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Losing Your Hair? Check Out the Major Causes of Hair Loss and Available Treatments


Why is my hair falling out? This was the question I kept asking myself when I noticed more and more hair in my brush and on the bathroom floor every day. I knew it was normal for everyone to shed some hair on a regular basis, but as time went by, I could no longer ignore my disappearing tresses. Even my hairdresser started commenting on how thin my hair was getting and how hard it was to style now.

Teasing only made things worse and soon, I had to resort to wearing a hair piece to cover the bare scalp areas that were now clearly visible. When my eyelashes and eyebrow hair fell out as well, I knew this was serious business … and I was only 68 years old. I decided to do some research and see if I could find some answers to the hair loss I was experiencing.

First, as so many of us do these days, I went to the Internet and looked up hair loss. I found that there could be several common medical explanations for this problem:

  • Hormonal problems such as an imbalance of androgens and estrogens
  • Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, discontinuation of birth control pills, the onset of menopause
  • Some medications, including blood thinners and antidepressants
  • Diet deficiencies and poor nutrition
  • Physiological stress such as a high fever or prolonged illness, sudden or excess diet, surgery, or metabolic disturbances
  • Male pattern baldness in men

None of these conditions applied to me and did not explain the continued thinning of what was once, my thick head of hair. However, in researching further, I read with alarm that hair loss (alopecia) may occur as part of a serious underlying disease such as diabetes, lupus or hypothyroidism. I decided that the sensible thing to do was to seek professional medical attention. I consulted several doctors including a dermatologist, a neurologist and an endocrinologist, who ordered many tests to make sure I did not have any of these diseases. Although I was quite pleased that all these tests were negative, I was still left with the same question, why is my hair still falling out?

I became sick and tired of having a hair piece pinned into my hairedo every time I went to the hair salon. The pins gave me a head-ache and what's worse, my social life suffered for I could not take the chance that my hair would be touched.

Losing my hair had caused me a nightmare of embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, fear of intimidation and exposure and great expense. If I could not find a way to reverse my hair loss, I would soon need a full wig. I could not face a future like this. In desperation, I even tried the colored powder that's sprinkled on the scalp to fill in the bare spots. This was messy, temporary, and did not fool anyone.

While I felt somewhat better that I had ruled out all the serious causes of hair loss, I determined that I had to find some way to stop my hair from falling out and I was determined to re-grow the full, healthy head of hair I had always been so proud of.

I decided to look into the other hair loss solutions on the market and started with the "grow hair" lotions, shampoos, hair vitamin pills, selenium supplements, etc., products they advertised in mail order catalogs. These were a total waste of time and money.

I knew there was available the more drastic option of hair transplant surgery but I decided that this was not a possible solution for me. I dismissed it for I did not want to suffer through the numerous, painful surgical sessions that were necessary and besides, I could not afford the extravagant cost involved.

I moved on to the medicinal products. You're probably aware of the expensive brand name products that are advertised so much. These included dandruff shampoos, scalp treatments and the most famous products whose ingredients are quite similar, with one half of the liquid contracting of propylene glycol, one third alcohol (both inactive ingredients), and the same 5% minoxidil. These topical solution products were not for me because you have to apply them to the scalp twice a day, and can not miss a treatment. Some you roll on and some you rub in but no matter how you apply them, they spoil your hair and make your hair feel nasty. Some even come with their own disgusting smell.

I'm glad that I did my research and followed the sensible course of action. If you are suffering from hair loss, make sure you check the list of common medical causes with your doctor and have all the serious illnesses that may be responsible, ruled out.

To this day, I do not have a definitive answer to the question of why my hair was falling out. However, after months of searching and trials of all kinds of hair growing products, I finally found my hair loss solution and a way to re-grow my hair with effective and affordable Legtime Scalp Air Tonic!



Source by Rosalind Alcana

The Myth Of "Maximum Heart Rate = 220-Age"


You've probably heard of the formula "220-your age" for estimating maximum heart rate. Unfortunately, this formula is not very useful because it can be easily off by more than 20 beats on the high or low side. For me at age 54 this formula says my maximum heart rate should be 166, but I happen to know from more accurate tests that it's at least 25 beats higher than that.

In books, on exercise machines, and on the walls of gyms, you'll often see charts of suggested exercise intensity that are based on 220-your age. It's also in calculators all over the web. I'd severely break a sweat if I exercised at those levels. But more importantly, for some people the opposite is true and their maximum heart rate can be more than 20 beats lower than the formula predicts. If they were to exercise at the levels from the charts, their intensity could be too high, especially for anyone with a medical condition.

This formula is often quoted without any warning about its potential inaccuracy, and in addition to the inaccuracy, it turns out it has little scientific basis [Kolata, 2003]. Some people are aware that 220-age was never intended by its original authors to be a universal formula (it was intended to come up with a safe exercise level for patients in cardiac rehab and was based on a not very broad sample of subjects). But the problem is also in the basic assumption that max heart can be predicted on the basis of age alone. If you think about it, it seems nonsensical-regardless of family background, fitness level, whether we're tall or short, underweight or overweight, etc, we all have exactly the same heart rate at a certain age, and maximum heart rate declines with age in all of us at exactly the same rate?

More recent studies have tried to revisit this concept on a leader sample of the population. For example, in one study, based on thousands of subjects, male and female, ranging in age from 18 to 81, the authors came up with a "best fit" equation of:

Max heart rate = 208 -0.7xAge.

However, if you look at the data this is based on, it looks like a cloud with only a vague trend towards heart rate decreasing with age; there's a lot of scatter. The new formula is a little more accurate than the old one, but still still under predict or over predict max HR by 20 beats or so [Tanaka, 2001].

A recent review of many attempts to come up with a formula to predict max heart rate concluded that no sufficient accurate formula exists to predict max heart rate from age alone [Robergs, 2002]. In my opinion none is possible because of the large amount of scatter in the data. Exercise physiologist Dr. Fritz Hagerman, who has studied world-class rowers for three decades, has said that the idea of ​​a formula to predict an individual's maximum heart rate is ludicrous: he has seen Olympic rowers in their 20's with maximum heart rates of 220, and others on the same team and with the same ability, with maximum rates of just 160 [Kolata, 2001].

Many books have charts with elaborate training schedules based on various zones of intensity, all based on maximum heart rate. It all may look very scientific, but it's not too worthwhile if it's based on an inaccurate number.

Another misconception I've come across is that the problem with the 220-age formula is fixed by using the "heart rate reserve" or Karvonen formula. In that formula, exercise intensity as expressed as a percentage of your "reserve capacity" between your heart rate (RHR) and max heart rate (MHR):

Target heart rate = X% of (MHR-RHR) + RHR

Where X% is the desired percentage. This is a useful formula because the intensities from it are related to a percentage of the heart rate corresponding to your maximal oxygen update VO2Max, which many exercise physiologists are fond of using. But the Karvonen formula still needs an accurate estimate of your max heart rate. If you stick in an inaccurate number based on an age related prediction like 220-age, the result will still be inaccurate.

Heart rate training can be a useful tool, if based on a good estimate of what's a valid intensity level for you. Maximum heart rate can be measured accurately in a lab, but for most of us that's kind of an expensive option. You can estimate other useful parameters like heart rate at lactate threshold from self-administered tests (see for example, [Carmichael, 2003]) and this can be used for heart rate based training. But for those of us that are interested in mostly in fitness, I question the necessity. I'm a "perceived level of exertion" kind of guy. On easy cardio days my pace is comfortable. On hard days, it feels hard, and when doing intervals, it's very hard. This leads to good and steady progress.

References
-Carmichael, Chris, and Jim Rutberg, The Ultimate Ride: Get Fit, Get Fast, and Start Winning With the World's Top Cycling Coach, Grosset & Dunlap, 2003.

-Kolata, G, "Maximum Heart Rate Theory Is Challenged", The New York Times Health Page, April 24, 2001.

-Robergs, R, and Landwehr, R, "The Surprising History of the 'HRmax = 220-age' Equation ', Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 5 (2), 2002.

-Tanaka, H, Monahan, K, Seals, D, "Age-Predicted Maximum Heart Rate Revisited", Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 37 (1), 153, 2001.



Source by Richard King

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