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Hair Loss and Nutritional Deficiency

By Joanna Karpasea-Jones
 
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Nutritional deficiencies may be the cause of some cases of hair loss so if your hair is thinning or you’re losing it, you may be lacking in essential vitamins.

Are you anemic?

If you are not yet middle-aged and are struggling with hair loss, it may be due to anemia. Other signs of anemia are:

• Tiredness
• Lack of energy
• Headaches
• Breathlessness
• Palpitations
• Pale skin
• Flaking skin around the nails
• Mouth ulcers

The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology wrote:

"Several studies have examined the relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss. Almost all have addressed women exclusively and have focused on noncicatricial hair loss. Some suggest that iron deficiency may be related to alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, and diffuse hair loss, while others do not ... It is our practice at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation to screen male and female patients with both cicatricial and noncicatricial hair loss for iron deficiency. Although this practice is not evidence based per se, we believe that treatment for hair loss is enhanced when iron deficiency, with or without anemia, is treated. Iron deficiency anemia should be treated."

So science has not really established whether there is a relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss, but some research suggests that there is. If you have hair loss and any of the other symptoms, see your doctor for a blood test to check for anemia. If you are anemic, a course of iron tablets may be enough to assist hair re-growth.

Food sources that contain iron include leafy green vegetables, beans, nuts, dried fruit, fortified breakfast cereals, oatmeal and meat. Make sure your weekly menu contains some of these types of foods in order to avoid anemia. Reducing your caffeine intake can also improve your iron levels as caffeine inhibits your body’s ability to absorb iron.

Zinc Deficiency

Additional research has shown that zinc deficiency may be a cause of hair loss and zinc has been employed as a treatment for hair loss even if the person has not been shown to be deficient.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Great article on zinc deficiency....yes, however, there can be a variety of reason for hair loss. I was hospitalized recently for approx a week an a half which resulted in a hair loss for me due to heavy duty, but necessary, meds....I visited my stylist for a nice cut...removing "dead" hair, begin taking hair vitamins and additional supplement religiously and my hair is beginning to renew...
To your excellent health!
Ameenah
http:www.awesomehealthandwealth.com
"Natural Relief for Menopause Hot Flashes"

October 24, 2011 - 9:01pm
Joanna Karpasea-Jones

Yes, that's a good idea, I should have put natural ways to get zinc. Will look it up and post on here tomorrow.

October 18, 2011 - 3:38pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

YES TERRIBLY• Tiredness
YES TERRIBLY• Lack of energy
YES TERRIBLY• Headaches
sometimes• Breathlessness
YES TERRIBLY• Palpitations
MAYBE• Pale skin
MAYBE• Flaking skin around the nails
NO• Mouth ulcers
YES hairloss
Along with missed periods, weight loss, loss of appetite

Even if I eat loads of leafy greens and quality meats/proteins regularly, could I still have an iron deficiency due to lack of absorption? Is there a test I can request from my doc or a range of results that could indicate a low level even if not out of range...

I liked how the article highlighted what to eat for the iron naturally, but maybe I missed the natural ways to obtain zinc?

September 22, 2011 - 8:30pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

While a zinc definiency is a valid cause, mine was a low functioning thyroid. My hair in last year started to break off at the roots and was filling a hair brush on a daily basis.
My adrenal glands were also totally burned out from exhaustation and a hormone imbalance. Since I started taking Synthryoid and fish oil and other vitamins, I feel better and my hair is coming back!

September 22, 2011 - 10:56am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

How did you know you had low thyroid production, and without the medicine will you be able to restore your thyroid and adrenal health eventually?

September 22, 2011 - 8:23pm
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