4 medical reasons you’re suffering from hair loss

hair lossCC: Tamara Bellis at Unsplash

Hair loss often feels distressing, especially when you can’t identify the cause. Although many people associate it with androgenic alopecia, there are other medical causes to consider. If hair loss has recently begun affecting you, it’s time to learn more about some common medical causes.

Thyroid disease

Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism cause hair loss. Losing your hair is a symptom that may occur after a few months. This is because hair growth is governed by hormones and thyroid hormone disturbances have an impact.

If you suspect thyroid disease is losing your hair, it’s worth looking at your other symptoms. For example, if you’re tired, struggling to lose weight, tired, and experiencing constipation, hypothyroidism may be the cause. In contrast, hyperthyroidism may result in rapid weight loss, insomnia, and palpitations. Fortunately, diagnosing it is easy. Your doctor can perform a thyroid function test to measure your current hormone levels.

Post-partum hair loss

Post-partum hair loss affects between 40 and 50% of women after giving birth. During pregnancy, estrogen levels rise. As they have a direct effect on the androgens that control hair growth, they may make your hair thicker.

After giving birth, women experience a sharp and sudden drop in estrogen. This results in hair loss, which may range between mild and severe. Only a small number of women will encounter extreme hair thinning or baldness, while most see their hair return to its pre-pregnancy state.

Ringworm

As a fungal skin infection, ringworm doesn’t just affect the skin on your body. It affects your scalp, too, and when you don’t resolve it quickly it may cause your hair to fall out.

Also known as tinea capitis, ringworm tends to spread quickly in environments such as schools and daycare centers. The hair loss you experience will be patchy and you may notice intense itching. Your doctor may prescribe a combination of oral antifungal drugs and topical solutions.

Acute stress disorder

Stress is a common emotion that many of us experience at least once a day. In a small number of cases, acute stress disorder develops.

When you’re feeling a permanent and heightened state of stress, your hormonal makeup changes. Constant exposure to cortisol may affect the androgens that govern your hair growth cycles. As a result, it’ll start to fall out in response to stress. Some studies have found that hair loss is especially common when stress arises as a result of a traumatic event.

Those who suffer from ASD need to remove their stressors to promote better hair growth. If you’re feeling stressed and you believe your hair loss is a symptom, it’s wise to seek help quickly.

Hair loss is a common symptom that medical practitioners see each day. If you’re worried about your hair falling out, always discuss the issue with a medical practitioner.

About the Author

Laura McKeever
Laura has been a freelance medical writer for eight years. With a BSc in Medical Sciences and an MSc in Physician Assistant Studies, she complements her passion for medical news with real-life experiences. Laura’s most significant experience included writing for international pharmaceutical brands, including GSK.