From overstyling and extensions to stress and hormones, hair loss can have many roots. But if your hair loss is accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations, you might want to ask your doctor if iron deficiency anemia is to blame. Iron deficiency anemia is more common than you may think. In fact, it’s estimated that 3.4 million Americans have anemia. Keep reading to learn more about iron deficiency anemia hair loss, and what you can do to cover the symptoms.
What is Anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is a very common type of anemia, which is a general name for a condition in which the blood lacks healthy red blood cells, or hemoglobin. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to the body and help to control energy levels. Without enough red blood cells, you may feel tired and weak, have shortness of breath, and even suffer from brittle nails and hair loss. Iron is a mineral that actually helps your body to produce red blood cells. That’s why when your body lacks enough iron in the blood, it can lead to anemia.
Not eating enough iron-rich foods or not absorbing iron properly are the most common causes of anemia. In fact, approximately 1 in 5 women of childbearing age and 50% of pregnant women will develop anemia.
How Does Anemia Cause Hair Loss?
Without adequate iron, your body can’t produce red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to hair follicles to help promote normal, healthy hair growth. Inadequate iron levels can cause a type of temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium. During telogen effluvium, more hair follicles than usual go from the growing phase to the shedding phase. As a result, hair appears thinner.
If you have hair loss from anemia, you may notice more hair in the shower drain than usual. Anemia-related hair loss can also look like male pattern hair loss, with a receding hairline or a widening part.
Treating Iron Deficiency Hair Loss
If you suspect you have anemia, visit your doctor. Your doctor will run a blood test to check your iron levels. If your doctor diagnoses you with anemia, they will prescribe an iron supplement.
Luckily, hair loss from anemia is usually temporary and hair should regrow in a few months. In the meantime, you can disguise thinning hair with Toppik Hair Building Fibers. Toppik Hair Building Fibers use a static charge to help them cling to hair, instantly creating the appearance of thicker locks. Plus, they come in nine versatile shades, so they work for everyone!
How to Prevent Iron Deficiency Hair Loss
Concerned about developing an iron deficiency? Follow these tips to help maintain healthy iron levels for optimum hair growth:
Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the most common causes of anemia is a poor diet. To prevent anemia, eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of iron-rich foods like meat, fish, spinach, whole grains, prunes, nuts and beans.
Vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron, so make sure you’re eating vitamin C-rich foods like fruits, peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes as well.
Supplement Your Diet
If you’re not getting enough iron-rich foods like meat, fish and spinach in your diet, taking a hair supplement is an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough iron to support hair growth. Take a complete healthy hair supplement that’s formulated with both iron and vitamin C, plus other hair-loving vitamins and minerals like biotin and zinc. And be sure to choose one that has been clinically proven to promote hair growth.
Have you ever experienced anemia? Let us know in the comments.