Is Iron Hair Loss Hereditary
Iron deficiency is a type of anaemia, where the body has a reduced level of haemoglobin, and is one of the most common with an estimated 3% of men and 8% of women having the condition in the UK alone. Many types of anaemia can be linked to your genes, such as Thalassemia where the body does not produce enough haemoglobin to carry oxygen. In pregnant women, a low level of iron can be linked to blood loss through heavy periods, whilst in both men and women, bleeding inside the stomach and intestines can be a cause. Many of these issues are discoverable through blood tests and treatable with medication.
Most commonly, iron deficiency hair loss is linked to a lack of iron in the diet. This can be prevented with the right intake of iron-rich foods. With iron deficiency hair loss and early-stage male or female pattern baldness, for example, addressing your dietary intake is crucial. You may find that with increased iron within your diet, found in cereals, meat, pulses or green vegetables, the symptoms of an iron deficiency can be reversed.
And What If Its Not Iron Deficiency
There are numerous hair loss causes, but the most common one in both men and women is genetics. This form of hair loss is known as androgenetic alopecia, or male/female pattern baldness.
While its commonly perceived to be a mens problem, women do suffer from genetic hair loss, too, although the patterns differ. Women usually experience diffuse thinning and a widening part.
Luckily, there are effective treatments for genetic hair loss these days the main options being medical treatment or a hair transplant. Find out more by booking a free online doctors consultation or a hair transplant consultation with a Hair Growth Specialist.
What Should Ideal Iron Levels Be For Hair Growth
According to doctors, the normal ferritin levels in women are 20 to 200 nanograms per milliliter in women and 20 to 500 nanograms per milliliter in men.
Most researchers have agreed that we require 50 to 70 nanograms per milliliter of ferritin for hair regrowth. Lower levels of ferritin can result in hair loss.
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Types Of Iron Deficiency Anemia And Their Symptoms As Per Ayurveda
1. Vatic anemia is caused due to disrupted Vata dosha in your body, which is accompanied by dryness of the scalp and skin, black discoloration, tremors, reduced urination, etc.
2. Paittic anemia is caused due to disrupted Pitta dosha in your body, which is accompanied by yellow discoloration of the skin, severe thirst, diarrhea, fever, tingling sensation, etc.
3. Kaphaja anemia is caused due to disrupted Kapha dosha in your body, which is accompanied by white discoloration of the skin, nausea, oedema, drowsiness, heaviness, etc.
4. Tridoshic anemia is caused by vitiation of all three doshas and you may have mixed symptoms of the three types of anemia.
Hence, it is crucial to understand the condition of your Ayurvedic dosha levels to evaluate the causative factors and choose appropriate herbs to treat your iron deficiency hair loss.
So You Have Low Ferritin
If your ferritin test results reveal that youre functioning on less than 80 ug/L, youll need to take some proactive steps towards increasing the amount of ferritin available for your body to use. After continued use, youll start to see changes in the health of your hair. You also need to rule out other conditions.
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Can Low Iron Levels Cause Hair Loss
Im trying to determine if Im balding due to genetics or an iron deficiency. Can hair loss really be caused by a lack of iron in the body?
This question was posed by a hair loss sufferer seeking hair loss help on our hair restoration forum and answered by Dr. Steven Gabel of Hillsboro, OR who is an elite member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians. His professional answer is below.
Iron deficiency is a real cause of hair loss. I have seen several cases of iron deficiency as a causative factor for alopecia in women. When I see women for hair loss, one of the things I investigate, along with other blood tests, is their iron levels. For men, a blood work up is rare, however, if their history and examination are not consistent with androgenetic alopecia, then I will investigate further.
A while back, I went to a lecture about hair loss by an expert dermatologist who specializes in alopecia and she reports that even low iron levels contributes to hair loss. Women do have a higher degree of iron loss because of their monthly cycles, but I think you may want to have your physician work this up.
Steven Gabel, M.D.
Treatment Options To Consider
The best treatment options to consider for hair loss related to iron deficiency and anemia tend to involve improvements in a patient’s diet. Taking iron supplements and the use of a cast-iron skillet can also help address iron deficiencies and slowly help with hair regrowth.
If there is a digestive issue that results in poor absorption of iron, surgical procedures may need to be performed to help with these matters. Your general practitioner or a gastroenterology specialist can discuss these matters with you in more detail.
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Iron And Hair Loss: Why
Iron is an essential nutrient for synthesis of hemoglobin, the protein molecule that is responsible for transporting oxygen through the blood to all parts of the body. Consequently, its deficiency prevents correct supply of oxygen also at the level of the cells that stimulate hair growth.
However, one can still intervene in case of iron deficiency hair loss. In fact, it is not a permanent condition, but can be solved with some iron supplements after medical prescription.
So, if you have noticed more hair loss and you suspect it is due to insufficient iron, the first thing to do is to see a doctor. The latter, by means of a examination of the ferritin levelthe protein that stores iron, may or may not confirm the hypothesized diagnosis.
Treating Hair Loss From Iron Deficiency Anemia
If you’re experiencing hair loss and suspect that iron deficiency may be to blame, the first course of action should be to meet with your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and possible treatment options.
Iron deficiency anemia may be diagnosed using blood tests like a complete blood count, ferritin measure, peripheral smear and iron test.
Questions on your risk factors may be asked to determine the likelihood of your suspicions. Your healthcare provider may also ask that a physical exam be carried out.
Treatment could require iron supplements called iron pills or oral iron. You may need to take these supplements several times a day to increase your body’s supply of the mineral. It will take around three to six months to replenish your iron stores.
This option is however only suitable for people with iron deficiency anemia. Excess iron can damage organs otherwise.
Where this measure fails to increase your iron levels, you may receive intravenous iron, red blood cell transfusions or an upper endoscopy or colonoscopy to stop the bleeding, if that is cause of your iron deficiency.
Lifestyle changes like increasing your daily intake of foods high in iron and vitamin C can help to meet your daily recommended iron levels.
Men should consume 16.3-18.2 mg of iron per day. Women older than 19 are expected to have 12.6-13.5mg of iron from their foods on a daily basis. From supplements, men are expected to take 19.3-20.5 mg/day.
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Hair Loss Treatments For Men
You cant always prevent your hair from falling out as you age, but there are treatments and remedies that might slow down the process.
Before you go out and buy supplements and special tonics, learn which ones have shown some promise in preventing or treating hair loss.
Here are 17 hair loss treatments you can talk with your doctor about.
Iron Deficiency Anemia & Hair Loss
From overstyling and extensions to stress and hormones, hair loss can have many roots. But if your hair loss is accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations, you might want to ask your doctor if iron deficiency anemia is to blame. Iron deficiency anemia is more common than you may think. In fact, its estimated that 3.4 million Americans have anemia. Keep reading to learn more about iron deficiency anemia hair loss, and what you can do to cover the symptoms.
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What Are Some Healthy Habits To Improve The Health Of My Hair
In addition to eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water, its important to exercise regularly. This will help keep your body healthy and ensure that you have enough energy to perform everyday activities. Its also important to get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can lead to fatigue and stress, which can interfere with the normal growth cycle of your hair.
What Happens When The Body’s Iron Levels Are Low
When iron stores run low, your body starts to prioritize how the limited supply will be used. Using iron to keep vital organs like our brain and heart properly oxygenated will take priority over other less important bodily functions.
Whenever the body senses that it is not at its healthy baseline, it will terminate production of what it deems nonessentials, like hair and nails, for example, in order to preserve nutrients and energy for the more vital organs, explained Dr. Susan Bard, board-certified dermatologist at Vive Dermatology.
This is why you might notice increased hair shedding or more brittle nails if you have iron deficiency anemia. People with iron deficiency anemia are less able to fight off germs and infections, work and exercise and control their body temperature.
Some other common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include:
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Can Iron Deficiency Change Your Hair Texture
Iron deficiency can lead to different changes in hair texture, ranging from frizzy hair to brittle, coarse locks. When you are iron deficient, your body is not getting what it needs. Without the necessary components for healthy functioning, any organ or tissue will suffer. The same goes with your follicles and scalp- without enough nourishment, your hair will look and feel different.This is because hair is essentially made up of keratin, which contains high iron levels. When you are deficient in this nutrient, your hair will lack the shine and health it should have. In extreme cases, hair can even fall out due to iron deficiency.
What Are The Causes Of Iron Deficiency Hair Loss
So what causes iron deficiency hair loss?
Your scalp contains around 100,000 hair follicles. The hair cells need sufficient nutrients to ensure proper hair growth. All necessary minerals are delivered to the hair follicles through the blood.
Because of iron deficiency, this process slows down. Lack of fresh blood stops nutrients delivery to the hair cells. As a result, youll experience rapid hair fall.
Although most skin and scalp conditions are usually a result of some underlying nutritional deficits, not all women with low iron suffer hair fall.
To be on the safe side, however, its always worth getting your iron levels checked.
And heres the good news.
Iron deficiency hair loss is reversible. Thats because the lack of iron doesnt permanently scar the follicles.
So if you take proper precautions and boost your iron intake, you can easily regrow the lost hair.
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How Much Iron Is Enough And How To Get It
Iron deficiency anaemia can occur for many reasons. Crash diets, vegetarianism and veganism can often lead to an iron deficiency when not planned carefully.
Anaemia and the associated hair loss are especially common issues in women, particularly pregnant women or those with heavy periods.
Undiagnosed coeliac disease can also affect iron absorption.
If Iron Deficiency Anaemia Is Not Treated
Untreated iron deficiency anaemia:
- can make you more at risk of illness and infection a lack of iron affects the immune system
- may increase your risk of developing complications that affect the heart or lungs such as an abnormally fast heartbeat or heart failure
- in pregnancy, can cause a greater risk of complications before and after birth
Page last reviewed: 29 January 2021 Next review due: 29 January 2024
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Ways To Increase Your Iron Levels If You Have A Deficiency
There are two ways to increase your iron levels if you are deficient, you can either eat more iron-rich foods, you can supplement with iron, or you could do a mix of the two.
However, it is important to always include your doctor in the decision to supplement with iron, as too much iron can cause dangerously high levels and be an even worse problem if not done correctly. It is not necessary to use an iron supplement if your iron levels are normal, and this may even be dangerous. Discuss with your doctor the route, dose, and frequency of iron supplementation that would be the best fit for you.
Foods that have high iron content include: fortified cereals, oysters, white beans, dark chocolate, beef liver, lentils, spinach, tofu, kidney beans, sardines, chickpeas, tomatoes, beef, potatoes, and cashew nuts.
As you can see, there are many more options than just the often recommended âred meatâ for including more iron into your diet. So, vegans and vegetarians should be able to achieve their daily levels no problem with just a little bit of planning.
Also, vitamin C may be a way to help your body absorb more iron from your food. So, you may be able to top your meals with a spritz of lemon or lime juice, or include vitamin C-rich vegetables to your meals to help get even more iron out of your diet.
What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia
Youve probably heard of iron deficiencyor maybe even had it yourself. Research estimates between 3050% of children and other groups worldwide have anemia due to lack of iron. This is especially prevalent in developing countries of Africa, for example, because many kids dont get enough iron from their diet .
When you dont get enough iron, it especially affects your bone marrow. The marrow is where hemoglobin is created, a process that depends on iron. Hemoglobin is what gives blood its signature shade of redmore importantly, it enables blood cells to transport oxygen throughout your body.
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