When we hear someone mention hair loss, we think of aging usually. Others might connect hair loss with chemotherapy or the compulsive locks tugging associated with trichotillomania. What most people wouldn’t normally associate hair loss with is anorexia nervosa, unless they treat patients with the disorder or have been suffering from it personally. The truth is, people of all age groups and genders with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders commonly experience hair loss, including thinning hair and areas of balding.
So what can cause the hair thinning? Whenever a person’s person is malnourished, such as during an eating disorder, the protein stores in their body become depleted. When this occurs, your body has to make sure that it takes treatment of essential functions (such as organ function and keeping muscle tissue) above all else.
Our hair, which is made up of a protein called keratin, is much less essential to our body’s functioning. So, hair growth stops so the physical body can concentrate on keeping that person alive. Depending on a person’s age, genetic makeup, and other developmental factors, regular hair regrowth will most likely go back to normal after a person maintains nutritional stabilization for six months or even more.
When someone is experiencing hair thinning associated with anorexia, there are usually plenty of co-occurring symptoms such as dehydration (which can result in kidney-failing), chilly intolerance, exhaustion, lightheadedness, and more. These are in addition with their likely significant weight loss. Eating disorders have an increased mortality rate than every other behavioral health disorder.
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Oftentimes when someone reaches out for eating disorder treatment, his / her person is dangerously malnourished and they are probably experiencing physical already, psychological, and cognitive side effects. Hair loss may be one of these of a physical side effect. If you notice that a grouped relative or friend is avoiding meals, entire food groups, or social gatherings related to food-and maybe losing their hair-it may be a good idea to ask them about their relationship with food.
Although an eating disorder is not always the reason, it’s far better to exhibit your concern for your adored one’s well-being and good health. If they are doing opt to seek professional eating disorder services, tell them that you will be the right part of their support network both through treatment and beyond. Although the probability of hair thinning is not as significant as many of the symptoms of anorexia, for a few the symptom serves as motivation to seek treatment, change their eating behaviors, and rebuild their romantic relationship with nutrition and food. Many individuals who have a problem with anorexia base their self-worth from their body image, however the truth is that malnutrition damages the body in various ways.
Hair reduction reflects the harm that has recently happened on the inside of your body and can help someone with anorexia finally realize the true risks of their eating habits. 1-Anorexia Nervosa | National Eating Disorders Association. Jordan Murray, RD, CD, is an initial registered dietitian for males and females at the Eating Disorder Center at Rogers Memorial Hospital-Oconomowoc, a service for home eating disorder treatment. He has experience providing nutritional education and food planning services in various degrees of treatment, including incomplete and inpatient hospital programs at Rogers. Murray is a graduate of Viterbo University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics.
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