Hair loss happens to many people and it can be caused by a wide variety of issues. These issues range from disease and medications, to heredity and hormones. You might be surprised to learn that your hair loss can also be caused by your diet – by what you are eating or what you are not eating. Let’s take a look at common diet-related causes for hair loss.
Not Enough Protein
Too little protein can cause hair thinning and hair loss. Your body needs protein to make hair and to support the hair follicles. This may surprise you because you’ve heard that the standard American diet is protein heavy. The truth is that most people get an abundance of carbohydrates in the form of starchy carbs, but some people are at risk for not getting enough protein.
This is especially true for people who are very active, are ill, or have other potential high protein needs. Vegetarians and vegans are at a particular risk for not getting enough protein. Protein requirements vary depending on age, gender, and activity level.
Talk to your doctor to make sure you’re getting enough. In between now and when you meet with your doctor, start paying attention to the amount of protein you get on a regular basis.
Not Enough Iron
Almost 40 percent of women experience some degree of anemia during their life. It can be caused by malabsorption, by their menstrual cycle and heavy bleeding, and by a number of other factors. Iron is found in red meat, pork, and poultry. You can find it in beans, dark leafy veggies and dried fruit. You can also buy iron fortified foods.
When your body doesn’t have enough iron, meaning you’re anemic, you can and will experience hair loss. In fact, it’s often one of the first signs that you’re anemic. The good news is that you can take an iron supplement to help combat the anemia and the hair loss. It is reversible. If you suspect you might be anemic, talk to your doctor and ask them to test your blood.
Rapid Weight Loss
Losing weight and getting to a healthy body mass is important, right? It supports good long-term health. However, if you lose a lot of weight and you lose it quickly, you will also likely lose a bit more hair than normal. The reason for this is that when you lose a lot of weight rapidly, your body can go into a bit of a shock state. Your stress response increases and your hair can fall out. Don’t worry, though; your body will recover and repair. It will get used to the new you and you’ll regrow your hair.
It’s true that what you put into your body affects your mental and physical wellbeing. Your body’s responses are often signs that something is going on inside you that’s not normal for you. If you start losing hair, explore other changes in your lifestyle and in your health, and talk to your doctor. Hair loss is often a symptom of something that you can change.