Iron deficiency is a condition in which a person’s body doesn’t have enough iron or can’t utilize it adequately. Shortness of breath, exhaustion, and chest discomfort are common symptoms of severe iron deficiency anemia, but some patients also experience hair loss.
Hair loss caused by iron deficiency can resemble both male and female patterns. Iron may not only contribute to hair loss, but it may also cause hair to fall. It causes hair fall in a pattern similar to genetic male and female baldness.
A variety of factors causes hair loss. It can affect both adults and children of both genders. Male-pattern baldness isn’t the only cause of hair loss. The nutritional deficiency also causes hair loss. Your body can’t manufacture hemoglobin in your blood if you don’t have enough iron. Hemoglobin transports oxygen to your body’s cells for development and repair, including the cells that encourage hair growth. You can help reverse both iron deficiency and hair loss with therapy.
The majority of hair loss caused by iron deficiency is temporary. The best strategy to cure hair loss is to find out what’s causing it in the first place. If you suspect that your hair loss is due to an iron deficiency, see a doctor to have your iron levels checked. A ferritin level blood test, which examines the amounts of a protein called ferritin that helps store iron, will almost certainly be ordered by your doctor.
You can address low iron levels with iron supplements if your test results suggest that you have a deficiency. As a side effect of the increased iron, you may notice a change in your bowel motions. So, advise your doctor if you’re prone to stomach discomfort.
Connection Between Hair Loss and Iron Deficiency.
Causes For Iron Deficiency.
Because iron deficiency is so frequent, it’s critical to know what the most common causes are. The cause might be simple and most of the time. But, it can also be a mystery that has to be solved in rare circumstances such as hair fall.
Lack of Green Vegetables in Your Diet.
Follow Popeye’s lead and devour your leafy greens. It helps to acquire the required iron intake. One of the primary causes of iron deficiency anemia in women is a lack of vegetables.
Include Meat In Your Diet.
Meat is the finest source of iron in the diet. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, however, you may experience hair loss due to an iron deficiency. I’d recommend speaking with a nutritionist about the best iron substitutes.
Vitamin C deficiency:
Citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C, which supports active iron absorption from dietary sources. When you combine fruits with iron-rich vegetables, your body receives a significant iron boost.
The red blood cells in the blood contain iron. As a result, if you lose blood, you also lose iron. Because blood is lost during menstruation, women who have heavy periods are at risk of iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is caused by slow, persistent blood loss within the body, such as from a peptic ulcer, a hiatal hernia, a colon polyp, or colorectal cancer. Regular use of various over-the-counter pain medicines, particularly aspirin, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding.
Iron intolerance is a condition in which the body is unable to absorb iron. In your small intestine, iron from meals is absorbed into your circulation. Iron deficiency anemia can be caused by an intestinal illness such as celiac disease, which reduces your intestine’s capacity to absorb nutrients from digested food. Your capacity to absorb iron and other nutrients may be affected if part of your small intestine has been bypassed or surgically removed.
Iron deficiency develops in many pregnant women without iron supplementation. It is because their iron stores must service their enlarged blood volume as well as provide hemoglobin for the growing fetus.
Increased Iron Requirements.
Your body’s higher iron requirements might lead to an iron shortage. Due to blood loss during monthly menstruation, teenage girls and women of childbearing age, for example, have increased iron demands. Pregnant women have much greater iron requirements than non-pregnant women.
Tobacco inhibits the normal absorption of iron from the diet. It’s also been linked to messed-up menstrual cycles and severe bleeding. This eventually leads to iron deficiency.
Certain Medications or Drugs.
Many anti-inflammatory and antibacterial medications have been associated with anemia due to iron deficiency. If you use these medicines often and are losing your hair, it might be due to an iron shortage.
Consumption of alcohol.
Alcohol and iron absorption are inextricably linked, according to a little-known fact. Heavy drinking alters iron metabolism, resulting in iron deficiency. It can make it difficult for your body to absorb folate, vitamin C, and other nutrients, resulting in a deficiency.
How Do You Know If you Have Iron Insufficiency?
Look for these symptoms if you have doubts regarding iron deficiency you might have.
Other typical signs of iron deficiency include paler-than-normal skin and pale pigmentation of the interior of the lower eyelids. Hemoglobin in red blood cells gives blood its red hue, hence iron shortage causes the blood to become less red. That’s why, among persons who are iron deficient, their skin may lose part of its color or warmth.
The inside layer of your lower eyelid should be a brilliant red hue when you pull it down while staring in the mirror. You may have an iron deficiency if it’s a very light pink or yellow color.
Your red blood cells use hemoglobin to transport oxygen throughout your body. When hemoglobin levels are low due to anemia, oxygen levels are low as well. This implies that you won’t be able to walk or conduct other usual tasks because your muscles won’t get enough oxygen.
As a result, as your body strives to receive more oxygen, your breathing rate will rise. Shortness of breath is a typical symptom because of this.
Headaches are a common symptom of iron insufficiency, especially in women who are menstruated. While the cause of headaches from iron deficiency is unknown, experts believe that numerous mechanisms are at play, including the association between altered dopamine function and estrogen levels.
One of the most prevalent symptoms of iron deficiency anemia is extreme fatigue. Even if they haven’t been diagnosed with an iron deficiency, this symptom is frequent in people who simply don’t have enough iron.
This weariness is caused by a shortage of iron in your body. It is required for the production of hemoglobin, a protein that aids in the transport of oxygen throughout your body.
Iron deficiency can cause dry, damaged skin and hair.
Iron deficiency decreases hemoglobin levels in the blood, which may diminish the amount of oxygen accessible to hair-growing cells. Skin and hair can become dry and weak if they are deprived of oxygen. Hair loss is linked to iron deficiency, and some evidence shows it might be the culprit. It is prevalent particularly in females of reproductive age.
Treating Iron Deficiency.
Consume a variety of leafy green veggies.
Of course, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll have to rely on plant-based foods to acquire your iron. Iron may be found in a variety of dark, leafy green vegetables. Swiss chard, spinach, kale, beet greens, pak choi, and dandelion greens are among them.
Although these veggies are a rich source of dietary iron, they are not as bioavailable as meat-based iron. If you’re not a vegetarian, consider getting your iron from both plant and animal sources.
Limit your coffee intake.
Limit your coffee consumption to assist your body to absorb the iron from whole foods and supplements. Coffee contains tannins, which are water-soluble polyphenols that might obstruct iron absorption. You should avoid drinking coffee for at least 3 hours before eating iron-rich meals.
Consume a lot of lean meat.
The iron present in chicken, beef, and fish is easier for your body to absorb than iron found in other foods. If you’re worried that your body isn’t getting enough iron, consider including iron from these sources (also known as heme iron) in your diet.
Take in a lot of vitamin C.
When it comes to treating an iron deficiency, getting enough vitamin C or ascorbic acid into your system is critical. This is because the vitamin is essential for the body’s iron absorption. To correct your deficit, consume foods that are high in vitamin C as well as meals that are high in iron. Oranges, red peppers, and kale are all high in vitamin C. broccoli, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, grapefruit, and guava. It’s usually better to receive your vitamins via food, but if that’s not possible for any reason, you might need to take a vitamin C supplement before or shortly after a meal.
Say No To Smoking.
We all know how harmful smoking is to your health, and quitting smoking helps to get a rise in iron levels. Cigarette smoke has an impact on everyone, not just smokers. If you are a nonsmoker who lives with a smoker or works and socializes with smokers, avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible. Inhaling cigarette smoke, whether firsthand or secondhand, has a negative influence on your iron levels as well as your overall health.
Improve the health of your digestive system.
Iron, as previously said, is exceedingly difficult for the body to absorb effectively. Even persons who are in great health and have a well-functioning digestive system may only absorb less amount of iron in their meals. When your digestive system is weak and imbalanced, this percentage might decline drastically.
Minoxidil, a topical medication used to promote hair growth, was first administered to people with high blood pressure. It was subsequently discovered that these individuals had an abnormally high rate of hair growth. That’s how it became a topical treatment for treating hair loss in both men and women. Hair regrowth can be aided by applying minoxidil to the scalp.
This medicine can aid in the stimulation of hair growth cells as well as the treatment of hair loss. It is, however, exclusively given to men. It prevents the body from creating dihydrotestosterone, which is the hormone that causes male pattern baldness. Finasteride, on the other hand, does not prevent hair loss. Your hair may continue to fall if you stop taking your medicine. Consult your doctor about the medication’s potential negative effects. Your doctor may advise you to use it in conjunction with minoxidil.
While surgery does not encourage hair restoration, it is an option for people who have permanent hair loss. Hair transplant and restoration surgery is the removal of tiny plugs of skin containing hairs and their implantation into bald regions of the head.
Iron is a mineral that aids in the development of hair. It transports and supplies oxygen to your hair development cells, causing hair strands to grow faster. Headaches, tongue swelling, weariness, and weakness are all signs that your body is low on iron.
Iron deficiency can also be indicated by changes in the color of your nails and hair loss. Taking iron supplements or eating iron-rich foods can assist to alleviate the problem. For hair regrowth, you can also consider over-the-counter topical therapies or hair transplants. However, excessive levels of iron might be harmful to your health.
If a person with hair loss has iron deficiency anemia, there isn’t enough data to show that taking iron supplements can help them grow new hair. There are, however, a variety of different hair regeneration options. People who are experiencing hair loss should consult their physician about treatment alternatives. If a person’s iron levels are low, boosting their iron intake will almost certainly make them feel better.