Male Pattern Hair Loss

What Causes Male Pattern Hair Loss?

Male pattern hair loss can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'critical'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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  • check your overall health status
  • learn what you should be doing right now
  • identify any nutritional deficiencies

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose male pattern hair loss, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "male pattern hair loss" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Mercury Toxicity
  • Heart Disease
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Hypopituitarism
  • EFA Need
  • Manganese Need
  • Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences
  • Iron Need

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
preauricular node problems
macrocytic red cells
poor balance
non-specific arm pain
having excess body fat
long-term hypertension
fatigue after slight exertion
very angry/hostile disposition
short-term low-carb dieting
major joint pain/swelling/stiffness
severe tongue swelling
disturbed sleep
... and more than 110 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of male pattern hair loss:
Cause Probability Status
Lupus (SLE) 98% Confirm
Iron Need 27% Unlikely
Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences 25% Unlikely
Heart Disease 4% Ruled out
Mercury Toxicity 3% Ruled out
Hypopituitarism 2% Ruled out
EFA Need 2% Ruled out
Manganese Need 2% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Hair-Related Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about male pattern hair loss:
Do you have male pattern hair loss? Male pattern hair loss is a common condition in which men - and sometimes women - experience a receding hairline and/or balding on the top of the head.
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Mildly / frontal loss only
→ Moderately / partial loss on top only
→ Moderately / complete loss on top only
→ Severely / nearly or totally bald
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either male pattern hair loss or being nearly/totally bald, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

A Harvard study found that male-pattern baldness may be a marker for increased risk of coronary heart disease.  Severe hair loss on the top of head resulted in a 36% increased risk.  The risk became lower with less hair loss.  [Archives of Internal Medicine, Jan.  24, 2001]

Calcium Requirement

Mineral metabolism of 19 patients with hair loss was examined.  Eighteen of those patients showed considerable problems with calcium absorption.  Specific nutritional and mineral therapy resulted in improved hair growth after 2-3 months of treatment.  [Blaurock-Busch, E.  Wichtige Nahrstoffe fur Gesunde Haut und Haare, Kosmetik Internat.  3/87]

EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Requirement

Essential fatty acid deficiency can results in dry, brittle hair and hair thinning or loss.

Effects of a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Hair loss is a common side-effect of low-carb diets.  A study funded by Dr. Atkins himself found that about 10% suffered from hair loss.  The precise cause is unknown at the time of writing: it may be due to basic malnutrition, or, as one of our doctors notes, "I've seen this over and over again in my practice.  Basically, this diet can cause your cortisol levels to go sky high, which will lead to hair loss.  Ideally, you should change your diet to help solve this problem."

Hypothalamus / Pituitary / Pineal Dysfunction

Any condition that upsets the adrenal or pituitary gland may result in hair loss.

Hypothyroidism

In rare cases, diffuse hair loss may be the only symptom of hypothyroidism, but in many people with hypothyroidism the hair is not affected.  Once thyroid hormone is administered, regrowth of hair occurs in approximately 2 months.

Iron Requirement

Iron deficiency anemia can in some cases contribute to hair loss.

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Alopecia occurs in 50% of patients.  Typically manifested as reversible hair thinning during periods of disease activity, it is demonstrated by the ease with which hair can be plucked from the scalp and the development of "lupus hairs" (i.e. short strands at the scalp line).  Following an acute attack of SLE, usually with fever, patients may experience much generalized hair loss.  This results from a period of arrested hair growth during the acute episode.

Manganese Requirement

Mineral metabolism of 19 patients with hair loss was examined.  The analysis showed manganese deficiency in all 19.  Specific nutritional and mineral therapy resulted in improved hair growth after 2-3 months of treatment.  [Blaurock-Busch, E.  Wichtige Nahrstoffe fur Gesunde Haut und Haare, Kosmetik Internat.  3/87]

Mercury Toxicity (Amalgam Illness)

Mercury toxicity can cause hair loss.

Vitamin A Toxicity

Vitamin A toxicity symptoms include skin that has a rough and dry appearance, hair loss and brittle nails.

Yeast / Candida Infection

Candida can cause hair shedding in male or female patients.  The exact mechanism is unclear because there are so many possible pathways.  The three most likely pathways are thyroid dysfunction, allergies and enzyme suppression.

Zinc Requirement

Mineral metabolism of 19 patients with hair loss was examined.  Twelve of those patients had problems with their zinc metabolism.  Specific nutritional and mineral therapy resulted in improved hair growth after 2-3 months of treatment.  [Blaurock-Busch, E.  Wichtige Nahrstoffe fur Gesunde Haut und Haare, Kosmetik Internat.  3/87]

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