Chronic telogen effluvium. The clue’s in the name:
Chronic - A very long-term condition.
Telogen - The hair growth cycle resting phase.
Effluvium - This means shedding.
So, basically, you could suffer this type of hair loss for years, during which time you might experience relentless shedding due to your hair follicles being forced out from their growing phase (anagen) and into their resting phase.
The big question is:
What forces hair follicles to do this?
This page explains what causes chronic telogen effluvium, the symptoms, and the best way how to stop it.
Chronic telogen effluvium (CTE) is caused by an iron deficiency.
Iron is one of several important minerals your body needs, not just for growing normal healthy hair, but for many other essential processes too.
CTE can affect both men and women, but it’s mostly women who experience it. That’s because women suffer a gradual depletion of iron from blood loss during menstruation (monthly period). So, if you suffer heavy periods most months, you could have significantly low iron stores in your body.
CTE is very common in women, especially between the ages of 18 and 50. However, this iron deficiency does take time to develop. So it could be a few years before you start noticing symptoms. Obviously, post-menopausal women are not at risk of developing CTE in this way.
However, anyone (including men and women of any age) can still develop this condition if their dietary iron intake is low:
The richest and most bioavailable (i.e., the easiest form for your body to absorb) source of dietary iron comes from red meat. So it's possible that a vegetarian diet (or one that lacks red meat) can also lead to CTE.
Men, of course, can be vegetarians (or avoid red meat) just as much as women. So, they too could develop a nutritional iron deficiency and, in time, also suffer from CTE. It’s usually men between the ages of 30 and 60 who get affected by CTE.
However, clearly, those most at risk will be women who not only have heavy monthly periods, but also eat very little red meat or none at all.
The main chronic telogen effluvium symptom is evenly distributed hair loss (diffuse hair loss) and diffuse thinning spread out across the whole scalp. This
means it's not patchy (like alopecia areata) or restricted to the
crown of the head as in androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) - see photos below.
Since it affects the whole scalp, CTE might not be obvious to anyone except you. Women often notice it by having less hair available to tie up in a ponytail. And there will most probably be more hair left in brushes, combs and the sink after shampooing too.
An iron deficiency can also cause anemia. So you could be at
risk of developing this condition too. In which case, other possible
symptoms might include low energy levels and a pale complexion.
That all depends on the extent of your iron deficiency, what's causing it, and what steps you take to tackle it. If you do nothing, you can't expect your CTE to ever clear up "miraculously" on its own. You really do need to take action and get some treatment.
Three natural approaches are given below. But obviously you first need to confirm that your hair loss is definitely being caused by chronic telogen effluvium. The standard iron blood test is for hemoglobin levels (which tests for anemia). But, for CTE, you would need to get your "serum ferritin" levels checked (which tests your stored iron levels).
Once you know you have CTE, to stop it you'll first need to start correcting your iron deficiency:
No, not really!
Eating a big chunk of red meat like this every day would eventually raise iron levels.
But whilst this is a "natural" solution, it’s not exactly practical (or healthy) to eat such a large amount of red meat, and for such a long period of time, for most people.
A high strength iron supplement is the quickest way to increase ferritin levels, but will take quite some time (maybe several months).
However, on its own, even a high dose iron supplement might not be enough to raise ferritin levels. That's simply because it might not get absorbed by your body very well. So that’s where more specialized supplements might be able to help. One example is Nutrihair (also known as Florisene) which, in addition to iron, also contains the amino acid L-lysine, vitamin C and vitamin B12 (to help with iron absorption).
My own natural hands-on techniques for restoring hair regrowth were originally developed to treat androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness). But, although this type of hair loss is driven by a totally different mechanism to telogen effluvium, my techniques have also helped people suffering from this condition too.
That’s because they quickly improve scalp flexibility and circulation. And I believe that helps stimulate the scalp follicles back into health so they can then start growing hair much sooner than they otherwise would without my hands-on help.
Obviously you would also need to start correcting the iron deficiency that caused the problem in the first place.
This is page 2 of 2.
Read previous page? Other Types of Telogen Effluvium.
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