Hair loss can happen for all kinds of reasons, some of which can be connected to health conditions. For example, medical hair loss may occur because of anything from hormonal changes to various diseases and conditions.

Here, we’re going to look at whether digestive conditions can influence your hair. Of course, lots of things can potentially lead to hair loss, so if you’re experiencing notable hair loss and you’re not sure why, it’s important to check with your healthcare provider to find out more.

Can Digestive Issues Cause Hair Thinning?

Having a digestive condition does not directly cause hair thinning or hair loss. However, if you suffer from a digestive condition or ailment, it may become harder to absorb all the nutrients you need from your food.

For example, we need a range of vitamins such as A, C, D, and E to help encourage strong hair growth. The same applies with iron and biotin, both of which have roles to play in this area.

If you do have a digestive ailment, whether temporary or permanent, you might consider asking your healthcare provider whether a multivitamin or biotin supplement would help.

Can Poor Gut Health Affect Hair?

Any disruption to the normal workings of your gut can influence your hair. However, a short-term illness such as an upset stomach isn’t likely to have any real impact. It’s the long-term issues such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that are more likely to cause problems. That’s because many people will suffer from ongoing gut symptoms that can disrupt the amount of nutrients taken in from the food they eat.

In some cases, medication taken for IBD may also have an effect, adding to that caused by the difficulties in absorbing nutrients from food. It therefore becomes even more important to eat a balanced diet that is rich in all nutrients, especially those that positively influence hair growth.

Does Everyone With a Digestive Condition Experience Hair Loss?

No – some will, but it is unclear just how common this might be. There haven’t been many studies into this topic yet, although hopefully this might change. It means that even if you’re diagnosed with IBD or IBS, you should not assume that you’ll start suffering from medical hair loss.

The National Library of Medicine published a review of hair loss in patients with IBD and noted that telogen effluvium appeared to be the most common scenario. It seems to be related to flare ups of the disease, rather than being a continual thing. In this sense, it may depend on how well managed the condition is, regardless of which digestive condition is experienced.

What Else Can You Do to Improve Your Gut Health?

While researching this article, we came across some articles talking about the gut microbiome and hair loss. We all have gut flora, a collection of microorganisms that form the gut microbiome. Now you may not think that what’s happening in your gut has any relation to what’s happening on your head, but it seems this isn’t the case.

It seems that having a healthy gut microbiome means we have the right balance of bacteria to help support healthy hair growth. The microbiome can potentially cause inflammation if it is badly unbalanced – and not just in the gut either. Eating or drinking probiotic and prebiotic foods can get it back into balance. This in turn may help boost hair growth and health, which may help prevent hair loss and thinning.

We’re still only just getting to know the relationship between the gut microbiome and the rest of the body. However, we know that inflammation of the scalp adversely affects hair growth, as you’d expect. So, could this mean it’s a good idea to focus on improving your gut microbiome, whether you have an ongoing digestive condition or not?

As always, we recommend seeking advice from your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your digestive health. Furthermore, a hair professional may also give you advice on how to make the most of your hair, no matter what other issues you might be dealing with. Finding the best hairstyle to help disguise or manage any hair loss or hair thinning is always a good approach.

If you are experiencing hair loss or thinning hair, contact the team at Unique Hair Concepts for a complimentary, in-person consultation.