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Can Pneumonia Cause Hair Loss?

It has been a difficult week for Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, with her campaign for Presidency thrown off balance by some erratic behaviour, a bout of pneumonia and even suggestions of hair loss.

A number of tweets have speculated that the politician is sporting thinning hair and that this may have something to do with the pneumonia that her PR team finally owned up to after a weekend of media head-scratching.

So can pneumonia lead to hair loss? The answer – as is often the case – is both yes and no.

Hair loss is not a symptom

Pneumonia is a potentially serious type of chest infection and its symptoms include a cough, fever, loss of appetite, confusion and muscle pains. But hair loss is not a direct symptom.

However, the “yes” part of the equation comes from the fact that, as with many medical conditions, the havoc an illness can wreak on the body can lead to the onset of a hair condition in its own right. In other words, the illness itself does not cause hair loss: it is the body’s reaction to the illness that can cause the scalp to shed hair. In most cases, this will be diagnosed as Telogen Effluvium, a condition that can often arise as a result of a severe shock or stress to the body. Given that Mrs Clinton is nudging 70, a bout of pneumonia could easily be described as a severe biological shock. Continues below

Hillary Clinton fainting at New York 9/11 campaign


Senior Belgravia hair loss specialist Leonora Doclis explains, “For this to be the case here, the shedding would only tend to become noticeable a couple of months after Hillary became ill as TE takes a few months – usually up to three – for the hair fall to become noticeable. The exception to this would be if she was very ill and was given medication to combat her pneumonia that disrupted the hair growth cycle as a side-effect. Then hair loss can be immediate.

However, if the former Secretary of State has been showing signs of hair loss it is pretty much impossible to attribute this to pneumonia. Given her incredibly demanding and public schedule it is unlikely Mrs Clinton has been suffering from (and hiding) pneumonia for such a long period of time although some forms of pneumonia can manage to go undiagnosed for many months.

Telogen Effluvium is one of the less alarming hair loss conditions, as it tends to rectify itself in most cases. Once the body has recovered from the stress or shock that caused the hair follicles to “panic”, a full recovery is usually seen – this is especially true when people follow a telogen effluvium treatment course which can ensure that the scalp is getting just what it needs to maximise the chances of regrowth.

hillary-clinton-hair-lossExplanations for thinning hair

If Mrs Clinton is losing hair, there could be a number of explanations. Telogen Effluvium remains a possibility given the amount of stress she has endured not just in terms of squaring up to Republican nominee Donald Trump, but also in dealing with the e-mail scandal that has dogged much of her past year. Given the testing nature of her career, it is also possible that she could have Chronic Telogen Effluvium or Diffuse Thinning, the name given to cases of Telogen Effluvium that do not clear up after six months.

Equally possible is Female Pattern Hair Loss, a genetic condition that leads to a general all-over thinning and is most commonly seen in women over 40. Distressingly, this process can also be exacerbated by a case of Telogen Effluvium. Another reason may be due to her age; scientists recently discovered that as we age our hair follicles can simply turn to skin due to a decrease in collagen production.

What many women choose to do when they experience hair loss is to try and conceal it with a new hairstyle, new styling products or by tying their hair up, when a simple alternative is often staring them in the face. Clinically-proven hair loss products of the type that form the cornerstone of personalised treatment courses here at The Belgravia Centre have helped hundreds of thousands of women – be they mums, captains of industry or world-leaders-in-waiting – see their thinning hair restored to its former glory.


circ - Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Laser TherapyThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


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