Nutritional Deficiencies & Alopecia: What You Need to Know for Health
Good nutrition is the foundation of health. Unfortunately, many of us don’t necessarily get the nutrients we need from our daily diets. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which can cause a variety of health problems, including hair loss, or alopecia. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common nutritional deficiencies and how they can affect hair loss.
Iron Deficiency and Alopecia
Iron is essential for carrying oxygen throughout the body, including to the scalp and hair follicles. A lack of iron can lead to alopecia, as the follicles are not receiving the oxygen they need to stay healthy. Symptoms of an iron deficiency include fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin and hair loss. To prevent alopecia caused by an iron deficiency, ensure that your diet is rich in iron, such as from dark green leafy vegetables and red meats.
Vitamin D Deficiency and Hair Loss
Vitamin D is essential for healthy hair, as it helps promote hair growth. A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to alopecia, as the body is not able to absorb enough calcium to stimulate hair growth. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness and brittle hair. To prevent alopecia associated with a vitamin D deficiency, make sure you are getting enough vitamin D, either through foods such as fortified milk, eggs and fish, or through sunlight exposure.
B12 Deficiency and Alopecia
Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining healthy hair. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to a type of alopecia called megaloblastic anemia, a condition in which the hair begins to thin and fall out. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency include fatigue, confusion, nerve damage and pale skin. To prevent B12 deficiency-related hair loss, include foods such as eggs, fish, meat and soy products in your diet.
The Bottom Line
Nutritional deficiencies can have a profound effect on our health and well-being. They can lead to a variety of problems, including alopecia. To prevent or reverse alopecia related to nutritional deficiencies, ensure you are getting adequate levels of nutrients from your diet. Speak to your doctor or nutritionist if you have any questions or concerns about your nutrition.