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Q&A: Hairloss

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Dr. Michael Wald, Director of Nutrition at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, P.C.
914-242-8844, www.intmedny.com

1. True or False: Hair loss typically starts with a few extra hairs and can progress to a bare scalp?

ANSWER: True. The type of hair loss pattern will give us a clearer indication of the possible cause(s).

2. Common causes of loss of hair include which of the following?

a. Heredity

b. Certain medications

c. Underlying medical conditions, including, but not limited to hormonal imbalances, toxicity and autoimmune disease.

d. All of the above.

ANSWER: D: A holistic approach attempts to leave “no stone unturned”

3. True or False: Correcting unwanted hair loss is an easy problem to fi x?

ANSWER: The answer depends on the cause of hair loss. If the hair loss is from undernutrition, then providing adequate calories can reverse the hair loss either completely or to some extent. If their hair loss is from malabsorption, secondary to an autoimmune disease then this problem must be clarified so that natural treatments can be targeted. Depending on the cause or causes of hair loss the cure may be partial or complete and may take shorter or longer periods of time.

4. True or False: In traditional medicine, alopecia is considered typically permanent?

ANSWER: True. This is an unfortunate stance by traditionally trained doctors. Most of their patients ultimately do not regrow hair. Our belief is that the limited treatment options in medicine are to account for this.

5. True or False: Female pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia, is generally limited to thinning in the front, sides or crown of the woman’s head?

ANSWER: True. Many women visit our office clearly demonstrating this hair loss pattern. Some women do not notice it themselves and others have just been told that there is nothing to do about it; this is almost never true! Malnutrition syndromes, hidden autoimmune disease, undernutrition, improper nutrition and various hormonal patterns and stress may be involved.

6. True or False: Sudden hair loss can be a signal of a serious underlying medical condition requiring medical treatment?

Answer: True. As an integrated medical office, we are for both traditional medical and alternative or holistic and integrated approaches for sudden hair


7. True or False: Regarding hormonal changes. Hormonal changes may cause irritation and damage to hair follicles resulting in thinner, shorter hair shafts. In general, the growth phase of scalp hair typically is two to three years. During this time the hair grows less than one-half of an inch or one centimeter per month. The resting phase is called a telogen; this phase lasts typically three to four months and at the end of it hair strands fall out and a new one begins to grow in its place?


8. True or False: Most people will shed approximately 25 to 50 hairs per day?

ANSWER: False. Most people typically shed 50 to 100 hairs per day; with approximately 100,000 hairs on the scalp this sort of hair loss should not cause a noticeable thinning of scalp hair.

9. Which of the following are causes of hair loss?

a. Poor nutrition, which may result from iron deficiency, protein deficiency, fad diets, eating disorders and subtle eating disorder.

b. Medications, including those for depression, heart problems, arthritis, gout, high blood pressure and birth control pills.

c. Diseases such as lupus, diabetes and many other autoimmune causes.

d. Medical treatments including, but not limited to, radiation and chemotherapy.

e. Hormonal changes either excessive hormone secretion or underactive hormone secretions such as underactive thyroid and menopause.

f. Hair treatments such as over-styling and excessive brushing.

g. Scalp infections.

h. Trichotillomania or hair pulling.

i. All of the above.

ANSWER: All of the above may cause hair loss of different degrees over varying periods of time.

When visiting our office, a comprehensive battery of tests involving toxicity testing, hormonal testing, basic nutrition testing, stress testing and other relevant evaluations will be performed which generally provide great insight into the cause of causes of hair loss in a relatively short period of time. The compartmentalization of medicine, meaning that many doctors, given their medical speciality, perform only part of these tests over several weeks or even several years slows this process down immensely – leading to great frustration and continued hair loss.

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