It's only when your scalp becomes visible or your ponytail thickness reduces you may ask 'why is my hair falling out' and start investigating - which is probably why you're reading this now!
Approximately 30% of pre-menopausal women are affected by Female hair loss in the UK, so if you think your hair is thinning, you're not alone! Stopping Female hair loss and regaining hair thickness, depends on establishing the true cause and dealing with it as quickly as possible.
What Causes Chronic Telogen Effluvium?
Often combinations of problems contribute to female hair loss. Women are increasingly under greater stress, high-pressure jobs, juggling work and family life, leaving less time to consider their own health and wellbeing. Stress 'burns off' vital nutrients such as B vitamins which are vital for good hair quality and growth. Thyroid problems, endocrine imbalances, yo-yo dieting, crash weight loss, vegetarian and low protein diets can all contribute to hair loss in women. Other nutrients including iron, zinc, copper, selenium, vitamin A and essential fatty acids are vital for hair health. There are countless hair supplements on the market today, however we don't recommend you attempt to design your own female hair loss nutritional program without the help of a qualified professional. You may waste time and money or cause further problems by using the wrong supplements.
Low Iron (Ferritin) and Female Hair Loss
One of the most common causes of hair loss in
women, without doubt is low Iron stores. A large majority
of the women who consult a Trichologist have below optimum
Iron stores for good hair growth. A study conducted on 1000
women revealed 33% suffered female hair loss, 90% caused by
low Iron stores and 10% caused by Genetic (female
pattern baldness) or other factors.
GP's are often unaware of exactly which blood tests to carry out for female hair loss, most opting for the Full Blood Count and Haemoglobin tests for anaemia. However, the most important blood test for a woman suffering female hair loss is the Serum Ferritin, a test for iron stores. Research has not established a link between low Haemoglobin and hair loss as they have with low Serum Ferritin. Once the Serum Ferritin level increases and reaches a certain trigger point - around 70ug/l, hair loss should decrease and hair growth improve. You may have already been prescribed iron tablets and not found an improvement in your hair but are you using them correctly or taking enough of the best form?
Low B12 and Hair Loss
Low B12 - another cause of hair loss in women which is frequently missed by GP's. It's not a routine blood test and even when a person is tested for B12, if the result is borderline they will rarely be treated. The minimum level for B12 is around 180 ng/l however most healthy people have a level of around 500ng/l. Symptoms of low B12 include hair loss, breathlessness, lack of energy palpitations, bleeding gum's, mouth ulcers, tingling in the hands and feet.
There are two types of B12 deficiency:
- Lack of dietary B12 - usually vegetarians and vegans, B12 is mostly found in animal produce rather than plants. Solution - increase dietary B12 or/and take a B12 supplement.
- Autoimmune - Antibodies to intrinsic factor prevent absorption of dietary B12. A blood test for intrinsic factor can be carried out to determine if your problem is dietary or autoimmune. If your problem is auto immune your GP will do further investigation to try to determine why it has developed. Treatment - lifelong B12 injections.
See also Androgenic
Alopecia - Female Pattern Baldness
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An experienced Trichologist can help you to get to the root of your problem and recommend the best course of action. Hair loss in Women is one of the most common problems seen at The Cotswold Trichology Centre.