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What Eating Disorder Causes Hair Loss?

Overview of Eating Disorders and Hair Loss: Many people think that genetics, age-related factors, or certain types of medications are the only possible causes of hair loss but that’s not entirely right. There is another example that can cause severe hair loss and that is eating disorders. Yes, you heard that right: malnutrition and excessive eating are considered the key players in hair thinning, shedding, and permanent hair loss as well if the root cause is not treated properly. In this blog, we’re going to discuss some of the eating disorders that can cause hair loss and how to treat these eating disorders. So, stick around!

What Is an Eating Disorder?

The term “eating disorders” represents a complex group of mental health conditions that can seriously impact physical health, social functioning, relationships, and productivity levels. Certain psychological factors like powerful emotions, beliefs, and behaviors around food and weight often lead to serious health conditions including organ failure, kidney failure, and in severe cases even death. This mental disorder has the highest mortality rate among all mental disorders.

What Are the Types of Eating Disorders?

Anorexia nervosa: It is characterized by self-starvation and an intense fear of gaining weight. Symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Insufficient food intake
  • Persistent behavior to limit weight gain
  • Denial of illness
  • Disturbed self-image

Bulimia nervosa: It is characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors (an attempt to make up for the calories consumed). These behaviors include vomiting, extreme fasting, excessive exercise, and the use of laxatives. Symptoms can include:

  • Eating large amounts of food consistently
  • Emotionally upset and sense of lost control
  • Obsession regarding body weight and shape
  • Use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors

Binge Eating Disorder

It is characterized by repeated cycles of overeating without purging afterward. Symptoms can be:

  • Frequently eating large quantities of food over short intervals
  • Feeling out of control while eating
  • Post-binge feelings of shame, guilt, and upset

Some other eating orders include:

  • Night eating syndrome: excessive eating at night time
  • Purging disorder: a person purges to influence body shape or weight but doesn’t binge
  • Pica: consumption of unusual substances that are not considered edible such as soaps, dirt, ice, uncooked rice or pasta, etc.

Why Do Eating Disorders Cause Hair Loss?

Our hair is made of a protein called keratin. When a person’s body is malnourished due to these psychological behaviors, the protein stores of the body get depleted. When this happens, the human body prioritizes the protein for other essential functions and away from hair growth which leads to stalled growth, and weak and brittle hair. This lack of keratin along with other nutrients like iron, vitamins, and minerals results in hair loss.

The medical term for eating disorder-related hair loss is telogen effluvium, marked by the excessive shedding of hair at the telogen phase after the body goes through a sudden trauma or change. The severe changes in eating patterns put your body under a lot of stress which pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase. This ultimately results in your hair falling out. Hair loss caused by eating disorders can range from mild shedding and hair thinning to losing clumps and leaving bald patches on the scalp.

What Are the Mental Effects of Eating Disorder-Related Hair Loss?

Losing hair can harm your physical as well as mental health. Some of them are discussed below.

  • Low-self-esteem – a very traumatic experience that can greatly lower your confidence in yourself and your appearance
  • Avoiding social interactions – the fear of what people will think of you makes you avoid social gatherings and situations
  • Isolation – the feeling that no one understands what you’re going through makes you isolated and lonely
  • Comparison – you may feel like you’re the only one with this problem and hence you start to compare yourself with other people
  • Depression – you start to feel depressed all the time because you think that you’re losing control of your life
  • Loss of appetite – you may be afraid to gain weight which is why you then start to lose your appetite

What Are the Physical Problems of Eating Disorder-Related Hair Loss?

Numerous health problems can be caused by eating disorders. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Anemia – a medical condition in which a lack of iron in your diet leads to a decrease in the number of red blood cells in your body
  • Brittle nails – nails are also composed of keratin protein so, when there is not enough keratin, the nails also get brittle and weak
  • Dry skin – dry skin can be caused by the deficiency of vitamin A in your diet
  • Digestive issues – as you’re not getting enough nutrients for your body you may start to experience digestive problems
  • Muscle and bone loss – the deficiency of essential nutrients may lead to muscle mass and bone density
  • Heart problems – your heart is not getting nutrients to function properly so you may start to experience heart problems

It’s crucial to seek help if you’re experiencing any of these problems because these effects can take a huge toll on not just your physical health but also your mental health.

How to Prevent Eating Disorder-Related Hair Loss

Hair loss caused by eating disorders is reversible if you take proper consultation timely. A therapist can support you with mental health problems, a dietitian can make meal plans for you to overcome nutritional deficiencies, a psychiatrist can give you psychotropic medication if the condition is severe, and a medical doctor can provide any medical treatment by keeping the track of your vitals and blood levels. Hair should begin to grow back once the essential nutrients and minerals are incorporated back into your diet.

Lordhair offers a vast variety of hairpieces for men and women that can solve your hair fall problems. We know that hair fall is stressful, and that’s why we at Lordhair want to provide you with the best possible hairpieces for both men and women and hairpieces that cater to all types of hair loss. We use 100% real human hair to hide those lost tresses. So, don’t wait around any longer – head to our website and fill your cart with something from our exclusive range of wigs.

Final Word on How Eating Disorders Can Cause Hair Loss

Recovery from an eating disorder can be difficult but it’s not impossible. If the illness is triggered by societal pressures and unrealistic beauty ideals, it’s better to first talk to your loved ones for emotional support and then speak with your doctor. Once the balance has been restored into your diet, hair begins to regrow. But if hair loss does continue to be a problem for whatever reason or it doesn’t grow back the way you wish then know that Lordhair hairpieces can give you that full head of hair again.

Alice Jacqueline is a creative writer. Alice is the best article author, social media, and content marketing expert. Alice is a writer by day and ready by night. Find her on Twitter and on Facebook!

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