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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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):
  • Vitamin A Toxicity
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Cerebral Gland Dysfunction
  • Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences
  • Heart Disease
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • EFA Need
  • Calcium 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:
apple-shaped body when overweight
tonsils/adenoids out before age 20
normal TSH
very high LDL cholesterol level
long-term sleep surplus
long-term hypertension
being anxious/nervous
variable duration morning stiffness
minor joint pain/swelling/stiffness
history of broken bones
angry/hostile disposition
having excess body fat
... and more than 80 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
Calcium Need 96% Confirm
Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences 29% Unlikely
Heart Disease 24% Unlikely
Lupus (SLE) 0% Ruled out
Hypopituitarism 0% Ruled out
Cerebral Gland Dysfunction 0% Ruled out
Vitamin A Toxicity 0% Ruled out
EFA Need 0% 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.

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.

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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