illnesses that cause hair loss

Illnesses That Cause Hair Loss

Hair loss is one of the most common issues that individuals can suffer from, and is often indicative of other medical issues. While some cases of hair loss are temporary, an alarming amount of conditions exist that can cause hair loss that are either permanent or long lasting in nature. In order to be aware of the health risks associated with these illnesses, it is important to understand the illnesses that cause hair loss.

Cancer treatment

The most common medical condition that causes hair loss is cancer and the use of chemotherapy to treat it. While the percentage of hair loss is based on the individual, typically 80-90% of the scalp’s hair can be lost due to chemotherapy. Fortunately, hair loss due to chemotherapy is normally temporary and grows back after the treatment has ended.

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Thyroid disorders

Certain thyroid issues can also cause hair loss. The two main thyroid issues that can cause hair loss are hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, and hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. Both of these conditions can lead to an imbalance of hormones, which can cause hair loss in both men and women.

Autoimmune disorders

Autoimmune disorders are conditions in which the body’s immune system turns on itself, and in turn can lead to problems all over the body, including the scalp. This hair loss can lead to a condition known as Alopecia Areata and can cause a person’s hair to thin out, or even fall out and cause bald spots. While there is no known cure for the condition, some treatments do exist to help minimize the problem.

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Other Illnesses That May Cause Hair Loss

  • Iron Deficiency Anemia: Iron deficiency anemia can cause hair loss, as it prevents the body from getting enough oxygen to the scalp, leading to thinning and breakage.
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Like iron deficiency anemia, a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to hair loss due to a lack of oxygen.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes is another condition that can lead to hair loss, as it has been linked to high levels of stress and rapid fluctuations in blood sugar.
  • Scalp Infections: Bacterial and fungal infections on the scalp can lead to hair loss, as the scalp becomes irritated and inflamed.
  • Stress: Stress can be linked to many different illnesses, and can even lead to hair loss.

Treatment Options for Hair Loss

When it comes to curbing the effects of hair loss due to an illness, the best option is often to address the underlying condition. Working with a doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment plan can help restore hair growth. Additionally, medications such as Minoxidil and Propecia are available to help stimulate hair growth, and transplant surgery is another option to consider if all other treatments fail.

Ultimately, it is essential to recognize that hair loss can be an indicator of a larger illness. If you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned above, seek medical advice as soon as possible. The earlier a medical condition can be identified and treated, the better chance of restoring hair loss and overall health.

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