It is a normal occurrence to shed some amount of hair daily. However, if the amount of hair falling is of a considerable amount than usual, it may cause worries and distress.

Though there are some other reasons for hair loss, baldness patterns in males and females is the primary cause. A doctor would want to assess these before recommending an appropriate treatment course.

In this post, we look at the illness that causes hair loss and different ways to manage them to prevent any further loss in the future.

What is hair loss?

Also called baldness or alopecia, it refers to the loss of hair in the head or body. Generally, at least the head is more involved. The seriousness of hair loss can range from just a part of the head to the entire body.

Though scarring and inflammation are rarely available, excessive hair loss can cause serious psychological distress in some people. Apart from health causes, some common causes of hair loss include:

  • Alopecia areata.
  • Male-female pattern hair loss.
  • Hair thinning is known as telogen effluvium.

The causes of hair loss in males are a combination of male hormones and genetics, while the cause of hair loss in females is unclear. However, telogen effluvium is common in women who have just given birth or after undergoing a physically stressful activity.

Though new hair always replaces the lost hair, it happens rarely. A person can develop hair loss abruptly or gradually over time and can be temporary or permanent.

Since it is not possible to know the exact number of hair loss in a day, you can only know you are losing a significant amount of hair if you notice clumps of hair in your comb or after washing your hair in running water.

It is imperative to discuss the condition with a professional health provider if you realize you are losing more hair than usual. Doctors will determine the causes and prescribe effective treatment and management of the underlying causes.

Types of illness-causing hair loss

Hair loss is a common occurrence in people suffering or recovering from various health conditions. Although several health problems result in hair loss, here are some common illnesses that cause hair loss.

Coronary artery diseases (CAD)

According to research, coronary artery diseases can cause a significant hair loss among its patients. These can always be in the form of receding hairlines, frontline baldness and complete or sub- total hair loss. It is always advisable to stay in check with your heart health to limit occurrence of heart related conditions. 


This is a disease that is caused when your immune system attacks body organs and tissues (autoimmune disease). Having a long-term lupus condition causes inflammation that can lead to hair loss.

While there exists no cure for lupus, available treatment focuses on managing symptoms and reducing flare-ups.


Typically, HIV does not cause hair loss in people having treatment or under management and leading a healthy lifestyle. However, most HIV patients may experience hair thinning not related to the condition.

Though people receiving HIV medication can live a near-normal life expectancy, most of them will have hair loss problems as they grow older using the drugs. 

Additionally, some medical conditions affecting people with HIV, like iron deficiency anemia, may lead to excessive hair loss.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a sure way for HIV patients to prevent hair loss. Treating the underlying condition is also a way of avoiding hair loss in HIV patients.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

 This is a common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age. It can affect hair growth in females leading to hair loss.

 Its treatment includes metformin medication to prevent diabetes, birth control pills to regulate periods, and procedures to remove excess follicles in the ovary.


Ringworms are fungal infections that can cause hair loss. Tinea capitis or ringworm on the scalp can lead to temporary baldness in some parts of the head.

Ringworms usually heal by themselves; unless it takes longer, a doctor may prescribe an antifungal treatment or an antibiotic to cure it completely.


Hair loss is a normal condition affecting most people at different levels of their lives. However, excessive hair loss is a cause for alarm and may call for a visit to your health care provider. Hair loss may happen gradually or abruptly and can be permanent or temporary.

Apart from hormonal and genetic imbalance and other notable causes, various illnesses like cancer, lupus, HIV, and ringworms are responsible for hair loss.

The best way to prevent these diseases from causing hair loss is to manage the side effects of treating underlying illness, seeking medical help for infections such as fungal infections caused by ringworms, and keeping a healthy lifestyle when living with conditions such as HIV.