Hair Loss Due To Rheumatoid Arthritis
Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis will undoubtedly be aware of the effects the condition can have on their everyday life. Unlike osteoarthritis which occurs mainly as a result of degeneration of the cartilage within joints due to injury or old age, rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease similar to Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
While the specific causes of rheumatoid arthritis are unknown, there are many individuals who are more susceptible to the disease than others. For example, the condition mainly affects those over sixty years of age, and those who smoke or are obese are especially at risk. While those who suffer from the disease are mainly women, women who have given birth or breastfed their child have a reduced chance of developing the condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis exhibits itself via various symptoms including pain, aching and swelling in the joints, weight loss, fever and fatigue – and these often occur in waves, or ‘flares’.
Is rheumatoid arthritis treatable?
While there is no definitive cure, a category of drugs known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are often used by doctors to prevent further joint deformity and limit pain. Luckily, the condition can also be improved by engaging in regular physical activities such as swimming or biking.
How does rheumatoid arthritis cause hair loss?
While hair loss from rheumatoid arthritis is not as common as with other auto-immune conditions, it can still occur and tends to cause thinning rather than constant shedding. Those who suffer from hereditary baldness, however, may see their hair loss accelerate.
Unfortunately, certain medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to hair loss. In studies, DMARDs such as Methotrexate and Leflunomide are known to cause hair loss in up to 10% of patients, often causing them to become anxious and/or depressed. However, further studies have shown that patients who take both folic acid and biotin supplements amongst other B vitamins reduce the affects of hair loss substantially.
If hair loss continues to occur during treatment, there are other pharmaceutical drugs that can be used including tofacitinib, mycophenolate mofetil, sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine sulfate – although it is important to realise that these drugs may have other side effects.
The good news is that once a patient stops taking medication, it is likely that the hair will regrow as normal. It is also worth mentioning that new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis are being researched constantly with new discoveries being made every year.
If you are worried that you are suffering from hair loss due to rheumatoid arthritis, 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.