Can anaemia cause you to lose your hair?

Specific Conditions

Anaemia caused through iron deficiency is the most common form and can have an adverse effect on the condition of the body and hair.

The levels of haemoglobin in the blood are below normal levels meaning there are less blood cells than there should be. There are other types of anaemia which have different causes such as vitamin B12 and folate deficiency which again can affect the condition of hair.

Lack of iron in the blood can lead to tiredness and lack of energy, hair loss and sallow looking skin. The body is a complex system and needs the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in order to keeping working at its optimum. The red blood cells carry oxygen around the body in haemoglobin and when these cells are compromised the organs do not receive all they need to survive in good condition. Poor hair and skin are possibly the first noticeable signs that there is something wrong and an investigation is needed.

Iron can be found in red meat, dark green vegetables, beans, nuts and dried fruit and if these are not eaten then the blood will become deficient in iron. Supplements can be taken and are often recommended to pregnant women under supervision of a doctor. Illness can also cause iron to be lacking, such conditions as stomach or bowel cancer, a peptic ulcer and drugs may be the culprit. It is important to get these conditions looked at immediately before further damage is caused. Hair that is lost during this period will normally grow back again once the treatment brings it under control.

Anaemia deficiency, when left untreated, can cause further illnesses as the body’s own immune system is unable to fight of infections as easily. Again this can cause hair loss as the skin and hair are the last to receive the valuable nutrients that are required for a healthy head of hair.

This form of hair loss is known as telogen effluvium and is temporary until iron levels are brought under control. It is always best to seek the advice of a hair consultant when there is on-going hair loss as there may be other underlying causes. In some cases it might coincide with genetic hair loss where there is a history of hair loss and once the hair follicles have died hair will not grow back.

Even with pattern hair loss, diet and exercise can help with the health of hair. If the right amount of nutrients are reaching the hair follicles there is more chance of holding hair longer and giving it a thicker, shinier healthy look. Hair is an important asset and without it can cause stress, embarrassment and lack of self-esteem. There are other solutions that can help through times of hair loss as well as for permanent hair loss. Wigs can be a good cover and today they are a lot more realistic than they used to be. They are light and flexible, can be worn even when bathing and made from hair. For a more permanent solution, Scalp Micropigmentation is becoming globally recognised as a viable and less invasive alternative to traditional hair transplant surgery.

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