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When Hair Loss Can Be Dangerous

Hair Loss can be DangerousHair loss and baldness may not seem like such a big deal, it’s a natural process that affects a lot of people and besides, hair is just there to look pretty right? Fortunately, our hair has more purpose than you may think. It can act as a warning signal to notify us of something wrong inside the body and any disruption in hair growth patterns should be addressed.

Not all forms of hair loss are the result of genetics or old age, in fact, excessive hair loss or unusual hair thinning can sometimes be a symptom of a disease, especially if you have always had healthy, thick hair.

Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease is a condition of the small intestine where a reaction to gluten causes inflammation in the lining of the gut. This stops the gut from working properly and absorbing foods properly and causes symptoms including abdominal pains, tiredness and weight loss. Another common symptom is hair loss. Coeliac disease has been linked to alopecia areata (an autoimmune hair loss condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly attack the hair follicles) but thinning hair and hair loss could also be a result of the nutritional deficiency caused by the disease itself.


Malnutrition occurs when the body is not given enough nutrients to sustain normal function. Extreme dieting or problems with the body’s digestive and absorption processes can lead to hair loss through malnutrition, resulting in telogen effluvium and diffuse hair loss. Depending on which vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are lacking, many different symptoms can occur but iron, protein, biotin, sulphur, silica, B vitamins and zinc are especially important to hair health.

Cushing Syndrome

Cushing’s syndrome develops if your body makes too much cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone which is made by the adrenal glands. Symptoms usually develop gradually, and so the diagnosis may not be clear for some time. There are various causes, and complex tests are needed to find the root cause of the excess cortisol. The syndrome itself won’t cause hair loss but if Cushing syndrome is the result of a non-cancerous tumour on the adrenal gland, it can also produce excess amounts of androgen which can lead to hair loss. Other symptoms include high blood pressure, facial hair in women, muscle weakness, tiredness, low libido, excess thirst and periods may become irregular or stop in women.

Thyroid Diseases

The thyroid gland produces hormones that help control metabolism and growth. If the thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism), the body’s metabolic rate will become imbalanced, resulting in sluggish functions of major bodily systems. If the hair growth lifecycle is affected, thinning hair or hair loss can occur.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus, commonly called Lupus, is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in various parts of the body and affects about three in 10,000 people in the UK. Symptoms vary but the most common are joint pains, skin rashes and tiredness. In some instances the inflammation can interfere with the hair growth lifecycle, resulting in thinning hair or temporary hairloss.

What Should You Do?

Hair Loss is a WorrySudden hair loss is never a good sign but the main problem with disease-related hair loss is that other symptoms may be rare.  If you’re the type of person who’s happy to accept their fate rather than look into the cause, a bad hair day might be the least of your worries.

In cases where hair loss is a symptom rather than a condition, the hair loss can be cleared up once the cause is addressed. Sometimes it may need a helping hand while the body is dealing with the issue which is where FDA-approved hair loss treatments come in. Propecia and minoxidil have been proven to stop hair loss and generate hair growth and can assist the body to help reproduce hair whilst it’s recovering from a crisis.

Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, people experiencing hair loss tend to make a self-diagnosis and high-tail it to the supermarket to pick up the latest herbal remedy for hair growth. Not only are they wasting their money on a product that probably isn’t clinically proven to treat hair loss, they’re avoiding dealing with a potentially much more a serious condition.

Prompt professional diagnosis is needed if you do notice a sudden increase in hair loss. A medical professional will be able to rule out any hidden medical disorders. Usually, once the underlying medical condition is treated, the hair loss will stop and hair growth boosters can help in achieving greater hair growth, health and quality.

For more information, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or send an email. Consultations are free and professional trichological advice is available world-wide with Belgravia’s online diagnostic form.

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11th March, 2016 at 5:54 pm


Awesome article. I slef diagnosed my self with the Alopecia areata condtion a lot of my hair in the back of my head is out and its spreading I'm scared of treatment by a dermatologist bloods tests and stuff..... Guess I have to very informative article I now know what to expect.

14th March, 2016 at 10:24 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Keith, We would recommend you visit a hair loss specialist to get a professional diagnosis of your condition just to confirm whether this is in fact the case or not. If it is, an expert will be able to spot this without the need for blood tests. Treatment for Alopecia Areata in its mild to moderate stage can be particularly effective and involves applying a topical medication straight to your scalp where the hair loss is occurring.

8th April, 2017 at 7:59 am


I'm 17 yo boy and want to check is male pattern balding usually something that progresses rapidly in weeks, like hair thinning all over but worse on hairline and crown? Mine has come on practically over night and so much hair full in matter of weeks that I'd say I've lost about 40-50% of my hair, and I'm still losing more fast. I have been to the doctors because I've lost stone and a half over 5 months without trying and have couple of deficiencies, but they aren't helping.

16th May, 2017 at 3:17 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi David, please find a full response to your query here.

6th October, 2017 at 6:46 am


I am a 32 year old female. I have always had really thick hair. In the last 6 months or so, I have started having several different symptoms. I have increased thirst with frequent urination, vomiting every couple of days, frequent headaches and I have also noticed that I am starting to lose alot of my hair. When I say that I am having hair loss, it's not a little. At any given time of the day, I can run my hands through my hair and there is a pile of hair left wherever I am sitting. I don't know how I am not bald yet as much hair as I'm losing. At first, I didn't think much of it. But, now that I have other symptoms with it and am still losing my hair, I am beginning to get very concerned that something serious may be going on.

6th October, 2017 at 9:56 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Shelly, this is something you should see your doctor about. The hair loss you are experiencing is most likely a temporary condition called Telogen Effluvium, or Chronic Telogen Effluvium, caused by an underlying health issue. Once your health is back on track your hair should start to recover and treatment is available if you wish to look into speeding up the regrowth process but first consult your doctor regarding your other symptoms.

8th March, 2018 at 5:11 am


I recently recovered from a severe kidney infection treated with 20 days of Cipro. I had high fevers for 3 weeks, up to 104.4. Now, 2 months after the onset, I've suddenly begun losing massive amounts of hair. I brush before washing it, which fills my large brush twice. I clog the shower drain, and then I am still losing massive amounts of hair as I comb it out. Also, the texture has changed suddenly. No conditioner will smooth it anymore. I'm scared it will not stop! How long can this continue? I also am anemic (began supplementing iron 3 mos ago) & hypothyroid (on Armour Thyroid 2 yrs). Please assure me this will soon end before I go bald. I'm a 53 yo female.

13th March, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Kim, this is likely to be the result of Telogen Effluvium, possibly Chronic Telogen Effluvium (also known as Diffuse Thinning). This often presents around three months following a stressful incident or illness and can last up to six months in its mild form, or longer if chronic. We recommend having a specialist consultation so they can assess your scalp - either in person at one of Belgravia's London hair loss clinics, or by uploading photos to our online consultation form - and, from there, they can provide a diagnosis and personalised treatment recommendations.

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