Is My Hair Loss Caused by Extreme Dieting and Weight Loss?'

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Name: Ranjit

Question: Recently I lost over 60 pounds of weight after exercising and extreme dieting in about 5 months. For the past month and half experiencing a lot of hairfall. I am 20 years old. Hairfall is consistent throughout the scalp but more at the top. My Doctor says that there is no link between hairfall and extreme dieting and says it is genetic male baldness and prescribed mino quilib. I am now freaking out. Do you know what type of hairfall am I experiencing.

Dieting and Hair LossAnswer: Hi, Ranjit. That is an massively rapid pace of weight loss and would definitely be considered extreme dieting. When your body changes so fast it can cause a shock to the system that results in hair loss.

Your hair may also start to thin and appear dull if you have not been getting the necessary vitamins and minerals the hair needs to stay healthy and strong. This is a common side-effect of crash diets, whilst doctors have also discovered a link between excessive exercise and hair loss. Put all of this together and you'll see it's no wonder your hair is feeling a little stressed!

The shedding you describe from all over your scalp is consistent with a diagnosis of Telogen Effluvium or even Chronic Telogen Effluvium. These conditions are temporary, lasting six months or more, but tend to only become noticeable around three months after the initial trigger. This can be brought on by dietary deficiencies, an extreme exercise routine as well as stress - whether emotional or physical.

It is possible that you are also showing signs of male pattern baldness, particularly if the thinning is worse around the top of your scalp - the area affected by genetic hair loss - or if you are experiencing a receding hairline. Temporary conditions such as telogen effluvium can present simultaneously alongside existing male hair loss, accelerating the shedding process, or - for men with an inherited predisposition to androgenetic alopecia, they can bring this permanent condition on.

In cases of telogen effluvium, and particularly chronic telogen effluvium, in order to stop the diffuse hair loss it is important to first deal with the underlying cause. Once your body gets used to your new routine, providing it is less punishing and your diet is sufficiently well-balanced, the hair fall should correct itself naturally. This can take a few months so, if preferable, treatment for telogen effluvium can be undertaken to accelerate this regrowth process. Combining your medication with a natural daily food supplement, such as Hair Vitalics, can ensure your hair is given the best chance of recovering its health and strength.

If you are also diagnosed with male pattern baldness, a hair loss specialist can devise a personalised treatment plan to deal with both conditions. We do not offer mino quilib so cannot comment on this. However we can tell you that the only clinically-proven male hair loss treatments which are both MHRA licensed and FDA approved, are topical applications of high strength minoxidil and the oral, once-per-day tablet finasteride 1mg.
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