Body hair loss or gain can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'very minor' to 'very serious'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose body hair loss or gain, we could:
|EFA Need||2%||Ruled out|
|Vitamin A Toxicity||2%||Ruled out|
|Candida / Yeast||1%||Ruled out|
|Low Carbohydrate Diet Consequences||1%||Ruled out|
|Lupus (SLE)||1%||Ruled out|
Have you had a recent change in body hair quantity?
Possible responses:→ Much recent loss
→ Some recent loss
→ No / don't know
→ Some recent gain
→ Much recent gain
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]
Essential fatty acid deficiency can results in dry, brittle hair and hair thinning or loss.
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."
Any condition that upsets the ovary, adrenal or pituitary gland may result in hair loss.
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 deficiency anemia can in some cases contribute to hair loss.
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.
Mercury toxicity can cause hair loss.
Especially if associated with birth control pill use.
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.
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]