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HomeExclusiveIs Hair Loss A Symptom Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Is Hair Loss A Symptom Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Autoimmune Diseases And Hair Loss


For those battling autoimmune disorders, many find themselves losing hair. There are several reasons why it occurs. Find out here about autoimmune diseases and hair loss.

Hair loss has many etiologies. It can occur because of:

  • Disorders of hair cycling
  • Inflammatory conditions that damage hair follicles
  • Inherited or acquired abnormalities in the hair shaft
  • Pregnancy
  • Traction hair loss
  • Diets that lack protein and iron

Autoimmune Drugs May Treat A Form Of Baldness

Drugs developed to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and a rare form of leukemia can also help people with a different rare condition grow their hair back, researchers reported on Sunday.

Just four to five months of treatment with one of the drugs restored the hair of three patients with alopecia areata, a condition that can cause complete hair loss, the researchers at Columbia University in New York report.

What Is Sjgren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome is a lifelong autoimmune disorder that reduces the amount of moisture produced by glands in the eyes and mouth. It is named for Henrik Sjögren, a Swedish eye doctor who first described the condition. While dry mouth and dry eyes are the primary symptoms, most people who have these problems don’t have Sjögren’s syndrome. Dry mouth is also called xerostomia.

There are two forms of Sjögren’s syndrome:

  • Primary Sjögren’s syndrome develops on its own, not because of any other health condition.
  • Secondary Sjögren’s syndrome develops in addition to other autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and psoriatic arthritis.
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    Etiology Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Although rheumatoid arthritis involves autoimmune reactions, the precise cause is unknown many factors may contribute. A genetic predisposition has been identified and, in white populations, localized to a shared epitope in the HLA-DRB1 locus of class II histocompatibility antigens. Unknown or unconfirmed environmental factors are thought to play a role in triggering and maintaining joint inflammation.

    Treatment For Hair Loss

    Hair Loss And Arthritis / Hair Loss Symptoms And Causes Mayo Clinic ...

    Although hair loss technically doesnt need to be treated, it can have a significant impact on your self-esteem and confidence which is reason enough to address it. Plus, hair loss could be indicative of other issues like mineral deficiencies or unknown illnesses.

    Just on its own merits, we dont need to treat hair thinning, but I dont want to underestimate the significance of aesthetics, says Dr. Hamburger. Our patients suffer enough from damage to their joints, swollen joints, and sometimes weight loss or muscle wasting. Theyve got enough going on with their appearance and their self-image, they certainly dont need something as important as hair loss to deal with, too.

    Talk to your doctor to find out whether one of the following will help treat your RA-related hair loss.

    Read Also: How To Stop Stress Induced Hair Loss

    Ra In The Skeletal System

    One of the first indications of RA is inflammation in the small joints of the hands and feet. Often, RA is symmetricalaffecting both sides of the body at once. Symmetry is key to diagnosing RA. Sometimes, RA does not cause symptoms on both sides, especially early on in the disease. The condition will become symmetrical as RA progresses.

    Additional joints symptoms of RA include pain, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness. These are usually much worse in the morning and can last for 30 or more minutes. RA can also cause tingling or burning in the joints.

    RA symptoms can affect any of your joints, especially as RA progresses. This includes symptoms in the hands, feet, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles.

    As the disease progresses, it will affect tendons, ligaments, and muscles. These symptoms will eventually lead to range-of-motion problems and difficulty with moving your joints. Long-term inflammation in affected joints will cause those joints to become damaged and deformed.

    Having RA can put you at a higher risk for osteoporosisa condition that bone loss and weakness. This weakness can eventually lead to bone fractures .

    Ongoing inflammation in your wrists may lead to a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome, which can make it harder to use your wrists and hands. This same inflammation can cause weakness and damage the bones of your neck and cervical spine causing severe, ongoing pain.

    Focus On Hair Wellness

    When facing increased hair shedding that might be connected to RA, it becomes important to give a little extra attention to the health and wellness of your scalp.

    Avoid any undue stress on your follicles by avoiding excessive brushing and combing, tight hairstyles, heat styling or chemical treatments.

    You can also infuse your hair care routine with products that have been carefully formulated to keep both your scalp healthy and your locks looking luxurious. On wash days, use GRO Revitalizing Shampoo & Conditioner to support your scalps microbiome with antioxidants and lightweight hydration, while leaving your hair soft and smooth.

    And for a daily hair boost, try our GRO Hair Serum, which contains powerful phyto-actives, such as mung bean, circumin and red clover. Apply the serum directly to your scalp, morning or night, to reduce shedding and promote thicker, fuller hair in 90 days.

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    How To Handle Rheumatoid Arthritis And Hair Loss

    Fortunately, if your RA does cause hair loss, it isnt severe usually youll notice thinning of the hair rather than patches of it coming out. Here are some steps you can take to minimize hair loss and cope with thinning hair, regardless of the cause:

    • Take care not to overwork your hair. It is best to let it air dry and use a wide-toothed comb to remove tangles. A leave-in conditioner will help with combing through your hair without pulling any of it out.
    • Purchase hair products that give hair more volume, and avoid any products that weigh down hair, such as heavy conditioners.

    Arthritis Drug May Help With Type Of Hair Loss

    Alopecia Areata Linked to Lupus, Hashimoto’s, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Researchers saw regrowth in patients with the autoimmune disease alopecia areata

    HealthDay Reporter

    THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 — For people who suffer from a condition that causes disfiguring hair loss, a drug used for rheumatoid arthritis might regrow their hair, a new, small study suggests.

    Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes patchy or complete hair loss, including on the head, body, eyebrows and eyelashes. Learn more about this type of hair loss and some of the more common alopecia myths.

    Researchers found that more than 50 percent of 66 patients treated with the drug Xeljanz saw hair regrowth in three months.

    “There is hope now that we will have more to tell patients than get counseling and a wig,” said lead researcher Dr. Brett King, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine, in New Haven, Conn.

    Xeljanz appears to work by stopping the immune system‘s attack on hair follicles, King said. In addition, the researchers have identified genes that might predict a patient’s response to treatment, he said.

    King said it is doubtful that Xeljanz will work for the most common types of hair loss , which are not the result of an autoimmune disease.

    Whether the hair regrowth will last or how long someone would have to take the medication isn’t known, King noted.

    “It may be that if we can treat people for long enough the condition might go into remission, but we don’t know the answer to that,” he said.

    Side effects were mild, he added.

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    Ra Medications That Do Not Causes Hair Loss

    Many people with drug-actuated hair loss find that their hair develops back after they quit taking the prescription.

    Individuals worried about hair loss should converse with their PCP about the chance of lessening their present medication measurement.

    Another choice may be to change to a RA medication that doesnt list hair loss as a possible side effect, including:

    • tofacitinib
    • hydroxychloroquine sulfate

    Etanercept And Other Biologics

    Certain biologics, such as etanercept, can also cause your hair to thin. Experts arent sure why these medications affect your hair. It may be related to messenger molecules, called cytokines.

    If you experience hair loss from taking biologic RA medications, it probably wont be severe. Your hair growth will likely return to normal once you stop taking the drug.

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    What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Alopecia Areata

    Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, where a person’s immune system attacks the body, in this case, the hair follicles. When this happens, the person’s hair begins to fall out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The extent of the hair loss varies in some cases, it is only in a few spots. In others, the hair loss can be greater. On rare occasions, the person loses all of the hair on his or her head or entire body .

    It is believed that the person’s genetic makeup may trigger the autoimmune reaction of alopecia areata, along with a virus or a substance the person comes into contact with.

    Alopecia areata is an unpredictable disease. In some people, hair grows back but falls out again later. In others, hair grows back and remains. Each case is unique. Even if someone loses all of his or her hair, there is a chance that it will grow back.

    How Is Alopecia Areata Treated

    Hair Loss And Arthritis / Hair Loss Symptoms And Causes Mayo Clinic ...

    Alopecia areata cannot be cured however, it can be treated and the hair can grow back.

    In many cases, alopecia is treated with drugs that are used for other conditions. Treatment options for alopecia areata include:

    • Corticosteroids: anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed for autoimmune diseases. Corticosteroids can be given as an injection into the scalp or other areas, orally , or applied topically as an ointment, cream, or foam. Response to therapy may be gradual.
    • Rogaine® : this topical drug is already used as a treatment for pattern baldness. It usually takes about 12 weeks of treatment with Rogaine before hair begins to grow.

    Other drugs that are used for alopecia with varying degrees of effectiveness include medications used to treat psoriasis and topical sensitizers .

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    Ra Can Cause Hair Loss

    If you have RA, your immune system may start to attack tissues in your skin. This is where hair follicles are located. It can cause some of your hair to fall out.

    Hair loss is a rare complication of RA. When it happens, it usually isnt severe. It may cause your hair to thin in places, rather than fall out in patches. Some of the medications used to treat RA are more likely to cause hair loss than the disease itself.

    What Else Could Cause Hair Loss In People With Rheumatoid Arthritis

    People living with RA can have hair loss related to other common causes such as dietary deficiencies or hormonal imbalances. And its no coincidence this happens to them more frequently because living with RA increases the odds of having other such conditions. For example, RA patients are more likely to have an autoimmune thyroid disease as a co-morbidity and more likely to suffer from a variety of vitamin or mineral deficiencies secondary to the RA.

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    What Are The Complications Of Sjgrens Syndrome

    Most people who have Sjögrens syndrome live their lives without any significant problems. However, a dry mouth means that you are more likely to have dental problems, such as tooth decay and infection. Dry eyes can also place you at risk for eye infections.

    If you have secondary Sjögrens syndrome, you may also have problems like joint paint caused by rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

    Rarely, people with Sjögrens syndrome develop these complications:

    • Abnormal liver or kidney function.
    • Lymphomas .
    • Lung problems that may be mistaken for pneumonia.
    • Neurological problems that cause weakness or numbness.

    Ra And Thyroid Dysfunction


    One final way rheumatoid arthritis might be connected to hair loss is through a concurrent thyroid disorder. Some RA patients develop thyroid dysfunctions, which are also caused by underlying autoimmune dysfunction. These autoimmune thyroid diseases seem to most often manifest in an underactive thyroid , but both overactive and underactive thyroid glands can lead to hair loss.

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    What Is The Best Supplement For Female Hair Loss

    The 5 Best Vitamins for Hair Loss Prevention, Based on ResearchBiotin. Biotin is important for cells inside your body. Iron. Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen. Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for your gut to absorb iron. Vitamin D. You might already know that vitamin D is important for bones. Zinc.

    Ra Medications Can Also Cause Hair Loss

    The most common types of medication used to treat RA are disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs . These medications control RA by suppressing your immune system.

    Biologics are another class of drugs used to treat RA. They reduce inflammation caused by your immune system by blocking certain cells and the proteins they make.

    Some DMARDs can cause hair loss. Biologics can also cause your hair to thin, although this side effect is rare.

    Read Also: When Is Hair Loss A Concern

    What Causes Sjgrens Syndrome

    Sjögrens syndrome is an autoimmune disease, which means something triggers your immune system to attack healthy cells. This attack damages the tear system in your eyes and the salivary glands in your mouth.

    Exactly what causes this abnormal immune system response is not clear. These factors may play a role:

    • Environmental factors.
    • Sex hormones .
    • Viral infections.

    What Causes Alopecia Areata

    Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Causing Your Hair Loss?

    Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system mistakenly attacks a part of your body.

    When you have alopecia areata, cells in your immune system surround and attack your hair follicles . This attack on a hair follicle causes the attached hair to fall out.

    The more hair follicles that your immune system attacks, the more hair loss you will have.

    Its important to know that while this attack causes hair loss, the attack rarely destroys the hair follicles. This means that your hair can regrow. The less hair loss you have, the more likely it is that your hair will regrow on its own.

    Also Check: How To Know If My Hair Is Thinning

    Hair Loss: Whats Normal Whats Not

    You can tell if youre experiencing out-of-the-ordinary hair loss if youre spotting strands of hair in places you normally wouldnt.

    When Im asking about hair loss that might be pathologic, I say, When you wake up in the morning, do you notice hair on your pillow? says Dr. Blazer. We all lose hair in the shower, or when we brush and comb. Its really when youre noticing hair loss where you shouldnt, or patterns of hair loss, like patches.

    Consider whether amount of hair youre shedding is more than usual .

    If what you are experiencing is strikingly different from your normal, it is worth asking your doctor about it, says Carolyn Goh, MD, a dermatologist at UCLA Health Encino. True patches of hair loss or rashes on the scalp along with the hair loss are often signs of more serious hair loss.


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