Sorry for the gap! I’ve been away from posting for a while because, honestly, my chronic illnesses have been a bit nutso. Surprise, surprise, I have a new diagnosis.
I no longer have simply RA. I now have overlap syndrome with lupus.
We figured that out because I started developing pretty striking photosensitivity. I’ve also had things like mouth sores for a long time, and my hair was falling out. I had a dermatology consultation, and the dermatologist confirmed that my hair loss was what is called telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is pretty common! For me, we are almost certain my lupus caused the telogen effluvium, but for a lot of people it is simply caused by stress. With telogen effluvium, what happens is that more hairs are essentially shifted to the end stage of the hair life cycle. It’s triggered by some kind of stressor, which could be anything from a medication, to a car accident, to… an autoimmune disease! Fun fact: the hair fallout that happens to women postpartum is telogen effluvium! With telogen effluvium, the hair fallout happens 2-4 months after the stressor. So with postpartum hair fallout, it happens several months after the high-stress event of giving birth.
So… what does it all mean? No major changes. We’ve added Plaquenil to more specifically target the lupus side of things and I’ll be adding daily sunscreen to my routine. I’m already on multiple immunosuppressants for my RA, so that’s already helping things!