It is quite natural for people to keep on losing their hair from time to time and even throughout the day as you do through your usual routine. According to dermatologists specializing in hair loss, losing 50-100 hairs every day is quite normal as the hair goes through its different cycles and new ones keep on replacing the old ones that fall out. However, when you start losing your hair in large numbers consistently, your hairline starts to recede quickly, or you start developing bald patches, it is quite likely to be something serious and you should consult a doctor. According to some experts, simple expedients like a healthy diet and the right shampoo can protect against hair loss. However, you can only fight hair loss, if you can identify the root cause. Some common reasons for hair loss and treating the conditions:
Hereditary Hair Loss
Also known as, “androgenetic alopecia”, genetic hair loss is the most common reason for losing hair. While the chances of genetic hair loss are the maximum if both your parents had severe hair loss, you can still get inherit the condition even when one of your grandparents from your mother’s side or father’s side has had it. There is no specific age when you can experience hair loss due to genetics; some people start losing their hair when they are in their 20s but the condition progresses slowly. The hair loss may also be diffused, which means that it is spread over the entire scalp and not restricted to a specific area. Dermatologists will normally examine the hair loss pattern as well as order blood tests to eliminate other reasons or even a biopsy to establish the presence of miniature hair follicles replacing the normal follicles that is a proven test of hereditary hair loss. While hereditary hair loss cannot be arrested, you can slow down the thinning process by applying minoxidil to the scalp; however, this treatment is contraindicated if you are pregnant or nursing.
Telogen effluvium is a condition that occurs temporarily after the body has been subjected to a lot of stress. Typical reasons include pregnancy, drastic loss of weight, major surgery, or extreme stress. You can lose very large amounts of hair, especially when washing your hair or brushing it. According to doctors, you experience telogen effluvium when the cycle that hair typically goes through from growing to shedding speeds up abnormally. The hair loss is normally noticed six weeks to as long as three months after a stressful event like a death in the family or even bankruptcy has taken place and at its peak, handfuls of hair may be lost leading to extreme distress, observes a risk assessment officer with extensive experience of dealing with stressed-out borrowers. While there are no tests to establish this condition, doctors base their diagnoses by inquiring into recent events you have encountered and finding out if there are any “club-shaped” bulbs on the roots of the fallen hair indicating that the loss may have occurred after a complete growth cycle. There is, unfortunately, no specific treatment for telogen effluvium and it usually resolves by itself. The best way of recovering is to manage your stress level.
Alopecia areata is a disorder of the autoimmune system in which the hair follicles are attacked by the immune system. Around 7 million people in America across all ages, genders, and ethnicities are affected. While the cause is not established, doctors think that illness or stress may be the triggers. The symptoms include the development of smooth round bald patches on the scalp, eyebrows, and even legs. Observation of the hair loss pattern and blood tests can determine the condition. A hormone test may be advised to rule out any other underlying conditions causing loss of hair. Treatment of alopecia areata is commonly done with intralesional corticosteroids while advanced cases have been treated successfully with oral tofacitinib, a JAK inhibitor as also minoxidil. The reduction of stress levels is very important.
Side Effects of Medication
Several medications, including some blood pressure drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, anti-seizure medication, and medication for psoriasis and anti-arrhythmia drugs can result in hair loss as a side effect. Typically, the hair loss is seen after three months after commencement of the medication. The type of test will be determined by the kind of medication you are taking though the doctor may also recommend some tests to rule out other underlying conditions. Typically, to get relief, the doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine or a supplement in an attempt to reduce the side effects.
When the thyroid gland does not produce the right amount, changes in bodily functions can be noticed. Hair loss is generally due to hypothyroidism or the production of too little thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism can also result in hair loss as both too little and too much of the hormone can affect the hair follicles and make them weak. Doctors will recommend a blood test for measuring the level of TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone to find out whether you suffer from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism and then prescribe an appropriate medication to restore normalcy of the hormone level.
When the body is not able to produce adequate amounts of hemoglobin due to an iron deficiency that may be caused by heavy periods or a diet lacking in iron-rich foods, it can result in hair loss among other outcomes like weakness, fatigue, pale skin, headaches, shortness of breath and many more. Usually, doctors will prescribe a blood test for measuring the level of ferritin, the protein that stores bodily iron to diagnose iron deficiency. The red blood cell count is also a good indicator. Upon diagnosis of iron deficiency, you will be recommended to switch to an iron-rich diet like meat and fish, leafy greens, beans, fortified cereals as well as vitamin C-rich food to aid the absorption of the iron.
Hair is extremely sensitive to both environmental conditions and diet, which means that many conditions can spark off hair loss in amounts that can be really frightening. In addition to the conditions discussed earlier, diseases like polycystic ovary syndrome, psoriasis, dandruff, lupus, as well as menopause, drastic weight loss, severe stress, excessive hair styling, and chemotherapy can cause substantial hair loss.