for Propecia") -- the Old Testament is littered with hair loss. If there'd been email back then, it's a good bet Elijah would be agonizing over whether or not to Buy Rogaine Online Now.

For as long as men have been fretting over their expanding foreheads, they've been scrounging for hair loss treatments. From hippo fat pomades to the urine of young foals, history is full of just-so-crazy-they-might-work concoctions. They didn’t work. And a quick Googling reveals that most of the products and services marketed today are only slightly less absurd.

In reality, there’s a very limited number of effective treatments for male pattern baldness. Given that two-thirds of American men will experience a significant level of thinning by the age of 35, it's worth running through the options.

The pill to prevent hair loss
Looking for a pill to keep from going bald? Finasteride, known more commonly as Propecia, is taken daily in 1 mg doses. Because it works by lowering dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, it’s assumed it can reduce hair loss for a majority of men. It also often achieves a measure of regrowth.

"I recommend that everyone [with any hair loss] take finasteride," says Robert M. Bernstein, MD. Bernstein is associate clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University and founder of the Bernstein Medical Center for Hair Restoration. "To patients who are younger,” he says, “I also recommend minoxidil. But the mainstay is finasteride. The data show that, over five years, it significantly retards hair loss in 85% of users."


Both finasteride and minoxidil, the only other FDA-approved hair loss product (most commonly marketed as Rogaine), require a commitment. Stop either of these hair loss treatments and your progress vanishes. Within months, you'll lose whatever hair you managed to retain or grow back.

Finasteride does have potential sexual side effects. A very small percentage of men experience decreases in libido and other problems, but this is rare and generally temporary.

Liquid hair loss treatment -- There's the rub
Initially used to treat high blood pressure, minoxidil was the first medication approved by the FDA to treat male pattern baldness. By applying Rogaine (or a generic version) directly to the scalp twice a day, a man in the early stages of hair loss can often stimulate growth. The American Hair Loss Association points out that results of treatment with minoxidil are limited, but it still endorses using it in combination with other treatments or as an alternative if finasteride doesn't work.

"I caution patients to try it for a limited time," Bernstein says. "Because it's not as simple [to use] as a pill, use isn't always regular, and you end up losing whatever you gained."

Side effects of minoxidil are limited to occasional itchiness and dry scalp.

Hair transplants
The good news: Hair transplants don't look like dolls' hair anymore. The bad news: You won't be able to go anywhere to show off your new 'do because you'll be broke. The average recipient of a follicle transplant receives several thousand grafts -- strips of hair removed from bushier parts of the head -- at a cost of several thousand dollars. The cost continues to mount when patients come back for added thickness over the years.

The hair transplant is an expensive procedure that, as with other options, rarely leaves you with a Fabio-like mane. Still, the science has improved dramatically in recent years, and more than a few lusciously locked movie stars are rumored to have gone under the tweezers.

Toupee or not toupee
As with transplants, the word toupee conjures an outdated and disagreeable image. The 70s-style rugs have mostly been traded in for spiffier "hair replacement systems." But the basic concept -- a foreign object atop your head -- can only evolve so far. Of course, the effectiveness of hairpieces is tough to evaluate. You may spot an awful one now and then, but the ones you do spot are just the awful ones. Who knows how many masterpieces slip undetected under the radar?


Barring a hair-tugging spree, there aren't many opportunities to admire the toupee's invisible art. But among those clients willing to own up, the American Hair Loss Association reports that over 70% are ultimately dissatisfied with their experience at hair replacement salons.

Alternative hair loss remedies
One word: boondoggle. From saw palmetto to zinc, a vast array of tinctures, supplements, and shampoos promise to do what the FDA-approved treatments do -- only cheaper and perhaps even better because of some “little-known ancient wisdom.” Turns out that FDA approval isn't for nothing.

"There's never been a single study to show they work," Bernstein says of the alternative remedies. "It's conceivable that some might have some minor impact. But the real problem is that people waste valuable time experimenting with them when they'd be much better off spending their money on something proven to work. The window for Propecia passes, and if you've spent two years with this herbal thing instead, that can make a big difference in the results you ultimately get."

George Cotserelis, MD, is director of the University of Pennsylvania's Hair and Scalp Clinic. He agrees that there's no evidence these alternative hair loss treatments have any effect. "If any of it did work," he says, "I'd be very worried about using that product. The fact that it’s working would mean it's doing something to the testosterone and could be having adverse effects."

Laser combs: The Star Trek solution
For those concerned that the existing treatments lack a certain sci-fi quality, behold the Laser Comb. The Laser Comb recently became only the third hair loss treatment to receive FDA approval. And it is the first that doesn’t use drugs or surgery. By stimulating follicles with a low-level laser, the hand-held device was shown in test trials to increase hair volume in a majority of patients.

The 545 dollar product is a source of great optimism among some -- and some wariness among others. "We've definitely seen some benefit, probably on the order of minoxidil," Bernstein says. "But the study was only six months long. And there's suspicion among many of us about the long-term effectiveness. The process doesn't affect DHT."

Future hope
Even more fantastical than a laser-emitting comb is that longed for promise of a total cure to baldness - hair cloning. By culturing and successfully implanting new hair cells, scientists might be able to grow follicles where once there were none. But don't be fooled by Dolly. Making hair isn't the same as making sheep.

"We've been saying it's 10 years off for many years now. I still say it's 10 years off," Bernstein says. "There are some major scientific barriers to overcome. Then there are the trials to go through, the approval, the cost constraints. But I definitely think it will happen -- someday."

Cotserelis speaks even more guardedly: "Will it be a total cure for baldness? I'd say the future will hold many more treatment options. But there won't be one solution for everyone. You'll still have to use multiple approaches, like you do now."

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Not Having Sex - 5 Things That Can Happen to You!

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An important part of your adult life and a way of expressing your love, sex can be an effort when, both you and your partner do not feel up to it.

However when you completely put a stop to having sex, these 5 things can happen:

1.You feel more anxious: A study by a group of Scottish researchers reveals that when you go without sex for a long time, you are unable to cope with the pressures of life. Couples who had sex for at least once over a 14 day period were able to cope with stressful situations, the study revealed. During sex, your body releases chemicals like oxytocin and endorphins that leave you with happy feelings. When you abstain from it, you shut down an avenue to get rid of pent-up emotion or energy.

2.It raises the possibility of prostate cancer in men: Research reveals that men who have sex regularly experience a 20% fall in their chances of developing prostate cancer. The reason is frequent episodes of ejaculation bring about the removal of harmful matter from the prostate gland.

3.You become more prone to colds and flu: Less sex can affect your body's ability to fight off germs, making you prone to common colds and flu. A research by the Wilkes-Barre University shows that couples who have sex one or two times a week witness a 30% boost in the production of immunoglobulin A or IgA (an antibody that is the body's first line of defense against germs) compared to people who don't.

4.It increases the risk for erectile dysfunction (ED) in men: Findings published in the American Journal of Medicine highlight the fact that men who have sex less frequently are two times more likely to experience ED than men who have sex about once a week. According to the researchers of the study, frequent sex allows the penis to maintain its strength and effectiveness.

5.A drop in Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) for women: One good thing comes out of not having sex. It is said that about 80% of UTI (Urinary Tract Infections) occurs within 24 hours of having sex. During intercourse, bacteria from the vagina get transported into the urethra, leading to the infection of the area. For women, the decision to not have sex can reduce the risk of developing this condition.

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Peyronie's Disease - How It Can Be Treated Naturally?

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Peyronie’s disease is a disorder that occurs due to the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis, which usually causes injury to the penis. Men who have a penis which is severely bent are considered to have Peyronie’s disease. The men suffering from Peyronie’s disease may also experience painful erection which in turn may affect the sexual health and performance.

What causes Peyronie’s disease?
The exact cause of Peyronie’s disease is still unknown; however, it is believed that it may be a result of repetitive injury to the penis. People with family history of Peyronie’s disease are at a higher risk for developing the same. Aging is also believed to contribute to the development of the disease.

Symptoms of Peyronie’s disease
The symptoms of the Peyronie’s disease may appear gradually or suddenly and the main symptoms include the following:

1.Erectile dysfunction
2.Scar tissue
3.Pain in the penis
4.Shortening of the penis

The penile pain is felt by men without or with an erection. It takes about 1 to 2 years for the pain to reduce during erections, but the curvature remains. In very rare cases, the pain associated with the Peyronie’s disease and curvature improve without any treatment.

Effective natural herbal treatments for Peyronie’s disease

Castor oil: Apply castor oil on the penis, particularly on the scar tissue and the plaque spots. The oil liquefies and softens the hard tissues and works effectively for the sufferers. The remedy takes about 12 weeks for the improvement and to completely straighten the penis. The result may vary from individual to individual. Also, it may take between 2-3 weeks until you see a difference in the appearance of the penis. Ensure you buy castor oil from a good brand and massage a small amount of the oil on the affected area. Then put a cotton bandage on it. Apply the oil every night at bedtime for best results.


Acetyl-L-carnitine: One can use carnitine supplements as they are very effective and safe for treating Peyronie’s disease. You can purchase Acetyl-L-carnitine from health food stores. This has proven to be more effective than the counterparts available in the market. The dosage for the supplement is provided on the bottle.

Gotu Kola: Use herbs like Gotu Kola as they help decrease the problems related to the formation of fibrous tissue below the skin. The herb is useful in the treatment of the curvature of the penis. It is made available in the form of an ointment, capsule, and tincture. Some of the common side-effects associated with the consumption of gotu kola include headache, dizziness, upset stomach, and nausea. This herb in some cases can also interact with certain diabetes and cholesterol-lowering medications. Therefore, it is always advised to consult a specialist before using gotu kola for the treatment of Peyronie’s disease.

The prevalence of Peyronie’s disease occurs in men over the age of 55.It is always better to see the doctor if the curvature of the penis stops you from having sex and causes a lot of pain.

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Drinking Milk - Can it Cause Male Breast?

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The development of a girl’s breast at puberty is a major differentiating factor between the silhouette of a boy and a girl. However, sometimes, men too can develop breast tissue. This condition is known as Gynecomastia. While it is not fatal or very harmful to a person’s overall health, it can cause emotional distress and affect a person’s self-confidence.

Gynecomastia can be triggered by a number of factors including diet, lifestyle, hormonal imbalances etc. One of the most surprising causes of this condition is milk. This is because milk is considered to be rich in oestrogen. When talking of milk, it can be categorised as organic and non-organic milk. In order to increase the amount of milk, a cow can produce they are often injected with hormones. Milk collected from cows who have received such treatment is known as non-organic milk while milk collected from cows who have not received any form of treatment to boost milk production can be termed as organic milk. Non-organic milk may also have a higher than normal IGF-I level. This refers to an insulin-like growth factor that aids in the development of breast tissue.

The main reason milk consumption is encouraged is for its high calcium levels. However, you can get your calcium from other natural sources as well. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and bok-choy are very rich in calcium and the calcium from these vegetables can be very easily absorbed by our bodies. Thus, skipping your glass of milk will not give you weak bones.


Gynecomastia can be treated. Increasing your intake of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower can help absorb and remove oestrogen from the digestive tract before it goes into the blood stream. Spices like turmeric can increase testosterone levels and help balance hormones. Phytoestrogens like flax seeds and soy can also help treat gynecomastia by minimising oestrogen levels and reducing cholesterol.

Two ayurvedic herbs that can increase the production of testosterone and thus, help maintain a balance between oestrogen and testosterone are tribulus terrestris and cordycep. Red clover can also help reduce oestrogen levels. Sarsaparilla is yet another ayurvedic herb that can help treat this condition by strengthening muscles.

In addition to these dietary changes and herbal medicines, one must also exercise to reduce fat tissue in the chest area. Lifting weights or chest bench presses are ideal exercises to strengthen chest muscles and reduce gynecomastia.

Dr. Yogesh Chavan
Dr. Yogesh Chavan
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Headache Specialist, 12 yrs, Nashik
Dr. Sonali wagh
Dr. Sonali wagh
BAMS, Ayurveda, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Hitesh Karnavat
Dr. Hitesh Karnavat
BAMS, Ayurveda Infertility Specialist, 12 yrs, Pune
Dr. Prakash Dhumal
Dr. Prakash Dhumal
BHMS, Family Physician Dietitian, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sheetal Jadhav
Dr. Sheetal Jadhav
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, Pune
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