MS and hair loss are associated in a number of cases. Those patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis and hair loss might have a hard time figuring out what the cause of their hair loss is because this information is not always apparent.
Can Multiple Sclerosis Cause Hair Loss?
One of the causes of multiple sclerosis hair loss is the use of interferons to treat some of the symptoms of the disease. The impact of the interferons is not instantaneous. Some patients use interferons for an extended period of time before they notice that their hair is thinner than it once was. That is when it will occur to them that they are experiencing hair loss. If they are lucky, they will be able to quickly make the connection between the interferons and the hair loss. If not, they might take a long time to make the connection or they might never make it.
Interferons can make the hair more vulnerable to breaking by changing its texture. Thus, any efforts to comb or brush the hair might break it. Even the fabric out of which a pillow case is made might increase the likelihood of hair breakage. Interferons can also trigger alopecia, which is the form of hair loss that occurs when hair drops out of the follicles spontaneously. This happens among some MS patients who have used these drugs for more than 3 months. Fortunately, this kind of hair loss does not have to be permanent. Discontinuing the medication upon a doctor’s recommendation allows the hair to start to grow back after some time. Occasionally, some patients grow back the lost hair even when they are still on the interferons. In these cases, patients are fortunate that MS and hair loss do not have to be permanently associated.
Interferons are not the only possible cause of hair loss. Multiple sclerosis and hair loss coincide in some patients when they suffer from tremendous amounts of stress. Other MS patients experience hair loss because of thyroid disease, which may or may not be associated with the progression of their multiple sclerosis. The connections between thyroid disease and multiple sclerosis have been attested to in some studies. For instance, one study has shown that MS patients have greater than average vulnerability to other autoimmune disorders, including thyroid conditions. Another study has shown that supplementing the body with thyroid hormone during certain phases of MS can help prevent some new damage, and can also facilitate the repair of tissue that is already damaged. Among those MS patients who are suffering from thyroid abnormalities, thyroid hormone supplementation might offer a great solution to their hair loss.