Your Thyroid May Be Causing Your Hair Loss: Heres How
If youÃ¢re seeing more hair than ever before stuck in the drain or your hairbrush, you may begin to worry that youÃ¢re losing your hair. Hypothyroidism is a fairly common cause of hair loss, and hypothyroidism-related hair loss can also be reversible.
Ã¢A blood test to rule out thyroid abnormalities should always be a part of the diagnosis for hair loss due to medical conditions,Ã¢ 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 youÃ¢re losing is completely normal. But what if you are losing your hair?
Surgery For Thyroid Disorders
Removing the thyroid gland can cure hyperthyroidism, but the procedure is only recommended if antithyroid drugs don’t work, or if there is a large goiter. Surgery may also be recommended for patients with thyroid nodules. Once the thyroid is removed, most patients require daily supplements of thyroid hormones to avoid developing hypothyroidism.
Can Low Estrogen Cause Hair Loss
Estrogen is one of several essential sex hormones in your body. During puberty, it plays a major role in starting your menstrual cycle and defining your female physical features.
Throughout your life, estrogen is responsible for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, keeping your bones strong and healthy and affecting certain aspects of your brain function.
Although the link between estrogen and hair health isnt completely understood, experts believe that these hormone levels do play a protective role against hair loss.
This is because most research shows that women with low levels of estrogen are more likely to develop female pattern hair loss as a result of the hormonal imbalance.
Female pattern hair loss is the womens equivalent of male pattern baldness . Its caused by a combination of hormonal and genetic factors.
Unlike male pattern baldness, which usually causes a receding hairline or bald spot around the crown, female pattern hair loss generally causes your hair to thin around your part line .
Over time, this type of hair loss can become more severe until the hair on the top of your scalp has an almost see-through appearance.
When we talk androgenetic alopecia, were usually talking about men. But, believe it or not, female hair loss loss is quite common in women, especially as we age. In fact, research shows that around 21 million women in the United States alone show some degree of female hair loss.
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Hypothyroidism And Hair Loss
Hair loss is caused by hypothyroidism as a consequence of your cells regeneration being slowed down. The most common form of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease . This results in a general thinning of the hair across the entire scalp.
Loss of hair on the outer edge of your eyebrows is a classic sign of the hair loss problem being caused by hypothyroidism – this is known as the Queen Annes sign due to a portrait of her showing this characteristic
Role Of Thyroid Gland In Your Body
The thyroid gland is one of the most important endocrine glands in your body. It is located under your voice box at the front of the neck. It regulates body functions by continually releasing thyroxine hormones into your bloodstream. Thyroxine acts as a catalyst for maintaining the rate of oxidative metabolism in most tissues of your body.
If your body needs more energy in certain situations like pregnancy, recovering from illness, etc., the thyroid gland produces more hormones. The pituitary gland helps the thyroid gland to make the right amount of hormones.
Cells in your body receive their ‘cue’ from thyroxine. Thyroxine stimulates cells to perform their functions quickly and upregulates cellular utilization of energy. The thyroid gland’s functional defects result in
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Why Is Thyroid Function Important To Your Hair
Having either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can limit your bodys production of hair cells, which can cause hair loss, hair thinning or reduced hair growth. Thyroid dysfunction can also be associated with low iron levels, which in turn can also adversely affect hair growth .
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are easily diagnosed by low or high thyroid readings in blood test results. However, readings just within the normal range should also be looked at if you are experiencing hair loss. Please consult with both your doctor and a Philip Kingsley Trichologist if you are concerned.
What Is A Goiter
A goiter is an unusually enlarged thyroid gland. It may happen only for a short time and may go away on its own without treatment. Or it could be a symptom of another thyroid disease that requires treatment. goiter is more common in women than in men and especially in women before menopause.
Some common causes of goiter include:
Usually, the only symptom of a goiter is a swelling in your neck. It may be large enough that you can see it or feel the lump with your hand. A very large goiter can also cause a tight feeling in your throat, coughing, or problems swallowing or breathing.
Your doctor will do to see if it is caused by another thyroid disease.
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Ways Levothyroxine May Cause You To Lose Your Hair
Before we talk about how levothyroxine causes hair loss, let’s talk a little bit about hair loss and thyroid function in general.
You probably already know that your thyroid controls and regulates many systems in your body .
Thyroid function is required to make each of these areas function and if you experience even a slight decrease in thyroid function, you will feel it.
This same concept applies to your hair follicles.
Thyroid hormone helps to stimulate stem cells in hair follicles which causes them to grow.
If you don’t have enough thyroid hormone stimulation then this will result in fewer hair cycles which you will see as a thinning of the hair on your head.
You have to remember that hair loss is a normal part of hair growth cycles.
Even under normal healthy circumstances, you will see hair loss on a regular basis.
The reason this doesn’t result in you going bald is because you are also simultaneously growing hair at the same time.
When you have a thyroid problem, this balance tips in favor of more hair loss and less hair growth.
When this happens, you will start to see more and more hair come out in the shower or when you comb your hair.
This hair fall will also be accompanied by a DECREASE in how many new hair follicles will start growing.
Let me put it this way:
And this should make sense.
Difficulty Dealing With Temperature Changes
If you are struggling to adjust to changes in temperature, you may be suffering from a thyroid problem. If your thyroid does not make enough hormones, you might have difficulty handling colder temperatures. For example, you might feel very cold when you go outside during the winter. In addition, you might have to turn up the heat in your home and wear jackets when you are inside. Its also common for your feet and hands to become cold.
When your thyroid gland is too active, you might have difficulty enduring hot weather. For example, you might sweat when you are in relatively mild climates. In addition, you might turn on the air conditioner in your home and experience hot flashes.
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How Does Thyroid Disease Affect Pregnancy
Pregnancy-related hormones raise the level of thyroid hormones in the blood. Thyroid hormones are necessary for the baby’s brain development while in the womb.
It can be harder to diagnose thyroid problems during pregnancy because of the change in hormone levels that normally happen during pregnancy. But it is especially important to check for problems before getting pregnant and during pregnancy. Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause problems for both mother and baby.
Hyperthyroidism that is not treated with medicine during pregnancy can cause:
- Premature birth
- a serious condition starting after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia causes high blood pressure and problems with the kidneys and other organs. The only cure for preeclampsia is childbirth.
- Thyroid storm
- Fast heart rate in the newborn, which can lead to heart failure, poor weight gain, or an enlarged thyroid that can make it hard to breathe
- Low birth weight
Structure Of A Hair Follicle
Human hair grows out of a tunnel-like structure called a hair follicle, which is embedded into the skin . These follicles are present all over the body, but they are most densely concentrated on the scalp, which contains nearly 100,000 follicles on average.
A hair follicle starts as a tiny pore on the epidermis and extends like a narrow canal deep into the dermis. A sebaceous gland underlying the scalp is attached to the upper part of the follicle from the outside. This gland supplies oil or sebum to the hair follicle to keep the hair naturally moisturized.
The lower end of the follicle is onion shaped and called the hair bulb. It is here that living hair cells called keratinocytes proliferate to construct the hair shaft.
The hair bulb is surrounded by the dermal papilla, which is enriched by several blood vessels that supply nutrients, oxygen, and essential hormones to sustain hair cell division and thereby healthy hair growth.
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Acidity And Your Stomach Affect Thyroid Hair Loss And Menopause
- Acidity in the StomachLow stomach acid, it turns out, causes malabsorption of iron and other essential minerals.. Before meals, consider mixing one or two tablespoons of Bragg Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar in water with the Mother. This has also helped me with bloating, heartburn, gas, and acid reflux.
Q: Could My Thyroid Condition Be Causing My Hair Loss
A: Yes, it could. A lot of people with thyroid dysfunction shed hair.
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The hair loss is typically reversed after your thyroid hormone levels are normalized. But this may take some time.
Its important to point out that hair loss may not just be caused by your thyroid, however.
Having one autoimmune disorder also increases your risk for having others, some of which produce hair loss:
- Celiac disease can be associated with iron deficiency, which triggers hair loss.
- Alopecia areata, a skin condition, causes hair to fall out, typically leaving round spots without hair.
And for women, menopause creates a low estrogen state that can thin the hair follicles, giving the appearance of overall hair loss.
If youre shedding hair, I would definitely tell your physician, who can determine the reason. Doctors can sometimes prescribe treatments to minimize or reverse hair loss.
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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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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.
Feeling Cold Hair Loss And Insomnia: The Warning Signs Of Thyroid Issues
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to serious consequences if left untreated.
Hypo- and hyperthyroidism can lead to many mental and physical symptoms.
Fatigue, thinning hair, irritability. These are common symptoms that are sometimes the product of lifestyle choices, but can also be signs of underlying health conditions. Many people brush symptoms like moodiness and tiredness under the rug, accepting them as a nonnegotiable of life.
However, many symptoms that people think are normal actually indicate that theres a hormone imbalance at play. One common type of hormone imbalance involves the thyroid gland, an important organ that affects virtually every function of your body.
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