Can an iron deficiency cause hair loss ?
An iron deficiency can develop if there is a shortage of iron in the body or when the body cannot adequately absorb it. It is a condition that leads to a drop in the count of red blood cells. There are various triggers of an iron deficiency, ranging between biological and nutritional factors. The shortage of iron impedes the transportation of oxygen to the muscles, tissues, and body parts in need of it. And, when the muscles and tissues are starved of oxygen, the person will inevitably experience fatigue and drowsiness.
Extreme tiredness is not the only symptom of an iron deficiency. Frequent headaches, heart palpitations, dizziness, paleness, shortness of breath, and hair loss are further indications of this condition.
Why is my body not absorbing iron ?
Iron is an essential mineral. Our bodies need iron to thrive and they get it from various foods and supplements. Sometimes, even if you consume enough iron, your body can still lack it due to malabsorption. This can happen because of an illness, for example, if you have problems with your thyroid or your bowel. Also, women experiencing heavy periods tend to have low iron stores.
For instance, when a person has a stomach ulcer, retention of iron will be low, which, in its turn, causes iron deficiency anaemia. Infection and some types of medications can also prevent the body from absorbing iron as much as it should.
What happens when you lack iron ?
If an iron shortage occurs, there will be a corresponding decrease in the production of haemoglobin. As a consequence, the organism will starve of oxygen too, since haemoglobin is responsible for transporting it around the body. That is the reason why you might feel so listless and be short of breath when the iron stores in the body are low.
Iron deficiency hair loss occurs quite often, as the growth of new hair cells in the follicles is directly affected by the shortage of iron in the body. Our hair follicles contain ferritin, a protein that stores and transports iron and helps to build new hair cells. When you do not consume enough iron, your body starts taking ferritin from non-essential tissues like hair and nails and transporting it to the most important organs.
What are the 3 stages of iron deficiency ?
Iron deficiency anaemia is a condition that develops gradually and occurs in stages. The three stages of an iron deficiency are :
- This is the initial period. At this point, the level of iron stored in some body tissues such as the liver, and muscles begins to reduce. Iron deficiency anaemia does not set in at the pre-latent stage because the body still gets iron from haemoglobin released from recycled red blood cells.
- At this stage, the iron bank is almost empty. However, the level of haemoglobin is still sufficient for the body to properly carry out anabolism and catabolism.
- iron deficiency anaemia. At this stage, there is little or no iron in the body. The essential body tissues and organs are deprived of iron and this affects a person’s overall functionality and wellbeing. Patients with anaemia usually feel physically weak and they get easily tired. Diagnosis of this condition can be established through a comprehensive blood test.
How can I counteract an iron deficiency ?
The best way to counteract an iron deficiency is to eat iron-rich foods or through iron supplements. This will help ensure that the body can maintain a proper balance between the iron intake and how the body absorbs and uses it. You should also pay attention to your vitamin consumption, especially vitamin C and B12, as it also improves the retention and absorption of iron. Foods that have a high iron content include lean red meat, brown rice, eggs, dried fruit, green vegetables, beans, nuts and fish.
Iron deficiency and hair loss
Hair loss is one of the most common symptoms of an iron deficiency. If the condition is not properly treated, it can result in long-term baldness.
It is very normal to lose hair when washing, combing or brushing it. However, if you notice that you have been losing more hair recently or if your hair has become more brittle, you should check your iron level and do a complete blood count test.
Will my hair grow back after an iron deficiency ?
The good news is – if your hair loss is caused by an iron deficiency, it can be reversed in most cases with appropriate medical treatment.
It is not a permanent condition albeit an early detection of the condition is crucial. Taking iron supplements and eating iron-rich foods are important steps to take, although the ultimate decision lies must come from your doctor or a trained medical adviser. That said, here are some essential measures to follow to regrow your hair.
Medications and supplements:
- some hair-care products can help you regain your lost hair. One of such is Rogaine, which contains minoxidil. This product is usually applied like shampoo and rubbed into the scalp. There should be noticeable changes within the four months after the beginning of Rogaine treatment. Minoxidil-containing hair products usually bring positive results to both men and women.
Other alternatives against iron deficiencies:
- there are some pills that reduce the rate of hair loss and stimulate hair growth. However, it is important not to take these medications without clear instructions from the doctor. In case of an iron deficiency, besides taking iron supplements, it is also critical to ensure appropriate consumption of vitamin C and those of group B. They stimulate the absorption and transportation of iron around the body.
- this is the best long-term solution. It becomes a viable option when hair loss has developed into a permanent condition. Modern hair surgery techniques like the FUE hair transplant allows the extraction of single hairs follicules, which makes the procedure much safer and less invasive.
Here are a few other easy ways to prevent hair loss, that everyone should follow:
- Shield the hair from the sun and wind exposure.
- Brush and wash your hair frequently. Dirt, fat and shampoo residues can clog the skin and hair follicles, thus preventing the growth of new hair.
- Avoid tight hairstyles, it is better to wear your hair down or in a loose ponytail.
Do you have more questions ? Then don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team that will answer all your queries. Furthermore they can also propose a free and non binding hair analysis. So don’t hesitate if you want to benefit from Dr. Balwi and Elithairtransplant’s expertise for a successful and affordable hair transplant in Turkey !