Low iron level linked to hair loss is common in both genders. Alopecia or baldness is caused by various factors. One of the main causes of baldness is nutritional deficiency. Inadequate diet or diet lacking in essential nutrients cause many health related problems including gastrointestinal disorders, decrease in bone growth, mental health problems, skin and hair issues. Hair fall is common among individuals having nutritional deficiency especially iron deficiency. Haemoglobin is the protein and its main component is iron. Iron has oxygen carrying capacity and transports oxygen to cells of the body including hair cells. Lack of oxygen to cells stimulating hair growth causes hair loss.
How to diagnose it?
Low iron levels linked to hair loss show male and female patterns of baldness. Patients typically have excess hair fall and strands of hair are shown in the hair brush. Bald spots at some areas are found representing alopecia areata which is a typical representation of low iron level linked to hair loss. Blood tests are performed to detect level of haemoglobin in blood which suggests iron deficiency. The doctor prescribes the blood test for ferritin level. Normal value of it ranges from 20 to 200 nanograms per ml for females and for males it is 20 to 500 nanograms per ml. Low level of ferritin confirms the cause of baldness associated with iron deficiency.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia
Major symptoms of iron deficiency are breathlessness, excessive fatigue, pale skin, pain in chest, brittle nails and increased heart rate, tingling sensations in lower extremities, dizziness and weakness
At risk population
Some individuals are at greater risk of developing low iron levels linked to hair loss including females who are at childbearing stage, vegetarians taking less iron quantity in diet, patients with certain medical conditions in which there is less absorption of iron, those who are donating blood frequently.
Treatment of low iron level and hair loss
It is recommended that one should treat iron deficiency anaemia and hair fall separately
Treating hair fall
Following treatment options approved by United States Food and Drug administration FDA are available
· Finasteride is used by men to stimulate regrowth of hair and it also reduce hair loss
· Minoxidil Is available for both men and women in liquid form to apply it on the scalp and its effect lasts for almost four months.
· In severe cases or in patients with permanent loss of hair, surgery is the ultimate option. Most common is a hair transplant procedure in which grafts are taken from the donor area and implanted at bald areas where hair growth is stimulated.
Treating Iron Deficiency
Low iron level linked to hair loss is a temporary condition. Treating iron deficiency as an underlying cause of hair loss, treats the condition. Improving diet enriched with iron and taking iron supplements and for severe anemic patients taking iron injections is a basic step to treat anemia.
The condition is prevented by taking below mentioned steps
· Taking an iron rich diet that includes salmon, spinach, red meat and peas. ‘Iron-fortified’ products can be taken to increase iron level
· Vitamin C has ability to absorb iron so diet enriched with Vitamin C should be taken to level up the iron
· Hair dyes and chemicals should not be used
· Avoid using tight bands and caps to prevent hair damage
· Gently brush hair and wash them in a gentle manner to avoid excess hair breakdown
· In order to prevent hair damage leading to hair fall, avoid iron and blow dryers or at least apply mousse or other heat protectant gel before using heat equipment to hair
Low iron level linked to hair loss is visible in many individuals but in support of this not much literature is found, little research is evident in favor of it but the relationship of anemia with baldness is still under study. However, researchers confirm that low iron levels are linked to hair loss that does not cause scarring of hair follicles. This suggests that hair can be grown back as their follicles are intact and have the ability to grow back again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the best hair specialist treating hair fall among male and females in Lahore Pakistan?
Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry is the best doctor and specialist in Lahore who can diagnose and treat hair related problems and you can get a full head of hair.
How to get an appointment from the specialist in Lahore Pakistan?
To get an appointment and free check up you may call or WhatsApp +92-333-430-9999