The Relationship between Autoimmune Diseases and Hair Loss

The Relationship between Autoimmune Diseases and Hair Loss

If you are suffering from medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes, you must already be aware of the fact that autoimmune diseases attack a body’s healthy tissues and destroys them. Some autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata, even identify hair follicles as a threat and destroy them accordingly; becoming one of the major reasons for hair loss over time; or worse, even leading to cicatricial alopecia (a type of permanent hair loss). Autoimmune disorders can even impact the growth cycle of your hair and give birth to another issue known as telogen effluvium which also results in hair loss.

Lupus is another autoimmune disease which is a chronic condition and affects around 1.5 million people around the world. It is a common reason for hair loss in women during the child bearing phase.

As a result, the symptoms of this autoimmune disease should be monitored closely. It can cause extreme fatigue, painful and swollen joints, oral ulcers, and cause hair loss. An obvious symptom you can use to identify Lupus is development of a butterfly shaped rash on the bridge of your nose causing extreme sensitivity to sun light. In mild cases of this condition, you may only lose hair while brushing or shampooing – but in severe cases, you can experience rashes accompanied by complete bald patches of lost hair on the scalp.

It is recommended that you get yourself tested by a specialist to determine whether the cause of your hair loss can be attributed to this or any other autoimmune condition. A simple blood test will be done to measure the levels of ANA or anti-nuclear antibodies.

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