From over styling and extensions to stress and hormones, hair loss can have many roots. If your hair loss is accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations, a lack of nutrients could be to blame.
Iron Deficiency Anemia and Hair Loss
Iron is a very crucial mineral for hair growth. Iron deficiency anemia is caused when your body can’t produce a good amount of red blood cells (hemoglobin). It usually occurs if your diet lacks iron-rich foods, or you aren’t absorbing it correctly.
However, loss of blood, illness and pregnancy can also be causes of anemia. Red blood cells carry oxygen to hair follicles to help promote normal, healthy hair growth.
If you are anemic, your body begins to go into survival mode and routes the oxygen to other parts of your body that need it most, such as your heart. The first thing your body will likely sacrifice is the supply to your hair follicles.
I know how it is because I am anemic myself. My hemoglobin count right now is at a 7. The average count when you have anemia is 11 or 12, so my levels are really low!
Eating an Iron-rich Diet
To prevent future Anemia hair loss, you should eat a healthy, balanced diet. Be sure to fill up on iron-rich foods like spinach, peas, and red meats. Vegans can obtain nutrients from eating items such as Irish sea moss, Burdock root, kale, spinach and dandelion root.
If you think your hair loss is related to an iron deficiency, consult a doctor to measure your iron levels. You may be prescribed by a physician to take Ferritin, which is a synthetic form of iron, to help get your levels back where they need to be. The most beneficial treatment for anemia is when you receive iron both through good nutrition and the correct supplement. Don't forget to read this blog about Hair loss & Nutrition.
Reversing Anemia related hair loss
A large proportion of women who come into our trichology clinic for hair loss treatment have some degree of anemia. Get as much iron as safely possible, as hair loss caused by anemia can take 2-6 months to correct.
Though most hair loss related to iron deficiency is not permanent, the best way to treat hair loss is to address the underlying cause of the problem.