The hair on your head can easily be taken for granted. After all, it's been there for of your life. When hair loss suddenly becomes a thing you experience, it can be worrisome. You may be losing hair for a myriad of reasons. The causes can range anywhere from menopause to chemotherapy to stress and diet. If you are experiencing an uncharacteristically large amount of hair loss, it is important to visit your physician as soon as possible. The following are five signs your hair loss may require medical attention.
Sudden Hair Loss
If you lose a ton of hair all at once, rather than gradual thinning, this could be an important reason to seek medical attention. Natural hair loss does not commonly occur in dramatic amounts. Sudden and unexpected hair loss may point to an underlying disease.
When Medicine Is the Cause
Take a look in your medicine cabinet. What prescription drugs are you currently taking? Is hair loss a common side effect? If you are experiencing abnormal hair loss while taking medication, this is something you should discuss with your doctor sooner rather than later, as you must talk to a doctor before stopping or changing prescriptions.
Hair Loss Accompanied by a Scalp Condition
The normal thinning of hair follicles would appear just that: normal. However, if your hair loss is joined by itchy, inflamed skin, this could be pointing to a scalp condition. Diagnosing this would require a visit to your doctor to rule things out before determining a cause.
Abnormal Amount of Hair Loss during Menopause
Hair loss during menopause is common. Losing hair in large clumps during menopause is not. While diet and stress levels - mixed with hormonal imbalance - can be a huge factor, losing hair in large quantities warrants a doctor's visit.
Overall Health Diminishes
Aside from losing your hair, if you are experiencing fatigue, loss of sleep, and lack of appetite, these symptoms are most likely pointing to an underlying cause. Anemia, or iron deficiency, is a common reason for all the abovementioned symptoms. It is important to seek trusted medical expertise before trying to solve the problem on your own.
Hair loss is most commonly related to changes that occur in natural stages of life, so it is easy to diagnose. However, it could also point to something more serious. Hair loss can be unpredictable and a cause of great frustration, even though certain supplements and lifestyle changes can promote healthy hair growth, while other cases require medications or other medical treatments. It is always recommended to seek medical advice before proceeding with any kind of treatment.
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Hair loss. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Hair-loss/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2013). Hair loss: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003246.htm