DrSugar: Dieting and Hair Loss?

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Dear DrSugar,
During the past six months I've lost a lot of weight. I began to work out six days a week and switch it up doing cardio, weight lifting, yoga, and Pilates. I also changed my diet and cut out red meat. I went from 140 to 118, feel great, and love working out. However, I feel like my hair is falling out. Am I stressing my body with too much exercise or am I not taking the right vitamins since I don't take a multivitamin? I do take a vitamin for energy and support of muscle tissue and J.F. Lazartigue Hair Loss vitamin. Should I also be taking liquid iron? Please help.
Thanks,
Unhappy About Hair Loss

To see what the doctor has to say about this and if hair loss is a common side effect of weight loss, read more.

It sounds like you are very dedicated to your health. Hair loss can certainly be related to dietary issues and vitamin deficiencies. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency causing hair loss in premenopausal women. Eliminating red meat alone will not usually cause iron deficiency because iron can be found in chicken, fish, beans, and many other foods. Our health guide contains detailed information regarding iron deficiency and dietary sources of iron. Other deficiencies that can lead to hair loss include zinc and the B vitamins. Other dietary factors can contribute to hair loss, including extreme diets and eating disorders. Carbs, protein, and fats are all necessary for a healthy diet, and strict low-carb diets have been reported to result in hair thinning and a host of other health problems.

Exercise is not usually associated with hair loss; however, any major stress on the body can cause hair thinning. This could include severe anxiety or stress, rapid weight loss, and a variety of medical problems such as hormonal imbalances. I am not familiar with the products you mentioned, but a daily multivitamin is never a bad idea, especially with restricted diets. Iron supplements can be constipating, so it is probably a good idea to verify iron deficiency with a doctor visit and blood tests. Other tests such as thyroid tests might also be helpful if your hair loss problem continues.

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DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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