Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Hair Loss (Alopecia) ?

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Hair loss termed scientifically as alopecia affects a person’s scalp or body. Hair loss can be permanent or temporary due to factors like medical conditions, hormonal changes, ageing, and heredity. Hair loss on one’s head (balding) is more common in men than women.

 Balding is a term used to describe excess hair loss on the scalp.It typically refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp. Some people prefer to let their hair loss run its course untreated and unhidden while others  cover it up with hairstyles, makeup, scarves and treatments convenient to curb further hair loss and restore its growth.

 Intermittent fasting also known as IF is a way of eating which people adopt to help in weight loss. Such method involves eating between periods intentionally, and going without food for hours a day.

This eating method met lots of positive responses from people who believed it worked well for them losing their body fat and weight as well as see an improvement in their general being.

  Intermittent fasting is a cycle normally adopted by people who seek to lose weight.Hair loss however may occur due to a deficit in food nutrients like protein, iron and some essential vitamins because of the reduction in calories when fasting. People on an intermittent fasting diet may also feel colder than normal as a result of low blood sugar.

Hair loss can occur in many different ways, depending on what’s effecting it. It  comes on slowly and affects just your scalp or your whole body.

Signs of hair loss may include the following:

Gradual thinning on top of head: This condition affects people as they age. In men, hair steadily begins to fade at the hairline on the forehead. Women generally have a broadening of the part in their hair.

A common hair loss pattern in older women is a receding hairline (frontal fibrosing alopecia).

 Patchy bald spots: Some people lose hair in circular or patchy bald spots on the scalp, beard or eyebrows. Your skin may become itchy before the hair falls out.

Rapid loosening of hair. A physical or emotional shock can cause hair to loosen. Strands of hair may come out when combing or washing your hairf hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning but is temporary.

 Full-body hair loss: Some ailments and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can result in the loss of hair all over your body. The hair usually grows back.

Alopecia or hair loss is commonly related to one or more of the following factors:

Heredity: The largely common cause of hair loss is a genetic condition that happens with aging. This condition is called androgenic alopecia, male-pattern baldness, and female-pattern baldness.

It usually occurs slowly and in predictable appearances — a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning hair along with the crown of the scalp in women.

Hormonal changes and medical conditions. A variety of conditions can cause permanent or temporary hair loss, including hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.

Medications: Hair loss can be a side effect of distinct drugs, like those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout, and high blood pressure.

Radiation therapy to the head: People who undergo radiation treatments’ hair may not grow back the same as it was before.

Stressful Events: People undergo a general thinning of hair months after a physical or emotional shock. Hair loss is temporary.

Hairstyles and treatments: Tight and heavy hairstyles that pull your hair tight, like pigtails or cornrows, may lead to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. If scarring occurs, hair loss could be permanent.

 Here are some ways you can consider  doing intermittent fasting ;

A 12 to eight- or four-hour feeding window per day.
•Only eating once per day.
•Alternate day fasting which means fasting on one day and not fasting on the second.
• Fasting for 24 hours or more
•5:2 diet: eat normally for five days, and only 500-600 calories for two days.

When do you see a doctor?

You can see the doctor if you are distressed by continual hair loss in you or your family and want to seek treatment. For women who are experiencing a receding hairline (frontal fibrosing alopecia), talk with your doctor about early treatment to avoid considerable permanent baldness.

Also, talk to your doctor if you notice sudden or patchy hair loss or more than usual hair loss when combing or washing your or your child’s hair. Premature hair loss can give a sign of an underlying medical situation that requires treatment.

    The right amount of calories and vitamins are needed in the body therefore, one should consult a dietician before starting an intermittent fasting weight loss journey especially people who are already suffering hair loss or those who are likely to start balding due to heredity .

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