5 medical conditions that can cause hair loss

There are numerous reasons behind why one experiences hair loss. It could either be hereditary or an outcome of medical treatments or even due to an underlying disease.

While losing hair is not something to be worried about, in case it is extreme and is leading to baldness, you must address it and find out the source of your problem.

Following are some of the health conditions that can lead to major hair loss or thinning of hair and may need medical intervention.

1. Thyroid problems

Hair loss can be a consequence of hormonal imbalance. Hormones help regulate bodily functions and have a significant role to play when it comes to hair growth. Thyroid is what controls our body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients like iron, calcium, etc that are responsible for hair growth. That said, both hypo- or hyperthyroidism, which are linked to under- and overactive thyroid glands respectively, can lead to loss of hair.

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2. Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease associated with hair loss and balding. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles, resulting in thinning hair, patches of hair loss, some balding, or total baldness. This could either be temporary or permanent, but it can be treated. One must consult the doctors.

3. Lupus

Lupus is another autoimmune disease that can lead to hair loss. It can cause widespread inflammation of the skin, especially the face and the scalp region. It can slowly thin out the hair on the scalp and gradually lead to baldness. Besides the hair on your head, you can lose hair from any part of your body, including eye lashes, eyebrows, beard, etc. Certain medications may help with recovery, but this condition can be permanent. Make sure to speak with your doctor.

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4. Nutrient deficiencies

Studies have suggested that lack of certain nutrients can lead to hair loss, which is why many experts recommend a proper diet to restore your hair growth and strength. Iron, zinc, fatty acids and various vitamins are all important nutrients you must add to your diet so as to prevent the risk of hair loss. While lack of iron in the body can limit the flow of oxygen to the body, zinc plays a vital role in cell and immune function and protein synthesis, crucial for hair growth. Besides, fatty acids reduce inflammation, whereas Vitamin B3 ensures lustrous hair growth. That said, nutrient deficiencies may be a significant cause of hair loss.

5. Stress and hair loss

When it comes to stress associated with hair loss, there are three different types to it: Telogen effluvium, Trichotillomania and Alopecia areata.

i. Telogen effluvium, in such cases, the mental stressors push hair follicles to a resting phase, making it easy to fall out over time.

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ii. Trichotillomania is the unsuppressable urge to pull out hair from the scalp, even eyebrows. This can be a result of major stress.

iii. Alopecia areata, as we have discussed, is an autoimmune disease, which can be caused by stress. However, many other factors can also lead to it.

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