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Anemia or Stress related hair loss?
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Anemia or Stress related hair loss?

Im a 24 year old male.  Recently [about 2 months or so] I have been experiencing severe hair loss.  At points I will wash my hair in the shower or run my hands through my hair and I will have almost 15-20 hairs in my hand.  I have not had any problems with hair loss prior to this, it just seems very sudden.  The area that seems to be thinning is the front area, with the right side appearing to thin much more than the left.

In doing some reading on various web pages, I am wondering if this is traumatic stress or anemia related?  I had a GI bleed with associated anemia in late October.  I am not bleeding anymore and am taking Aciphex 125mg and Ferrous Sulfate.  My Hemogobin was around 14 in December.  

Could the stress of the GI bleed and anemia cause my hair to fall out so suddenly or is it coincidence?  Would such a thing be temporary?

I have tried using rogaine for about a month, but I have not noticed any subsiding in loss.

Thanks for your help.
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Provisional good news:

When people lose their hair suddenly and rapidly, this is usally a "telogen effluvium."  This forbidding name refers to a fairly common circumstance in which the body's rhythm is upset by a sudden "shock to the system": childbirth, high fever, rapid dieting, surgery, etc.  This increases the percentage of hairs in the telogen, or resting, phase from 10% to 30% or so.  About 2-3 months later, globs of hair fall out, especially up front.  This never results in baldness and is reversible, as the body's rhythm reasserts itself.

In your case, the stress was clearly the GI bleed in October.  The hair loss is this right on time.

It will gradually subside over a few months, with less and less hair coming out.  Don't be afraid to comb or wash--the hairs that fall are already finished with their life span and aren't really attached anymore.  (Look at the ends: you'll see a little white "club," what happens to the hair root when a hair is ready to fall out and be replaced.)

If your hair is still falling out in 2-3 months, check with your doctor, which you should anyway to be certain you aren't anemic.  But the anemia's not the issue.

You may go bald some day, but not from this.

Good luck.

Dr. Rockoff

Dr. Rockoff
2 Comments
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Does your head also itch? I think I may be experiencing the same thing, but my head itches like crazy and when I scratch even more hair comes out!
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A related discussion, Help my hair is falling out! was started.
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