Can Iron Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?

iron-for-hair-growthWhen you begin to doubt if low iron levels can cause hair loss, this usually means you have suffered from an iron-deficiency, with or without anemia, and hair thinning at the same time. In fact, some studies do show a link between them although lack of iron is one of the least known causes of hair problems. Given that there appears to be a worrying knowledge gap and the average age of the patients with alopecia is getting younger, a bit of schooling is necessary.

Subtle but important role of iron

As well all know, this element plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin, cells, skin, nails, and hair. This is because it is an important raw material of manufacturing hemoglobin. That’s to say, low iron can lead to reduced production of hemoglobin and low red blood cell count. By the way, the general medical term for this condition is iron-deficiency anemia. When people suffer from it, the red blood cells tend to have a poor ability to carry oxygen to the body. In other words, the supply of oxygen decreases. However, hair follicle cells require enough oxygen to support normal growth. Or a shortage of oxygen in the blood will affect their growth. The symptoms of patients with iron deficiency anemia include dry hair, alopecia, pale skin, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and so on. It is worth mentioning that sometimes hair loss may be the only symptom of this type of anemia.

As a protein that can be found in the intestine, liver and pancreas, ferritin stores iron in the body. And ferritin concentration in blood is proportional to the amount of iron. In general, the ferritin levels below 40 ng / ml can be regarded as iron deficiency. Just like oxygen, this invisible element yields many irreplaceable benefits to your body. When your body begins to sense a lack of this element, those vital organs and tissues, instead of hair, will be first in line for supplies. As a result, this physiological behavior will directly cause you to shed more than 100 hairs per day. Anemia-induced alopecia is quite similar to male pattern baldness (MPB) or androgenic alopecia, which is sometimes characterized by thinning hair at the whole top of the head.

Iron rich foods to help anemia

No doubt, maintaining iron balance in the body is important in order to prevent anemia and hair loss in women. Under normal circumstances, it is easy to cause imbalance if the body’s iron absorbed from the diet is insufficient. As a result, the body is forced to start invoking it from the storage. So this also indicates that hair loss due to low ferritin can be improved by correcting bad diet. And these iron-rich foods can be the best options to help anemia.

1. Meat. They include pig liver, fish, lean pork, beef, lamb, and so on;

2. Plant foods. Among them soy bean has the highest content;

3. Fruits and vegetables. The best ones include leeks, shepherd’s purse, celery, peaches, bananas, walnuts, dates, and the like.

The do’s and don’ts

The timing and amount of iron intake is very important. Don’t wait until the symptoms of deficiency have already arisen. Although more intake of iron-containing foods helps, too much of them can cause a problem as well. Especially for older people, excessive intake of them will destroy their internal organs and make them at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. If possible, please only take iron supplement on the advice of your doctor.

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