Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system attacks the joints, causing pain, chronic inflammation, and reduced joint mobility. In some people, treatment options for Rheumatoid arthritis can cause hair loss. But why is there a link between Rheumatoid arthritis autoimmune disorders and hair loss? Find out through the article below.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes multiple cytokines (messenger molecules in the body), chemokines, and metalloproteases. An inflammatory arthritis illness leads to pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints, primarily the hands, back, feet, and knees. The body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, causing pain, inflammation, and reduced joint mobility. In some people, chronic disease activity can also lead to hair loss. Although rheumatoid arthritis (RA) mainly affects the joints, it is a systemic disease affecting the entire body. Prolonged inflammation can damage many systems and organs in the body.
Autoimmune disorders of the body cause health risks. Inflammation also occurs in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, eyes, heart, blood vessels, skin, and nerves, but it is pretty rare. Rheumatoid arthritis can interfere with your daily activities, such as writing, opening bottles, dressing, and carrying objects. Arthritis of the ankle, knee or foot joints can make it difficult to walk and bend over. RA Patients typically use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) when needed for pain relief, but NSAIDs should be used to reduce side effects at the lowest possible dose.
If RA is diagnosed, additional tests will help detect complications and undesirable abnormalities. A complete blood count with specific cells lines should be tested. Persistent anemia (or mild hypochromic) – normal red blood cell anemia occurs in 80% of patients; Hb is usually > 10 g/dL. If Hb is ≤ ten g/dL, iron deficiency, such placement, or other causes of anemia should be investigated.
This article looks at the link between RA and hair loss and offers advice for those seeking health treatment plans for this chronic condition, including drugs, physical measures, and sometimes surgery.
When your immune system assaults the synovial bursa — the membrane that protects your joints – you get rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammation occurs as a result, which can eventually damage the cartilage and bone within the joint. Furthermore, the tendons and ligaments that connect the joints are strained and weakened, causing the joints to distort and lose alignment.
Scientists, academic research institutions, or even Peer-reviewed studies experts are still baffled as to what triggers this immunological disease. On the other hand, genetics may have a role since some genes, although not directly causing the disease, might make you more sensitive to environmental factors like infection with specific bacteria or viruses. As a result, the start of this health risk may be triggered.
Complications Of RA
The common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are primarily joint pain and stiffness, which are worst in the morning after waking up or sitting motionless for long. Arthritis usually gets better with movement. Other symptoms include: burning or itchy eyes, fatigue, boils in the legs, loss of appetite, tingling and numbness, shortness of breath, skin nodules, weakness, and high fever. Joints may become red, swollen, hot, tender, and deformed.
By the first six years, especially the first year, the illness develops rapidly; 80 percent of RA patients have irreversible joint impairment within ten years.
Does RA Cause Hair Loss?
As a symptom of the condition, some rare cases of patients with RA may have medication-related hair loss due to their drug. Experience hair loss may also occur as a side effect of RA medications for some. Hair falling with either of the following particular drugs, on the other hand, is uncommon.
Methotrexate is the disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARDs) that doctors commonly prescribe for RA. Methotrexate is the most customarily endorsed antirheumatic drug for rheumatoid arthritis medications but can cause hair loss in around 1 to 3% of patients taking it. Methotrexate works by preventing inflammatory cells from developing, and along these lines, conceivably preventing hair follicles from forming during the hair growth process. When hair follicles are harmed, the normal hair growth cycle is upset, at last, promoting hair loss. Methotrexate additionally drains the B complex vitamin folate in the body, which advances healthy hair.
Much of the time, this side effect is just brief, and your hair will develop back once you change your portion or stop taking it. Be that as it may, now and again, the medication can make you go uncovered, prompting permanent hair loss. You can talk to your doctor or rheumatologist immediately to study this side effect of the treatment. If the hair loss causes you to feel irksome and stressed, you ought to go to the dermatology experts for direct assessment, a precise analysis from which appropriate cures are accessible, totally don’t self-cure. Stop taking the medication without the consent of the treating specialist since it very well might be hindering your health condition.
Leflunomide is another disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARDs) that numerous individuals use in a mix with or rather than methotrexate. About 10% of individuals experience hair loss from taking this sort of rheumatoid arthritis medication.
Biologic medications are a gathering of hereditarily designed treatments got from living cells. This treatment explicitly focuses on the pieces of the immune response that trigger irritation.
Etanercept and adalimumab are two groups of biological drugs that can cause hair loss.
Scientists don’t have a clue why. Some have recommended that biologics could upset the equilibrium of a protein that permits cells to convey and assumes a part in hair follicle recovery.
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 doesn’t list hair loss as a possible side effect, including:
- mycophenolate mofetil
- hydroxychloroquine sulfate
Treating Hair Loss
People who experience hair loss tend to lose only a tiny amount of hair. Hair appears to be thinning in more places than falling out in patches. However, people with hereditary pattern baldness may have a higher risk of specific RA medications trigger or accelerate this type of hair loss.
As a result, men may experience permanent male pattern baldness along the hairline or on the top of the head. Women may experience permanent female pattern baldness on the front and top of the scalp.
However, you can still treat RA-related hair loss with the following measures.
Folic acid and biotin supplements may help those receiving methotrexate or leflunomide. These B vitamins can aid in the prevention of hair loss.
Folic acid may also assist in alleviating some of the other methotrexate adverse effects. Headaches, shortness of breath, and tiredness are among them.
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Other tricks that can help you to minimize hair loss are:
- When shampooing your hair, avoid touching your scalp.
- Brush your hair only when required, such as when styling or detangling it, after you’ve bathed it.
- Let hair dry naturally.
- When combing or combing your hair, avoid tugging or pulling it.
- To get rid of knotted hair, use a hydrating oil.
- Hairstyles that tug on your hair should be avoided.
- Avoid overworking
You can even resort to hair extensions to give your hair a healthy and glowy look.
Hair loss is uncommon in RA, although it can occur as symptoms or other possible side effects of RA medicines. Hair can come back when a person quits using the medication in most circumstances, and patchy hair loss is rare.
If you are experiencing hair loss, it’s not a big deal, so please adhere to strict sourcing guidelines. Don’t stop taking your prescription until your doctor tells you to, especially if you have a severe underlying medical condition. The doctor can provide medical advice and, if required, send the patient to a dermatologist or a hair loss expert for tertiary references.
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