Immune System Related to Hair Loss?

Thin-HairTwo and a half years ago my hair was thinning enough that I was forced to cut it shorter for better appearance. My thyroid has been up and down so I blamed it. Then I began Tecfidera and the hair loss increased significantly. I have quit the different medications I take one at a time to see if they were the cause with no results. With thyroid in check and taking Tecfidera at half dose, I am still losing my hair. Could my hair loss be related to simply having multiple sclerosis? I researched.

The official information on multiple sclerosis does not say hair loss is a symptoms. That said patients are repeatedly asking if their medication could be the cause of their thinning hair. It doesn’t seem to matter which medication. This leads me to believe there is a possibility that the immune system has something to do with the quality and quantity of hair. I continued to research.

The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation lists the symptoms of lupus as including hair loss. Lupus is included on the list of  “Autoimmune Disease That Mimic MS”. So hair loss could be recognized as an symptom many multiple sclerosis patients experience.

Then I found it. Searching immune system and hair I discovered a study that recognized anti-inflammatory drugs caused new hair growth in mice. Researchers believe the results would translate to humans and could lead to “the development of new methods of instigating hair growth.” The National Institute of Health (NIH) also states, “The immunology of the hair follicle, its relationship with the ‘skin immune system’ and its role in hair diseases remain biologically intriguing and clinically important.”

In the end, I am convinced that immune system plays a part in hair growth and thinning. Since multiple sclerosis is also related to the immune system, I believe my premature hair thinning is not only related to my medication but also to the disease itself. “Scientists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre have discovered an unlikely connection between hair loss and our body’s immune system.” They have actually identified a “link between a particular type of immune system cells and the stimulation of skin cells that encourage hair growth.”

Image from: hairweavesstyles.comLearn more by reading: – “Mouse study finds immune system could promote hair growth.” 12-24-14. – “The human hair follicle immune system: cellular composition and immune privilege.” 05-2000. – “Secrets to Curing Hair Loss Might Be Hiding in Our Immune System.” 12-28-14.

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.