Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Anemia Causes Hair Loss

Tuesday, 16 Nov 2010 04:15 PM

Question: Can pernicious anemia, or any anemia, cause hair loss?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:


Yes, indeed. Anemia, whether iron-deficiency anemia, vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia seen in pernicious anemic patients, or an anemia due to other medications, illnesses, deficiencies, or conditions, often causes hair loss.

Anemia forces the hair to the telogen (resting) phase of the hair-growth cycle when hair is shed. This often causes a generalized hair loss and may be rectified by correction of the anemia, or in the case of pernicious anemia, by correction of the vitamin B-12 deficiency that characterizes the condition.

If you have pernicious anemia, be sure your doctor checks your blood for other autoimmune diseases and checks your thyroid function and folate levels. Sometimes a surveillance endoscopy may be recommended since pernicious anemia patients often have gastric polyps and a higher risk of developing a gastric malignancy.


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