Hair Loss

Does Anorexia Nervosa Cause Hair Loss?

The answer is “yes”. Anorexia Nervosa does cause hair loss. This problem is quite common among teenage girls and young women between 18 and 20. It can affect men and children too. Hair loss is closely related to poor diet and nutritional deficiency. People suffering from Anorexia Nervosa observe excessive hair fall from the scalp. It is one of the symptoms of the disease.

Anorexia Nervosa and hair loss

The main reasons for hair fall due to anorexia are:

Nutritional deficiency: Hair loss in anorexia is primarily an outcome of mineral and vitamin deficiency. The B Vitamins especially B3, B6 and B5 are very important for hair growth. Minerals like zinc, magnesium and sulphur also play a vital role in maintaining healthy hair. A diet which is deficient in iron, biotin, sulfur, zinc, magnesium etc will trigger hair loss.

Dehydration: The body experiences severe dehydration in a person suffering from anorexia. The patient doesn’t consume the required amount of fluids. This in turn results into hair fall.

Malnutrition: The body doesn’t get the nourishment from the food as the patient doesn’t take balanced diet. This malnutrition leads to hair loss.

Stress: People go through emotional and mental stress during this illness. Stress is a major factor in hair loss.

Some common symptoms of Anorexia nervosa:

A few common symptoms of this eating disorder are:

  • Dieting despite being thin
  • Feeling fat, despite being underweight
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Harshly critical of appearance
  • Throwing up after eating
  • Compulsive exercising
  • Pretending to eat or lying about eating
  • Strange or secretive food rituals
  • Using diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics
  • Denies being too thin
  • Fixation on body image
  • Obsession with calories, fat grams, and nutrition

Eating disorder is a serious condition and should be treated immediately as it might prove fatal.

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