Lab results and medical charts are not the only ways to find out about your health and well-being. Your body has several ways of telling you that something may be amiss. This includes the condition of your scalp and hair.
Sometimes, sudden or unexpected changes to your hair – from differences in strength, texture, or color to significant hair loss and shedding – can be early warning signs about other health issues that require your attention.
Here are the top five reasons why your overall health might be contributing to or causing your hair loss issues:
This hair loss condition is caused by a direct attack on hair follicles by your own immune system and white blood cells. This assault causes the follicles to shrink and subsequently slow down hair production. In turn, this leads to hair loss in quarter-sized patches which can progress across the scalp rapidly and unpredictably. The hair follicles are not destroyed and can regrow as soon as the inflammation subsides.
Unlike hereditary hair loss, which generally begins later in life, visible signs of alopecia areata typically occur before the age of 30.
Anemia, or an insufficient amount of iron in the blood, is one of the most common causes of dietary-related hair loss. Low levels of iron restrict proper blood flow – reducing the amount of growth-stimulating nutrients that hair follicles need. Foods such as spinach, broccoli, kale, and other leafy greens can increase your iron intake and help feed your hair.
At least 1.5 million Americans live with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, commonly called lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. This chronic and painful condition disproportionately affects women – lupus is nine times more common in women than in men.
Lupus causes the body’s immune system to produce antibodies that attack healthy cells and tissue throughout the body, including hair follicles. Seeing these follicles as harmful enemies, the antibodies kick them out, resulting in hair loss. Lupus symptoms tend to be cyclical, flaring up and then going into remission which means that hair may grow back only to fall out again. If scarring occurs in affected hair follicles, the hair loss can be permanent.
The thyroid gland creates and releases hormones throughout the body. When it isn’t working correctly, either by releasing too many hormones (hyperthyroidism) or too few (hypothyroidism), it can negatively impact the body’s natural functioning and cause a range of symptoms and conditions, including hair loss.
Hashimoto’s Disease, also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. It involves the immune system directly attacking the thyroid, limiting its ability to produce the hormones necessary for healthy hair growth. Without those hormones, hair will stop growing and eventually fall out.
Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes can cause hair loss when elevated blood sugar levels interact with and change the shape of red blood cells. Misshapen red blood cells have a more difficult time traveling through smaller blood vessels, including the capillaries that supply vital blood to hair follicles. When that blood flow is disrupted, follicles may die and hair may fall out.
Call the Miami Hair & Skin Institute Today to Discuss Your Condition
For those living with a challenging medical condition or health problems, hair loss can make an already difficult situation even more so. At the Miami Hair & Skin Institute, we help patients who are experiencing health-related hair loss develop a treatment program to complement the treatment they receive for the underlying condition behind that hair loss
To schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation and to learn more about our effective treatments, please contact our clinic at 305-925-0222.