The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss

    Leonid Benjamin Trost, Wilma F. Bergfeld, Ellen Calogeras
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    TLDR Iron deficiency may be related to hair loss, but there's not enough evidence to recommend iron screening or supplements for all hair loss patients.
    The document from 2006 examines the potential link between iron deficiency and various forms of hair loss, particularly in women. It highlights that iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is commonly caused by menstrual blood loss and pregnancy in premenopausal women, and by gastrointestinal blood loss and malabsorption in men and postmenopausal women. The paper reviews several studies with mixed results; some suggest a correlation between low serum ferritin levels and hair loss, while others do not. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation screens for iron deficiency in patients with hair loss and treats it if present, although the document concludes there is insufficient evidence to universally recommend such screening or iron supplementation therapy for hair loss patients without IDA. Treatment for IDA includes dietary changes and oral iron supplementation, but excessive supplementation should be avoided, and patients unresponsive to therapy should be tested for other causes of IDA. The document also discusses the importance of diagnosing iron deficiency using hemoglobin concentration and serum ferritin concentration, and differentiating IDA from other types of anemia.
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