There could be numerous reason for Hair loss problems, and even though hair loss occurring as a result of heredity is more frequent, it can also be triggered by any sort of illness and disease.
Auto-immune diseases can have a particularly profound effect on your body, causing not just problems in the system but hair loss too.
Here is a look at what are auto-immune diseases and some of those can cause hair loss in you.
What is an Autoimmune Disease?
For starters, let us tell you that an autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body itself.
This is just the reverse of what the immune system is supposed to do - to guards against germs like bacteria and viruses. When it senses any of these foreign invaders, it sends out an army of fighter cells to attack them and protect the system.
Usually, the immune system can spot the difference between foreign cells and your cells.
If you are suffering from any autoimmune disease, your immune system mistakes part of your body, like your joints or skin, as foreign invaders. It will then release proteins called autoantibodies that attack healthy cells.
What are the causes of the autoimmune disorder?
Your blood cells in the body's immune system help safeguard against harmful substances. Some of the examples include bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, and blood and tissue from the outside of your body. These substances include antigens. The immune system will then produce antibodies against these antigens that enable it to destroy these harmful and dangerous substances.
As mentioned above, when you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system is not able to distinguish between healthy tissue and potentially harmful antigens. As a result, your body sets off a reaction that harms or destroys normal tissues present.
Although the exact reason for autoimmune disorders is still unknown, one theory claims that some microorganisms (such as bacteria or viruses) or drugs may trigger changes that confuse the immune system. This might occur more often in people who have genes that make them more prone to autoimmune disorders.
An autoimmune disorder may result in:
- Destruction of any body tissue
- Abnormal growth of an organ in the body
- Changes in the organ’s function
An autoimmune disorder might affect one or more organ or tissue types.
Areas often affected by autoimmune disorders include:
- Blood vessels
- Connective tissues
- Endocrine glands such as the thyroid or pancreas
- Red blood cells
What are the symptoms of Low Immunity?
The most commonly observed signs and symptoms of an impaired or inadequately working immune system are:
- Chronic and frequent infections are the most common symptoms of all. Any fungal and bacterial infections, allergic reactions to almost anything, and benign growths in the body are a sign of low immunity disorder. If you are suffering from a recurrent infection, it is a vital sign that you have a weak immune system since your body fails to recognize this recurring infection and stop it effectively.
- Constant fatigue, lethargy, and tiredness indicate low immunity.
- Insomnia, depression, and dark circles under your eyes also signify that one might be suffering from a weakened immune system.
Autoimmune Disease and Hair Loss
An autoimmune disorder, Alopecia Areata is caused by an autoimmune reaction in your body. Our immune system often becomes confused and mistakenly attacks its system instead of protecting it. It is a common sign of autoimmune diseases, where your hair follicles are pointed, causing your hair to fall out.
A signal is sent to white blood cells by the immune system to attack healthy hair follicle cells (an autoimmune response), thus causing them to shrink and resulting in the hair to fall out. In the case of Alopecia areata, it has been considered an autoimmune disease due to its abnormal T cell response against the hair follicle self-antigens. The reaction can be seen on the scalp or other parts of the body and range from small patches to complete loss.
Many different systems and organs in the body in lupus, which creates a wide range of symptoms. Common symptoms of lupus include:
- Painful joints
- Abnormal blood clotting,
- Hair loss
Since these symptoms are also common in many different disorders, lupus is often known as the “great imitator,” according to the Lupus Foundation, which makes it difficult to obtain a definite diagnosis
Hashimoto’s disease is also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. In such a situation our immune system cells attacking the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland is known to be the cause for regulating several activities within the body and damage to it can cause widespread symptoms and signs. Inflammation is caused when it is attacked, which impairs its ability to work properly, causing an underactive thyroid gland.
Hashimoto’s disease has a slow progression in the starting producing fewer symptoms, but as the level of thyroid hormones in the blood starts decreasing, problems start to become identifiable. Sluggishness and fatigue are the first symptoms that you will typically notice, and then sensitivity to the cold, unexplained increase in weight, a puffy face, muscle aches and a hoarse voice occur, in addition to the loss of hair.
Graves Disease is another disorder that causes a disturbance in the thyroid. With this disease, antibodies often bind to the surface of thyroid cells, which stimulates them and overproduce thyroid hormones and resulting in an overactive thyroid which is known as hyperthyroidism. It can also affect the production of new hair on your scalp and sometimes elsewhere on your body. Anti-thyroid medicines like propylthiouracil and methimazole, which interfere with thyroid hormone production issues, can be used for treating Graves' disease.
Psoriasis Skin Disease
Psoriasis is a skin condition, which most often occurs on the elbows, knees, and knuckles and can also occur on the scalp.
Psoriasis is a disease that is linked with scaly dry patches and red marks on your skin. This disease has affected many people worldwide. People suffering from psoriasis normally have skin cells that grow at an abnormally fast rate. This can also cause lesions to build-up.
Psoriasis disease itself does not cause substantial hair loss. However, if you don’t treat it on time, it can severely affect your scalp that can further cause temporary hair loss.
Crohn's Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Patients who are suffering from one autoimmune disease are also at an increased risk of developing another, like Chron's disease which is an inflammatory bowel condition. It can cause further hair loss. Treatments for Crohn's Disease might involve medications, surgery, and a nutritional diet to control inflammation, correct nutritional problems, and reduce its symptoms.
When to see a doctor?
You must see a doctor if you have symptoms of an autoimmune disease. You might need to visit a health specialist, depending on the type of disease you have.
- Rheumatologists look into the matter of joint diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis as well as other autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome and SLE.
- Gastroenterologists treat diseases of your GI tract, like celiac and Crohn’s disease.
- Endocrinologists treat severe conditions of the glands, including Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and Addison’s disease.
- Dermatologists treat several skin conditions, like psoriasis.
How to strengthen the immune system?
We have mentioned a few basic tips that would help you to boost your immunity and thereby your hair’s health:
Proper and Balanced Diet:
You must eat a well-balanced and healthy diet. It is advised to Include more fruits and green leafy vegetables in your diet to boost up your immunity and health of hair.
Taking a proper Sleep:
Getting enough sleep is very much important for maintaining the normal functions of the body. Adults should sleep for 7-8 hours at night is adequate to function properly.
Emotional and Physical stress is one of the main causes of hair problems. You should learn to manage stress by doing yoga and meditation regularly. This will boost your immune system and will also improve your hair’s health.
Continuous Exercise Schedule:
Exercising regularly improves blood circulation to all parts of the body. This also helps to improve hair health and texture. Therefore, exercising regularly not only keeps our body healthy and fresh but also improves immunity.
Drink Enough Water:
Water is considered the god of all! It helps to detoxify your blood. Drinking atleast 10-12 glasses of water is essential for maintaining overall health and to detoxify your body and for maintaining a healthy immune system.
Several natural remedies are found to be effective in boosting your immune system and maintaining hair health. You can try the natural remedies mentioned below to boost up your immune system:
Honey contains many vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants which helps to boost up your immune system naturally. You can add up one teaspoon of organic honey to a glass of lukewarm water and drink the same twice a day.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent source of detoxifying your body and maintains beauty and health. It also provides lustre to your hair and brings a natural shine and glow.
Tulsi (Holy Basil):
Tulsi or the holy basil has been used traditionally due to its vast health benefits. It helps us to boost our immune system and also improves overall body health.
Organic coconut oil is also quite helpful in maintaining your hair and skin health. It keeps the skin moisturized and also increases the strength of our hair strands. It is said and often believed that they possess ant-microbial properties. You can apply coconut oil to your scalp and skin to rehydrate and nourish naturally.
Ashwagandha was one of the staples of traditional Indian medicine. It is a herb which is being used by people for generations. It is considered one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda. It is commonly referred to as ‘Indian ginseng’ or ‘Indian winter cherry’.
It was named ashwagandha because ‘ash was means horse and this herb provides horse-like strength. Back then when no other medicine was introduced people used to rely on these types of natural herbs only. Ashwagandha was a very powerful herb as its small dose can provide a lot of strength and virility. Various parts of this plant are used for different purposes but the roots are used the most. It is also considered a natural immunity booster.
As we mentioned above, Ashwagandha is the king of Ayurvedic herbs. Ashwagandha tablets function admirably for diminishing pressure and uneasiness. It might also improve strength, performance, and increment testosterone levels. Ashwagandha tablets can also function well as a testosterone booster for men. You can take one Ashwagandha tablet in the morning, which makes sure that you have an energy-filled day. You can take another Ashwagandha tablet with a glass of milk just before going to bed.
Yes, a low immune system can cause hair loss issues. If you want to boost your immunity, you must follow the steps mentioned above
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