Is Scalp Paresthesias And Hair Loss Related?

Scalp paresthesias is medical terminology for tingling. Everything associated with the medical profession seems to stem from the Latin root meaning of a disease. In this case it is tingling of the head. The big question everyone is asking is if you do encounter these symptoms does this mean you will be losing your hair?

That supposition will be discussed in this article as well as some other causes that scalp paresthesias can actually mean. Hair loss can follow tingling sensations in your head but the following causes can also evolve into scalp paresthesias.

I will go directly into some of the root causes that scalp paresthesias can pertain too.

Diabetes. This is one of the most silent diseases that are affecting millions of Americans each and every year. Basically diabetes happens because of your body unable to cope with the amount of sugar that you take into your body on a daily basis. Most people take in far too much sugar for your body to handle and digest. Because of this over consumption a lot of people end up with a type 2 diabetes symptom which does not require insulin to maintain your sugar level.

So in this particular instance a best bet would be to get a blood test drawn to see if you have any possible connection to diabetes issues.

Alcoholism…This is another disease that has been around our society for a long time. Usually symptoms of this type disease is liver related but scalp paresthesias can certainly be one of them as well. But going back to the matter of identifying alcoholism defining whether or not the need for alcohol becomes a dominant thought is certainly one for issue. If alcohol is needed and not wanted in situations in order to get through the day or to calm the nerves may certainly be the culprit in scalp paresthesias. If it is determined that alcohol is a significant factor then there are a lot of forums and help groups all around the country to help people afflicted with this disease.

Multiple Sclerosis…This disease is fore fronted by the scalp paresthesias flavors of itching, numbness, and tingling. Multiple sclerosis is a nerve or spinal cord affliction that can attack random parts of your body. One of those parts is your head and can cause the hair loss.

People afflicted with multiple sclerosis can be affected from minor inconveniences to complete paralysis. This disease is still under quite a lot of research and there are dedicated researchers still trying to find a cure and to relieve the millions of people that have it.

So to answer the question on whether or not scalp paresthesias and hair loss are related depends if you can eliminate some of the causes that was mentioned in this article. Hair loss occurs for many different reasons but you must make sure that you are leading a somewhat healthy lifestyle to eliminate other issues which may be hiding in identifying the root cause of your hair loss.

Autoimmune Disorders, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Autoimmune Disorders

Our environment contains literally thousands of pathogenic microorganisms such as: viruses, fungi, parasites and bacteria. Normally our body defense system can protect us from these by means of our immune response, but in the modern world, more and more often our systems get out of balance resulting in a malfunction of the system so that our bodies react to our own normal tissues as if they are unwanted invaders. As well we can be subjected to outside stimuli which can inappropriately trigger our immune system.

This inappropriate reaction is known as an autoimmune disorder where our defense system actually becomes destructive rather than protective. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders.

Organs and tissues commonly affected by autoimmune disorders include: red blood cells, blood vessels, connective tissues, endocrine glands such as the thyroid or pancreas, muscles, joints and skin.

Autoimmune conditions

Some of the most common autoimmune diseases include: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus Erythematosus, Aids, Type 1 Diabetes, Guillain Barre syndrome, Celiac disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Sjogrens syndrome, Poriasis, Inflammatory bowel disease and Addisons disease. Asthma and Crohns disease also result from an over reaction of the immune system.

Cause of Autoimmune diseases.

The causes of autoimmunity are not well understood although it is known that there is some genetic factor involved. Other factors include; hormonal influences and environmental stimuli such as sun exposure, infections, pregnancy or drugs.

Diagnosis of Autoimmune Disorders.

Symptoms of autoimmune disorders can come and go and may not follow a clear pattern therefore a diagnosis needs to include family history, laboratory tests for antibodies, radiographs and a physical examination. Approximately 75% of patients are female and they are often affected during their child bearing years.

Treatment of Autoimmune Disorders

There is no real cure so generally treatment focuses on relieving symptoms.

Immunosuppressant drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers and natural therapies are used. Recent research shows clearly that a disturbance in the body’s Redox homeostasis ( balance) plays a significant part I autoimmune disorders. In fact Redox signaling plays a key regulatory role in the adaptive immune system. Hence supplementation with Redox signaling molecules may well have a profound effect on some of these conditions.

If the autoimmune disorder affects the blood, transfusions may be required.In the case of AIDS, infected T cells a component of the immune system are cleared to prevent the spread of HIV. Unfortunately this results in the progressive destruction of the immune system itself. In severe combined immunodeficiency, lack of an enzyme means that toxic waste builds up inside immune system cells, killing them and thus devastating the immune system.

Revolutionary Treatment Gives Hope For the Chronically Ill

Low dose naltrexone has recently garnered attention as a possible treatment for autoimmune diseases, neurological conditions, cancer and some other illnesses. Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist, which means that it blocks opioid receptors in the brain and thus eliminates the feeling of pleasure caused by e.g. drinking alcohol, because our endogenous opioids (endorphins) cannot bind to the receptors. But when used in very small doses (less than 1/10 of the normal dose) naltrexone can be used to stimulate the release of endorphins.

History

Low dose naltrexone was pioneered by the neurologist Bernard Bihari in the early 1980s, when he was studying medications used for drug and alcohol withdrawal. He noticed that very small doses of naltrexone (initially 3 mg) taken at bedtime only blocked the opioid receptors transiently, which stimulated the body to produce more of its endogenous opioids and produced no significant side effects.

Bihari tried LDN as a treatment for HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis, two conditions that have been shown to be associated with low levels of beta endorphin, one of the most important endogenous opioids. In some of his AIDS patients the blood levels of beta endorphin as much as tripled when using low dose naltrexone.

Patients also experienced marked clinical improvement. The MS symptoms (especially fatigue) were relieved and the illness progression seemed to halt. Most patients never experienced a single MS attack after the initiation of low dose naltrexone. Patients infected with HIV had their viral counts drop radically and their CD4 counts subsequently went up. As a result the rates opportunistic infections and AIDS related malignancies decreased.

Later development

Encouraged by his success Bihari and other doctors began trying LDN for other conditions, such as other autoimmune illnesses and cancer, often with great results. The support from the patient community has been overwhelming. Patients with MS have collected money for clinical trials and there have even been three conferences on LDN and the fourth one is scheduled for October 2008.

A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that 89% of patients with Crohn’s disease were improved on LDN and 67% achieved a full remission. There are clinical trials currently running for multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, autism, fibromyalgia, pancreatic cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (head and neck cancer). A large HIV/AIDS study is also running in Mali, West Africa.

Illnesses that can be treated with LDN

LDN has been successfully used to treat the following conditions:

Autoimmune diseases

  • multiple sclerosis
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE/LED)
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • pemphigoid
  • sarcoidosis
  • scleroderma
  • Crohn’s disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • celiac disease
  • psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
  • Wegener’s granulomatosis
  • transverse myelitis

Cancers

  • bladder cancer
  • breast cancer
  • carcinoid tumor
  • colorectal cancer
  • glioblastoma
  • liver cancer
  • non-small cell lung cancer (NSLC)
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • lymphoma (both Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s)
  • melanoma
  • multiple myeloma
  • neuroblastoma
  • ovarian cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • renal cell carcinoma
  • throat cancer
  • uterine cancer

Other illnesses

  • HIV/AIDS
  • hepatitis C
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/primary lateral sclerosis (PLS)
  • autism
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Behcet’s disease
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, emphysema)
  • endometriosis
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)
  • irritated bowel syndrome (IBS)

LDN may possibly also work for e.g. myasthenia gravis, antiphospholipid syndrome/Hughes syndrome, narcolepsy (a possibly autoimmune condition), interstitial cystitis, chronic Lyme disease/post Lyme syndrome, acne, rosacea, chronic urticaria, dementia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), cluster headaches, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It has been reported to be helpful in insomnia and migraine prevention.

Mode of action

Endorphins are often associated with the pleasant feeling we get from e.g. exercise, but they are more than just that. Beta endorphin and met enkephalin, another opioid peptide produced by the body have profound effects on the immune system. Numerous animal studies have demonstrated that met enkephalin acts as an anti-cancer agent. Beta endorphin levels have shown to be low in HIV/AIDS, many autoimmune conditions and e.g. migraine.

Autoimmune illnesses have been traditionally seen as manifestations of an overactive immune system and are usually treated with immunosuppressants, but more and more data is emerging that suggests that autoimmune conditions may in fact be forms of immunedeficiency, explaining why LDN, an immunostimulant, works for them.

Clinical effects

In most autoimmune diseases the disease progression halts. Symptoms, such as fatigue, pain, muscle weakness and cognitive problems are often alleviated, as well. In degenerative conditions like ALS and Alzheimer’s the illness progression is slowed down. The lipodystrophy caused by antiretroviral (HIV) drugs usually improves significantly.

Bihari reports that a halt in cancer growth occurs in about 50% of the cancer patients he treats. Some of these patients show objective signs of tumor shrinkage. Some patients who have been deemed terminal with little time left are still alive and doing well years later, such as one with pancreatic cancer (one of the deadliest cancers) whose case was published in Integrative Cancer Therapies.

According to Bihari LDN works best for the following cancers: multiple myeloma, Hodgkin’s disease, breast cancer, cancers of the gastrointestinal tract (including the pancreas) and non-small cell lung cancer. That isn’t to say that cancer patients should ditch their existing treatments, but LDN can be combined with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Some patients only undergo surgery or are considered not to benefit from conventional treatment, so they would be good candidates for LDN.

How it is used

LDN is taken every night between 9 PM and 3 AM, as the body produces most of its endorphins during the early morning hours. There are usually no side effects. Some people experience problems with sleeping during the first week. Nausea, feeling “high”, gas and bloating and hunger pangs may occur in the beginning and usually go away in a few days. In patients with MS spasticity may transiently worsen. It may take anywhere between a day and a few months to notice improvement.

LDN can safely be taken with all other medications, foods or supplements, but because it is an opiate antagonist it cannot be combined with any narcotic painkillers (opiates), including tramadol, and taking it with immunosuppressive drugs (like corticosteroids) may cause the drugs to “cancel out” each other’s effects, as LDN is an immunostimulant. The only contraindication is a past organ transplant, because taking an immunostimulant might lead to graft rejection.

Any doctor can prescribe LDN as an “ex tempore” prescription, to be filled by a compounding pharmacy. Some people use foreign pharmacies, as it is legal in most countries to order medications from abroad with a valid prescription. LDN may be formulated as capsules or liquid, but the liquid has to be refrigerated and is less convenient when traveling. It is recommended that calcium carbonate is not used as a filler for tablets.

The recommended dose is 4.5 mg, but some people, especially those who are very slim and those with severe MS, only take 3 mg. Often prescriptions are written for 1.5 mg capsules so that the patient can try taking either two or three at once. LDN is also relatively inexpensive, usually costing between $15 and $40 a month.