Many postmenopausal women may experience significant hair loss, which can be very distressing Menopause can be associated with changes in hair growth and a reduction in hair diameter, giving the perception of decreased scalp coverage. Loss of hair that is in a less actively growing (telogen) phase, such as eyebrows and eyelashes, may be triggered by physiologic stress, emotional stress, medical conditions and nutritional deficiencies. In many cases, increase in hair loss is noticed on the pillow, or when brushing, or in the shower drain. Hair loss is usually recognized more readily by women than men; however, diffuse hair loss can affect both sexes at any age.
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause diffuse hair loss that is usually reversible once thyroid balance is restored. Chronic disorders such as systemic amyloidosis, liver failure, chronic renal failure, autoimmune disease, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease can cause hair shedding.
Nutritional causes of diffuse hair loss include zinc and iron deficiency, as well as severe protein, fatty acid and caloric restriction, or malabsorption syndromes and pancreatic disease. Essential fatty acid deficiency can also be associated with diffuse hair shedding usually 2 to 4 months after inadequate intake. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin in cell growth, and vitamin D deficiency may be associated with diffuse hair loss.
Ask us about testing and therapy for thyroid dysfunction, as well as which nutritional supplements might be most appropriate for you.