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5 Health Conditions That Cause Hair Loss in the Elderly

By Jonathan Wells, 9:00 am on

Some degree of hair loss is likely to occur in the majority of elderly men, and even older women can lose their hair. However, many of the conditions that cause hair loss can actually be prevented. The Douglas County in-home elder care professionals at Home Care Assistance examine 5 underlying causes of hair loss and how to prevent them.

1. Hyperthyroidism

This medical condition develops when the thyroid no longer regulates a senior’s hormones, which can thin the hair or cause chunks of hair to fall out completely. Most cases of hyperthyroidism can be managed with prescription medication, which typically reverses the hair loss. 

2. Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes does not directly cause hair loss, but the stress associated with this condition may hamper hair growth. The most common way seniors manage and potentially reverse their diabetes is with a healthy diet. Older adults should also speak with their doctors about some of the side effects of diabetes medication to see if it is potentially damaging their hair follicles.

3. Anemia

Untreated anemia can result in a variety of unusual side effects, including strong cravings, fatigue, headaches, and hair loss. Seniors with severe cases of anemia often need prescription supplements, but most iron deficiencies can be treated with over-the-counter pills. 

4. Androgenic Alopecia

Alopecia is one of the most common causes of hair loss in the elderly. In its earliest stages, alopecia can be treated with specialty hair products like conditioners and ointments. In its advanced stages, this disease requires professional medical attention. Many specialists suggest the use of corticosteroid and anti-inflammatory injections to treat severe androgenic alopecia. 

5. Malnutrition

Malnutrition occurs when a senior is not consuming the right balance of nutrients or his or her body is not properly absorbing vitamins and minerals. These deficiencies often result in drastic changes to the nails, skin, and hair. In addition to eating a balanced diet, seniors should also consider taking a high-quality multivitamin at least once a day.

To learn more about hair care in the senior years, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of respite and live-in care, and we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Douglas County, CO, seniors can count on. For more information on our in-home care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 720-287-1685 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.