Q: I am suffering from severe hair fall for the past several years. Can you suggest some diet measures to help?

Hair fall is a sign that something is not fine in the body. We generally tend to accept it as normal but you need to look at it as a sign and address the root cause. Since you have not mentioned your pattern of hair fall, it is difficult to arrive at a proper diagnosis. Nevertheless, below are some common patterns and their causes. You may or may not resonate with the cause, so you should run some blood tests mentioned below to confirm.

If your hair fall pattern is patchy, you may have a cortisol imbalance, a deficiency in B vitamins, zinc or heavy metal exposure. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, which if elevated can lead to patchy hair fall. You should find a stress management activity that works for you. It could be a walk with your pet or reading an inspiring book or going for a jog and so on. Along with this, taking a good-quality B complex and zinc supplement should help.  

Thinning of hair is another issue, which is commonly caused by thyroid hormonal imbalance. You should get your thyroid test done. If your TSH is 3 or above, you could be moving towards hypothyroidism. Changing your food habits at this point to support the healing of your thyroid is important. 

Is your hair fall on top of the head only? This could indicate that your testosterone, progesterone, cortisol or oestrogen may be out of balance. You should pay attention to the quality of your fat intake. Have more of anti-inflammatory fats like avocados, olives, coconut, grass-fed butter, ghee. Working out every day should also help in regularising hormone production and excretion. 

Some of you could be balding all over, which indicates a deficiency in proteins, essential fatty acids, B vitamins or zinc. Increase your protein intake and start taking high-quality B complex and zinc supplements.

Consult your physician before you take supplements. Increase intake of food with essential fatty acids such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, salmon, free-range eggs, meat.  

With any type of hair fall, get your bloodwork done for ferritin, B12, DHT and complete thyroid plan to understand the cause.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and

hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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