Can an iron deficiency contribute to chronic telogen effluvium?

I'm a 21 year old male diagnosed with cte. 2 years ago I had extreme emotional stresses that happened at once and even persist now. Noticed hair loss since 4 months after the main stress. I developed heart arrhythmia from the stress, which has become common. One episode put me in the hospital. I may also have anemia from many years of a diet low in iron/red meat and high in green tea (blocks absorption of iron from plants). Could this contribute to cte? I'm an athlete that exercises 5 days/week

Doctor Answers 2

Definitely Doesn't Help, but there is Hope

An iron deficiency can have hair loss symptoms. I would have an evaluation with a Dr. to look into anemia and options. For hair loss, there are many options: progesterone and PRP injections along with hair transplants. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium (TE) is a non-scarring condition where hairs are inappropriately shed. Often occurs after a stress as you mentioned, with recovery in about 2-3 months. Occasionally the shed is prolonged, and ongoing medical issues may lead to a chronic TE. I generally check the following labs for hair loss (in truth, a lab abnormality is rarely the sole cause of hair loss): complete blood count, thyroid function, iron studies including ferritin. I encourage my TE patients to follow a well-rounded diet, judicious amounts of exercise and mindful stress reduction. Best of luck!

Elizabeth Damstetter, MD
Chicago Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.