Anaemia and Hair Loss

anaemia|anaemia affects red blood cells|symptoms of anaemia|anaemia affects red blood cells|

Anaemia is a common condition and once diagnosed, is easily treated. However, it's often associated with excessive hair loss, but does anemia cause hair loss? Here we'll look into the three types, how they can be treated and can anaemia cause hair loss.

Read more Men’s Health features.


To put it easily, Anaemia is a condition in which the body is unable to absorb a particular vitamin or mineral. The deprivation of it causes red blood cell problems, with in turn cause problems throughout the body. There are three different types, each with different symptoms and ways to treat it.

anaemia affects red blood cells
PHOTO CREDIT: Pure Therapy

Iron Deficiency Anaemia

There are a few types of anaemia, the main being iron deficiency. The decreased absorption of iron in the body means there is a reduction in the amount of red blood cells created. These help carry oxygen around the body, leading to many organs and tissues experience a lack of oxygen.

Iron Deficiency Anaemia Symptoms

The most noticeable symptoms of iron deficiency are lethargy and tiredness, shortness of breath and a pale complexion. Less common symptoms include headaches, feeling itchy, spoon shaped nails, change in hair texture and hair loss.

Copper Toxicity Anaemia

Copper Toxicity Anaemia is caused when too much copper is in the body. As well as copper contributing to the formation of melanin, it's also involved in the absorption, storage and metabolism of iron. Too much iron can cause iron deficiency anaemia.

It can be caused by too much meat in your diet, smoking and some medication.

Copper Toxicity Anaemia Symptoms

It can be hard to diagnose to copper toxicity anaemia, so it's best to consult your GP. But here are a free symptoms you can look out for: fatigue, irritability, depression and haemorrhoids. Hair loss is an extreme affect which is very rare.

anaemia affects red blood cells

Pernicious Anaemia Hair Loss

Pernicious anemia is caused by a lack of vitamin B12 and is an autoimmune condition affecting your stomach. Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal metabolic function of all cells. Combined with a protein in your stomach, the mix, Intrinsic factor, is absorbed into the body from the gut.

Pernicious anaemia causes your immune system to attack the cells in the stomach, meaning Intrinsic factor can't be made, and vitamin B12 can't be absorbed by your body. To get a pernicious anemia prognosis, visit your GP.

Pernicious Anaemia Symtoms

Vitamin B 12 deficiency hair loss isn't common with this anaemia. Most common side affects are a red smooth tongue, tingling or numbness in feet and hands and feeling tired.

How to Fix Anaemia

Anaemia is easy to treat and correct, just make sure your seek your GP's help who can give the best advice.

To help iron deficiency anaemia, opt for foods such as broccoli, rice, bread and beans, and let's not forget a good steak and Guinness. These can help provide your body with extra iron. You'll also need to get plenty of vitamin C as this helps your body absorb the iron.

It takes on average three months to lower the copper amount in your body but exercise is a great start which can help with some of the symptoms, particularly tiredness and fatigue.

For pernicious anaemia, help your diet by adding dairy products, meats, yeast extracts and most breakfast cereals also contain B12.

symptoms of anaemia

On That Note

So does low iron and iron deficiency cause hair loss? The answer rarely. It can in extreme circumstances but is very rare. One of the more common affects is lethargy. So you don't need to worry about vitamin deficiency causing hair loss, particularly if it's treated early on. If you are concerned you may have anaemia, head to your GP who can diagnose and treat it.


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