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Q:   I am 47 years old and just had some blood tests to check my hormone levels. I went to the Dr. because I had been noticing an increased amount of hair loss and thinning (my hair texture in some areas had actually changed). My Dr. informed me that I was menopausal, but did not seem overly concerned. I have an appointment with a Dermatologist but from everything I have been reading, I wonder if this will help. I also been experiencing other mild symptoms (fatigue, headache, indigestion, anxiety and mood swings) but the hair loss is the most overwhelming. If I was your patient what type of testing might you do? Also, do you have a high success rate for treating women experiencing hair loss due to menopause? How long does this "condition" last? I am not taking any type of HRT currently.

A: Estrogen is needed to keep hair on the head for the normal length of time. When estrogen falls around menopause, many women experience hair shedding. Estrogen replacement in the right form and dose often helps considerably. Few doctors are aware of this, however. Unfortunately, without treatment, shedding tends to continue. This is also discussed in my alopecia article on the website. Obviously, I can't be certain of the cause and best treatment for you, since I have not seen you. But I hope this general information is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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