Iron Deficiency And Hair Loss: Are They Related?
The Iron Nutrient
The body needs a balance of all the vitamins and minerals available in nature for it to
function properly. If there’s a lack of any one of the vitamins or minerals, the loss of nutrients can cause imbalances to occur and the health overall will suffer.
One of the most important nutrients in the blood is the iron. Iron levels need to have stable values throughout our lives. Otherwise, amongst other things, it will cause hair loss, and if not treated on time, it can lead to a severe damage to the hair. The most frequently targeted group of people to suffer from iron deficiency are women and adolescent girls who have their period. Women with heavy blood loss during this time are in danger of having anemia.
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While females more commonly suffer from iron deficiency, if a healthy lifestyle is not maintained, having a low iron level is something that can happen to anyone. Anemia can cause a temporary hair loss called Telogen Effluvium. This condition is characterized by hairs falling out prematurely. If this condition isn’t treated on time, it can cause severe hair loss problems that later on won’t be so easily reversible.
The reason why the hair is the first thing to suffer and the last thing to get better when anemia occurs is that it’s a non-essential part of the body. This means that the body is keeping the other vital and essential parts of it alive and well with the little amount of iron left in the blood, while the hair is left undernourished. When someone has iron deficiency, the body doesn’t have enough iron to produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the oxygen carrier in the blood to each cell of the body. When cells lack oxygen, they tend to lose their proper function and vitality. This is what happens with the hair too – the hemoglobin doesn’t carry enough oxygen for the growth and repair of the cells that make up the hair follicles. And that is when you face hair loss.
How To Detect Iron Deficiency?
There are three effective ways to detect anemia in the beginning and reverse it while it’s still not too late...
1. You can ask your doctor to test your serum iron which will show the amount of the iron
you have in your blood.
2. Testing the serum ferritin is another way of finding out if your iron blood levels are good. Namely, this test tells you if the amount of iron stored in your body is actually being used to produce hemoglobin and keep you healthy.
3. The third test is called transferrin level which measures the total iron-binding capacity. The transferrin is a protein that carries iron in the blood, so if you have anemia the tests will show high transferrin levels with low or no iron in them.
How To Prevent Iron Deficiency And Hair Loss?
First and foremost, in order to make any change (for the better) in the body is to change your dietary habits. Simply increase the amount of green leafy vegetables that hold plenty of iron within them, along with fruits packed with Vitamin C, because this vitamin binds the iron into hemoglobin. Lentils, spinach, beans, prunes, cranberries are all amazing sources of iron-forming ingredients and can help you thrive and have the healthiest hair possible.
While not the most optimal option, in severe cases you can supplement with iron
supplements and vitamins until you increase the iron levels. After that, leave out the supplements and turn towards foods that have high iron levels and you will be covered.
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