Hair Loss Due To Auto Immune Diseases
The immune system plays an extremely important part in keeping us alive. It is the body’s way of responding to potential threats that risk causing either physical or neurological damage, potentially preventing us from living a normal life. However, sometimes the immune system can mis-identify healthy cells for dangerous cells and attack them by accident – this is referred to as an autoimmune condition.
While many autoimmune conditions can be treated or managed relatively easily with today’s medicine, one of the side effects of certain illnesses can cause hair loss as healthy follicles are attacked by the body’s white blood cells.
So, which auto immune conditions can cause hair loss?
- Alopecia areata – This condition is extremely prevalent across the world, affecting almost 150 million people worldwide. When the white blood cells attack the hair follicle, they cause it to shrink, leading to small patches of hair loss. Depending on how severe the condition is, a patient can recover in a short period of time, or continue to lose all the hair on their body. Visit our alopecia page to learn more.
- Lupus – This disease is again, very common and affects not just the hair follicles but a range of other organs and systems. The condition can manifest itself in a number of ways, but often flares up intermittently. When it does, the hair shaft inside the follicle is rejected by the immune system and it falls out. Unfortunately, there is no cure for lupus, but with an early diagnosis and consistent treatment, it can be managed sufficiently.
- Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis – This condition – also known as Hashimoto’s disease- is one of the leading causes of hyperthyroidism and affects over 14 million people across the world. When the thyroid gland – the gland that regulates your metabolism – is attacked by the immune system, it becomes inflamed and loses efficiency, causing patches of hair to fall out as a side effect. Quite often, the condition can be treated with a synthetic hormones called levothyroxine, but this can lead to hair loss on its own.
- Graves’ Disease – Another thyroid condition, Graves’ disease has the opposite effect of chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis as the attacking antibodies actually cause the gland to overproduce hormones. It can cause hair loss by interfering with the transition between hair growth stages, with the follicle failing to grow a fresh hair once the old shaft has been shedded.
- Crohn’s Disease – This condition affects a great many people throughout the world and causes an inflamed bowel as a result of trying to process certain foods. This inability to extract the nutrients from food leads to a deficiency in the fuel need to grow new hair. While there is no cure, it can be managed relatively effectively via medication and a careful diet.
- Psoriasis – This skin condition can be triggered by a range of stimuli. For some, it is stress but for others it can be allergies or infections. Psoriasis is caused by the immune system attacking the skin and is more commonly found on elbows and knees. It can, however, occur on the scalp and the scaly build-up of dead skin can cause issues for hair growth.
Luckily, new treatments for these conditions are being researched every day, but simple daily changes such as an improved diet, more organic hair treatments and removing stress from your life can all contribute to an improvement.
If you are worried that you are suffering from hair loss due to an auto immune disease, we always advise you to contact your GP to help you find the treatment that is right for you. However, at the Hair Growth Studio we will always be available to provide you with support as well as numerous effective hair systems to help you recover. So, please book a consultation with the Hair Growth Studio if you’d like personally-tailored advice from an expert.