Causes Of Sudden And Rapid Hair Loss
Now that you understand how hair grows and what happens when it falls out, lets explore some of the possible causes of sudden and rapid hair loss:
1. Medical Conditions
If you suddenly go from a full head of hair to rapid thinning, its possible that theres a medical condition to blame. For example, an overactive or underactive thyroid can lead to hair loss. Likewise, chronic or inflammatory disorders, chronic infections, and/or autoimmune diseases can cause diffuse telogen hair loss.
In other situations, certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to hair loss. This is especially common when people go on crash diets and dont consume adequate amounts of protein, zinc, iron, fatty acids, or vitamin D.
Certain medications can cause sudden hair loss. This is most commonly seen in anticancer drugs and/or chemotherapy treatments. Hair loss is typically noticeable within a week and becomes total and widespread by month number two.
In addition to chemotherapeutic drugs, medications that can sometimes cause hair loss include warfarin, steroids, birth control pills, lithium, amphetamines and vitamin A supplements, though hair will most often grow back when the offending medication is stopped, The New York Times explains. If youve recently started on a new medication and you notice hair loss during this period, consult with your doctor to see if there is an alternative option available.
What Can I Do For Thinning Hair
Consult your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of thinning hair or loss. Stress is often the main culprit of sudden hair loss. By reducing stress, hair loss can often be reversed within a short time period. If other underlying medical conditions are present, your physician can help develop a treatment plan.
How Can Hair Loss In Women Be Prevented
Preventing hair loss is not possible when it is due to disease, aging, heredity or physical stressors like injuries. You can prevent hair loss caused by caustic chemicals or tight hairstyles by avoiding them. You might be able to prevent some hair loss by eating a healthy diet that provides necessary nutrients in terms of vitamins, minerals and protein. You can stop smoking.
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The Most Common Medical Conditions That Cause Hair Loss
There are many reasons why hair loss occurs. In most cases, it is genetic, which means youve inherited the hair loss gene from your parents. But sometimes it can also be the result of an underlying health issue you may have. Here are the three most common medical conditions that cause hair loss.
What Is Tinea Capitis
Tinea is the medical word for fungal infection, and capitis means head. Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp that for the most part affects school-age children.
- Tinea capitis is more common in black African or African-American scalps.
- This condition is rare in healthy adults.
- Bald spots usually show broken-off hairs accompanied by dermatitis.
- Oral antifungals can penetrate the hair roots and cure the infection, after which hair grows back.
- Sharing hats or combs and brushes may transmit tinea capitis.
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Why Does Pcos Cause Hair Loss
It’s all about hormones here, Meggie Smith, MD, an ob-gyn who specializes in reproductive endocrinology and infertility in Nashville, tells Health.
“PCOS can contribute to hair loss as PCOS is associated with higher than normal levels of testosterone, which affects hair growth,” she says. “This is known as androgenic alopecia and women often complain of hair loss around their temples and frontal regions of their scalp.”
However, hair loss is actually not a common side effect of PCOS, as compared to excess hair growth, because in order to have this type of hair loss, your androgen levels have to be pretty high, Lauren Streicher, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, tells Health.
Regardless of whether or not you have PCOS, people of all genders produce androgens, including testosterone, though men typically produce more . Androgens are involved in the onset of puberty and initiate hair growth in the underarms and pubic areas. If you have PCOS, your body will experience extra androgen production, which will trigger excess hair growth in places like your face, neck, chest, and torso.
What Can You Do For Pcos
In cases of male-pattern baldness, there’s a complete loss of the hair follicle, meaning hair can never grow back in that spot naturally. With female-pattern baldness, that’s not the casethe hair follicle remains alive, so there’s a possibility of restimulating hair growth with certain treatments.
According to Dr. Streicher, treatment plans for PCOS-related hair loss are often tailored to each specific patient, depending on how bothersome or severe the hair loss is. One of the most effective lines of treatment, according to Dr. Streicher and Dr. Smith, is the medication minoxidil, more commonly known as the brand Rogaine.
Starting a birth control regimen is another commonly-used tactic for treating PCOS and its various symptoms. “One of the mainstays in managing many of the effects of PCOS is birth control pills, which help lower testosterone by increasing sex-hormone-binding globulin,” says Dr. Smith. “However, this generally helps more with controlling hair growth…above the upper lip or chin.”
There are some other less-studied methods too: Dr. Streicher recommends trying a daily hair and scalp massage, as well as a newer treatment option that involves a low-level laser therapy to stimulate hair growth. The oral medication spironolactone, commonly used to treat high blood pressure, may also be prescribed to treat androgenic alopecia, though it’s not FDA-approved for this use.
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Facts About Normal Hair Growth
About 90% of hair on the scalp grows continually. In fact, each hair growsfor about 2 to 6 years. The other 10% of scalp hair is in a resting phasethat lasts 2 to 3 months. At the end of the resting stage, this hair isshed.
Most people have around 100,000 hairs on their head, and shed 50 to 100hairs a day. This is normal. When a hair is shed, it is replaced by a newhair from the same follicle and the growing cycle starts again. Scalp hairgrows about half an inch a month.
As people age, the rate of hair growth slows.
Hair Loss From Thyroid Problems
Either an underactive thyroid, a medical condition called hypothyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, can result in hair loss because each condition causes a hormonal imbalance. Hormones help to regulate nearly every function in the body, including hair growth. Getting the right treatment to control either of these thyroid conditions will get hormones under control, stop hair loss, and allow your hair to starting grow back.
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Diseases That Cause Hair Loss In Men And Women
While the list of medical conditions plaguing humankind is literally unending, diseases that cause hair loss in men and women can surely be documented with ease. As a leading non-surgical hair replacement systems brand, we continuously work on creating awareness about hair fallout and conditions that lead to it.
Today, Lordhair will talk about diseases that are a major cause of hair loss globally. From the introduction to causes, symptoms, and treatments, we will try to touch upon everything in a brief manner. Lets get started right away:
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is causing my hair loss?
- Do I need to change any of my current medications?
- What are the best treatments for my type of hair loss?
- Am I a good candidate for hair transplant?
- Is there a treatment that will help me regrow hair?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hair loss from any cause can be emotionally challenging. Talk to your healthcare provider about what may be causing your hair loss. In many cases, effective treatments exist that can slow hair loss and help spur new hair growth. And many people find ways to thrive and feel great, no matter how much or how little hair they have.
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You’re Getting Too Much Vitamin A
Overdoing vitamin A-containing supplements or medications can trigger hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Just FYI: The Daily Value for vitamin A is 5,000 International Units per day for adults and kids over age 4 supplements can contain 2,500 to 10,000 IU. So any more than that and you could risk some strands falling out.
The good news: This is also a reversible cause of hair loss, and once the excess vitamin A is halted, hair should start growing normally again.
Diabetes Mellitus 1 And 2
This condition is characterized by high blood sugar levels. Diabetes mellitus interacts with red blood cells, resulting in the synthesis of a composition called glycosylated hemoglobin. Then, this modified composition produces an alteration in red blood cells, making them more tense than usual, so that they get stuck between the walls of blood vessels. This is how vascular and circulatory problems originate.
When this happens, the capillaries that bring blood to the hair follicles weaken, leading to hair loss. In addition, when blood sugar levels get too high, the body might be at a higher risk of suffering bacterial or fungal infections that affect the scalps health by destroying the hair follicles.
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Key Points About Temporary Or Abnormal Hair Loss
What Vitamins Are Good For Hair Loss Are There Home Remedies For Hair Loss
A good daily multivitamin containing zinc, vitamin B, folate, iron, and calcium is a reasonable choice, although there is no good evidence that vitamins have any meaningful benefit in alopecia.
- Newer studies suggest that vitamin D may be somewhat helpful and worth considering.
- Specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies like iron or vitamin B12 may be diagnosed by blood tests and treated.
Multiple vitamins, including
- biotin has been promoted for hair growth, but solid scientific studies for many of these claims are lacking. While taking biotin and other supplements marketed for hair, skin, and nails probably won’t worsen anything, it may also not necessarily help the situation. Therefore, advertised hair-regrowth supplements should be approached with mild caution.
- There is only anecdotal evidence that oral or topical application of garlic, onion juice, saw palmetto, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, apple cider vinegar, creatine, and pumpkin seed oil are of benefit for hair loss.
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What Are The Types Of Hair Loss
There are three: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.
- Anagen effluvium: This is caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle .
- Telogen effluvium: This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.
- Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern alopecia/female pattern hair loss /baldness: This type is the most common. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.
How Your Gut Affects Your Hair
Your body starts digesting food from the moment you eat it from your mouths, as the act of biting and the saliva in your mouth start to break down the food. The next level of digestion takes place as the acid present in your tummy further breaks down the food, and at the final stage, the food goes into the intestine where nutrients from the food are absorbed.
There are few types of fibre that the acid in your mouth doesn’t break down very easily, and to fully dissolve nutrients from that kind of food, human beings rely on the bacteria and other microorganisms that live in their gut. Yes, human beings are hosts to other microorganisms that help one stay healthy.
If you have an adequate amount of gut flora, then you will be able to dissolve the most amount of important nutrients from your food. If you have less vital stomach flora, then you might be suffering from a mild problem of malnutrition, even if you are having a relatively decent diet. It is a little easy to be deficient in vitamin B12, biotin, vitamin K, niacin, folic acid or niacin. Most of these nutrients are produced by microorganisms that live in the distal intestine and are essential for healthy hair.
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What Questions Might Your Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose And Categorize Your Hair Loss
Your healthcare provider might ask about your habits:
- What kinds of hair products do you use?
- What kinds of hair styles do you wear?
- What types of food do you eat ?
- Do you have a habit of pulling your hair out ?
They might ask about your history:
- Has anyone in your immediate family experienced hair loss?
- Is there anything stressful going on in your life?
- What medications and supplements do you take every day?
- Has hair loss ever happened to you before?
- What foods are in your diet?
And, they might ask about your observations:
- How long have you been losing hair?
- Have you been shedding more?
- Have you noticed hair loss in places other than your scalp, like your eyebrows? Leg and arm hair?
- Does anything worsen your hair loss?
- Does anything improve your hair loss?
- Have you noticed hair loss occasionally or has it been going on continuously?
- Have you noticed if your hair growth has changed?
- Has your hair been breaking more often?
You Have A Rash On Your Face Or Body
Lupus, like hypothyroidism or an iron deficiency, is an autoimmune disease with hair loss as a common symptom. Additionally, lupus can cause full-body rashes as a response to organs becoming inflamed, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Oftentimes, these rashes will come and go and are referred to as “flares.” Other lupus symptoms include dry eyes and joint pain, so if you notice any of these effects, you should see your doctor.
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