There are a lot of side effects that patients deal with when they have a flare-up of their IBD. One thing that is often overlooked when discussing the side effects or symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease is what it can do to the hair. Unfortunately hair thinning and loss is a very unpleasant side effect for many patients. While hair loss might not be the most medically significant problem it can still be a devastating one.
There are several reasons for the hair loss experienced in IBD patients. The first reason for this issue is due to malnutrition. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight over a short period of time may be at a higher risk of experiencing hair loss or thinning of the hair. The mal-absorption of nutrients in IBD patients can also cause issues with hair loss even when the patient maintains a stable weight. Normally this kind of hair loss is only temporary and the hair grows back as nutritional status returns.
<p><strong>What Is Hair Loss?</strong></p>
<p>Hair loss of any sort is called alopecia—be it normal male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia, or AGA) that commonly occurs as men age, or abnormal hair loss associated with certain diseases, hormonal disturbances, or treatments such as chemotherapy. There are two general types of alopecia: scarring and non-scarring. In scarring alopecia, the hair follicles that support the hair shaft are destroyed by an underlying condition, so that hair loss is irreversible. In non-scarring alopecia (which includes AGA and alopecia areata), the follicles are preserved, so that regrowth of lost hair remains a possibility. Alopecia has many causes, all of which may affect both sexes.</p>
<p><strong>Who Gets Hair Loss? </strong></p>
<p>Nearly two-thirds of men develop some form of balding, and at least two-thirds of women have some form of hair t...
Hair loss occurs because chemotherapy targets all rapidly dividing cells—healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Hair follicles, the structures in the skin filled with tiny blood vessels that make hair, are some of the fastest-growing cells in the body. If you're not in cancer treatment, your hair follicles divide every 23 to 72 hours. But as the chemo does its work against cancer cells, it also destroys hair cells. Within a few weeks of starting chemo, you may lose some or all of your hair.
If you are having chemotherapy , your hair loss may be gradual or dramatic: clumps in your hairbrush, handfuls in the tub drain or on your pillow. Whichever way it happens, it's startling and depressing, and you'll need a lot of support during this time.
Some chemotherapy drugs affect only the hair on your head. Others cause the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, pubic hair, and hair on your legs, arms, or underarms.
The extent of hair loss depends on which drugs or other treatments are used, and for h...
You should knowAnswers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.