Anemia, as known to many, is a medical condition triggered by low hemoglobin levels. More than often, iron deficiency acts as a catalyst giving rise to anemia. While fatigue, headache, palpitations, skin pallor, and dizziness are characteristic of anemia, many people also suffer from hair loss. Here too, the iron deficiency acts as contributing factor interfering with the healthy growth cycle of the hair. In some cases, the hair loss may mimic the male and female pattern baldness as observed in the case of Alopecia. While anemia and the related hair loss can affect anyone irrespective of their age and sex, women of reproductive age, as well as teenagers, are more susceptible to this. In this article, we will discuss the anemia and iron deficiency induced hair loss in brief and the preventive measures to deal with the situation.
Anemia-related Hair Loss
In anemia, there is a significant fall in the hemoglobin level. Hemoglobin acts as an oxygen carrier to different body cells and tissues, including those of the hair follicles to ensure healthy cell growth and repairment. Low hemoglobin levels result in inadequate oxygen supply, one of the prime factors responsible for hair loss.
Ferritin, a storage protein (cellular protein) for iron contributes significantly towards a healthy growth cycle of the hair (stimulates the anagen or the growth phase). In the case of anemia, to meet the iron requirements of the vital organs such as the heart, the body starts utilizing the ferritin stored in hair bulb and other non-essential tissues. This dip in the ferritin level affects the hair growth. A ferritin blood test often helps in the diagnosis of iron deficiency and anemia.
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