health problems that cause hair loss

Different Health Problems That Cause Hair Loss

Stress is a common cause of hair loss. Other types of male hair loss have different causes that aren’t related to genetics. You won’t go bald overnight like those Marie Antoinette myths, but it theorized it keeps you in the telogen phase of hair loss for longer than necessary. Aside of that, stress is physically hard on your body, and your body will give up hair in order to save more necessary organs, which is an even more important reason to address the anxiety and stress in your life. Medication isn’t always necessary, if that’s not your thing; cognitive behavioral therapy can be great for helping you manage and even stop having anxiety attacks. By de-stressing, you’ll ultimately regrow hair naturally on your own, naturally.

Some medications and medical treatments cause hair loss, such as chemotherapy. This type of hair loss can’t be avoided because your health is more important than your hair. That said, your doctor will be able to work with you on ways to minimize your hair loss during the duration of your medical treatment. The Mayo Clinic has some really solid advice about strategies for preventing and dealing with hair loss during chemo on their website.


Hair loss or baldness that occurs in patches
Hair loss or baldness that occurs in patches is usually a medical condition.

Alopecia areata is a relatively common type of hair loss typified by bald patches, often occurring on the scalp. It’s caused by an autoimmune disorder where the immune system specifically attacks hair follicles, preventing them from growing hair. Like all autoimmune disorders, it’s caused by an overactive or malfunctioning immune system that attacks healthy tissue. In the case of alopecia areata, the immune system specifically attacks hair follicles. The good news is that the condition is often temporary once the root cause (like your autoimmune condition flaring) is treated.

Both discoid lupus (a form of lupus generally confined to the skin and hair only) and systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus, another prominent autoimmune disorder, is most common in women, however, when men get it, they are more likely to develop severe forms.

Baldness from discoid lupus
Baldness from discoid lupus is usually patchy and centered around lesions and scars

Discoid lupus results in hair loss caused by scars stemming from lesions on your scalp, created from your immune system erroneously mistaking your scalp for an enemy to be destroyed. When scarring is severe enough, hair loss from discoid lupus can be permanent.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly known as simply lupus or SLE), on the other hand, can cause hair loss either in patches or just a general thinning of the hair, often stemming simply the extreme stress the disorder puts on your body when active (aka flaring). Hair loss from SLE lupus is almost always temporary and tends to cure itself once the disease goes into remission. Mild to moderate SLE lupus (along with some forms of arthritis) is commonly treated with hydroxychloroquine; though not scientifically proven, anecdotally, many people taking hydroxychloroquine note similar patterns to hair loss as when their disease was active, though the hair loss tends to randomly come and go. It’s also important to note that severe forms of lupus are treated with chemotherapy, so you should follow your doctor’s advice and the above chemo hair loss tips in that case.

Eating disorders can cause hair loss as well as hair that is just generally thinner and less healthy-looking than the hair you had originally. Talk with your doctor if this applies to you to treat the cause of this type of hair loss.

Nutrient deficiency is a relatively common cause of hair loss. A deficiency of B vitamins or anemia, caused by low levels of iron, are typical nutrients people are short of if their hair loss is nutrition based. If that’s your case, a good diet or a daily intake of vitamins supplements should solve the issue. You can also lose a lot of hair if you don’t eat enough protein.

Written by Joel Santorini

36 years old Dermatologist from New Jersey. I love to express my opinions and help others with my knowledge.

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