Treatment for Hair Loss From Stress Or Nutritional Issues (Telogen Effluvium) in Indianapolis and Carmel

Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology

Hair Loss From Stress Or Nutritional Issues (Telogen Effluvium)

In our practice, patients who want treatment for stress or nutrition related hair loss are seen by Turkle & Associates board certified dermatologist, Dr. Matt Strausburg.

We invite you to continue reading for frequently asked questions and more information about stress or nutrition related hair loss and how we can help you.

About Stress and Nutrition Related Hair Loss

Body stressors like pregnancy, illness, medications, poor nutrition and more can affect the growth of your hair. Stress and nutrition related hair loss is a common problem which is triggered by a shock to your body systems. People are usually relieved to learn this type of hair loss is temporary.

Generally, people with this type of hair loss notice their hair fullness is lost, meaning their hair is thinner but they do not have a receding hairline or bald patches. If you do have a receding hairline or bald patches, you probably do not have telogen effluvium. Please see our general hair loss, thinning and balding page here.

The medical term for this type of temporary hair loss is telogen effluvium. Telogen refers to the resting phase of hair follicle production and effluvium means shedding.

Treatments for Stress and Nutrition Related Hair Loss

Treatments for hair loss due to body stress or nutrition deficiencies include:

  • Minoxidil: sometimes described as “miracle grow for hair” it helps all types of hair loss. You would want to use it 1 to 2 times a day, and you want to use the 5% strength. The cheapest supply is often at Costco or on Amazon (Kirkland brand).
  • Nizoral Shampoo: nizoral blocks some of the androgen hormones from leading to hair loss. You will place the shampoo on the scalp, let it sit for 5 minutes, then wash off—do this 3-4 times a week.
  • Treating Medical Conditions – treatment for hair loss due to a medical condition, can involve simply controlling the disease process or other problem which is causing you to lose hair. If your hair loss is due to a certain medication, a different medication may be able to be substituted.
  • Time – as stated in the above causes for temporary hair loss, hair lost due to stressor or nutritional issues will usually re-grow with time.

Please note people fully treated for telogen effluvium, can expect a 3-4 month wait before noticing an improvement, because that’s how long it takes for hair to start growing.

Dr. Strausburg will provide you with treatment recommendations at the time of your appointment.

Diagnosing Hair Loss from Stress or Nutritional Issues

It is important to find out the reason you are losing hair as it can be due to serious medical conditions. Dr. Strausburg will take your medical history and examine your areas of concern.

No testing may be needed, however, if there is concern you may have an underlying medical condition, he may suggest lab or other tests.


What Causes Stress and Nutrition Related Hair Loss?

The following are common causes of stress and nutrition related hair loss. Please note this type of hair loss can begin months after the event or problem which causes you to lose your hair.

Hair Loss Due to Hormonal Changes

  • Pregnancy & Childbirth – When a women is pregnant, more of her hairs will be growing. However, after a woman delivers her baby, many hairs enter the resting phase of the hair cycle. Within two to three months, some women will notice large amounts of hair coming out in their brushes and combs. This can last one to six months, but women re-grow this hair in most cases.
  • Menopause – the hormonal changes that occur with menopause can cause you to lose your hair. Although most women’s hair does not usually go back to being as thick as it was prior to menopause, the shedding should stop.
  • Birth Control Pills – Women who lose hair while taking birth control pills usually have an inherited tendency for hair thinning. If hair thinning occurs, a woman can consult her gynecologist about switching to another birth control pill. When a women stops using oral contraceptives, she may notice that her hair begins shedding two or three months later. This may continue for six months when it usually stops. This is similar to hair loss after the birth of a child.

Hair Loss Due to Dietary Issues

  • Low Protein in Diet – Some people who go on diets that are low in protein, or have severely abnormal eating habits, may develop protein malnutrition. The body will save protein by shifting growing hairs into the resting phase. Massive hair shedding can occur two to three months later. Hair can then be pulled out by the roots fairly easily. This condition can be reversed and prevented by eating the proper amount of protein and, when dieting, maintaining adequate protein intake.
  • Low Iron – Iron deficiency occasionally produces hair loss. Women who have heavy menstrual periods may develop iron deficiency. Some people don’t have enough iron in their diets or may not fully absorb iron. Low iron can be detected by laboratory tests and can be corrected by taking iron pills.
  • Eating Disorders – the shock to the body caused by the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia can cause hair to stop growing.
  • Weight Loss – losing a large amount of weight can cause temporary hair loss which will is usually reversed once a normal diet is restored.

Hair Loss Due to Illness or Medications

  • Thyroid Disease – Both an over-active thyroid and an under-active thyroid can cause hair loss. Your physician can diagnosis thyroid disease with laboratory tests. Hair loss associated with thyroid disease can be reversed with proper treatment.
  • Medications – Some prescription drugs may cause temporary hair shedding. Examples include some of the medicines used for the following: gout, arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure, or blood thinner. High doses of vitamin A may also cause hair shedding.
  • Illness – High fevers, severe infections or even severe flu may cause hairs to enter the resting phase. Four weeks to three months after a high fever, severe illness or infection, a person may be shocked to see a lot of hair falling out. This shedding of hair usually corrects itself without any treatment.
  • Major Surgery/Chronic Illness – Anyone who has a major operation may notice increased hair shedding within one to three months afterwards. The condition reverses itself within a few months but people who have a severe chronic illness may shed hair indefinitely.
  • Cancer Treatments – Some cancer treatments will cause hair cells to stop dividing. Hairs become thin and break off as they exit the scalp. This occurs one to three weeks after the treatment. Patients can lose up to 90 percent of their scalp hair. The hair will regrow after treatment ends. Patients may want to get wigs before treatment.

Other Causes

  • Hair Loss Due to Emotional Distress – life events which are traumatic or stressful can cause temporary hair loss. Common causes include deaths, divorce, changing employment or even moving.
  • Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania) – Children and sometimes adults will twist or pull their hair, brows or lashes until they come out. In children especially, this is often just a bad habit that gets better when the harmful effects of that habit are explained. Sometimes, though, hair pulling can be a coping response to unpleasant stresses and occasionally is a sign of a serious problem needing the help of a mental health professional.

Do You Take Insurance For Patients with Stress or Nutrition Related Hair Loss?

Yes, we do take insurance for patients with stress or nutrition related hair loss. We suggest you contact your plan administrator to determine if we participate with your insurance plan and if they cover this problem.

Contact Us About Treatment for Stress or Nutritional Hair Loss

If you have more questions and would like further information about stress related or nutrition related hair loss treatments, or if you are ready to schedule an appointment, contact Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology by clicking here for our online quick-contact email form or feel free to call us at 317-848-0001.

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*Fees are approximate only and subject to physical examination and consultation. We do try to keep the fees on our website up to date, however be advised fees are subject to change without notice. Please feel free to inquire about any price changes.

Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology’s video content is for informational and educational purposes only. Viewing of these videos should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or a treatment recommendation. As with any health concern, always seek a consultation regarding a medical condition. Any questions concerning the content of these videos may be directed to Turkle & Associates Plastic Surgery and Dermatology at drturkle@turklemd.com or 317-848-0001.

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