Alopecia Areata – Hair Loss
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on January 5, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Thanks to our wonderful fan, Debora, for her interesting question on alopecia areata. We thought we’d share our response here, to help others with this troublesome condition, too!
This type of alopecia (hair loss) is due to the body’s immune system overreacting. Basically, it’s not recognizing your hair follicles as being “your own.” Instead, the immune system thinks they’re foreign and thus ‘attacks’ them. The inflammation that results ends up damaging the hair follicles, even to the point of hair loss.
Alopecia areata may be brought on by an underlying infection elsewhere. In Debora’s case, she mentioned that she has an ulcer. Ulcers are usually caused by a bacteria (Helicobacter pylori) which is readily treated with an antibiotic. This is one of the few times I recommend using an antibiotic. Natural, supportive remedies can then be used afterwards to ensure that the bacteria doesn’t return.
Anemia will affect hair growth, too. In Debora’s case, it’s important to get that corrected. Anemia can be due to reasons other than just iron deficiency, though, such as vitamin B12 or folate (another type of B vitamin). Your doctor will be able to determine which type of anemia you may have. Iron-deficiency anemia is often due to heavy menstrual periods. It can also be related to an undetected, ongoing internal bleed (such as a bleeding ulcer).
Hair Essentials may be able to help! It seeds the hair follicles with the nutrients they need for new hair growth. Its unique blend of natural anti-inflammatory herbs and antioxidants may also help to decrease inflammation at the site of the hair follicles.
For more information on Hair Essentials, visit http://bit.ly/gLbQQm
Also check out our earlier post on Alopecia and discover other reasons why hair loss may be occurring, and what’s available to help!
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan