Understanding hair loss in women
There are many reasons why you might lose your hair, such as after a shock to the system, extreme stress, a fever, childbirth, sudden weight loss, an operation or as a reaction to medication. The hair loss is usually temporary. I have had clients who have lost hair as a result of the above and know many women, including myself who have had some hair loss as a result of childbirth. All have been temporary.
However, if you are still suffering hair loss or have suffered hair loss for some time and do not think it is because of the above or another medical reason, did you know that one of the most common reasons for hair loss is low iron stores?
This is more common than you think. Low iron stores (serum ferritin level) usually result from the loss of blood during menstruation, which is just enough to cause a gradual depletion of iron stores in the body. Additionally, eating a diet containing little or no red meat is likely to give rise to a lower amount of available iron.
Research has shown that if the iron deficiency is corrected and the serum ferritin level is raised sufficiently for your needs then hair growth will resume. However, it can take time – up to six months.
Further, other nutrients can help with the absorption of iron, such as vitamin C, which is quite widely known, but also the amino acid (protein building block), L-lysine which can be low in people’s diets who eat little red meat.
The best way to find out if you may be deficient in the above nutrients is by getting a trained nutritional therapist to do a dietary evaluation, as they will be able to work out from your diet history which minerals or vitamins you may be lacking and/or undertake some biochemical testing (or by asking a nutritionist to write to your GP to request specific testing).
Taking the right supplements/changing your diet for long enough is critical for hair growth to resume.
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Joe Alvarez BSc ANutrSeptember 4th, 2016