Why is my hair get­ting thin­ner?

South Waikato News - - Your Health - Vi­ta­min D

I’ve re­cently no­ticed that my hair has started thin­ning. I nor­mally have very thick hair, my hair­dresser men­tioned there is of­ten nu­tri­tional rea­sons be­hind hair thin­ning – is there any truth in that? With thanks, Les­ley.

Hi Les­ley. It is cer­tainly nor­mal to lose some hair daily – how­ever, there are a num­ber of rea­sons why your hair may be thin­ning, here are a few:

Be­ing low or de­fi­cient in iron can lead to hair loss. Symp­toms of iron de­fi­ciency anaemia can in­clude fa­tigue, weak­ness and pale skin. You may also no­tice headaches, dif­fi­culty con­cen­trat­ing, cold hands and feet and hair loss. Iron de­fi­ciency es­sen­tially sends your body into sur­vival mode, so your body chan­nels oxy­gen to sup­port vi­tal func­tions as op­posed to what it deems non vi­tal – like keep­ing your hair in­tact. The best way to check your iron sta­tus is to see your GP for an iron stud­ies test.

Hy­pothy­roidism is a con­di­tion in which the body lacks suf­fi­cient thy­roid hor­mones; it can re­sult in a host of symp­toms in­clud­ing un­ex­plained weight gain, fa­tigue, con­sti­pa­tion, de­pres­sion and dif­fi­culty con­cen­trat­ing. Hair, nails and skin may be­come more brit­tle and break more eas­ily, and hair loss is also com­mon.

In or­der to have healthy hair and avoid hair loss, we need to make sure that we are get­ting enough of the right nu­tri­ents in our di­ets, in­clud­ing omega 3 fatty acids. Adding more of th­ese fatty acids to your diet can help to pre­vent hair loss and even en­cour­age hair to grow health­ier. Omega 3 fatty acids have an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties, which can help to open the hair fol­li­cles, pro­mot­ing healthy hair growth. When the body is not re­ceiv­ing suf­fi­cient nu­tri­ents, the hairs that are lost reg­u­larly each day are less likely to be re­placed, and hair loss is more likely.

Low Vi­ta­min D lev­els in­ter­fere with healthy hair fol­li­cles re­gen­er­at­ing. Again, this can be as­sessed via a blood test.

There can also be phys­i­cal rea­sons such as ex­ces­sive styling, straight­en­ing and dy­ing, which can lead to hair loss. Heat and some chem­i­cals can weaken the hair, caus­ing it to break and fall out. If your hair loss is con­sis­tent it’s best to seek in­di­vid­u­alised ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional. I don’t have time to eat/pre­pare good qual­ity meals, what are your quick fix ideas that are nu­tri­tious for my fam­ily and I? Thank you – Fiona

Hi Fiona. Firstly, I do be­lieve that in gen­eral, we need to un­dergo a pri­or­ity check. While I ap­pre­ci­ate that many of us are jug­gling many dif­fer­ent things daily, there is noth­ing on earth that re­places the power of a nour­ish­ing diet.

Pre­par­ing real food does take Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

more time, but it is time we have to al­low for in our day. When we say ‘‘I don’t have time’’ what we are es­sen­tially say­ing is ‘‘it’s not a pri­or­ity for me.’’

How does that make you feel when you say, pre­par­ing a nour­ish­ing din­ner is not a pri­or­ity for me? The re­al­ity is we can­not com­pro­mise our nu­tri­tion and ex­pect to still have fan­tas­tic health.

In say­ing all of that though, there are a num­ber of ways you can add nour­ish­ment to your meals that don’t take much time. For ex­am­ple, chop up a mix­ture of greens, spinach, kale and herbs and stir them through a stir-fry, salad, or soup – this is a great way to add a lit­tle nour­ish­ment booster.

Pre­pare big batches of meals on the week­end and freeze them or stick to one-pot/pan meals packed full of veg­eta­bles.

I can­not en­cour­age you enough to ex­plore how to make hav­ing a nour­ish­ing meal a pri­or­ity for you. You are worth tak­ing care of!

There are a num­ber of rea­sons why your hair may be thin­ning, in­clud­ing iron and vi­ta­min D de­fi­ciency.

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