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Home / Blog / Why does my hair fall out because of a rheumatic disease?

Why does my hair fall out because of a rheumatic disease?

By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2019-10-08

Why does my hair fall out when I have some medical problems, like for example a rheumatic disease? Many people ask these questions if they see their hair falling out, and actually hair falling may be a side effect or a signal of many conditions and disorders in the rest of our body.

We have to understand that hair growth is a continuous process; during its lifespan, each hair enters in three phases - the phase of growth, involution and rest- and at the end, it finally falls out. So, every day we lose an average of 60 to 100 hairs, which is something normal. But if hair starts to fall much more rapidly, and doesn´t grow again, it´s time to consider asking your doctor or even getting a hair transplant with FUE in Turkey.

What is a rheumatic disease?

Rheumatic disease is a serious disease of the immune system. An autoimmune disease is when the cells of the immune system attack and destroy other properly functioning cells of the same body; that is: the body treats the body cells as foreign and therefore attacks them.

In most cases, rheumatic diseases are associated with joint diseases, but they can also involve internal organs, which leads to systemic pathology or even death. That´s why it is so important to react quickly, even to the slightest symptoms: because the disease detected at an early stage will reduce its adverse effects.

A rheumatic disease is difficult to detect. Patients with these type of diseases face severe pain and many limits. The most common autoimmune diseases are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, alopecia areata, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, soft tissue rheumatism and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Does rheumatic diseases depend on gender or age?

Rheumatic disease affects both men and women. In some types of rheumatic diseases, women are more likely to have specific diseases; in others, however, men predominate.

In addition, the occurrence of the disease is not dependent on age. The biggest number of rheumatic diseases patients are elderly. But also young and even children can suffer from these diseases.

What are the reasons behind hair falling in rheumatic diseases?

The human body maintains life processes and tries to eliminate inflammations. Because of this, hair loss can occur in rheumatic diseases. This is because hair is not a necessary product for us, and therefore the body deprives hair of important nutrients, which in turn leads to a shortening of the hair growth phase; the next stage is premature hair entering the resting phase, which in the end causes hair to fall out early.

In general, hair fall in autoimmune diseases is mainly caused by damage to the hair roots. In this situation, the hair roots are treated by the body as foreign, and cells of the immune system attack and destroy them. This hair loss can manifest itself as diffuse hair loss or hair loss with intensely outlined round areas.

Hair falling in rheumatic diseases doesn´t occur only in the scalp, but also in the whole body: this can lead to complete hair loss throughout the body, i.e. universal baldness. An additional hair loss problem can be caused by medications used during rheumatic diseases, as they can affect hair falling out processes.

However, the good news is that if there is inflammation but it is treated effectively, there is a chance that the hair will regrow if hair follicles are not damaged. Unfortunately, due to the fact that inflammation in rheumatism appears in waves, when the inflammation recurs hair loss may also recur. Therefore you always must be vigilant and pay attention to the warning signs sent by your body, because hair loss is present in many rheumatic diseases.

What are the treatments for rheumatic hair loss?

You can never completely get rid of the problem of hair loss in rheumatic disease, because it is an autoimmune disease, so it cannot be cured completely. There can always be a risk of recurrence, and hence of hair falling recurrence.

Because there are many types of rheumatic diseases, so there are also many ways to treat them. When treating rheumatic diseases, it is very important to change the diet. The rheumatologist and the dietician together may decide on a new diet suitable for the disease.

Usually rheumatic diseases are treated with medication. Anti-rheumatism drugs can work in two ways; some of them cause an increase in hair loss, while others counteract. Physiotherapy treatments also have a positive effect on the treatment of rheumatic diseases.

It is very important to provide the body with the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals. In rheumatic diseases, the right amount of these ingredients can reduce the level of hair loss.

Can I prevent hair loss?

Rheumatic diseases are serious illnesses for patients. In addition, if as a consequence of the disease hair loss occurs, patients discomfort increases. Therefore, the negative effects should be prevented from the very beginning of its detection; patients suffering from any rheumatic disease who additionally observe hair loss because of it, should start stimulating hair growth that still has not been damaged.

Another very important aspect is the time when the disease was discovered. The sooner diagnosis occurs, the greater chances of reducing the disease complications, including -of course- hair loss. So, to protect yourself from hair falling out you should react fast, even if you only have seen small changes in your body. If you already have this kind of illness, you can try to protect your hair by using medicines and other kinds of treatments. 

A hair transplant procedure is also a good way to solve your hair loss problem due to rheumatic or autoimmune diseases, but always inform your doctor about your condition, because a hair transplantation is not always the best solution in these cases. And if you have more questions like "why does my hair fall out when I have rheumatism" or any other, feel free to ask us or try our online consultation service... is totally free!!

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