Can hair loss be caused by an iron deficiency?

General Hair Loss

Studies conducted over a period of forty years have revealed that iron deficiency is closely related to hair loss. Iron supplements have shown to revitalize the growth of hair, but the research is not yet conclusive enough to make doctors check for iron deficiency routinely.

Wilma Fowler Bergfeld MD, a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States, has been studying the link between iron deficiency and hair loss. Her results have been nothing short of amazing, revealing many unknown connections between iron and hair loss.

Doctor Bergfeld has stated that her patients are far more likely to regrow hair lost when having their iron stores replenished by means of iron supplements. She believes that is may not be a miracle cure to baldness, but it definitely is a key factor. Doctors can check your iron levels and prescribe iron supplements, but one should be warned not to take iron supplements unless a deficiency is present. The health conditions that result from an overdose of iron are extremely dangerous.

In order to determine whether or not an iron deficiency is the cause of your hair loss, doctors need to measure the amount of a chemical termed ferritin in the blood. This chemical plays a critical role in the storage of iron in the blood. Ferritin is a protein that is easily measured and a suited dosage of Iron supplements can be administered. It is theorized that as even hereditary hair loss is affected by low iron levels. Those suffering from hereditary hair loss require a large amount of iron in order to facilitate the proper growth of hair follicles.

Low iron levels are more common in women than in men, however both sexes suffer from this lack of iron. Iron deficiency may be less common in men than women; however the deficiency itself can be a sign of far greater health problems. Hair loss is often the first sign of far greater underlying problems. For this reason, and many other safety concerns, you should always visit your doctor if you suspect your hair loss to be caused by a lack of iron. Self-administration of the iron supplements can cause many stomach problems. Constipation, gastrointestinal disorders and many other nasty conditions can arise from the intake of too much iron.

A safe and natural way to increase your iron levels is through the inclusion of iron rich foods into your diet. Beans, oysters, spinach, lean beef, raisins, tofu and lentils are but a few of the iron rich foods that you can easily integrate into your daily diet. By maintaining a healthy diet that is rich in iron you can strengthen your hair and help to prevent hair loss. Lean red meat has the highest absorption rate of iron through the body and should be included in your diet should your eating habits allow Omega-3 fatty acids should also be including in your diet, salmon, sardines and other fish contain a large amount of this essential fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent hair loss and also encourage the re-growth of your hair.

Iron supplements are available without prescriptions however the risks involved are far too high. The human body has no way of ridding itself of excess iron. If you are not going to be consulting a doctor, then stick to a healthy diet. Hair is viewed by the body as a non-essential tissue and if your body’s nutrients are lacking then it will not send enough key nutrients to the hair. This results in broken and damaged hair, and after a period of time hair loss.

Common symptoms of iron deficiency, other than hair loss, include fatigue lasting over a month, a constant cold feeling, a pale complexion, lack of focus and brittle nails. If you are losing your hair and are also experiencing these symptoms then you should contact your doctor immediately for a ferritin level test. Those that are found to be lacking iron are also usually prescribed a high dosage vitamin supplement or mineral complex, along with the iron. Human hair consists of 97% protein. Protein is built using amino acids. If you are suffering from an iron deficiency then it would be a good practice to ask your doctor about the possibility of an amino acid complex, as it will help assist the regrowth of strong and healthy hair.

There are many possible causes for hair loss, iron deficiency is but one of them. If you are experiencing any of the before mentioned symptoms, or if you simply cannot fathom out why you are losing hair, then it may be likely that you simply do not have enough iron in your body. As before warned, do not self-medicate. Enrich your diet or visit a doctor if you suspect that iron deficiency is the cause of your hair loss.


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