Five Crazy Hair Growth Myths to Ignore

 
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By CysterWigs Contributor

When it comes to achieving the hair growth we long for, it isn’t unnatural to want to try something different to achieve results. But sometimes, things may get a bit…well…strange! From copious amounts of brushing to crazy positions to get a few extra inches fast, here are five of the craziest hair growth myths that you should definitely steer clear from.

Frequent trims = faster hair growth

Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Trimming the ends of your hair hold tons of benefits. It gets rid of scraggly and thinning ends, stops split ends from traveling up your hair shaft and of course, makes your ends look thicker and healthier. However, trimming your ends has absolutely no effect on how fast your hair grows.

The truth is this – trimming does have the ability to eliminate damage before it causes major breakage, meaning that your healthy strands are given the chance to grow longer without breaking off at the ends. This in turn creates the illusion that your hair is growing faster, but it actually isn’t! It’s just helping to retain length better.

Eggs are a great source of protein to help your hair grow faster

Eggs are indeed a great source of protein for your hair… if you’re eating them. In fact, the protein molecules found in raw egg are much too large to penetrate into the hair shaft to offer rebuilding and strengthening from within. Instead, they remain on the outside of the hair shaft and wear away bit by bit – by your next hair wash, they may very well be long gone! For a true protein treatment that promotes the hair growth you desire, opt for a product containing hydrolyzed protein.

100 strokes before bedtime?

You’ve either read about it in stories or seen it on television – the image of a woman brushing her hair before bed. But do you really need to brush your hair before bed each night to see growth? Absolutely not. Brushing your hair may make it look smooth and shiny, and makes for a tangle-free mane, but too much brushing or combing of your hair can actually damage your hair strands! This wear and tear is often the culprit of breakage over time…the exact opposite of healthy hair growth!

Head over heels

The ‘inversion method’ has made its name on hair care forums all across the web. It boasts double your monthly hair growth by increasing blood flow to your scalp by turning your head upside down for a few minutes every night for a week. It’s no secret that the scalp needs constant blood flow to bring nutrients to your hair follicles, but you can avoid the dizziness, headaches and nausea that has been known to accompany the inversion method just by giving yourself a good old scalp massage with a stimulating oil like peppermint oil.

Sealing split ends?

There’s only one way to get rid of pesky split ends, and that’s to cut them off. You can mix as much unicorn tears, vibranium and fairy dust as you please, but they can’t be fixed. Your hair will appear much more hydrated and shiny, lessening the appearance of splits, but the only way to really wave goodbye to split strands is to put down the mixtures and pick up those scissors. Sure, your hair will be a bit shorter, but it’ll be much healthier, too.

It’s super easy to get caught up in the newest hair growth fads that pop up every few months, but there’s nothing worse than wasting your time, money and ingredients on hair growth ‘hacks’ that don’t work. Stick to the tried and true methods that have worked for you. You’ll be much happier in the end.

BIRTH CONTROL AND PCOS

 
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By Julia

Birth control pills or oral contraceptive pills are often prescribed for women who are suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome or women who tend to have hyperandrogenism, which is an excess of male hormones. All women typically have male hormones, such as testosterone, naturally, but in deficient concentrations.

Because of this excess of male hormones, a series of symptoms and complications of PCOS can occur. Treating hyperandrogenism with birth control can alleviate some of the most uncomfortable symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or Polycystic Ovarian Diseases (PCOD.)

Combined Hormonal Contraceptives

By supplying combined hormonal contraceptive pills, the problems of hyperandrogenism are reduced because the pills help in a number of ways:

● By introducing estrogen, the production in the liver of sex steroid transport globulin (SHBG) increases, thereby decreasing the amount of free testosterone.
● On the other hand, the hypothalamus reduces the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), decreasing the levels of LH which in turn causes the ovary to stop producing androgens.

For these reasons, the administration of hormonal contraceptives is one of the first therapeutic options for women with a polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Choosing the Right Pill for PCOS

Choosing the right contraceptive pill for PCOS can be a challenge because the variety of contraceptive pills available may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, they can be classified into just a few categories, which make it easier to evaluate your options. The choice of the most appropriate contraceptive depends mainly on the general health of the woman, her age, and her doctor’s decision.

There are two main types of birth control pills: combined contraceptive pills, which contain estrogen and progesterone, and the mini-pill, which only contains progestin. Combination contraceptive pills are also classified according to whether the hormone dose remains the same or varies:

● Single-phase: In this type of combination contraceptive pill, each active pill contains the same amount of estrogen and progestin.
● Multiphasic: In this type of combination contraceptive pill, the amount of hormones in active pills varies.
Also, combined oral contraceptives can also be classified according to the concentration of estrogen, with ethinylestradiol being the most widely used estrogen today. The combined oral contraceptives are subdivided into two groups: high dose and low dose.
● The high doses are also called macrodoses and are those in which the concentration of ethinylestradiol is higher than 50 ugs in each tablet.
● Those of low dose are subdivided into microdoses if the ethinylestradiol concentration is between 30 and 35 ugs per tablet.

High doses vs. low doses

It is essential to keep in mind that even the lowest dose of estrogen can be effective in preventing pregnancy and is less likely to cause side effects such as bloating, weight gain and mood swings. On the contrary, high doses increase the risk of irregular periods instead of reducing it. On the other hand, low and very low levels of estrogen are associated with a risk of intermenstrual bleeding that can cause some women to stop taking it.

Progestin-Only Options

The progestin-only pill is often called a “minipill.” It may be prescribed for young and adult women experiencing abnormal menstruation, who can’t take estrogen due to an underlying medical condition. Although progestin-only pills can produce side effects, particularly bleeding or spotting between periods, the side effects often improve or disappear after a few months.

The Bottom Line

PCOS can be treated using a variety of options. If you suspect you’re dealing with PCOS or are desperate to figure out how to manage PCOS, you should see a medical doctor as soon as possible. The longer you leave your PCOS untreated, the worse it will become.


You can see all of Julia’s posts here.

Metformin for the treatment of PCOS

 
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DID YOU KNOW? Most people don’t need sugars in their diet to maintain a healthy blood glucose level (unless you are hypoglycemic or diabetic). This is because your liver can create glucose on its own to be released in the blood to keep you healthy. Understanding this concept is essential for understanding the role Metformin plays in your PCOS treatment.

Metformin, also known as Glucophage, is a medication commonly used in the treatment of type II diabetes and blood sugar regulation disorders, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It inhibits the production of glucose in the liver (glucose = a kind of sugar and the fuel of all your body’s cells) and increases insulin sensitivity (insulin = the hormone that tells your body to open up an accept the fuel; if that fuel can’t be used, this hormone is also responsible for fat storage). Metformin is of great utility in non-diabetic women who have PCOS and has demonstrated long-term improvements in weight loss, ovulation, period regularity, hair loss, and body hair growth. Metformin is also effective at helping ease the intense sugar cravings associated with disorders of insulin resistance, such as PCOS and type II diabetes.

DID YOU KNOW? Contrary to popular belief, Metformin DOES NOT lower the impact foods you eat have on your blood sugar. Instead, Metformin tells your liver to stop making sugar (glucogenesis) in response to your body’s signals related to its insulin resistance. This means that you cannot get away with eating more sugar just because you’re on this pill; taking more of it in response to poor dietary choices will probably only make you feel sicker.

A glucose tolerance test is done before you start metformin. In most patients over 17 years old, the usual starting dose is 500 mg a day, which is increased to twice a day and then increased to 850 mg, twice a day. The first dose is taken in the morning after breakfast and the second at night, after dinner. Doses increase until you reach the maximum dose of 2500 mg per day.

DID YOU KNOW? 2000 mg – 2500 mg a day is considered a prophylactic dosage – meaning it will help prevent PCOS from progressing rather than curing it. This often exceeds the dose given to type II diabetics!

Side effects
Metformin is a modern wonder drug but the side effects can be daunting, particularly when you first start taking it. This is medication women with PCOS stop taking on their own against their doctor’s advice because it is not a pill you can feel working instantly. It is not psychoreactive (there’s no high associated with it) and it prevents the onset of worsened disease rather than curing something. This means that the positive effects are not always obvious to the person taking it, making it often difficult to justify enduring the side effects.

DID YOU KNOW? You need to build up a tolerance to this medication in your liver before the side effects will diminish. If you start and stop only to start again, you will be met head on at every false start with the full impact of these side effects!

The most common side effect that patients experience when they start metformin are stomach upset and diarrhea. These symptoms are most acute when you begin your Metformin regimen and they generally subside when you achieve tolerance to the medication. Tolerance usually sets in about a month after you’ve reached the full prophylactic dosage.

You may experience a relapse of these negative side effects if you eat a meal high in simple sugars or fructose. This is similar to the “dumping syndrome” experienced by bariatric weight loss surgery patients. Believe it or not, this is a signal that your Metformin is doing a good job of sensitizing your liver to the sugars in the food you eat. These foods may also begin to change flavor – and certain hyper sweet foods may even start to taste bad to you!

DID YOU KNOW? Dietary changes are a MUST whenever you start a Metformin regimen to best avoid digestive problems. A low carbohydrate diet low in processed convenience foods, in combination with your Metformin, is generally your best bet for defeating sugar cravings and getting your health back on track.

Other side effects are headache, weakness, intestinal gas and abdominal pain. These symptoms can be relieved by taking the medication with a meal. Talk to your doctor about switching to the time released version of this medication if the symptoms persist after tolerance is reached. The time released version is called Metformin ER and it is often much easier on your digestion than the instant release pill form.

Metformin with other treatments
Metformin can be used successfully in combination with other. Spironolactone (Aldactone) is another medication commonly prescribed in combination with Metformin for the treatment of PCOS. The success of metformin treatment increases when patients follow a healthy diet. Since obesity is a common symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome, many doctors pair their patients with a nutritionist. Regular exercise helps lose weight and improves overall health because it helps the Metformin do a better job of sensitizing your body to glucose in the blood.

In conclusion, Metformin constitutes a fundamental, almost universally accepted treatment in patients with PCOS in any clinical presentation. Metformin regulates the menstrual cycle and induces spontaneous ovulation, thereby increasing fertility and overall health in the process.

DID YOU KNOW? Metformin presents benefits for improving metabolic syndrome, blood glucose levels, total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), and blood triglycerides. While you may not see or feel it working for you, you are reducing your heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases and other PCOS complications by taking this pill.

Do you have questions about Metformin or PCOS? We highly recommend talking to your doctor or an Endocrinologist (hormone specialist) to discuss possible diagnosis and treatment options. PCOS is often a diagnosis of exclusion because its symptoms mirror so many other possible conditions – such as Cushing’s Syndrome, hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease. Working closely with a doctor you trust is an essential part of achieving a correct diagnosis. Your doctor will probably want to rule out these other conditions first before prescribing Metformin or any other treatment to you.

Stay tuned for next week’s installment: Spironolactone

Legal Disclaimer


This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments.  The information is not medical advice and should not be used to replace the advice of a trained physician. If you have any suspicion that the information in this article may apply to you, be sure to contact your doctor for more details!
References

https://www.healthline.com/health/polycystic-ovary-disease
http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq121.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20120510T1116545699
http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001408


You can see all of Jesse’s posts here.