Question of the Month
I am a teenager, and I have noticed many
changes in my body hair. I was wondering if this would have anything to do with
the hormones that are in the foods we buy and eat.
Many people worry about hormones in food. At
least in the US, these are not supposed to get in the meat. I am a vegetarian
and so avoid the problem, but not everyone feels comfortable avoiding meat. In
any case, it is usually forms of estrogen, so far as I know, which are put in
meat. Growth hormone has also been used but would be destroyed by cooking.
The hormones which cause increased hair growth are testosterone and related
hormones, together referred to as androgens. These are not in food but are made
in the person's own body. It is best to have testing for these hormones and then
treatment can be worked out. If the problem is troublesome, then the younger
treatment starts, the better. Hair removal by electrolysis helps, but it is best
to also have the underlying cause treated as well.
This is discussed in much more detail in my web article on
increased hair growth.
I hope this helps.
Geoffrey Redmond, MD
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