Weight Loss - Hair Loss - Is There a Link Between Weight Loss and Hair Loss


There are various causes of hair loss and there is a question about the connection if there is one, between weight loss and hair loss. Understanding weight loss especially extreme weight loss or crash dieting is important when attempting to answer this question.

Weight Reduction

Most people have at some point in their lives wanted to or needed to lose weight. A healthy diet and exercise are the best ways to achieve weight loss though it may take longer than you want it to. In order to effectively lose weight, your body must burn more calories (units of energy) than it consumes.

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Extreme weight loss through illness, eating disorders, or crash dieting is not a good way to go. Illness cannot be helped and when recovered the weight you lost may come back. With eating disorders or crash diets extreme amounts of weight is dropped in a short period of time.

This extreme weight loss is usually achieved through severely limiting food intake often at the expense of your health. In such cases there may be a loss of essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health including weight. These deficiencies are likely to be B vitamins especially B6, Biotin, and Niacin, as well as minerals including magnesium and sulfur. These can all be found in foods especially in fruits and in vegetables. Low iron in the blood may also be linked to hair loss. Iron rich foods include red meats, beans, dried fruits, and many cereals. A multi-vitamin with iron may be needed to replenish what the body has lost.

A physical exam and knowledge of the ideal weight for your height will let you and your doctor know whether you are too thin to be healthy. Once illnesses go away or eating disorders are stabilized hair quality may return or at least improve.

Hair Loss

Hair loss can be caused by heredity, illness, stress, or trauma. Medications may also play a part in hair loss. Typically once recovered hair may return to normal or improve. When medications such as chemo treatments are stopped you will experience new growth over time. The quality and color may change as it comes back.

Treatments can include something as simple as hairstyle changes, eating healthier, and exercising. Topical treatments are applied directly to the scalp. Finasteride and minoxidil are the two FDA approved treatments that achieve results. Oral medications including anti-inflammatories and anti-depressants might also be used to relieve conditions that are causing hair loss including scalp irritations and reduce the effects of stress.

The Link

Extreme weight loss such as that which results from eating disorders and crash dieting will likely rob the body of the vitamins and minerals necessary for over-all good health and specifically healthy hair. Once these things are replaced your hair's condition will likely improve.

Conclusion

Weight problems especially extreme weight loss may rob the body of what it needs to maintain healthy hair. While there are other causes for hair loss weight loss is a potentially dangerous cause. Without proper nutrients your body will not function as it should. Once restored to normal levels your over-all health and the condition of your hair will likely improve. If you have lost extreme amounts of weight a physical will help to rule out other causes. There are treatments available for weight loss and hair loss. Your doctor can be your best asset in getting back into good health.

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