Most of the time hair loss happens because our genetics decide when we will start to lose our hair. However, what if there is a more serious reason for why you’re losing your hair?
Losing hair is upsetting enough, but when we don’t know the reason behind it, it can become even more unnerving. While hair loss can happen for a number of different reasons, it’s important to know if it is happening because of a medical condition. Knowing this will allow you to not only just take care of your hair, but your body and overall health as well.
Hair loss can be your body’s way of telling you that something is not right, and that there are other issues that need to be addressed. If the hair loss is sudden, it is most likely caused by something other than hereditary hair loss. Seeing a doctor is going to be your best option to figuring out what your body is trying to tell you, and for taking care of the issue.
A woman’s medical condition related to hair loss can be entirely different than a man’s medical condition, so it’s important to know the different conditions that could be affecting men and women, or both.
Let’s take a look below at possible medical-related causes for hair loss in both men and women…
Medical Conditions that Cause Hair Loss in Men
Treating hair loss is a serious issue, and it is even more important to understand men’s medical conditions that could cause hair loss.
Hair loss can be an unfortunate side effect of a thyroid disorder. Thyroid problems happen from either an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) or an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Since hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, abnormal levels of the thyroid hormone can result in hair changes.
If your hair is falling out in clumps, you may have a disorder known as alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own hair follicles. The area of hair loss is usually smooth and round and you may notice that your hair is falling out in patches.
There are a number of infectious conditions that can contribute to hair loss, but the most common one is ringworm. Ringworm is a fungal infection that can occur anywhere on the body, but if it develops on the scalp, it can cause patches of hair loss. It typically begins as a small pimple that progressively expands in size, and eventually latches on to hair follicles. These hair follicles then become weak and brittle, causing them to break off and leave behind bald patches of skin. Sometimes the infection will go away on its own with no treatment, but normally an anti-fungal is used.
As you’re likely aware, different chemotherapy drugs related to cancer can cause hair to fall out. The hair loss occurs when the chemotherapy drugs damage the hair follicles, which leads the hair to fall out. You may lose all or only some of your hair, but most often it will come out during shampooing or brushing. Hair often starts to grow back before treatment ends.
Medical Conditions that Cause Hair Loss in Women
The above medical conditions can also affect women, but there are also specific women’s medical issues that can trigger hair loss.
Telogen effluvium is the excessive shedding of hair that can occur one to five months following pregnancy. The condition is not serious enough to cause bald spots or permanent hair loss, but you will see thinning hair due to hormone levels returning to their normal state.
On the other side of the spectrum is menopause. While you may expect hot flashes and mood swings, another common side effect is hair loss. Like hair loss during pregnancy, hormonal changes are what cause’s women to lose their hair during menopause. A smaller ponytail, a wider part line, or excessive shedding are all tell-tale signs of hair loss occurring during menopause.
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