Hirsutism (HUR-soot-iz-um) is a condition of unwanted, male-pattern hair growth in women.
Hirsutism results in excessive amounts of dark,course hair on body areas where men typically grow hair — face, chest and back.
The amount of body hair you have is largely determined by your genetic makeup. There’s a wide range of normal hair distribution, thickness and color due to differences in heredity. However, hirsutism is a medical condition that can arise from excess male hormones called androgens, primarily testosterone. It can also be due to a family trait.
A combination of self-care and medical therapies provides treatment for many women with hirsutism.
A woman with the mildest form of hirsutism may notice significant growth of mature hair, or hair that is the same color as scalp hair on the upper lip, chin, sideburn area, and around the nipples or lower abdomen.
More advanced hirsutism will cause mature hair to grow on the upper back, shoulders, sternum, and upper abdomen. It usually begins during puberty. If hirsutism starts before or after puberty, the cause could be hormonal, and the woman should be evaluated by a doctor.
When excessively high androgen levels cause hirsutism, other signs might develop over time, a process called virilization. Signs of virilization might include:
-Decreased breast size
-Increased muscle mass
-Enlargement of the clitoris
At puberty, a girl’s ovaries begin to produce a mix of female and male sex hormones, causing hair to grow in the armpits and pubic area. Hirsutism can occur if the mix becomes unbalanced with too high a proportion of male sex hormones (androgens).
Hirsutism can be caused by:
Polycystic ovary syndrome. This most common cause of hirsutism is caused by an imbalance of sex hormones that can result in irregular periods, obesity, infertility and sometimes multiple cysts on the ovaries.
Cushing’s syndrome. This occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol. It can develop from your adrenal glands making too much cortisol or from taking medications such as prednisone over a long period.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. This inherited condition is characterized by abnormal production of steroid hormones, including cortisol and androgen, by your adrenal glands.
Tumors. Rarely, an androgen-secreting tumor in the ovaries or adrenal glands can cause hirsutism.
Medications. Some medications can cause hirsutism. These include danazol, which is used to treat women with endometriosis; systemic corticosteroids and fluoxetine (Prozac) for depression.
Sometimes, hirsutism can occur with no identifiable cause. This happens more frequently in certain populations, such as in women of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South Asian ancestry.
Several factors can influence the likelihood of developing hirsutism, including:
Family history. Several conditions that cause hirsutism, including congenital adrenal hyperplasia and polycystic ovary syndrome, run in families.
Ancestry. Women of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South Asian ancestry are more likely to develop hirsutism with no identifiable cause than are other women.
Obesity. Being obese causes increased androgen production, which can worsen hirsutism.
Hirsutism can be emotionally distressing. Some women feel self-conscious about having unwanted body hair. Some develop depression. Also, although hirsutism doesn’t cause physical complications, the underlying cause of a hormonal imbalance can.
If you have hirsutism and irregular periods, you might have polycystic ovary syndrome, which can inhibit fertility. Women who take certain medications to treat hirsutism should avoid pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects
A physician will look at the patient’s medical history, and especially the menstrual cycle. If the patient has a normal, cyclic pattern of menstrual periods, the hirsutism is most likely genetic, or inherited.
If menstruation is irregular, and if it has always been irregular, the cause could be polycystic ovary syndrome.
If the hirsutism and menstrual irregularity are new, and if the woman is missing her periods, tests may be carried out for a potentially more serious condition, such as a tumor of the ovary, adrenal glands, or pituitary gland. In cases of mild hirsutism, and no other symptoms suggesting overproduction of androgen hormones, there may be no need for any additional testing.
If more testing is necessary, several blood tests are available.
-By measuring levels of the hormones testosterone and DHEA, the tests can check for signs of polycystic ovary syndrome, ovary tumors, adrenal gland tumors, or tumors that can stimulate the adrenal glands.
-They can also detect adrenal gland hormone deficiencies, which can cause overgrowth of the adrenal glands.
-The hormone prolactin may be measured to check for signs of a tumor in the pituitary gland.
-Blood sugar and cholesterol levels may be tested.
-Depending on the results of these tests, there may be additional hormone tests to find out why androgen levels are high, by evaluating the function of your adrenal gland and pituitary gland.
-Sometimes, the patient may undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, a computed tomography (CT) scan of the adrenal glands or an ultrasound of the ovaries
STANDARD TREATMENT PRACTICE
Treatment for hirsutism often involves a combination of treating the underlying disorder, if there is one, self-care methods, hair-removal therapies and medications.
Medications taken for hirsutism usually take up to six months, the average life cycle of a hair follicle, before you see a significant difference in hair growth. Medications include:
Oral contraceptives. Birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives, which contain estrogen and progestin, treat hirsutism caused by androgen production. Oral contraceptives are a common treatment for hirsutism in women who don’t want to become pregnant. Possible side effects include dizziness, nausea, headache and stomach upset.
Anti-androgens. These types of drugs block androgens from attaching to their receptors in your body. They’re sometimes prescribed after six months on oral contraceptives if the oral contraceptives aren’t effective enough.
The most commonly used anti-androgen for treating hirsutism is spironolactone (Aldactone). Because these drugs can cause birth defects, it’s important to use contraception while taking them.
Topical cream. Eflornithine (Vaniqa) is a prescription cream specifically for excessive facial hair in women. It’s applied directly to the affected area of the face and helps slow new hair growth, but doesn’t get rid of existing hair. It can be used with laser therapy to enhance the response.
To remove unwanted hair permanently, options include:
Electrolysis. This treatment involves inserting a tiny needle into each hair follicle. The needle emits a pulse of electric current to damage and eventually destroy the follicle. There might be need for multiple treatments.
Electrolysis is effective but can be painful. A numbing cream spread on your skin before treatment might reduce discomfort.
Laser therapy. A beam of highly concentrated light (laser) is passed over the skin to damage hair follicles and prevent hair from growing. There might be need for multiple treatments.
There might be development of skin redness and swelling after laser therapy. Laser therapy for hair removal is expensive and carries a risk of burns and skin discoloration, especially in people with tanned or dark skin.
NEW HOPE/ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT PRACTICE
PCOS patients have been reported
to have markers of cardiovascular and endothelial disorders in addition to the familiar features of hirsutisms, acne, and anovulatory infertility. Whether hyperandrogenemia affects oxidant and antioxidant status in women with PCOS is unknown.
However, in a human study, ROS generation was demonstrated
to directly correlate with testosterone and androstenedione
, suggesting that ROS induces Oxidative Stress(OS), which may
consequently contribute to hyperandrogenism in PCOS
women. Plasma testosterone or androstenedione and ROS
generation are associated, suggesting that OS may directly
PCOS is present in 60-90% of women with hirsutism as increased androgen production leads to hirsutism
IMMUNOCAL is a natural protein isolate with bonded cysteine the precursor of the very powerful antioxidant glutathione which helps to repair,sustain and optimize cellular functions. Here’s a list of some of the constituents, molecules and enzymes of IMMUNOCAL that it modulates their production in the cells:
– Sialic Acid,
– Gluathione precursors,
– and Beta-lactoglobulin
just to mention the key components.
A combination of these bioactive constituents of Immunocal (Cysteine delivery, Glutathione precusor, Lactoferrin synthase, Immunoglobulin, Sialic Acid and others) that are modulated intracellularly considerably helps in preventing various chemical process that contributes to hyperandrogenism and subsequent development of hirsutism. One of such critical chemical process is called Reactive Oxygen Specie Production.
IMMUNOCAL also provides a good strategy because IMMUNOCAL helps the cells to respond better to insulin hormone. So that the cells can make use of insulin to remove the excess. Hence, cells of the ovaries can use insulin better with the use of Immunocal overtime thus getting rid of the poly cyst and preventing hirsutism
IMMUNOCAL helps with the metabolism of the stress hormones called cortisol which contibutes to the development of hirsutism when produced in abnormal amount. This helps prevent stress related health conditions that could be fatal in the long run
There’s no limitation to daily dosage or duration of using IMMUNOCAL. However, we recommend minimum of 1-2 sachets daily and the patient can keep using until desired result is achieved and even beyond to maintain health. Though, the more the patient can afford to use daily, the faster and better it works. Some people observe improvement within days while others take longer. It all depends on how their body respond.