Hair Loss & Iron Deficiency

Hair loss is quickly becoming a growing (no pun intended) and major concern for many women and men. The truth is that hair loss can cause a great deal of insecurity within the person having the experience.

The bottom line truth is that hair loss is usually caused by some form of deficiency occurring within the body. It is not a “normal” thing that comes with getting older. Most people shed 50 to 100 strands of hair daily. With about 100,000 hairs in the scalp, this amount of hair loss shouldn’t cause noticeable thinning of the scalp hair.

One of the most common causes of hair loss in pre-menopausal women is not hormones, but a nutritional deficiency, with depleted iron stores being the most important factor. However, there are many factors that can contribute to hair loss in both men and women.

Iron is a mineral that is a necessary nutrient needed in the blood. The most important function of iron in the human body is helping the production of both hemoglobin (the substance that carries oxygen within red blood cells) and myoglobin. Myoglobin is a form of hemoglobin found in muscles. Iron is also involved in the oxygenation of your body’s red blood cells.

It is understood that levels of iron play a significant role in various body functions however, it is also essential for the normal growth and maintenance of hair. If the amount of energy used up by the body is not replaced by food intake, then other non-essential stores will be used up. Unfortunately, this means the hair cells, as they are not a vital part of living.

In order to maintain an adequate balance of iron in the body, the amount excreted must be replaced by the amount ingested. When the amount of dietary iron absorbed is insufficient, a negative iron imbalance occurs, and consequently, iron stores are called upon to make up the deficit.

The fall of iron stores normally passes through several stages: lowered iron stores, iron depletion and iron deficiency anemia.

  1. Lowered iron stores: This is indicated when the iron stores are reduced but not exhausted. No clinical effects are detected.
  2. Iron depletion: Shows up in laboratory tests. Hemoglobin concentration may be well below ‘normal’ for that individual’s reference range. If the patient increases their iron intake, the hemoglobin may respond by increasing.
  3. Iron deficiency anemia: No iron is left remaining in the bone marrow. Hemoglobin production falls to the point where concentration is well below the reference range. It is important to note therefore that iron deficiency (low iron stores, i.e. low ferritin) can occur even if the patient is not clinically anemic and has normal hemoglobin levels.

Excellent natural sources of iron are

  • Red meat
  • Egg yolks
  • Dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards)
  • Dried fruit (prunes, raisins)
  • Iron-enriched cereals and grains
  • Mollusks (oysters, clams, scallops)
  • Turkey or chicken giblets
  • Beans, lentils, chick peas
  • Liver
  • Artichokes

Your body is better able to absorb iron if you eat these foods along with foods that provide.

Author: Denika Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products available on Amazon. http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com

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What Is The Difference Between Hair Loss and Hair Shedding

Hair follicles on the scalp do not continuously produce hair. They cycle through a growth stage that can last two or more years then regress to a resting stage for up to two months before starting to grow a new hair fiber again. At any time on a healthy human scalp, about 80% to 90% of the hair follicles are growing hair. These active follicles are in what is called the anagen phase.

Hair loss is what we refer to when the hair has stopped growing. The medical term associated with this condition is anagen effluvium. The most common causes of hair loss include:

  • Hereditary hair loss
  • Immune system overreacts
  • Some drugs and treatments
  • Hairstyles that pull on the hair
  • Harsh hair care products
  • Compulsion to pull one’s hair out

If you are experiencing “hair loss”, your hair will cease to grow until the cause for the hair loss stops. Persons that undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments often lose a lot, if not all of their hair. When the treatment stops however their hair tends to grow back. Likewise persons on certain types of medications, for example antidepressants or thyroid medication, tend to lose hair which may appear to stay lost as long as they are on the medication.

However, hair normally sheds 50 to 100 strands of per day. If you are a “naturalista” and you do not comb or brush your hair in between washes, the amount of hair shed you experience during your washes might frighten you. You have to remember that if you do not comb your hair in between washes for 7 days, you have shed 350 – 700 strands of hair, which might appear to be a lot. However in these cases there is probably no need for alarm because it’s probably just a normal shed. Additionally if your hair strand density is more on the thicker side, 100 strands could look like 300.

If you are concerned by the amount of hair falling out, you don’t need to suffer in silence. You can turn to a dermatologist or more specifically a trichologist (one who specializes in the hair and scalp) for help. A dermatologist or trichologist can tell you whether you have hair loss or excessive hair shedding.

 

Author: Denika Penn-Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products,

http:// http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com

 

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