Iron Deficiency Can Lead to Hair Loss in Men and Women

December 2, 2015 — by Robert True
Tags: Hair Loss

A man in a doctor's officeThe team at True & Dorin Medical Group have helped numerous patients in New York and around the east coast suffering from baldness and hair loss. We always note to patients that hair loss causes define the best hair restoration treatments, which is why we take great care in understanding the root of the problem.

For example, some people experience hair loss due to nutritional deficiencies. In the case of iron deficiency, the right solution comes from understanding the exact nature of the patient's problem.

About Iron Deficiency

Also known as sideropenia or hypoferremia, iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. This is caused by people not getting a sufficient amount of iron in their diet.

Iron deficiency is a type of anemia, which happens when a person does not have enough healthy red blood cells in their body. Without healthy red blood cells, it's more difficult for oxygen to be carried through a person's body, resulting in fatigue and shortness of breath among many other problems.

What Causes Iron Deficiency?

The most common causes of iron deficiency include blood loss, a lack of iron in your daily diet, and pregnancy. In some cases, patients may suffer from an inability to absorb iron into their body. This could be the result of a digestive tract issue or an intestinal disorder (e.g., celiac disease).

Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

The most common signs and symptoms of iron deficiency include:

  • Pale skin
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Cold feet or hands
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Bad appetite

How Iron Deficiency Impacts Hair Growth

One of the interesting side effects of iron deficiency is that it can cause hair loss and hair thinning. Generally this occurs when the iron deficiency develops into full anemia. The extent of the hair loss can vary, but it can be significant and alarming when it occurs.

The hair loss is related to the lack of oxygen circulation in the blood. When the hair follicles do not get enough oxygen, they switch from a growing phase to a resting phase. This leads to hair loss and thinning.

Is Iron Deficiency Hair Loss Reversible?

Yes.

In the vast majority of cases, the hair will grow back once the anemia has been treated and the iron deficiency properly addressed. Most patients who experience this kind of hair loss will not require any sort of hair transplant surgery to restore their hairline and hair growth.

Treatment Options to Consider

The best treatment options to consider for hair loss related to iron deficiency and anemia tend to involve improvements in a patient's diet. Taking iron supplements and the use of a cast-iron skillet can also help address iron deficiencies and slowly help with hair regrowth.

If there is a digestive issue that results in poor absorption of iron, surgical procedures may need to be performed to help with these matters. Your general practitioner or a gastroenterology specialist can discuss these matters with you in more detail.

Contact True & Dorin Medical Group

For more information about hair loss caused by iron deficiency and how it can be properly treated, be sure to contact our team of hair restoration surgery experts today. The team at True & Dorin Medical Group will help you have a healthy and natural-looking head of hair again.