Can a Sudden Change in Diet Affect My Hair?

One question that we often receive is can a sudden change in my diet affect my hair? The answer: Absolutely.

Telogen effluvium (TE), or sudden diffuse hair loss, is a well-known side effect of sudden dieting and especially a sudden drop in protein intake. And, in fact, any sudden stresses in your life or on your body can cause TE, such as illness, surgery, or pregnancy and birth.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to differentiate different types of hair loss. Do you have telogen effluvium? Alopecia areata? Or just normal male- or female-pattern hair loss? We encourage you to consult your doctor if you have hair loss with a sudden onset. Your doctor will take not only a medical history but a diet history and will ask about vitamins or supplements.

Certain vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss, but taking supplements can be tricky, too. Correct dosages are crucial and should be carefully discussed with your doctor.

A few key reminders, if you are going to diet, please be sure to get enough protein, fatty acids, and vitamins that are important for hair, such as iron, zinc, selenium, niacin, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Also, keep in mind that vitamin C and niacin are water soluble. That means that they are not stored in the body, and whatever you don’t use is excreted daily. Smokers also use up more vitamin C than nonsmokers and need more on a daily basis.

It will be up to your doctor to try to tease apart the different symptoms and sometimes you may need some blood tests to rule out telogen effluvium.

Be aware of how vitamins affect your body, but please discuss your general health with your family doctor. Find out if you are deficient in certain vitamins before supplementing with them, and only supplement with the amounts your doctor recommends. When you’re ready to concentrate on getting your hair loss under control, and regrow hair that you have lost, we’re here for you.

If you have any questions about treatment for hair loss or any of our products, we encourage you to call us directly at (844) 280-4680.

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