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Thinning Hair May Signal Rare B12 Deficiency Disease

People whose hair loss is seen as thinning from all over their scalp, known as Telogen Effluvium, usually turn to a specialist for advice on why exactly this is happening.

The answer could be anything from stress to medications that the client is taking to their diet. In fact, pinning down the precise cause of the problem when diagnosing Telogen Effluvium can be quite an undertaking and one which requires specialist knowledge of the multitude of potential causes.

Lipid profile iron levels blood testFinding the root cause

In many cases, hair will start to regrow once the problem has been removed; sometimes this happens quite naturally, for example when a stressful incident becomes a thing of the past. However, when hair keeps shedding for a prolonged period, it is likely that the underlying cause has not been rectified – and one possible factor could be a genetic disease that leaves people unable to process vitamin B12.

A rare condition known as cblC is one such disease that can stop people processing vitamin B12, and it can lead to severe health problems. Now, researchers in France and Canada have made some discoveries about the disease that challenges what was previously held to be true. The 2017 study was first published in the Nature journal in January 2018.

Until recently, people with cblC were assumed to have inherited genetic mutations in the causal gene from both parents. However, an international research team led by scientists at the University of Lorraine in France and McGill University in Canada have discovered a new cause of the condition that they have named epi-cblC. In these cases, they say, the disease actually results from a single copy of the gene (i.e. it was inherited from just one parent) which then silences the second copy of the gene in a process named epimutation.

Vitamin B12 is not something that the body can produce itself and needs to be ingested via milk, fish, chicken, red meat or supplements. As people with cblC quickly learn, even if you are getting the correct amount of B12, you can still have a deficiency – and the medical problems that ensue – if the body is unable to process or absorb it. This can happen as the result of an underlying health issue, for example it can occur in un-diagnosed cases of the autoimmune disorder, coeliac disease, where B12 anaemia – also known as pernicious anaemia – can develop due to the inability to absorb what you’re taking in.

Because of this, anyone who notices excessive hair loss that comes on suddenly and/or lasts for a significant period of time should be assessed by a specialist who can then work with them to discover the potential causes. They can recommend which blood tests a client should request from their doctor too, where necessary.

Womens-hair-loss-consultation-belgravia-centre-hairloss-treatment-regrowthTreatment for thinning hair

All is not necessarily lost when a B12 deficiency leads to thinning hair, as Telogen Effluvium treatment at Belgravia has led to many happy clients – as the Success Stories gallery illustrates. The clinics’ hair loss specialists typically recommend appropriate formulations of high-strength minoxidil from those available at the in-house pharmacies. These help to open up potassium channels in the scalp to promote hair regrowth.

Augmenting this are several hair growth booster products including the FDA-cleared HairMax LaserComb and LaserBand devices which help to stimulate the scalp using low-level laser therapy. Alongside these are Belgravia’s premium hair growth supplements, Hair Vitalics, a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals which have been carefully selected for their hair-friendly properties. These are taken in a handy once-a-day supplement form and available in for Men and for Women formulations in order to ensure they are as highly-targeted as possible.

When people shed hair they occasionally adopt something of a “so what?” attitude, figuring that nature is simply taking its course – something that is not entirely unjustified given the global propensity for the genetic hairloss conditions Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss. However, anyone already showing signs of these hereditary conditions may find they are exacerbated by Telogen Effluvium, whilst it may trigger their premature onset in those with an underlying genetic predisposition. As such, making a timely diagnosis – and, if desired, starting a tailored treatment course – is generally a good idea.

circ - Belgravia Centre hair loss clinic London pharmacy hairloss treatmentsThe 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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