Split ends cause hair loss
Our hair follicles are among the most actively dividing cells in the body. This requires a high metabolic rate, which in turn requires nutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates), vitamins and trace elements. In many cases, no deposits can be formed from these substances, the body then depends on a continuous supply. Diffuse hair loss can therefore occur in deficiency situations. In the rich industrial nations, however, real "deficiencies" are a rarity and hair loss is in most cases not nutritionally related.
General nutritional deficiency
A general lack of nutrients occurs especially in children in the context of famine. But worm diseases and nutrient absorption disorders as a result of intestinal operations or chronic intestinal diseases (e.g. Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis) can cause a general nutrient deficit that can lead to thinning and ultimately to the loss of hair on the head and body. In developed countries, symptoms of nutrient deficiency are sometimes associated with chronic alcoholism and artificial nutrition. Unilateral or excessive diet regimens can cause hair loss, which often lasts for months after the end of the diet. Eating disorders such as anorexia can also be a cause of increased hair loss as a result of general malnutrition.
Biotin and the vitamins of the vitamin B complex are required for building hair and nails. A deficiency in biotin can result from excessive consumption of raw eggs and from artificial nutrition with simultaneous administration of antibiotics. If possible, a diet correction should be made with liver, pulses, wheat germ, yeast, nuts and milk powder. If necessary, drug therapy with biotin-containing preparations can be carried out.
Vitamin B deficiencies are usually complex and affect several B vitamins and minerals. Therapy for B vitamin deficiencies should initially take place with a combined supply of vitamins in a natural association, i.e. with whole grain products, wheat germ, bran, meat, liver, milk and pulses. In exceptional cases, drug therapy with vitamin preparations may also be considered.
At Vitamin C deficiency In extreme cases, scurvy can occur with bleeding gums and a decline in performance. Indirectly, the bleeding-related iron deficiency and keratinization of the follicle openings can lead to hair shaft structure damage and hair loss. For a diet correction, fruit, cabbage (as raw food), kohlrabi and radish are recommended. Anyone who has taken high doses of vitamin C supplements for a long time should not stop abruptly in order to avoid the risk of a rebound basket.
Vitamin A deficiency can mainly cause visual disturbances, dry skin and hair growth disorders. Overdosing with vitamin A poisoning can also lead to hair loss. A sufficient supply of vitamin A cannot be achieved with raw vegetables, but rather by consuming liver, butter, fatty cheese as well as carrots, spinach, kale, chicory and broccoli. When eating vegetables, ensure that fats, mechanical chopping and sufficient cooking are taken at the same time.
The effect of all individual food components is closely interwoven with the others. Iron, copper and vitamin C, for example, complement each other in their effect on hair growth. A Iron deficiency can arise, among other things, from blood loss such as increased menstrual bleeding, after operations or bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, insufficient iron intake such as with a strictly vegetarian diet, reduced intake of food components in gastrointestinal diseases or increased iron requirements such as during pregnancy , Breastfeeding or in the growing season. Figure 1 provides an overview of possible causes of iron deficiency.
Meat, fish and food rich in vitamin C help with iron deficiency. Excessive coffee and tea consumption and the consumption of dairy products can exacerbate iron deficiency. If the sole change in diet is not enough, it may be necessary to take an iron supplement, which should always be done on an empty stomach. Unwanted effects of iron medication can include gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation (constipation). Overdosing must be avoided, especially in children.
Causes of Iron Deficiency
Increased iron requirement:
Insufficient iron intake in the diet:
Decreased iron absorption through the gastrointestinal tract:
Loss of blood from the gastrointestinal tract (most common causes):
Rare causes of bleeding:
Illustration 1: Causes of Iron Deficiency
From "Hauptsache Haar" by Ralph M. Trüeb and Doris Lier with the kind permission of Rüffer & Rub Verlag, Zurich. 304 pages, ISBN 3-907625-13-7
Copper deficiency can lead to hair formation disorders with thin, fragile hair. Copper-rich food consists of whole grain products, oat flakes, wheat germ, legumes, dried fruit, nuts, sunflower seeds, liver and dried yeast. If an appropriate diet with a high proportion of vegetables as well as whole grain products, oat flakes, nuts and dried fruit cannot compensate for this, medication can be considered under medical supervision. With a low-protein diet, as well as with excessive intake of calcium or zinc, the effectiveness of copper in the body is reduced.
Zinc deficiency is particularly a problem with vegetarian diets, as zinc is mainly found in meat, cheese, milk and eggs. The zinc contained in cereal products is less easy to absorb from the intestine in a low-protein diet. Zinc deficiency can lead to skin inflammation, poorly healing wounds and hair loss. If medicinal zinc administration is required, care should be taken to ensure that the use of zinc in the intestine is worsened when iron supplements are administered at the same time.
In principle, drug substitution can be useful for all forms of malnutrition, e.g. if a change in diet is not possible at short notice or in general. In order to uncover possible causes of malnutrition and to initiate appropriate treatment, it is always advisable to first see your family doctor or a doctor for internal medicine.
Some of the nutrition tips are in the book Dietary indications of Fritz Heepe (Springer Verlag) taken, which is recommended to the interested reader for further reading.
Various vitamin, protein and mineral mixes are offered to strengthen the skin, hair and nails. These preparations include:
- Gelacet. Contains gelatin (a protein) that, according to the manufacturer, is able to normalize the rate of hair in the growth phase. (Born A., Derm. & Cosmet. 19: 36-40, 1978).
- prioress. Contains cystine (a sulfur-containing amino acid that is found in abundance in grapes and mushrooms), as well as a total extract of millet fruits and calcium pantothenate.
- Pantovigar. Contains B group amino acids and vitamins. Thiamine nitrate, calcium pantothenate, medicinal yeast, cystine, keratin, p-aminobenzoic acid.
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