Hair Loss in Fibromyalgia and their solutions


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Hair loss is not normally a common symptom of fibromyalgia, yet many of those suffering with fibromyalgia report this as a symptom. Everyone experiences hair loss as it is a natural occurrence and humans typically lose approximately 100 hairs a day, and hair usually falls out when new ones are growing in. The term Telogen is the resting stage of hair growth. The main cause of hair loss in those suffering from fibromyalgia, CFS, or chronic illness is referred to as Tellogen Effluvium. This is when the normal cycle of natural hair growth and subsequent falling out from the hair follicles is thrown out of its normal rhythm due to illness or stress. This condition is reversible but it could take 3-9 months to see hair growth happening.

Hair loss in chronic illnesses has not been widely studied at this point because the many other symptoms of chronic illnesses and fibromyalgia are far more troublesome than hair loss; however, to the person experiencing the loss of their hair, it certainly can be troublesome. Hair loss in chronic illness is temporary but at this time there is not cure or specific treatment. Of course there are other causes of hair loss such as alopecia, alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss in circular patches, hair loss during chemotherapy and hair thinning as we age but this is different that the hair loss experienced by those with fibromyalgia or chronic illness sufferers.

There are many things that can contribute to hair loss and several of these things are found in people who suffer with chronic illness. Some things that may contribute to hair loss includes; major illness, surgery, trauma, pregnancy, menopause, thyroid conditions, scalp infections, pituitary gland disease, certain forms of lupus and physical or emotional shock. Low iron levels or iron deficiency and lack of protein can also contribute to hair loss. Certain medications can also cause hair loss, these include; birth control pills, retinoids, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs such as Motrin or Advil).

In looking at the medications that can cause hair loss, many of those suffering from fibromyalgia, CFS or chronic illness tend to take some of these medications and in looking at some of the possible physical things that may cause hair loss, some of those conditions can overlap in fibromyalgia sufferers such as traumas, thyroid conditions, lupus and emotional or physical shock.

And to “add insult to injury” to those who suffer this symptom, hair loss tends to increase during periods of stress or during a flare of symptoms. At this point it is unclear if fibromyalgia is the cause of hair loss or if the symptoms of fibromyalgia contribute to the hair loss.

No matter the actual cause of the hair loss it can be traumatic for the person experiencing it. Even though there are no specific answers or treatments, thankfully it is temporary and will resolve eventually.However, if you are concerned about it in any way, it’s always a good idea to see your doctor to rule out any other causes.

For support and discussions join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and chronic illness”

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