The Belgravia Centre Blog

Anaemia & Hair Loss

anaemia & hair lossAre you feeling under pressure, tired and exhausted and on top of that experiencing hair loss? Don’t be too quick to assume your hair loss is down to stress or genetics alone because it may be more than that. Hair loss often signals a variety of medical problems and could be the result of a low amount of red blood cells in your system. This condition is called anaemia.

The body needs certain nutrients to produce more red blood cells and if there is a lack of one or more of these nutrients, anaemia will develop. There are three types of anaemia concerned with hair loss. Knowing the different types and their causes will allow you to prepare your body to resist against it and take the necessary steps to restoring your hair.

Iron Deficiency

The most common form of anaemia is iron deficiency anaemia. Women are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency due to the regular loss of iron rich blood during menstruation. Iron deficiency is believed to be a relatively common precursor to female hair loss, in fact, 72% of women with diffuse hair loss have an iron deficiency.

Symptoms:
Rapid hair loss, weight loss, pale appearance, spoon shaped nails, depression, change of hair colour to a lighter shade, excessive dryness of hair

Causes:
Vitamin C deficiency can lead to an iron deficiency, excessive amounts of caffeine can reduce the amount of iron supplied through food, alcohol abuse also reduces the availability of iron in the body.

Sources:
Rice, bread, broccoli and beans but it is also important to get plenty of Vitamin C which is required for good absorption.

Copper Toxicity Anaemia

Copper is found in the blood bound to proteins and besides acting in the formation of melanin (the pigment that gives hair its colour), it is also involved in the absorption, storage and metabolism of iron. It is also needed in the utilisation of Vitamin C but an excess can destroy Vitamin C and indirectly lead to iron deficiencies. Copper levels are more often too high than too low and this can be toxic.

Symptoms:
Hair loss, headaches, hypoglycemia, increased heart rate, depression, overstimulation and insomnia.

Causes:
Excessive amounts of meat in the diet, some contraceptive pills, use of prescription medications containing copper, smoking, zinc and manganese deficiency raises copper levels.

Sources & advice:
Grains, shellfish, organ meats, nuts, poultry, beans. It takes 3 months to lower copper levels in the body but you can start now. Exercise temporarily stimulates adrenal gland activity which helps eliminate copper. You’ll need to keep exercising or the copper toxicity symptoms, fatigue, mood swings and depression will return. It’s recommended that we all get 30-40 minutes of exercise in at least three times a week.

Did you know?
Many people with high copper count dislike protein and are drawn to high-carbohydrate diets because they have difficulty digesting protein foods.

Pernicious Anaemia

Anaemia due to a lack of vitamin B12 is also called pernicious anaemia. It is relatively uncommon and although it may also be present in the young women, it generally affects people over 40. Vitamin B12 is assential for the normal metabolic function of all cells and works with folate to prevent anaemia.

Symptoms:
Rapid hair loss, weight loss, change of hair colour, dryness of hair, sore tongue, nosebleeds.

Sources:
Dairy products, yeast extracts and most breakfast cereals.

female hair lossWhat Else Can You Do?

Knowing how to manage problems like anaemia and hair loss will help you avoid being depressed and anxious about those strands of hair you see in your brush or the sink but sometime you need further help.

If you feel that the texture of your hair has changed or you’re noticing excessive hair fall you can consult a Belgravia hair loss specialist. We will be able to diagnose the hair loss condition and if it is related to anaemia they can recommend the best course of action so the cause is dealt with and the hair loss problem is also addressed. FDA-approved hair loss treatments and hair loss supplements can get your hair back on track whilst you work on getting your body in check.

(Image courtesy of Phillip Hilpert – Philography at flickr)

Related Information

Female Hair Loss
Diffuse Hair Loss
Telogen Effluvium
Most Effective Treatments for Female Hair Loss

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