Can hair loss be dangerous?

General Hair Loss

If sudden loss of hair is seen, advice is needed from a doctor or specialist to diagnose the cause. In some cases it may be a change in diet or lifestyle which can soon be remedied. For others it may be more serious.

The hair and skin are very delicate and react to body changes. The body requires the right nutrients to survive and if for some reason it does not receive them then the needs of your major organs will be catered for first, and hair (which is less important) will be last.

Loss of hair is usually a natural process, although it is more prevalent in men than women. It can be a sign of aging as hair does become thinner in older age. For men it is more socially acceptable to become bald even at an earlier age when there are genetic causes. For women it is not as acceptable and can cause stress and anxiety. Although there is no actual danger in losing hair the causes can be more of a concern.

Society today plays a big part in the way we look as fashions and hair styles are closely monitored and followed in both men and women. For those losing hair it can be traumatic if they cannot keep up with the latest trends. Looks are important, it says who we are and lack of hair can cause stress, anxiety and lack of confidence. Many reports have been written by those who have experienced this and have stated how badly it has affected their health. So, although it is not life threatening it can be a danger to our general well-being.

Coeliac disease is an inflammation to the gut lining of the small intestine caused by an intolerance to gluten and effects many people of all ages. It can cause weight loss, pain and tiredness along with hair loss. As the disease stops the gut from absorbing food and working correctly it affects the way nutrients are passed around through the system. The body’s immune system will attack the disease but does not always recognise healthy cells and attacks them as well. This is what happens to the hair follicles which shrink and lose hair. Medication can bring the disease under control and hair may begin to grow again.

The hormone cortisol is made by the adrenal glands and if the body makes too much it will develop Cushing syndrome which can cause several symptoms such as weak muscles, tiredness, high blood pressure and excess thirst. It is only when Cushing syndrome is due to a non-cancerous tumour of the adrenal gland that it may cause hair loss. This is because of the production of higher amounts of the hormone androgen.

An imbalance to the body’s metabolism by either an under or overactive thyroid gland can affect the way in which the body’s major systems work. When the body has to compensate in any way and adjust to ensure organs receive the nutrients they need then the hair follicles will suffer. The growth cycle of the hair can be interrupted causing the hair to thin and fall out. Again, once under control hair will normally start to grow back.

Although there are products available on the market that state they have a cure for hair loss, care should be taken. Each individual will react to medication or treatment in a different way and if it is not the correct diagnosis it can do more harm than good. Sudden hair loss is a concern and should only be diagnosed by a professional who can advise on the best course of action.

As always the best self-help is a well-balanced diet full of protein and vitamins. As with most forms of illness there can be a certain amount of stress and anxiety. This on its own can cause hair loss. Relaxation and a good night sleep is nature’s best cure. Normally once the ailment is brought under control hair will grow back but can flare up again in the future. The condition of hair will change naturally throughout a lifetime and it is only when greater changes than normal are seen that advice is needed.

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