Hair loss is funny in such a way that it suddenly hits you hard. That time is usually when you have several strands of hair in your hand in the shower and don’t know what to do. When it happens, it can be a very emotional experience.
The questions that many ask are these: how could I have missed the signs? Were there other things that were occurring that would have given me a clue that this hair loss was soon to follow?
Since most hair loss is due to nutritional imbalances, the answer is yes. Deficiencies of folic acid, zinc, vitamin A, selenium, iron, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6, biotin, copper, vitamin C, and silica will all eventually result in hair loss. Each of these nutrients has its own set of deficiency symptoms – and these would be the clues to look for that say hair loss could be next.
Folic acid deficiency causes anemia, headaches, a racing heart, ringing in the ears, lack of energy and fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin and no appetite. These symptoms may occur simultaneously or before hair loss.
Foods high in folic acid include leafy green veggies such as spinach, orange juice, beans, and rice.
With a zinc deficiency, you’ll have fatigue. This mineral is responsible for activating many pathways for energy in the body. Fatigue for no reason is usually a mineral or vitamin deficiency. With this deficiency, you’ll also have smelly armpits and body odor, acne, eczema or dermatitis, diarrhea, lack of appetite, susceptibility to infections, and blindness while driving at night. Hair loss occurs at the same time with these symptoms.
Foods high in zinc include oysters, clams, dark meat of chicken and turkey, crab, lobster, milk and dairy products, mushrooms, dark chocolate and legumes especially black beans.
Vitamin A deficiency causes dry skin, night blindness making it difficult to adapt to the darkness while driving or in a dark movie theater, vision changes leading to blindness, increased susceptibility to colds and flu, and lingering illnesses especially infections. With this deficiency, the hair follicles die.
Foods high in vitamin A include fatty fish such as salmon, swordfish, and cod, liver, meat, and dairy products. Vegetables and fruits may contain vitamin A precursors such as beta-carotene and are found in carrots, red bell peppers, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, broccoli, lettuce and cantaloupe.
Selenium deficiency is linked with the presence of cancer if levels are very low. However, before this stage, thyroid issues will occur. Hypothyroidism or low thyroid function will cause thinning of the hair and eventual hair loss. Extreme fatigue, slowing down of mental thinking processes, memory loss, and an inability to detoxify construction road smells or smells emanating from a new car also occur with this deficiency.
Foods high in selenium include Brazil nuts, mushrooms, yeast, tuna, pork, eggs and salmon.
Iron deficiency causes anemia but it’s not the only mineral connected with anemia. Fatigue, dizziness, muscle twitches, irritability, weakness, grooved nails, pale skin and the desire to eat or chew things that are not food are common symptoms that will precede hair loss.
Foods high in iron include red meats, organ meats especially liver, shellfish, raisins, lentils, and dark chocolate.
With a riboflavin deficiency, the T zone of your face will get oily no matter how many times you wash it. You could have anemia and the associated fatigue that goes along with it. Your tongue and throat may be sore and your lips could be chapped a good portion of the time and if so, it’s time to do something about it because hair loss could follow.
Foods high in riboflavin include milk, beef, tofu, fish, spinach, mushrooms, avocado, and pork.
Vitamin B6 works with other B vitamins in the body. When one of the B vitamins is low, then others will also naturally be low. They depend on each other. Deficiency symptoms for vitamin B6 include sores in the corners of the mouth, confusion, anemia, ulcers inside the mouth, crust on the eyelids and the feeling that your arms or legs are deadened to feeling. Rashes are also common.
Foods high in vitamin B6 include chicken, fish, sweet potatoes, pork, beef and Tofu.
Biotin deficiency shows up as anemia, infections from fungi, and rashes that are red and patchy and near the mouth. It can progress to depression, anorexia (no appetite), hallucinations, muscle pains and the feeling that ants or insects are traveling over the body. Brittleness of the hair and hair thinning may occur before the hair loss.
Foods high in biotin include beef, pork, eggs and avocados.
Copper deficiency causes anemia and fatigue. With this deficiency, you may also have problems with the optic nerve and nerves that lead to the arms and legs. These parts of the body may feel deadened. There may be loss of vision and loss of color vision simultaneously with hair loss.
Foods high in copper include blackstrap molasses and organ meats.
A vitamin C deficiency causes extreme fatigue, weakness, and soreness in the arms and legs. Bleeding of the gums and mysterious bruises that appear on the body is also common. The teeth may loosen, wounds don’t heal as fast as they should, the mouth and eyes are dry, and the hair gets thinner and weaker before hair loss occurs.
Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, pineapple, strawberries, and kiwi fruit.
Silica deficiency isn’t recognized in medicine yet although it should be. Silica is especially important for all connective tissue in the body to be healthy and maintain itself. Hair is considered a connective tissue as is skin, nails, all mucous membranes, and of course the whole body’s tissues, bones and organs. Hair stops growing in length before it starts falling out.
Foods high in silica: bell peppers, parsnips, and cucumbers
Notice your specific hair symptoms and take a look at your diet. Are you deficient in any of these categories? Try adding some of these recommended foods into your diet and notice any changes in your hair health.