Liver Disease And Hair Loss
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Do You Know That Fatty Liver Diseases May Cause Hair Loss
Aging isnt the only reason why people lose their hair. Whether it is from old age, medical treatments, or various health conditions, there are numerous reasons why someone might begin to experience hair loss. But did you know that hair loss may be a sign that there is something wrong internally?
The liver is a large organ protected by the ribs that has many functions like filtering blood, detoxifying chemicals, and creating proteins that are important for blood clotting. It is a vital organ that, when not taken care of, it can lead to serious health concerns and life-threatening conditions.
One life-threatening condition, in particular, is cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a type of liver damage where healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. Though it is a result of continuous liver damage over a long period of time, if left untreated, cirrhosis can lead to liver failure.
Some of the early symptoms of cirrhosis include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and pain in the liver area. As the condition worsens and the liver begins to struggle to function, more serious symptoms occur including jaundice, ascites , frequent nosebleeds, hair loss, and more.
An insufficient amount of proteins and nutrients is linked to hair thinning. When there is a lack of nutrients, the liver prioritizes energy to essential functions. For example, if we lack energy, the existing energy will be used for heart function rather than for hair growth.
Fatty Liver In Children
Fatty liver can be seen in adults along with in youngsters. Its frequency is not low. Fatty liver is one of the most usual liver illness in youngsters. Excessive weight is the most common root cause of fatty liver in children. As the variety of overweight kids rises, the frequency of fatty liver rises.
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If Fatty Liver Is Untreated
Fatty liver will certainly progress unless the underlying causes are removed. Fatty liver inclines to inflammation of the liver as well as cirrhosis with damages as well as death of liver cells in the future.
Among the reasons for the illness is resistance to the insulin hormone, yet in the complying with periods, fatty liver enhances insulin resistance and also puts the illness right into a vicious cycle like an avalanche.
Causes Of Fatty Liver Disease
Eating excess calories causes fat to build up in the liver. When the liver does not process and break down fats as it normally should, too much fat will accumulate. People tend to develop fatty liver if they have certain other conditions, such as obesity, diabetes or high triglycerides.Alcohol abuse, rapid weight loss and malnutrition may also lead to fatty liver. However, some people develop fatty liver even if they have none of these conditions.
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How A Liver Becomes Fatty
It is unclear how a liver becomes fatty. The fat may come from other parts of your body, or your liver may absorb an increased amount of fat from your intestine. Another possible explanation is that the liver loses its ability to change fat into a form that can be eliminated. However, the eating of fatty foods, by itself, doesnt produce a fatty liver.
Stage : Fatigue Likely To Set In
Inside: Your liver is beginning to take a hit and tries to heal itself by making collagen bands. You may feel fatigue throughout the day. Your muscles and joints may be achy.
Outside: You may notice that your nails are thick and have ridges. Your hair may become dry and brittle. Your skin could appear drier. Other than that, you can look perfectly healthy at this stage of liver disease.
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Does Liver Disease Cause Hair Loss
Some of the most common symptoms of liver disease are jaundice, upper abdominal pain, or tendency to bruise. But since the liver plays a role for many body functions, the disease can also affect many other parts of the body. Does it also cause hair loss?
Hair loss is not a specific symptom of liver disease. But since the liver is involved to process fat and androgen hormones, poor function of your liver might also affect the health of your hair follicles. In fact, hair loss is quite common in people with cirrhosis.
Symptoms Of Liver Cirrhosis
Symptoms depend on the severity of the cirrhosis, but may include:
- appetite loss
- spidery red veins on the skin
- easily bruised skin
- yellowing of the skin and eyes
- reddened palms
- fluid retention in the abdomen and legs
- internal bleeding presenting as dark-coloured stools or vomiting blood
- hormone disruptions that could cause a range of problems, including testicular atrophy and impotence in males or amenorrhoea in women
- disturbed sleep patterns
- cognitive problems such as memory loss, confusion or concentration difficulties.
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What Is Protein Deficiency
Protein deficiency is when your intake is unable to meet your bodys requirements.
An estimated one billion people worldwide suffer from inadequate protein intake .
The problem is especially severe in Central Africa and South Asia, where up to 30% of children get too little protein from their diet .
Certain people in developed countries are also at risk. This includes people who follow an imbalanced diet, as well as institutionalized older people and hospitalized patients .
While true protein deficiency is uncommon in the Western world, some people get very low amounts from their diet.
Too little protein may cause changes in body composition that develop over a long period of time, such as muscle wasting.
The most severe form of protein deficiency is known as kwashiorkor. It most often occurs in children in developing countries where famine and imbalanced diets are common.
Protein deficiency can affect almost all aspects of body function. As a result, it is associated with many symptoms.
Some of these symptoms may start to occur even when protein deficiency is marginal. They are listed below, along with some typical symptoms of kwashiorkor.
Summary: Protein deficiency is when people do not get adequate amounts of protein from their diet. Kwashiorkor, its most severe form, is most commonly seen in children in developing countries.
What Causes Liver Failure
In many cases, chronic liver failure results from cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver from repeated or long-lasting injury, such as from drinking alcohol excessively over a long period of time or chronic hepatitis infection. As scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, the liver loses its ability to function.
Acute liver failure is most often caused by:
- Viral infections, such as Hepatitis B.
- The overuse of certain drugs or toxins, like acetaminophen , and the use of other medications and herbs .
- Metabolic or vascular disorders, such as Wilson disease and autoimmune hepatitis.
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Refined Sugars Grains And Dairy
Refined grain products like bread and pasta are probably one of the largest parts of our modern diets. When consumed, refined grains and refined sugars cause a rapid and large increase in our blood sugar levels. The body reacts by producing large volumes of hormones, including insulin and androgen hormones. These hormones must be processed by the liver.
Why this Causes Hair Loss
My hypothesis is that high fat, sugar, grains and dairy consumption may all be a major underlying cause of increased DHT in the scalp. Consumptions of these foods increases hormone production in the body, including androgen hormones, which may lead to an increase in DHT, affecting hair growth whether through fibrosis, inflammation or some form of auto-immune response triggered by DHT.
Weight Loss Is The Key To Combating Fatty Liver
There’s a fair amount of guesswork to the estimates, but perhaps as many as 20% of American adults have some degree of fatty liver disease, a condition that used to occur almost exclusively in people who drink excessively. The epidemics of obesity and diabetes are to blame. Fatty liver affects between 70% and 90% of people with those conditions, so as obesity and diabetes have become more common, so has fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver disease isn’t confined to any one group, and there doesn’t seem to be pronounced gender differences, but studies suggest that Latinos are disproportionately affected. It’s primarily a condition of middle age, although children may get it, too. Fatty liver disease is rapidly becoming more common in Asia, and some research suggests that men in India may be especially susceptible.
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Can Liver Disease Cause Hair Loss
Hair loss is not a common symptom of liver disease. But because the liver processes androgen hormones and fat a poor functioning liver may also affect your hair follicles. What is interesting is hair loss in people with liver cirrhosis is fairly common.
Cirrhosis generally develops over months or even years by replacing the livers healthy tissue with hard scar tissue. This left untreated can cause liver failure. If cirrhosis is the cause of hair loss you would usually have other symptoms such as:
- Swelling in your legs, ankles or stomach
- Itchy skin
- Tenderness and swelling in the liver area
- Tiredness and a feeling of weakness in the body
Its more difficult to reverse liver damage once you have cirrhosis but it is also as difficult to diagnose acute liver damage as there are, in most cases, no symptoms.
Causes Of Liver Cirrhosis
Two of the most well-known causes of liver cirrhosis are long-term excessive alcohol consumption and hepatitis C virus infection. However, there are a number of other conditions that can also lead to liver damage and cirrhosis. In fact, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in Australia. A small proportion of patients with fatty liver can also develop cirrhosis. Hepatitis B virus infection is an important cause of cirrhosis worldwide.
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Why The Type Of Fatty Liver Disease Matters
Distinguishing between simple fatty liver and NASH is important. Why? Because for most people, having simple fatty liver doesnt cause sickness related to the liver, whereas those with NASH have inflammation and injury to their liver cells. This increases the risk of progression to more serious conditions like fibrosis of the liver, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. NASH cirrhosis is expected to be the number one reason for liver transplant within the next year. Luckily, most people with NAFLD have simple fatty liver and not NASH it is estimated that 3% to 7% of the US population has NASH.
It takes a liver biopsy to know if a person has simple fatty liver or NASH. But the possible complications and cost of a liver biopsy make this impractical to do for everyone with NAFLD.
Scientists are trying to find noninvasive ways to identify who is at the greatest risk for fibrosis, and thus who should go on to have a liver biopsy. Possible approaches include biomarkers and scoring systems based on blood tests , as well as elastography .
Liver Health May Be Reflected In The Fingernails
Learn why changes in the fingernails could be an indicator of a liver problem.
Unless there is an obvious problem, many of us tend to take our physical bodies for granted. This is unfortunate because looking closely at the human body can divulge many clues about that persons current state of health. Different kinds of alternative health practitioners are known to analyze a persons eyes, gait and tongue, but these are not the only windows into a persons well-being. If not covered up by acrylic nails or polish, fingernail anomalies can reveal several details about a persons health including the functionality of his or her liver.
Fingernails are not made of living tissue, but they reflect the health of living cells at the nails base. Composed of layers of the protein keratin and growing from beneath the base of the nail under the cuticle, fingernails are the accumulation of older cells becoming hard and compacted.
Thus, changes in nail color, texture and shape can indicate a problem with the bodys cells, a possible sign of some type of medical condition. Because fingernail appearance takes time to develop, nail changes that accompany a health condition are rarely the first sign of a problem.
Despite the association between a persons systemic health and his or her fingernails, there are several reasons that an abnormal nail could be an isolated issue. Examples include:
1. Trauma Blunt force like slamming a finger in a door can cause white spots or lines on the nail.
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Diagnosing And Treating Hair Loss
ANNE L. MOUNSEY, MD, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
SEAN W. REED, MD, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
Am Fam Physician. 2009 Aug 15 80:356-362.
Patient information: See related handout on hair loss, written by the authors of this article.
Physicians should be careful not to underestimate the emotional impact of hair loss for some patients. Patients may present with focal patches of hair loss or more diffuse hair loss, which may include predominant hair thinning or increased hair shedding. Focal hair loss can be further broken down into scarring and nonscarring. Scarring alopecia is best evaluated by a dermatologist. The cause of focal hair loss may be diagnosed by the appearance of the patch and examination for fungal agents. A scalp biopsy may be necessary if the cause of hair loss is unclear. Alopecia areata presents with smooth hairless patches, which have a high spontaneous rate of resolution. Tinea capitis causes patches of alopecia that may be erythematous and scaly. Male and female pattern hair losses have recognizable patterns and can be treated with topical minoxidil, and also with finasteride in men. Sudden loss of hair is usually telogen effluvium, but can also be diffuse alopecia areata. In telogen effluvium, once the precipitating cause is removed, the hair will regrow.
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