DISEASE OR ILLNESS - Cause of Hair Loss

DISEASE OR ILLNESS - Cause of Hair Loss

Since the follicle is a very sensitive it does respond to imbalances in the body. Most hair loss causes by disease or illness is temporary and resolves itself after the body has returned to a healthy condition.

High fever, severe infection, severe flu
Sometimes one to three months after a high fever, severe infection or flu, a person may experience hair loss, this is usually temporary and corrects itself.

Thyroid disease.
Both an overactive thyroid and an underactive thyroid can cause hair loss. Thyroid disease can be diagnosed by your physician with laboratory tests. Hair loss associated with thyroid disease can be reversed with proper treatment.

Deficient diet
Some people who go on low protein diets, or have severely abnormal eating habits, may develop protein malnutrition. To help save protein the body shifts growing hair into the resting phase. If this happens massive amounts of hair shedding can occur two to three months later. A sign of this is if the hair can be pulled out by the roots fairly easily. This condition can be reversed and prevented by eating the proper amount of protein. Its very important when dieting to maintain an adequate protein intake.

Medications
Some prescription drugs may cause temporary hair shedding in a small percentage of people. Examples of such drugs include some of the medicines used for the following: gout, arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure, or blood thinner. High doses of vitamin A may also cause hair shedding.

Cancer treatments.
Chemotherapy and radiation treatment will cause hair loss because it stops hair cells from dividing. Hairs become thin and break off as they exit the scalp. This occurs one to three weeks after the treatment. Patients can lose up to 90 percent of their scalp hair. The hair will regrow after treatment ends and patients may want to get wigs before treatment. There are some drugs in development to help prevent this hair loss from occurring.

Low serum iron
Iron deficiency occasionally produces hair loss. Some people don't have enough iron in their diets or may not fully absorb iron in their diets. Women who have heavy menstrual periods may develop iron deficiency. Low iron can be detected by laboratory tests and can be corrected by taking iron pills.

Major surgery/chronic illness
Anyone who has a major operation - a tremendous shock to the system - may notice increased hair shedding within one to three months afterwards. The condition reverses itself within a few months but people who have a severe chronic illness may shed hair indefinitely. A relatively unknown fact is that hair transplantation surgery can actually cause additional hair loss or "shock fallout". Hairs lost from shock fallout usually don't regrow.

Alopecia Areata
This type of hair loss is believed to be caused by the immune system reacting to hair follicles as if they were antibodies and shutting them down. The hair loss is usually limited to a coin sized area and all the hair in the area is lost leaving a totally smooth round patch. In a more severe rarer condition called Alopecia Totalis, all hair on the entire body is lost, including the eyelashes. Treatments include topical medications, a special kind of light treatment, or in some cases drugs.
Fungus Infection (Ringworm) of the scalp
Caused by a fungus infection, ringworm (which has nothing to do with worms) begins with small patches of scaling that can spread and result in broken hair, redness, swelling, and even oozing. This contagious disease is most common in children and oral medication will cure it.

Stress
Stress can cause hair loss is some people. Usually it occurs 3 months after the stressful event has occured and it may take 3 months after the stress period has ended for the hair growth to resume. In most cases it is temporary if the person is not predisposed to genetic or Androgenic Alopecia, if they are stress may trigger the onset of genetic hair loss or may worsen existing Androgenic hair loss.

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