Thyroid Hormone And Hair Growth
Scientists from Germany carried out a study whose primary objective was to assess the impact of thyroid hormones T3/T4 on human hair follicles. For the purpose of their research, they isolated human anagen hair follicles from the skin of women undergoing facelift procedure. All women were between 40 and 69 years old and their hair follicles were cultured and treated with T3 and T4.
The findings of this study showed that T4 regulates the proliferation of hair matrix keratinocytes. On the other hand, the apoptosis of hair matrix keratinocytes is down-regulated by both T3 and T4. The study also discovered that T4 extends the duration of hair growth phase thanks to the down-regulation of the key anagen inhibitory growth factor called TGF-beta2. Scientists concluded the study explaining that human hair follicles are directly influenced by thyroid hormones T3 and T4.
T3 And T4 Differentially Modulate Intrafollicular Keratin Expression
Next, we assessed TH actions on the intrafollicular protein expression for two cytokeratins with recognized TH-responding elements , namely human CK14 and CK6. Interestingly, CK6 IR is significantly increased after treatment with 1 pm T3 and 10 nm T4 and 1 m T4 , whereas quantitative immunohistomorphometry for CK14 IR showed its expression to be decreased in all TH-treated groups .
T3 and T4 modulate CK14 and CK6 expression. AC and H, CK6 expression is significantly altered by T4 as well as by T3: A, control B, T3 1 pm C, T4 10 nm. DG, T3 and T4 down-regulate CK14 significantly: D, control E, T3 100 pm F, T4 10 nm. *, P 0.05 ***, P 0.001 . Scale bars, 50 m. HS, Hair shaft IRS, inner root sheath ORS, outer root sheath. Reference area is indicated by rectangles.
What Are Other Causes Of Hair Loss
Be sure to raise any hair loss concerns or questions with your doctor, and to look into your family history as well, as it may provide clues and a path toward a solution. Hair loss can also be caused by:
- Inherited male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Hair damage from overstyling or products
- Fungal issues, like ringworm
- Too little protein or iron in the diet
- Trauma to the body
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Your Thyroid May Be Causing Your Hair Loss: Here’s How
If youâre seeing more hair than ever before stuck in the drain or your hairbrush, you may begin to worry that youâre losing your hair. Hypothyroidism is a fairly common cause of hair loss, and hypothyroidism-related hair loss can also be reversible.
âA blood test to rule out thyroid abnormalities should always be a part of the diagnosis for hair loss due to medical conditions,â Abraham Armani, MD, a hair-restoration surgeon and hair loss specialist in Dallas, Texas, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is normal to lose 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. If your hair is thick or long, a few dozen strands might look like a large clump, even if the number of hairs youâre losing is completely normal. But what if you are losing your hair?
When To Contact Your Doctor
If youve checked off signs and are not feeling yourself, discuss this with your primary care doctor. These signs dont necessarily mean that you have thyroid disease. By asking you about your symptoms, your doctor can decide whether you need a blood test to check for thyroid disease.
Have a skin, hair, or nail problem?
Discover the benefits of seeing a dermatologist.
ImagesImage 1: Getty ImagesImages 2, 3, 4: Used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Jun 48:970-2.
ReferencesAi J, Leonhardt JM, et al. Autoimmune thyroid diseases: etiology, pathogenesis, and dermatologic manifestations. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 48:641-59.
Anderson CK, Miller OF. Triad of exophthalmos, pretibial myxedema, and acropachy in a patient with Graves disease. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 48:970-2.
Bae JM, Lee JH, et al. Vitiligo and overt thyroid diseases: A nationwide population-based study in Korea. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 76:871-8.
Callen JP. Dermatologic manifestations in patients with systemic disease. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008: 681-2.
Kalus AA, Chien AJ, et al. Diabetes mellitus and other endocrine diseases. In Wolff K et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill, China, 2008:1470-4.
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Can Thyroid Problems Cause Hair Loss
Severe and prolonged hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause loss of hair. The loss is diffuse and involves the entire scalp rather than discrete areas. The hair appears uniformly sparse. Regrowth is usual with successful treatment of the thyroid disorder, though it will take several months and may be incomplete.
Your Guide To Thyroid Medication
Optimizing your thyroid levels with thyroid hormone replacement medication is usually the first step in minimizing symptoms.
Eat a healthful diet
The more dietary stress you put on yourself, the more likely you are to experience inflammation that can interfere with your thyroid function. Eat a healthy diet of nutrient-rich foods and limit processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol to support your hair, skin, and nails from the inside. Peptides and lipids are natural oils important to healthy hair, skin, and nails. They are available in eggs, nuts, and avocados.
Antioxidants can also provide your skin with a lift when eaten in addition to being applied topically. Anti-inflammatory foods like ginger and turmeric may support your endocrine system to give the proper growth cues to your glands.
Consider vitamins or mineral supplements
Supplements that can help with new cell growth and fortifying your hair, skin, and nails may include collagen, antioxidants, biotin, and calcium. We recommend you discuss any supplements with your doctor before beginning a new regimen.
Keep in mind that if you take a supplement that contains biotin, it can interfere with some thyroid lab results, so check with your lab to ask if you should avoid taking biotin before testing your thyroid.
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What Is The Link Between Thyroid And Hair Loss
Skin is the most extensive tissue of your body, making it one of the crucial targets for thyroid hormones. Hair follicles are skin appendages that can periodically and stereotypically undergo cycles of physiological regeneration.
The hair follicles ability to renew is due to stem cells presence at the hair follicles bulges. Stem cells are responsible for hair cycling and contribute to the regeneration of tissues after wounding.
Thyroxine hormone signaling is a significant regulator of the mobilization of stem cells in the hair bulge. Thyroid disease decreases the metabolic rate of bulge stem cells resulting in hair loss.
When Does Hair Loss Occur
Hair loss due to thyroid problems doesnt occur overnight. In most cases, hair loss becomes apparent several months after a patient develops the condition. Diagnosing both hyper- and hypothyroidism can be quite difficult because we tend to assume symptoms we experience are related to something else. That is why hair loss is one of the most important telltale signs that point out to thyroid problems.
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What Are The Best Thyroid Medications For Hair Loss
Not all brands of thyroid medications work the same. Some are filled with too many fillers to cut down the cost production but is what make the product less superior. On the other hand, best thyroid medications are those that have potent and proven ingredients that heal thyroid symptoms including hair loss issues. To help you segregate the best thyroid medications from what is not, heres a list of the best thyroid medications out on the market. This list has the best thyroid medications for those who are suffering hair loss relating to hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
- 1 Body Thyroid Support
- Dr. Westin Childs Thyroid Hair Regrowth Complex
- Our rating
- Zhou Nutrition Thyroid Support with Iodine
- Our rating
- LIG Health Care Thyroid Balance
- Our rating
Tips For Healthy Hair While Waiting For Regrowth
- Eat a nutrient rich thyroid-friendly diet with foods like eggs, spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, seeds, and nuts.
- Integrate omega-3 fatty acids. Eat wild-caught fish or add flaxseeds to your smoothie or salads.
- Consider taking thyroid support supplements to maintain optimal nutrient status if you’re not getting enough through diet.
- Use hot tools sparingly. Heat-style rapidly dries out your hair.
- Brush gently with a soft bristle brush made from natural materials. Avoid fine-tooth combs or brushes as they can pull or damage strands.
- Wear your hair loose! Braiding can pull on already frail hair.
Be sure to ask your healthcare team for further tips on minimizing hair loss and ways to feel your best while dealing with this discouraging symptom.
Paloma Health is an online medical practice focused exclusively on hypothyroidism. We treat only hypothyroid patients and can help with any hair loss issues.
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Who Should Be Tested
If you think you have symptoms of a thyroid problem, ask your doctor if you should be tested. People with symptoms or risk factors may need tests more often. Hypothyroidism more frequently affects women over age 60. Hyperthyroidism is also more common in women. A family history raises your risk of either disorder.
Dealing With Hair Loss Related To Hashimoto’s & Thyroiditis Hair Loss
What if you have hair loss related to Hashimoto’s or thyroiditis?
Does this change how you deal with or treat your issue?
The answer is… not really, and here’s why.
It turns out that most patients in the United States who have hypothyroidism suffer from this condition as a result of Hashimoto’s.
In fact, it is estimated that up to 90% of patients with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as the underlying cause.
So, patients with thyroiditis have all of the usual problems that most hypothyroid patients have, plus they have a few extra from the autoimmune and genetic aspect of Hashimoto’s which can complicate the hair loss picture.
What does that mean for you?
It means if you have Hashimoto’s you still need to look at all of the “usual suspects” including:
- Iron and ferritin levels
- PLUS: Sensitivity to hair and makeup products
Those who have Hashimoto’s will know that they are often very sensitive to inactive ingredients which include dyes and fillers in all products ranging from supplements to shampoos and conditioners.
In addition to all of the recommendations above, you will want to make sure that you also ditch out low-quality hair products which you may be reacting to.
These products can damage what little hair you have left and some of the chemicals may be absorbed transdermally .
And last of all, you may need to look into genetic causes of hair loss which may be caused due to your genes .
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Things That Stopped My Thyroid Hair Loss
You will NOT take my hair.
I always had very thick, long, curly hair. Around the age of 30 I started noticing my hair clogging the shower drain from time to time. However since I still had so much hair, it wasnt high on my personal list of worst hypothyroidism symptoms.
Then all of a sudden one close look in the mirror when I turned 42 years old changed all that.
As I was brushing my hair something caught my eye in the mirror.
Waitis that my scalp showing through?
A closer look.
My hair was noticeably thinner on both sides of my head above my ears, front, and at the temples.
My gut reaction was a scream, then tears.
What happened to my hair?
Hey Thyroid, Do NOT mess with me.
I cut off all my long hair, literally into a short pixie cut. I couldnt stand to watch the mounds of hair falling off my head.
I went into deep research mode, searching for every article and published study that I could find. I turned myself into a human guinea pig trying every supplement that I found connected to hair loss discovering a few that worked and too many that didnt.
I saved my hair. And you can too.
How To Stop Hair Loss Due To Thyroid
The first step to control thyroid hair loss is to treat your thyroid problem itself. You can stop thyroid-related hair loss with the balance of fundamental bio-elements in your body. Ayurveda classifies your body constitution into three doshas.
1. Vata Dosha
2. Pitta Dosha
3. Kapha Dosha
Pitta, the dominant fire element, is energy that directs digestion and enhances metabolism. Agni, the fire principle, or cellular intelligence leads to the body’s physiological and psychological processes. It includes cellular metabolism and the regulation of hormones at the level of neurons.
The objective of Ayurvedic treatments is to address the root of your problem by decreasing inflammation and regulating the immune system. Coating of Kapha dosha and fat tissue prevents Agni at the cellular level, leading to the malfunction of the thyroid gland. The treatment aims to remove the layer and enhance the work of Agni in metabolism.
Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, Hypothyroidism is predominantly a Kapha Vata disorder. The increased dampness of Kapha and the drying action of Vata over this Kapha plugs the channels, affecting the natural flow of hormones and metabolism. To put it simply, diet and lifestyle that is Kapha Vata-reducing, helps.
Put a stop to your hair loss while trying to balance your thyroid hormones in four possible ways:
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What If You Have Thyroid Hair Loss
Because the hair growth cycle IS months long it is easy to misinterpret the cause of hair loss which may actually appear several months after the initial cause. This can lead to people wrongly blaming their thyroid medication rather than the medical condition. Unfortunately if they then stop the medication the hair loss will become more significant.
It is very rare indeed for anti-thyroid drugs or treatment to cause hair loss.
In most cases, loss of scalp or eyebrow hair is temporary but regrowth can take several months whilst the medication normalises the cycle of regrowth. When it does grow back it is possible that it may be different in both texture and colour.
The loss of hair can obviously be extremely traumatic, but the key is to be patient and not to be taken in by miracle cures. You can also do several things to help you get through this most challenging time
- Join a local alopecia support group
- Or find help via an alopecia forum of the Facebook Group @AlopeciaUK
- You might want to consider a wig or a medical tattoo to restore your eyebrows
- Do listen to tips from qualified hairdressers
- Dont stress your hair – avoid straighteners and use wide tooth combs
- Check out product guidelines from the British Association of Dermatologists
- Eat a healthy diet and make sure it is rich with calcium and iron.
I hope this has been helpful.
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