Anemia is a medical condition in which you do not have enough iron in your blood. Iron deficiency can be caused by a variety of things but the most common is not consuming enough iron-rich foods. Illness, pregnancy, and loss of blood can also cause anemia.
While anemia is a blood condition that mainly effects our body’s functioning, did you know that iron plays a big role in the health and development of your hair?
Ferritin, a type of stored iron, produces the protein in our hair’s cells. This stored protein is crucial to healthy hair development.
When we’re low in iron, our body pulls ferritin from non-essential tissue like our hair and pushes it to essential tissues like our heart.
This pulling of ferritin causes hairs to shed and in turn, causes a disruption in the hair growth cycle.
Without the proper stores of ferritin in our hair’s cells, our hair lacks the essential protein needed to grow healthy, strong, hair.
If you think you may be anemic, your first task is to contact your doctor and let them know you’d like blood work done to test for anemia.
The test is very simple. Iron levels are analyzed and results are show to be within or outside of the healthy range.
If you discover that you are in fact anemic, don’t worry. Thankfully, you have many options available to you through diet and supplementation to restore proper iron levels in your blood.
Below is a list of iron-rich foods that are great for people with anemia. Remember to always follow your doctor’s advice. Anemia is very treatable and most often involves the use of both supplementation and a healthy diet.
- Red meat
- Dark leafy greens
- Whole grains
- Potato skins
If you are experiencing hair loss and have ruled out anemia as a cause, give us a call for a medical management consultation today. Here at Modena, we are able to conduct tests and biopsies to find the root cause of your hair loss.
Telogen effluvium is the second most common type of hair loss. This type of hair loss is characterized by diffuse thinning of the hair, mostly on the top of the scalp. Contrary to the popular receding hair line, telogen effluvium does not involve any receding, rather widespread thinning.
Telogen effluvium occurs when a large number of hair follicles stop producing hair and enter the resting phase. The result is a large number of hairs that are shed each day.
What causes telogen effluvium? It is widely agreed that high levels of stress and/or an unbalanced diet are the causes of this type of hair loss. The exact effect of these stressors can be short-lived or prolonged.
For example, a sudden stressor or environmental shock such as a physical trauma like a car accident or the start of a new medication can cause a sudden onset of telogen effluvium. As you recover from the trauma or adjust to the new medication, the hair loss should resolve and return to normal.
A more prolonged case of telogen effluvium would be caused by a persistent trigger. This could be due to a chronic illness, chronic stress, or a diet deficiency. This cause of hair loss is more difficult to treat, as the follicles have experienced more long-term damage.
Here are some things you can do to manage the root cause of your telogen effluvium:
Stress: If you have a particularly stressful job or life, it could be taking a toll on your hair. Try finding a stress management method that works for you. Many individuals have had success with yoga, meditation, running, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Diet: If you’re a vegetarian, or your diet is low in red meat, you may not be getting enough iron. Low iron can result in hair loss over time. A balanced diet is key to overall health. If you are unable to introduce more iron into your diet naturally, try a supplement.
While simply changing your diet or managing your stress is a great place to start if you have telogen effluvium, it may not be enough to solve all your hair loss problems. The follicles may need some help entering the growth stage once more. If that’s the case, PRP therapy and laser therapy have proved effective in jump-starting the growth process.
If you’d like to learn more about your hair loss options, give us a call today.
Many individuals who are active in the fitness world choose to follow up their work outs with a protein shake. Protein shakes are beneficial post-work out because they aid in muscle recovery quickly and efficiently.
Unfortunately, recent research has shown that whey protein (the main component in most protein shakes) raises testosterone levels. This is problematic because testosterone has a direct impact on hair growth. And it’s not a positive one.
When testosterone is converted to DHT by an enzyme, it can suffocate hair follicles, causing miniaturization and progressive hair loss. It is believed that the higher amount of testosterone in your blood, the higher amount that is converted to DHT, and the more hair loss you may experience.
One contributing factor to the whey protein – hair loss connection, is the amount of whey protein fitness-minded individuals consume in an average day. Studies showed that the less whey protein consumed the less effect it had on testosterone and hair loss. But, active whey protein drinkers are consuming on average about triple the necessary amount of protein our bodies need. This excessive whey protein consumption is believed to cause hair loss rather quickly.
The good news is that when individuals stopped or reduced their whey protein intake, the hair loss virtually stopped and even regrew. If you regularly consume whey protein shakes and are concerned it may be causing your hair loss, consider pausing your post-work out protein shake routine and see how your hair reacts. Opt instead for lean turkey, quinoa, lentils, and vitamins which have shown to nourish and promote healthy hair.
While dietary adjustments can help some individuals who are experiencing recent and sudden hair loss, it is unlikely a diet change will have an impact on those with progressed or severe hair loss. If this is you, you may want to schedule a consultation with a hair transplant surgeon who specializes in the medical as well as alternative methods of regrowing hair. Give us a call today.