Illnesses Causing Hair Loss

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Although most hair loss is caused by male pattern baldness or other relatively harmless reasons, there can be a more serious cause. There is a selection of conditions and diseases that can actually contribute to the loss of hair. Here is all you need to know about illnesses that can cause hair loss.

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What Diseases Cause Hair Loss

First of all, this is not a medical article. It is here to give information about a number of conditions and illnesses that are possibly linked to hair loss and is not giving advice about how to treat them.

If you're worried that something other than a standard hair loss condition is causing you to lose hair then you should contact a medical professional as soon as possible for a diagnosis. Although it may not initially be apparent, if you are experiencing any extra symptoms such as fatigue, fever or weight loss then you should visit a doctor.

man checking hair in mirror
Disease where you have no Hair
PHOTO CREDIT: Readers Digest

Autoimmune Diseases that Cause Hair Loss

Lupus Hair Breakage

Systematic Lupus Erythematosus, or Lupus for short, is a chronic autoimmune disease and is caused by problems with an individual's immune system. Although it is extremely rare, the condition causes your immune system to attack healthy cells around the body. This can take the form of rashes, joint aches, tiredness and hair loss. Unfortunately, autoimmune diseases and hair loss can often be linked.

Unfortunately, people do not fully understand Lupus yet. This means that when hair loss occurs, it can be hard to treat. Although the hair may grow back naturally when the disease is more stable, it can cause issues. Although this is an extremely complicated condition, simple things like staying protected from the sun and other UV light sources can help.

Balding Diseases
Medical Condition that Causes Hair Loss
PHOTO CREDIT: Huffington Post Canada

Does Crohns Disease Cause Hair Loss

Crohn's disease is a long-term chronic illness that is characterised by an inflammation of the lining of the bowel. Although usual symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach pain, weight loss and fatigue, it can occasionally cause hair loss. Fortunately, unless it is an extremely bad case, Crohn's disease is not fatal, although it can cause a lot of issues for an individual.

Hair loss can occur when nutrients and vitamins aren't being absorbed by the digestive system properly. Like Lupus, there is currently no cure for Crohn's disease. However, hair will generally grow back on its own if the condition is kept under control.

crohns disease picture
Is Crohn's Disease Fatal

Ulcerative Colitis and Hair Loss

Ulcerative Colitis is similar to Crohn's and causes an inflammation of the bowel and colon. This may cause hair loss in a similar way also. It's important to seek professional help and get the treatment you need to help these conditions. Much like Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis and weight loss are also linked.

Is Ulcerative Colitis an Autoimmune Disorder

Ulcerative Colitis is thought to be caused by an autoimmune condition. This means that when to body gets an infection the immune system, that is there to defend the body, ends up attacking healthy cells and tissue, causing inflammation.

inflammatory bowel diseases diagram
Is Crohn's Disease Deadly

Hair Loss and its Link to High Blood Pressure and Cancer

Can High Blood Pressure Cause Hair Loss

Although there is some research to suggest that high blood pressure and hair loss are linked we have to be careful. It is obvious that heart disease and high blood pressure are a lot more serious than balding for your health. However, losing your hair can actually be one of the high blood pressure symptoms in males.

blood pressure chart
Does High Blood Pressure Cause Hair Loss

Does Blood Pressure Medicine Cause Hair Loss

Although a healthier lifestyle is the best way to combat problems with blood pressure, it's interesting that studies have found connections between blood pressure medication and hair loss. Minoxidil and Propecia, which are now common hair growth products, were originally used to treat hypertension and are blood pressure medications that do not cause hair loss.

Propecia hair loss pills
Finasteride Blood Pressure

Is Hair Loss a Symptom of Cancer

There are many different forms of cancer, each of them with different symptoms. However, there have been studies suggesting that hair loss could be a risk factor for prostate cancer in men. Additionally, one of the main treatments for cancer, chemotherapy, can cause hair loss as a side effect.

Can an Eating Disorder Cause Hair Loss?

Eating disorders are extremely serious illnesses that can affect anyone. If you have an eating disorder or suspect that someone does, then you should receive medical attention as soon as possible. Although there are many eating disorders around, anorexia is probably the most well known. Other than the obvious symptom of losing weight, hair loss and anorexia can also be linked.

Initially, loss of hair from eating disorders can be down to a lack of essential nutrients getting into the body. Additionally, anorexia hair loss can be caused by Telogen Effluvium. This is when your body draws energy and nutrients away from 'non-essential' parts of your body such as the hair, meaning not eating and hair loss disorders can be linked. If you have an eating disorder then seeking professional help as soon as possible is extremely important.

No Hair Disease
Eating Hair Disorder
PHOTO CREDIT: Men's Fitness

Lyme Disease and Hair Loss

Humans can contract the bacterial infection, Lyme Disease, from small tick-like creatures. Although this can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed quickly, there is evidence for a link between Lyme disease and hair loss. A lot more people know about this infection as several celebrities, such as Ashley Olsen, contracting Lyme disease.

Can Lyme Disease Cause Hair Loss

The main piece of evidence to suggest that Lyme disease can cause hair loss is because of Telogen Effluvium. This is when your body is under certain stresses, that can be brought on by Lyme disease, causing the hair to become brittle and shed. Although this could be linked to Lyme disease, it's also caused by other factors such as lack of nutrition or sleep.

lyme disease rash
Does Lyme Disease Cause Hair Loss

On That Note

Ultimately, if you believe that your hair loss is down to some form of illness, instead of a standard hair loss condition, then you should go and see your doctor. However, don't get too worried, it doesn't mean all your hair is going to fall out. With most diseases, if they are treated properly then your hair loss can be kept under control and possibly even reversed.


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