Why Does A Thyroid Imbalance Cause Thinning Hair
Your hair normally grows in a healthy cyclical pattern with most of the hair follicles growing while only a small number are resting. With a thyroid imbalance, this cycle can be thrown off, resulting in more hair follicles resting than growing and more hair falling out. Hair loss is a very common symptom of a thyroid imbalance.
But thyroid imbalances often arise slowly and remain unnoticed by women and their doctors in the early phases. Even with a lab test, your doctor may say everything is fine with your thyroid, even though you strongly suspect that something is wrong. This is because standard labs have a very wide range for what is normal in terms of thyroid test results.
So how do you know if your hair loss is connected to a thyroid disorder?
Dry Coarse Or Brittle Hair Could Be Due To Thyroid Disease
Hypothyroidism can cause your hair to become dry, coarse, or brittle. In his 2011 research paper “Thyroid Hormone Action on Skin” published in the journal Dermato-Endoctrinology, Joshua D. Safer, MD, listed a series of changes to the hair that can occur as a direct result of a thyroid disorder. “In hypothyroidism, hair can be dry, coarse, brittle and slow growing,” he explains. Conversely, hyperthyroidism can lead to your hair feeling extra soft and fine.
The connection between your hair and your thyroid stems from the interference of thyroid hormones T3 and T4, the experts at Healthline explain. When the levels of these hormones are out of line, it affects the development of new hair at the root of your hair follicles. Usually, these roots are fed by your blood vessels to create more cells and grow your hair. But that process doesn’t go as planned with a thyroid disorder.
Additional Factors That Contribute To Hair Loss
It is definitely the case that many thyroid patients struggle with hair loss but you should also be aware that other factors can contribute.
Often times hair loss is due to a variety of triggers including problems with thyroid function or thyroid medication.
For instance, low thyroid function can lead to nutrient deficiencies such as iron and vitamin b12, both of which are necessary for hair growth.
If you have these nutrient deficiencies then changing up your thyroid medication will help some but it won’t bring your hair back to its previous state.
You won’t see significant improvement until you replace these nutrients while also changing up your thyroid medication.
If you aren’t seeing improvement in your hair growth after changing your thyroid medication then look to these nutrients:
These nutrients are necessary for hair growth and if you don’t have enough of them your hair will not grow even if your thyroid is stimulating your hair follicles.
You can think of these nutrients like the gas in your car and your thyroid like the gas peddle.
You can push down on the gas peddle all you want but if the gas tank is empty then you aren’t going anywhere.
Also Check: What Should I Take To Stop Hair Loss
Treating Thyroid Disease And Hair Loss
The good news is that once you get your thyroid disease diagnosed and the right treatment is prescribed to regulate thyroid hormone levels, the hair loss problem should resolve itself. Healthy hormone levels mean healthy hair growth.
It may take some time to find the right dosage of thyroid hormone to get your thyroid under control. If youre uncomfortable with the look of your hair while treatment is underway, there are options to consider. Wearing a hair piece or wig or getting a new hairstyle can help camouflage hair loss as you wait for the results of thyroid treatment to begin. Ask your doctor if it makes sense to try a topical medication that helps spur hair growth like mixoxidil .
Thyroid disease affects many body functions besides hair growth, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you suspect that a thyroid problem could be the cause of your hair loss. Treatment will improve how you feel as well as how you look.
Thyroid Conditions And Alopecia Areata
Many people with thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism suffer from autoimmune thyroid disease. People affected by autoimmune thyroid disease have a greater risk of developing other autoimmune conditions, such as alopecia areata.Alopecia areata is a type of autoimmune hair loss in which the bodys immune system targets and damages the hair follicles. Hair follicles that are targeted by the immune system can stop producing new hairs, resulting in hair loss.
Hair loss from alopecia areata usually occurs in small, often circular patches, rather than the receding hairline or crown hair loss of male pattern baldness or the diffuse thinning of thyroid hair loss. Some people with alopecia areata develop bands of bald skin, called ophiasis.
In severe cases, alopecia areata can also cause total hair loss on the scalp, as well as loss of hair in the eyebrows, eyelashes and beard area. Some people with alopecia areata may notice that their nails become slightly red, with a weak, rough and brittle texture or may have pitting in their nails.
If you have a thyroid condition and believe youre suffering from alopecia areata, contact your healthcare provider.. Several effective treatments can help you to manage the symptoms of alopecia areata, including corticosteroids.
Medications that stimulate hair growth, such as minoxidil, may also help to promote hair growth in people with alopecia areata.
Don’t Miss: Does Viibryd Cause Hair Loss
D2 And D3 Are Transcribed By Microdissected Human Hfs
In the current study, both T4 and T3 exerted effects on treated HFs. This already suggests that T4 can indeed be transported into human HF cells in organ culture and is here intracellularly deiodinated to T3. To confirm the intrafollicular presence of deiodinases, we finally studied by RT-PCR whether D2 and/or whether D3 are transcribed in human scalp HFs. As shown in , specific mRNA for both D2 and D3 are indeed expressed in microdissected human HFs derived from three different individuals. To test whether T4 deiodination occurs in HF, we measured fT3 in culture supernatant after 48 h T4 treatment . Compared with the vehicle , we observed a significantly higher fT3 level after T4 treatment. This indirect result indicates that D2 may be functionally active. We also asked whether the main regulator of TH synthesis may influence T3 levels in HFs, but we could not detect any significant alteration . Together with the functional data obtained with T4 stimulation listed above, this further supports the concept that human scalp HFs have indeed the enzymatic capacity to transform T4 into T3.
Microdissected human anagen VI HFs express D2 and D3. A, HFs from three different female patients were microdissected and analyzed by RT-PCR. GAPDH served as housekeeping gene. M, DNA standard. B, HFs were treated with T4 or TSH for 48 h. fT3 level was measured by electrochemiluminescent immunoassay in organ culture medium. GAPDH, Glycerinaldehyd-3-phosphate-dehydrogenase.
If Your Hair Feels Like This Get Your Thyroid Checked Experts Warn
The texture could be a sign of an issue with this key gland, according to doctors.
Your thyroid gland is one of the most important parts of how your body functions day to day. It’s responsible for creating and producing hormones that control everything from your metabolism to the health of your heart, bones, and GI system. If things aren’t right, your thyroid can be both over- and underactive, issues an estimated 20 million Americans experience, according to the American Thyroid Association. Unfortunately, women are up to eight times more likely than men to have some kind of thyroid disease.
If your body is creating too much thyroid hormone, you have hyperthyroidism too little and it’s hypothyroidism. The most commonly observed symptoms that come from an overactive thyroid are hypersensitivity to hot temperatures, weight loss, and a racing heart while an underactive thyroid leads to tiredness, weight gain, and a hypersensitivity to cold temperatures. However, the impact of too much or too little thyroid hormone on your body can be felt in many other areas too. If your thyroid isn’t working right, even your hair can feel different, with experts warning that certain changes to your locks may be a sign that something’s amiss. For the full story of how your hair can function as an early warning sign of a thyroid issue, read on.
Read Also: How To Correct Thinning Hair
How Many Of These Signs And Symptoms Do You Have
Dry, pale, and cool skin Moist, velvety, and warm skin like a babys Dry skin with deep cracks and scale Deep, noticeable lines on your palms and soles Yellowish-orange color on your palms and soles Doughy and swollen face, especially on your eyelids, lips, and tongue Widening nose Sweating less than before Goiter Protruding eyes Flushing on your face and red palms Darker skin in the creases of your palms, on your gums, or elsewhere in your mouth Rashes, especially in the creases of your skin Painless lumps and patches of scaly, discolored skin, and the affected skin feels hard and waxy Reddish spots on the skin that come and go
When eyes protrude, its often a sign of thyroid disease.
Painless lumps and patches of scaly skin feel hard and waxy
Lumps on discolored skin that feel hard and waxy can be a sign of thyroid disease.
Thinning eyebrows on the outer edge Coarse, dull, dry, and brittle hair that breaks easily Soft and fine hair with lots of shedding Thinning hair or balding patches Growing more slowly Dry, itchy scalp and dandruff Less hair on your legs, arms, and other areas
Thick, dry, and brittle with visible ridges Soft, shiny, and easily crumble Growing more slowly Peel, crumble, or break easily Lift up Curved with swollen fingertip and thickening skin above the nail
Curved nails with swollen fingertip
Itchy skin without a rash Untreatable and itchy hives
Existing skin disease
Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease
Any type of thyroid disease can cause a number of different symptoms, but they can sometimes be subtle. In addition to hair loss or thinning hair, be aware of these other symptoms:
- Changes in mood, such as anxiety, irritability, and increased nervousness
- Being unable to tolerate hot temperatures or cold temperatures
- Insomnia or lethargy and sleeping too much
- Weight changes either weight loss or weight gain
- Abnormal menstruation
Don’t Miss: Can You Go Bald From Postpartum Hair Loss
Hair Shedding Vs Hair Thinning
While it is normal to drop anywhere up to between 50 and 100 hair strands per day,14 you may occasionally notice more hair than usual in the drain, on the floor, on your clothing and in your brush. Rest assured, there is an explanation for this, too.
This robust exogen phase tends to be short term and is often triggered by intense periods of stress, weight loss, when a woman stops taking birth control pills, as well as because of pregnancy and post-pregnancy, due to hormonal fluctuations.15 This form of hair shedding can normally resolve itself after the body readjusts from a stressor or pregnancy. If the stressor remains, however, the hair loss can last longer.16 If you think youre experiencing hair shedding, and its a concern, be sure to check in with your healthcare provider or a dermatologist to determine the best ways to address it.
Stop Hair Loss Caused By Thyroid Naturally With These 6 Tips
If youre a thyroid patient, you know it can bring with it a whole lot of issues, including hair loss. Thats because thyroid is a condition that occurs when your thyroid gland either doesnt produce enough hormones or produces hormones in large amounts. Some of its major symptoms include fatigue, dry skin, weight gain, constipation, and hair fall.
Remember these symptoms, including hair loss, can be reversed once your thyroid levels come back to normal. But what is the connection between your thyroid hormone and hair loss? And how do you know if thyroid is the cause for your hair loss? Well, we know you have many questions, and were here to answer all of them.
First of all, well tell you how to identify if your hair loss is triggered by thyroid. Heres how you can:
- Thyroid generally causes hair loss across your scalp
- You may also notice thinning of hair on your eyebrows
- Thyroid hair loss can develop slowly and leave bald spots
- Hair may grow but for a short period of time, and may begin to fall early
- Your hair may seem thinner all over.
Now, its time to find out how you can stop hair loss caused by thyroid:
1. Monitor the intake of iron in your diet
2. Apply essential oils
Its not that essential oils will magically help you to produce thyroid hormones, but they can certainly improve the symptoms of thyroid. Essential oils are known to enhance hair growth, therefore these oils can help you tackle the problem better!
3. Add anti-inflammatory foods
Also Check: What Kind Of Doctor Treats Hair Loss
What To Do If Hair Loss Occurs
If hair loss occurs, meet with a dermatologist. At this time, a dermatologist can evaluate a patient and find out why hair loss is happening. The dermatologist can also discuss different hair loss treatment options designed to correct the issue and prevent it from recurring.
For patients who experience hair loss in combination with other HPT symptoms, meet with a doctor. These patients can then undergo blood tests to evaluate the calcium and PTH levels. They may also undergo a 24-hour urine collection to assess waste products removed by the kidneys and/or a bone density test to determine any bone loss.
When a patient is diagnosed with HPT, multiple treatment options may be considered. If hair loss and other HPT symptoms impact a patients quality of life, parathyroid gland surgery may be necessary. The procedure is minimally invasive, and it involves the removal of one or more defective parathyroid glands.
Localization studies are performed before parathyroid surgery. They are used to determine the location of any malfunctioning parathyroid glands. That way, HPT patients can find out if they have one abnormal parathyroid gland or one or more parathyroid adenomas, or if all four parathyroid glands are defective or parathyroid hyperplasia is present.
During parathyroid surgery, a minor incision is made into a patients neck. Next, any defective parathyroid glands are removed.
How To Regrow Your Hair With Hypothyroidism:
While thyroid function is very important for regrowing your hair back it’s not the only factor involved.
Often times hair loss in hypothyroid patients is a result of multiple factors.
This means that just assessing for one problem, or taking one supplement or making one change will not be as effective as trying multiple things at once.
This has to do with how thyroid hormone interacts with other hormones and nutrients in the body.
If you have hair loss and you aren’t sure if you have hypothyroidism then make sure to check out this post here for a complete list of symptoms related to your thyroid.
If you KNOW you have hypothyroidism already and are experiencing hair loss then read on…
#1. Check your Thyroid Dosing & Medication
The first thing you should be evaluating is your thyroid function.
I’m assuming you already have a diagnosis of hypothyroidism by the time you read this.
That means you are most likely taking some form of thyroid medication.
And this is where things get a little bit tricky:
It turns out you need enough thyroid hormone in your body and system to have proper hair growth.
T3 and both T4 prolong the duration of the hair growth cycle by blocking an inhibitory growth factor TGF-B2 .
On the flip side – too much thyroid hormone can increase hair loss as well.
What this means for you is that you need to find the sweet spot where your body has enough thyroid hormone in the body , but not enough to increase hair loss.
So how do you know if you have “enough”?
Don’t Miss: What Type Of Zinc Is Best For Hair Loss