Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Chronic telogen effluvium is an acute form of telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium was first discovered in 1961 by Dr. Albert M. Kligman, as stated in It is chronic because it persists for a more extended period, even decades. It is said to be chronic if it lasts for more than six months.

Under normal conditions, 80 to 90 percent of hair grows in the follicles during the anagen phase, from two to seven years.   

Then comes the telogen phase. It is the resting period for 10 to 20 percent of the remaining hair follicles, and the duration is about three months.

After that, the scalp is supposed to produce a brand-new litter of hair, but unfortunately, that does not occur with chronic telogen effluvium. The new hair doesn't appear.

You could suffer from chronic telogen effluvium for years and have constant hair loss as your hair follicles are forced out of their growth stage to enter their resting stage.

It is the same as when you deposit money in your bank account. When you have to pay your bills, you need to take some money out of the bank to pay your debts.

But what happens if you don't work, or need money for the main project, say an essential house repair? You can deposit, but you will not have enough cash when the last day of paying the bills arrives.

With the telogen effluvium happens something like that. The hair on the head is always welcome, like having money in the bank. Who does not need it?

When the chronic telogen effluvium is on, the hair shrinks more and for a more extended time due to the factors like physical or emotional trauma in our system.  

Then, instead of having more hair on the head, what we pile up are the hairs in the shower or on the pillow. When we do not work, instead of depositing money in the bank, we have a pile of debts.  

But what are the causes and symptoms of chronic telogen effluvium? 

Causes of Chronic Telogen Effluvium

The leading cause of chronic telogen effluvium is iron deficiency. Iron is a vital mineral to growing healthy hair. If you have anemia or low iron levels, then chronic telogen effluvium could go after you.

It affects more women than men, especially the ones between 18 through 50 because they lose iron during their menstrual periods. If you are a woman and suffer from heavy periods, it is almost sure you have poor iron levels in your blood. Of course, that does not apply to menopausal women.

Other causes of chronic telogen effluvium are:

            ·    Accident

            ·    The death or sickness of a loved one

            ·    Depression

            ·    Low iron levels due to heavy menstrual periods

            ·    Menopause due to hormonal changes

            ·    Natural disasters, or human-made ones

            ·    Physical or emotional shocks

            ·    Stress

These are the causes of the ailment. I can't stress this enough. You should see your doctor be sure. We will see what type of test your doctor would do in the next segment. But let's see the symptoms first. 

Chronic Telogen Effluvium Symptoms

If you suspect you are suffering from chronic telogen effluvium, you should at least know the symptoms of the condition. That's a must to take action on time. The clock is ticking.

Here you will see a list of symptoms of the chronic telogen effluvium:

            ·    Diffuse hair loss all over the scalp, especially in temples

            ·    Increased hair shedding

            ·    Low energy levels

            ·    Low hemoglobin or anemia

            ·    More hairs left in shower, brushes, clothes, and pillows

            ·    Pale appearance of the skin

            ·    Scalp pain or tingling

            ·    Thinning hair across the whole scalp

So, now you know the symptoms that could lead to seeing if you have a degree of probability to suffer from chronic telogen effluvium. As I said before, it is imperative to see your doctor and tell your dermatologist, for instance.

You need to know whether or not you have an acute version of telogen effluvium called chronic telogen effluvium or CTE. Doing the standard blood test for iron will help check the hemoglobin levels in your blood and make it easier for your doctor to determine if it is telogen effluvium.

But, if you want to know if you have CTE, you should perform the serum ferritin test to see your stored iron levels.

As I said before, see your doctor. That way, he can perform the necessary blood tests to determine whether you have the disease or not. I hope not.

But in case the doctor says that you are prone to the condition, you can check the available treatments to reverse it. Is there any treatment available? What are the options? 

Treatment of Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a disorder that corrects itself. The problem with the chronic version is that it lasts much longer than the regular. Although the hair cycle should normalize and hair usually grows back, you should control the cause of stress if that is your case.

There is indeed no proven effective treatment for the condition. Despite that, there are palliative remedies. That means you can treat the symptoms but not the causes.

For example, if your doctor finds out that you are missing some vitamins and minerals, such as protein or iron, you can balance your diet to meet those needs.

I'll list some things you can do right away:

            ·    Avoid styles that cause a lot of tension to the hair

            ·    Brush or comb your hair gently

            ·    Consume more protein, as in red meat, poultry, oysters, or turkey

            ·    Don't over-treat hair with chemicals and dyes

            ·    Eat also spinach, cashews, beans, lentils, and tofu to increase iron

            ·    Hear relaxing music to de-stress the soul. Relax amigo!

            ·    If hair loss begins after a new medication, ask your doctor

            ·    Keep a limited exposure to the sun

            ·    Let hair dry naturally. No towel

            ·    Menopause affected, could use hormone-replacement therapy, but since there are risks associated, consult your doctor before taking them

            ·    Use a hair growth stimulator like minoxidil, or better yet, a natural growth stimulator, to avoid side effects  

If you have chronic telogen effluvium, remember that symptoms take longer to disappear than the typical disorder.

You have to have two qualities to get on the road to treating chronic telogen effluvium. These are patience and positivism. At first, you probably don't see any results, but if you have patience and a positive attitude, you could reap the benefits of having healthier hair and scalp in the long run.