The normal cycle of hair growth lasts for 2 to 3 years. Each hair grows approximately 1 centimeter per month during this phase. About 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time. About 10 percent of the hair on your scalp, at any one time, is in a resting phase. After 3 to 4 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place.
It is normal to shed around 100 hairs each day as part of this cycle. However, some people may experience excessive (more than normal) hair loss. Hair loss of this type can affect men, women and children and can be a sign of a more serious medical condition that needs an evaluation and possible treatment.
Some of the most wellknown reasons for hair loss are:
Hereditary hair loss
Hypothyroidism (Hypothyroidism is the medical term for having an underactive thyroid gland. This little gland located in your neck produces hormones that are critical to metabolism as well as growth and development and, when it’s not pumping out enough hormones, can contribute to hair loss.) Ask Dr. Norling to check your levels 818-707-9355
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (As many as five million women in the United States suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome. The condition, which can begin as early as age 11, is caused by a hormonal imbalance in which the ovaries produce too many male hormones.)
Skin conditions of the scalp (An unhealthy scalp can cause inflammation that makes it difficult for hair to grow. Skin conditions that lead to hair loss include seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), psoriasis, and fungal infections such as ringworm.)
Alopecia areata (Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks hair follicles.)
However, there are other reasons you might experience hair loss and not be aware of why you are losing your locks. Here are a few reasons that might surprise you.
Too much vitamin A
Overdoing vitamin A-containing supplements or medications can trigger hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The Daily Value for vitamin A is 5,000 International Units (IU) per day for adults and kids over age 4; supplements can contain 2,500 to 10,000 IU.
Lack of protein
If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body may ration protein by shutting down hair growth, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This can happen about two to three months after a drop in protein intake, they say.
Almost one in 10 women aged 20 through 49 suffers from anemia due to an iron deficiency (the most common type of anemia), which is an easily fixable cause of hair loss. Get your iron checked! In addition to hair loss, other symptoms of anemia include fatigue, headache, dizziness, pale skin, and cold hands and feet.
Vitamin B deficiency
Although relatively uncommon in the U.S., low levels of vitamin B are another correctable cause of hair loss. Simple supplementation should help the problem. So can dietary changes. Find natural vitamin B in fish, meat, starchy vegetables, and non-citrus fruits.
Low Gastric Acid
A healthy stomach secretes hydrochloric acid (HCl) and pepsin in response to ingestion of a meal or even a small amount of food. Available evidence indicates that adequate absorption of iron, calcium, zinc, copper, folic acid, vitamin B12 and other B vitamins requires the presence of HCl.So achlorhydria, or the absence of gastric acid secretion, and hypochlorhydria, inadequate secretion of gastric acid, could result in suboptimal absorption of the nutrients listed above. Because of low or no pepsin, which is required for protein digestion, amino acid deficiencies can also occur concurrently.
Stomach acid serves as a barrier protecting against various microorganisms that might otherwise colonize the GI tract. So patients with low stomach acid are at increased risk of bacterial or fungal overgrowth, parasitic infestation of the GI tract, and general dysbiosis (imbalance of bacterial flora).
Symptoms of low stomach acid include, heartburn, indigestion, belching, bloating after meals, excess gas, constipation, chronic diarrhea, feeling unusually full after small or moderate sized meals, and a sensation that food (especially meat) sits for a long time in the stomach. Fatigue, poor cognitive function, depression and muscle cramping as a result of suboptimum nutrition is often seen. Some patients have no symptoms.
Physical signs can include rosacea and dilated capillaries around the nose, women report poor quality fingernails, brittle hair, or excessive hair loss.
Aging is one of the primary causes of low stomach acid. However, adrenal fatigue, alcohol consumption, bacterial infection, chronic stress, food allergies and certain medications are also common causes.
Call Dr. Norling to find out if your stomach acid is too low and why: 818-707-9355