How Digestive Problems like IBS and IBD can cause hair thinning

Hair loss is caused by many factors, including digestive problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Disruption of the digestive process impairs the body's ability to absorb vital nutrients for hair growth. This article will explore how gut health affects hair loss and ways to improve hair and scalp health.

How Gut health effects your hair health

Hair is composed of protein, lipids, water, and trace elements, and requires the presence of hormones, minerals, and vitamins to grow. If any of these elements are not present in sufficient quantities in the body, hair loss can occur. Nutrients needed by the body come from the food a person eats and is broken down by enzymes and bacteria in the digestive tract. Issues with digestion can also indirectly lead to hair loss.


How Poor Gut Flora affect hair health

Having a healthy gut flora is essential to extract nutrients from food, with over 400 species of microorganisms playing an important role in digestion and general health. An imbalance in the gut bacteria can lead to issues such as colon cancer, liver fibrosis and disruptions in the digestive process. Unhealthy gut flora may cause disruptions in the process of food digestion and absorption. So even if you eat the right things, your body may not be able to extract the molecules it needs.

Studies have shown that improving gut health can also stimulate hair growth in cases of Alopecia areata.

Gut Permeability & Hair Loss

The intestinal wall represents a barrier between bacteria and the rest of the body, and must be permeable to allow nutrients to pass. Changes in diet, gut bacteria, or inflammation in the intestine can disrupt the absorption of essential nutrients, leading to hair thinning and hair loss. Malabsorption of micronutrients, caused by food intolerances, inflammation, bacterial overgrowth, autoimmune diseases, and parasites, can lead to nutritional deficiencies and hair loss. In times of nutrient deficiency, growing hair is not the bodies priority, resulting in thinning or slowed down growth.

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Hair Loss

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic medical condition that affects over 7% of the population and can result in symptoms such as pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, which can severely impair life quality. The cause of IBS is unknown, but various factors such as intestinal infections, alterations in serotonin levels, gut flora imbalances, and psychosocial factors have been associated with it. Local inflammation, food sensitivity, and carbohydrate malabsorption are some of the effects of IBS. In addition, a study indicated that patients with IBS can experience hair loss, hair thinning, and brittle hair.

IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and Hair Loss

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term used to describe Crohn's disease, Ulcerative colitis, and other non-infectious inflammations of the bowel caused by an overreaction of the immune system to normal gut flora. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, and fatigue. Hair loss in patients with IBD is associated with nutritional deficiencies and adverse reactions to medication. Furthermore, recent studies have revealed a shared risk between Alopecia areata and IBD.

Ways to Improve Hair and Scalp Health

Changing your diet is an effective way to improve hair health and prevent hair loss. The body needs certain nutrients in order to grow hair and these nutrients can be acquired from diet. These nutrients consist of building blocks such as proteins, as well as other minerals like zinc and iron which are needed for cells to synthesize hair fibers.

  • Protein can be obtained from animal sources (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) and plant sources (whole grains, legumes).
  • Omega 3 fatty acids must be obtained from food sources (fish, other seafood, nuts and seeds, plant oils) and are important for cell function and skin/hair health.
  • Vitamin B12 is found in meat, fish, dairy, and eggs, but vegan diets are at risk of deficiency.
  • Iron is important and can be found in red meat, liver, nuts, fortified cereals, dried fruit, and beans.
  • Zinc supports the immune system and is found in oysters and other seafood, meat, dairy, peas, beans, pumpkin seeds, and oatmeal.
  • Glutathione deficiencies can lead to hair loss, and supplementing can help prevent/treat hair loss.

Stress has detrimental effects on a person's health, both psychologically and physically. It affects the autonomic nervous system, immune system, and hormone balance. The negative impact of stress is especially pronounced in cases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as it can cause alterations in the body's hormone balance and impair hair growth.

Hair loss affects both men and women and can have a large emotional impact. It can have a variety of causes, both internal and external. In particular, digestive tract issues can cause nutritional deficiencies which lead to hair loss.

Hair loss may be prevented with proper care for gut flora health, eating a healthy diet, and managing stress. Another potential treatment is the use of a high quality target nutrient enriched hair care regime like HSB Labs haircare bypassing any Gut health imbalances by working directly on the affected scalp.


Don't put it off any longer! By acting now and using HSB Labs scalp and haircare products to address the symptoms of hair loss and hair thinning, you're more likely to prevent irreversible results and you can be guaranteed to experience faster hair growth. This amazing treatment plan uses natural ingredients, botanical extracts, vitamins, minerals, and hair follicle boosters combined in a scientific evidence-based strategy to help create thicker, fuller and healthier hair. With daily use of our HSB Labs products as part of your regular hair routine, you'll get healthier, stronger locks that are revitalised for a voluminous boost! We understand how difficult and upsetting it can be to lose your hair – many people view it as part of their identity. Let us help you on the journey to having incredible looking hair – because inner beauty is great but fabulous healthy hair never hurts!


Good scalp and hair days ahead!!”

 “New Hair with New Haircare by HSB Labs”
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.