** This content was written by a DS Laboratories writer and is not intended to be served as medical or treatment advice.
How to Prevent Alopecia Areata Hair Loss
Alopecia areata is an auto-immune disease, which means that it occurs when the immune system mistakes normal body cells with foreign cells such as bacteria and viruses. As the immune system is what protects us from the viruses and bacteria by attacking them, this means that in people suffering from auto-immune diseases the immune system attacks some of the normal body cells causing many issues.
With people suffering from alopecia areata the immune system attacks hair follicles, causing them to reduce and stop producing hair. Alopecia areata causes hair to fall out in patches in different parts of the head and may sometimes go unnoticed. However, if it spreads the patches may connect and create larger bald spots, even loss of hair on the entire head. This is called alopecia totalis. In some cases the hair grows back, but there is a great likelihood that it will fall out again and the extent and frequency of hair loss varies from person to person.
While the causes for alopecia areata are still unknown, some scientists have found a link between alopecia areata and other genetic diseases such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Meaning there are ways in which people can become aware beforehand of the likelihood for them suffering from this disease and moreover people already suffering from it can prompt faster hair regrowth and prevent further hair loss.
How to Prevent it?
Being aware of the link between other auto-immune diseases and alopecia areata is very important so that you know beforehand that you might be affected by it at some point. People usually are not aware of this and when it actually happens, they rush to get the necessary medical treatment. But aside from this, there are also a lot of outside factors that trigger alopecia areata and by working to eliminate them you can help your hair grow out a lot faster and prevent hair loss in the future. Here are some of the most common factors and how to eliminate them to prevent alopecia areata:
1. Stress. Stress is the number one outside factor that may trigger the alopecia areata. With a proper attitude and lifestyle choices, you can effectively manage this factor. Here are some things to consider:
- Try to be more optimistic: Try as hard as you can to have a more positive attitude towards everything that is happening in your life. With some effort and guidance, you can learn how to find a silver lining in every situation. This will significantly reduce the stress in your life and you will feel better and happier as well. You will learn how to accept things that you cannot change without the burden stress puts on your shoulders.
- Don’t be afraid to seek medical help: Doctors are not there for physical ailments only. If you are feeling overwhelmed and you cannot cope with all the stress by yourself, seek professional counselling.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is not something that should be easily taken for granted as many people do. Getting enough hours of sleep during the night is essential for us to feel rested, fresh and have a clear head. People that don’t get enough sleep are irritable and easily stressed and on the long run this may cause many other issues as well.
- Have proper rest: Many people have very exhausting jobs, both physically and mentally. While they think that doing certain activities such as watching movies, reading books or magazines or simply playing games helps them unwind, they should also know that these activities also strain our minds additionally. It is very important to rest properly in a manner that includes little to no information processing. Meditating is considered the best way to achieve this.
2. Improper diet. This goes without saying, and we cannot stress enough the importance of a healthy and balanced diet, not only for hair loss but for general health as well. When the body is malnourished, it is much harder for the follicles to bounce back after an episode of hair loss and produce new hair. Poor diet is also linked to lack of energy which also makes it more difficult to coping with stress as well.
- Use dietary supplements: The sad truth of our time is that the food we consume on a daily basis is not as rich in nutrients as it used to be. Also, we are normally not using that much of a variety when it comes to foods and oftentimes rotate between the same meals. For people suffering from a certain condition, it is essential that they use dietary supplements to make up for that lack of nutrients in the food, and the same goes for people suffering from alopecia areata.
3. Unhealthy substance intake. This goes hand in hand with the previous factor. High sugar intake, smoking and drinking alcohol cause a lot of inflammation in the body and can trigger an alopecia episode. They are harmful for all people in general and should be avoided, but even more so if you are suffering from alopecia. By preventing the inflammation in the body, you will prevent the likelihood of another episode.
4. Inactive lifestyle. Nowadays, most of the people have desk jobs which puts a great toll on the body and health. This means that they spend most of the day sitting down hunched in front of their computers. And the sad part is, they do not engage in any activities after work. Exercise is essential for the improvement of the overall health and especially important for people suffering from this condition. Exercise triggers the release of happiness hormones is directly connected to battling stress as well.
Not knowing your medication. If you suffer from alopecia areata or have a genetical predisposition of getting it, you need to be aware that some medications you take can trigger hair loss. Always bring this up with your doctor whenever you are prescribed certain medication in order to prevent another hair loss episode.