Hair loss can be caused by many different things, sometimes hair loss itself is the condition, and sometimes, hair loss is actually a symptom of something else. Understanding whether hair loss is the indicator or the problem, is the first step on the journey to resolving the issue.
Some types of hair loss are a condition in their own right, such as hereditary hair loss known as androgenetic hair loss (or male pattern baldness) which results from a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. Another example of this is alopecia areata, which is an auto-immune disease, caused by a malfunction in the immune system. For suffers of this type of alopecia, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles in the belief that they represent a threat to the body, causing hair to fall out.
Tell-tale sign of something else
There are other instances though, where changes to hair coverage, condition or thickness can happen as a result of another underlying condition. Understanding what is causing this is important, as some such conditions could be serious if left untreated or undiagnosed.
If you are experiencing unexplained hair loss and you start to demonstrate other symptoms such as fever, rashes or feelings of lethargy/tiredness then it is important to consult a doctor. Illness such as thyroid diseases, anaemia, chrone’s disease and lupus can all result in hair loss, and all require medical assistance to treat or resolve.
- Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which is caused by the presence of unusual antibodies in the bloodstream. It often presents itself as a ‘butterfly’ rash on the face, couple with loss of appetite, fever, fatigue and also hair loss. The condition is rare, but if you are experiencing a hair loss and have any of the other symptoms of this condition, seek medical attention quickly. This condition is treatable, but as yet, there is no cure.
- Thyroid problems are often connected with hair loss and if you are suffering from unexplained, patchy baldness, coupled with symptoms such as tiredness, feeling depressed, unexpected weight gain or constipation, it would be that you have got an underlying thyroid condition. If your thyroid has malfunctioned it will struggle to control the correct dose of particular hormones into the body, which in turn effects the natural hair growth cycle.
- Crohn’s disease if different again, and result from severe inflammation of the intestines. It can be treated although there is no known cure. The disease can result in hair loss as it restricts the body’s ability to absorb key vitamins and nutrients from foods ingested, and this can often upset the delicate equilibrium that your hair requires to keep the follicles healthy.
It’s always worth consulting the experts
Although losing your hair may be worrying and unpleasant, if it alerts you to a more serious problem, then it has been worthwhile. If you experience hair loss unexpectedly it is always worth seeking medical advice to ensure you know the nature of the condition you’re dealing with.