What does Low Adrenal Function (Adrenal Fatigue) have to do with Hair Loss?

Low adrenal function, characterized as low levels of cortisol and/or low DHEA-sulfate, can result in hair loss. The exact reasons for its effect on alopecia have not been fully elucidated, however, it is probably limited to three primary mechanisms that include: excess histamine, chronic inflammation, and poor stress response, which may exacerbate an anxiety state. 
 
If you suffer from allergies (either seasonally or due to certain foods), you may have low cortisol secretion...however, beware of antihistamines; they may cause side-effects which can result in loss of hair. Excess histamine release is often triggered when harmless environmental substances called allergens confuse the immune system. Histamine itself is a nitrogen compound that dilates blood vessels and increases available access for immune-supporting white blood cells.

The release of histamine increases vascular permeability, allowing the transport of fluids from capillaries into the tissues, in turn resulting in an inflammatory reaction. The role of hair loss and histamine has not been fully examined, however, the circumstantial evidence is mounting. For example, both green tea and zinc have supporting roles in controlling the excess secretion of histamine and both are helpful in the fight against hair loss.

The most basic level of immune performance enhancement is with the mineral zinc. It can prevent the histamine (allergic) reaction once the body has acquired physiologic levels in the skin. If there is enough zinc present in the mast cells, the mast cells in the skin are stabilized, preventing the cascade of vasoreactive substances such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes from being released.  A few healthy sources of zinc include low-fat red meat, sesame seeds, toasted wheat germ, dark chocolate, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds.  A recommended nutritional supplement source for Zinc and other important minerals such as Magnesium and Potassium would be Ortho Nutrition's Decalcify.
 
On the other hand, if you suffer from other signs of poor adrenal function such as generalized weakness, back pain, insulin resistance, or low blood pressure, this may be indicative of low DHEA levels or Adrenal Fatigue.
 
To learn more about how to control histamine and allergies, see the following article: http://healthyfixx.com/19/defeating-allergies-naturally
 
DHEA and Why it's Important!
 
Dehydroepiandrosterone (better known as DHEA) is an adrenal hormone that improves the body's resistance to disease. The hormone "Cortisol" has an inverse relationship with DHEA; if cortisol is elevated, then DHEA is lowered. 

DHEA can protect against stress and trauma, assists in boosting mood and energy levels, and overcomes general exhaustion. A fundamental cause of low testosterone is a shortage of DHEA. Hair loss is often associated with declining levels of testosterone, hence boosting DHEA levels can also enhance levels of other hormones.
 
A chronic level of stress can result in elevated cortisol levels and a subsequent decline in DHEA levels. 

In a study in individuals with autoimmune disorders, those afflicted with hair loss were found to have low DHEA-sulfate levels when compared to age and sex in matched controls. Over sixty-nine percent of males and over 74 percent of females were below the average control levels of DHEA-sulfate. [1]
 
Many studies have shown that DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) has significant immunomodulating activity, therefore it is probably responsible for maintaining immune regulation, and maybe useful for patients with chronic autoimmune diseases. Sufficient DHEA can help balance the actions of natural killer cells that can control the activation of T autoreactive lymphocytes, such as the case with alopecia areata. [2]
Another vital function of DHEA is its effect on the brain, especially in regards to its antidepressant and anti-anxiety qualities. A low DHEA secretion may exacerbate the symptoms of alopecia areata. [3], [4]
 
How to Boost your DHEA Levels Naturally 
 
When the mineral magnesium is applied transdermally (through the skin), it can boost levels of DHEA. Unfortunately, due primarily to dietary factors and farming practices, most people are found to be deficient in this mineral. 
 
A broad number of conditions are associated with a magnesium deficiency. Some of these include ADHD, anxiety, agoraphobia, arrhythmia, asthma, bulimia, cancer, cardiomyopathy, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, emphysema, fibromyalgia, gall bladder problems, hearing loss, heart attack, high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, kidney stones, migraine, mitral valve prolapse, osteoporosis, panic attacks, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), premature ventricular contractions (PVC’s) and strokes.
 
Magnesium oil or gel is the most effective way to conveniently deliver magnesium to the body when combined with a good internal source such as organic leafy greens, organic almonds, or a good supplemental form of Magnesium Orotate. Magnesium oil can be found at the following URL: http://tinyurl.com/3bs52xa

 
[1]. Int J Trichology. 2011 Jan-Jun; 3(1): 43–44.
[2]. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;120:127–36.
[3]. Neuroimmunomodulation. 2010;17:9–18.
[4]. Psychosomatics. 2003;44:374–81.
[5]. Int J Androl. 2011 Jun 15