Common Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism:
- Mood changes, anxiety, restlessness, issues with sleeping
- Pain and swelling in the throat , muscle weakness, menstruation disturbances
Hypothyroidism, the underactive thyroid condition, occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones. Hair loss is a symptom of long-term hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is more common in women than men and is often diagnosed in middle age and later age groups, though it can occur at any age.
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Thyroid And Hair Loss
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located in the lower front of your neck. Your thyroidâs job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into your bloodstream and carried to every tissue in your body, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
According to the British Thyroid Foundation, prolonged hypothyroidism can cause hair loss. Abnormal thyroid function disturbs your hair regrowth cycle. Thyroid-related hair loss involves your entire scalp rather than specific patches of hair loss. Your hair will appear thin and sparse all over. Hair regrowth is possible once treatment is given and hormone levels are normalized.
Since Hashimotoâs thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect your entire body, many of its symptoms can be difficult to reverse.
âA recent study showed that the most common persistent symptom of Hashimotoâs thyroiditis was hair loss,â Alexander Lightstone Borsand, MD, ABLM, board-certified lifestyle medicine physician in Scottsdale, Ariz., tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Since there is a strong association between Hashimotoâs, alopecia areata and celiac disease, a gluten-free, probiotic-enhanced, iron-rich diet may help promote hair regrowth in some Hashimotoâs patients.
If you have Hashimotoâs, there are other steps you can take to promote hair regrowth and potentially prevent further hair loss.
Symptoms Of Thyroid Related Hair Loss
Hair loss is one of the symptoms of suspecting thyroid disorders. Thyroid related hair loss is not severe. It just temporarily slows down your hair life cycle. However, prolonging untreated thyroid may lead to severe hair loss like alopecia areata that show signs of bald patches or discrete hair loss.
Hair loss begins before you notice your imbalanced thyroid gland showing the following signs:
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The Life Cycle Of Hair
To identify the difference between normal hair loss and that related to a thyroid condition, it’s important to understand the three phases of the hair life cycle. These include:
Verywell / Emily Roberts
- Anagen phase: This is the growth phase, meaning your hair is actively growing. The rate of growth and duration depends on the type of hair and where it’s located. At any given time, about 90% of the hair on your scalp is in the anagen phase.
- Catagen phase: Hair then enters this “transition phase” during which hair stops actively growing. This lasts about three weeks and involves less than 1% of the hairs on your scalp at a time.
- Telogen phase: During this last phase, a hair prepares to shed it is then pushed out of the follicle and falls out. Typically, about 50 and 150 telogen hairs are shed per day. These hairs are then replaced by new growth and the cycle begins again.
Thyroid-related hair loss and hair changes have some characteristic patterns, including:
- Diffuse hair loss/thinning across the whole scalp
- Hair loss that occurs in discrete areas of the scalp, resulting in smooth, circular bald patches
- Loss of body hair from areas other than your head: A unique and characteristic symptom of hypothyroidism is the loss of the hair on the outer edges of your eyebrows
- Changes in your hair’s texture: With hypothyroidism, your hair may become dry or coarse with hyperthyroidism, it can become extra soft and fine
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What Are The Treatments For This Condition
To treat thyroid conditions, you have to visit a doctor so that they can carry out the necessary blood tests and thyroid tests. This will help your doctor decide what kind of thyroid medication you need.
Once you have your meds, you need to take them correctly, go for regular check-ups, and eat well and rest.
Note that treatment for thyroid hair loss condition may take a while. Most likely, youll see improvements after a few weeks of taking the necessary medications Complete restoration may take several months.
However, remember that severe hair loss is a possible side effect of thyroid medication. You may experience it during the first few months of treatment, but it always resolves after complete treatment.
Frank Discussion About Weight Changes And Heart Disease Risk Needed
Awareness of the tendency for weight gain is the first crucial step for every patient with hyperthyroidism, Dr. Boelaert says. She says doctors should be more forthcoming about the probability of weight gain but that patients should be prepared to discuss it and insist it become part of your care plan.
I tell patients, When I make you better, I expect that you will gain weight. The evidence is that probably you will gain more than you lost. So know this, and advocate for clear guidance on what you can change to slow any inevitable weight gain and to prevent exceeding your usual, healthy weight.
Dr. Boelaert found slightly more higher net weight gain in her patients who had radioactive iodine therapy than drugs alone, but she doesnt think this side effect should not steer people away from having RAI treatment since the cure is much higher with this treatment, she says.
She notices that the patients who do adopt a healthier lifestyle, if they werent already following a heart healthy diet and getting daily physical activity, when she first met them, can curtail the otherwise likely excess weight gain.
Having an overactive thyroid is not a benign disease, she tells her patients. Treatment is crucial and so is keeping an eye on your weight as the treatment process progresses.
Neither Dr. Boelaert nor Dr. Srinath have any disclosures.
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Hair Loss With Hypothyroidism
The thyroid produces hormones our bodies needs for daily metabolism. So, when the thyroid doesn’t function properly, it cannot supply the body with the proper hormones it needs to produce energy for all of its normal bodily functions.
All symptoms listed above, including hair thinning, relate to this decrease in overall energy when our thyroid doesn’t work correctly. Subclinical hypothyroidism may cause mild to no symptoms at all, but the lower your thyroid hormone levels become, and the longer they stay that way, the more severe your symptoms will be.
Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to hair loss. Because the severity of symptoms can vary, it’s possible not even to realize you’re losing hair because it falls out so sparsely and uniformly. It may be three to four months after the onset of hypothyroidism before noticing hair loss due to the long hair cycle.
A blood test is the best way to know for sure if the cause of your hair loss is an underactive thyroid. Paloma Health offers an at-home thyroid test kit to help you understand how your thyroid is working. Test from the comfort of home and get results in about one week.
Are There Other Causes
Nutritional deficiencies are definitely something that you should look into if you have hair loss.
Iron deficiency anaemia can cause hair loss so always check your iron levels. Dr Philip Kingsley, Trichologist, states that ferritin levels also need to be checked and that, Even if the ferritin is within the normal range, the level may still not be adequate for optimum hair growth.
He states, Hair loss due to low ferritin is one of the most common types of hair loss we see in women. 3 Be careful when supplementing with iron as it can be toxic Toxic “something poisonous, very harmful or bad” .
B12 deficiency may cause hair loss although evidence is sparse.4
Biotin deficiency has also been reported as a cause of hair loss and some people found that it improved after taking supplements. You need to be aware, though, that taking biotin Biotin “a vitamin found in small amounts in many foods such as eggs, milk, or bananas. Commonly used for hair loss, brittle nails, nerve damage, and many other conditions” can show skewed levels in your test results. 5,6
Other vitamin deficiencies that may play a role in hair loss are vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E.4 The mineral, zinc, also plays a part in hair loss.4,5
Taking vitamin supplements may not always be helpful, though. Too much Vitamin A has been reported as causing hair loss so be careful with this vitamin.4
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Hair Transplant At Cosmedica
Medications are the primary solution for thyroid conditions, but getting a hair transplant in Turkey is a suitable treatment for thyroid hair loss.
Restoring your bodys thyroid function to normal takes a long time, and complete hair growth may take even longer. A quicker solution is to opt for a hair transplant.
At Cosmedica, you can undergo a hair transplant with medically reviewed techniques to have your hair follicles grow back in no time. This way, you can worry less about your hair loss problem and focus on treating your thyroid problems.
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Hair Loss In The Anagen Phase
Some medications that cause hair loss affect hairs in the growing stage. The most notable example is chemotherapy drugs.
Hair loss can begin within 2â5 weeks of starting chemotherapy. However, individuals who receive the same drugs and undergo the same treatment can still have different hair loss experiences.
In rare cases, medications that contain the following ingredients can also cause hair loss during the anagen phase:
- boric acid
Colchicine , which doctors use to treat gout, can also sometimes cause the loss of hairs in the growing stage.
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Hair Loss In The Telogen Phase
Most medications that cause hair loss affect hairs in the resting phase.
It is normal for people to lose at least 100 telogen phase hairs per day. However, certain stressors, such as fever, nutritional imbalances, and some medications, can cause this number to increase.
Drugs that have an association with telogen hair loss include:
- levodopa and other medications for Parkinsonâs disease
- naproxen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Causes Of Thyroid Hair Loss
Thyroid hair loss is caused by prolonged, untreated hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland produces insufficient hormones.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism is the excess production of thyroid hormones. These two conditions can trigger an autoimmune thyroid disease and further escalate into other autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata.
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How Thyroid Disease Affects Hair Loss
When your thyroid production drops, your body processes slow down and change. This slowdown of the thyroid may cause uncomfortable symptoms like cold intolerance, weight gain, tiredness, shortness of breath, constipation, dry skin, irregular menstrual cycles, fertility issues, depression, , or thinning hair.
All of these symptoms are troubling to live with and interrupt our daily lives. One particularly concerning symptom that patients present with is hair thinning.
For many, hair is intrinsically bound in our identity. It can make us feel confident and empowered it can even hold the weight of cultural significance. So, understandably, hair loss can be highly emotional as you feel at loss of identity or self-image.
What Could Be The Cause
Hair loss is a common symptom of thyroid disease but it can also be caused by various other conditions including vitamin and mineral deficiencies and certain medical conditions.
Lets look at thyroid disease first. Hair loss may be associated with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism1. In hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism “a term used to describe an under-active thyroid gland” , hair loss is also found in other areas of the body such as the eyebrows , under the arms and the pubic area.
We have seen reports that hair loss can be a side effect of levothyroxine.2 However, it may be that the hair loss is actually a symptom of hypothyroidism that only showed as a symptom after the start of treatment with levothyroxine Levothyroxine “a synthetic thyroid hormone commonly given to treat an under-active thyroid. It is also known as L-thyroxine” . This may be because it can take months for hair loss to start due to the long hair growth cycle.
It may also be a sign that you are on too much levothyroxine, making you a little overactive and this may therefore be causing the hair loss.
We have read reports from patients, though, that they moved over to natural desiccated thyroid and their hair loss improved.
If your hair loss is due to thyroid disease once you have been treated with the correct thyroid medication for you and your levels are stable, the hair loss should improve.
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Ginkgo Biloba B+ For Hair Regrowth
During the course of her studies, Simone discovered the powerful antioxidant properties of Ginkgo Biloba B+, and its positive effects on hair growth stimulation to help with thyroid hair loss.
Ginkgo helps improve the bodys natural responses, and support scalp health. An anti-inflammatory, ingredient, Ginkgo improves the blood circulation to the scalp, providing the essential nutrients to give your hair follicles an optimal environment and stimulate new healthy hair growth. The natural hair loss treatment also offers anti-ageing properties to reduce and prevent ageing hair loss.
Our recommended plan for thyroid hair loss is Ginkgo Biloba B+, available individually or as part of the Ginkgo Hair Care Plan that comes complete with an immunity supplement and probiotic to give your body and overall wellbeing a boost.
Our complete Ginkgo hair plan contains Ginkgo Biloba B+, along with super greens to support immunity, the nervous system, and healthy cognitive function. It also comes with our specially formulated Everyday Wellness probiotic capsules containing six vital bacteria to support gut health and boost your energy. The Ginkgo Hair Care Plan is the complete wellness and hair restorative package.