Is Your Hair Loss Due To A Thyroid Disorder
Hair loss is a natural phenomenon that increases with age. However, how to identify if your hair loss is associated with a thyroid disorder? You may check for the following symptoms.
Symptoms of hair loss associated with thyroid disorders
- You have hair loss throughout the scalp and not in discrete areas. Uniformly sparse scalp hair is a symptom of thyroid dysfunction. Alopecia areata where patchy hair loss happens is usually associated with autoimmune thyroid disease.
- You experience slow and gradual thinning of hair. Since thyroid disorders, like hypothyroidism, develop over a period, the symptoms also take time to manifest.
- You observe dry, brittle hair or thinning hair on your scalp.
- You have hair loss throughout your body.
It is evident thyroid disorders can cause hair loss. But can this be reversed? What does the science say?
Too Much Thyroid Hormone
Similarly, too much thyroid hormone is bad for your hair. If your thyroid replacement medication was recently increased or you switched brands of thyroid medications, hair thinning may be a sign youve reach a hyperthyroid state. The amount of thyroid hormone in your body directly affects how your hair follicles work. Find the sweet spot between too much and not enough.
Consequently, you could totally be taking thyroid medication and still be losing hair because you are on the wrong dose.
Newsflash! Until you find that Goldilocks amount, your Rapunzel dreams are but a fairytale.
Natural Treatments For Hair Loss Due To Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism or having an underactive thyroid afflicts 5 out of every 100 people in the United States. It can leave you feeling perpetually fatigued and may cause weight gain, fertility problems, and even depression.
What you may not know is that it is also a cause for hair loss.1 Dry, thinning hair is, in fact, one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
But just how bad can it get? And are there ways to treat the problem naturally to restore your once lustrous mane?
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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”?
Careful How You Treat The Problem
Regrowing hair is usually quite successful for most people with hypothyroid. However, you should know that it can take a long time months even and the regrowth may not be absolutely complete.14
Do keep in mind, though, that certain Ayurvedic formulations and herbal remedies can cause blood to thin and are best avoided by anyone who is already using a blood-thinning medication like aspirin or warfarin. This could cause dangerous levels of bleeding in the event of an injury.
Also check with your doctor for any interactions with any medications you are already taking for your thyroid problems or any other condition like a cardiac problem. There could be adverse reactions to some combinations of drugs and remedies.15
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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:
Treating Thyroid Related Hair Loss With Natural Remedies
The thyroid gland situated in the neck is responsible for the production of the thyroid hormones- T3, T4, and TSH . Thyroid problem surfaces when these hormones are either produced in elevated or in reduced amounts. The problem is often triggered by improper functioning of the thyroid gland. Some of the medical complications that this gives rise to include Hyperthyroidism , Hypothyroidism , Goitre .Thyroid Hair LossThe hair loss is one of the many associated symptoms of Thyroid disorder. Thyroid problems often trigger a hormonal imbalance, not only of the thyroid hormones but the steroid hormones as well. This imbalance contributes significantly towards a lot of hair problems including, thinning of the scalp, hair fall . In extreme cases, this may even lead to baldness. Both Hyperthyroidism, as well as Hypothyroidism, may lead to the hair loss and other related hair problems.Natural Remedies For Thyroid-related Hair LossWhile medications may go along way to keep the thyroid problems under control, there are natural remedies available to deal with thyroid-related hair loss.
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Can Such Hair Loss Be Reversed
Telogen effluvium can be reversed by removing the trigger factors . Hence, hair regrowth could be possible if the underlying thyroid disorder is corrected. Generally, thyroid supplementation helps correct the hormone levels in the body and may aid hair loss reversal.
Keep in mind this is a slow process. Results can take anywhere between six to eighteen months to show . Results also can vary from person to person.
In the following section, we discuss the various treatment options available for hair loss due to thyroid disease.
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.
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How To Stop Losing Hair Due To Thyroid
- Understand the types of hair loss General shedding is experienced with compromised thyroid function. There is also male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness and alopecia areata seen, that can be caused by hormonal imbalances and genetics.
- Consult a dermatologist In combination with a general physician or an endocrinologist, a dermatologist can be an effective support for hair loss issues. They can focus on issues with hair loss and treat them independently with regular thyroid disease treatments.
- PRP treatment for hair loss Hyperthyroidism decreases overall blood flow reducing the supply to the hair follicles causing hair loss. PRP treatment is an advanced treatment for hair loss where blood is extracted from patients own body and is put to centrifuge. This is a US FDA approved machine to separate the activated platelets from plasma, which is then injected back into scanty areas of hair growth on the scalp. This adds growth factors into the hair follicles, stimulating them for restoration and regrowth of hair. Results have shown a decreased rate of hair loss and hair thinning. Hair shafts can also grow back thicker helping the overall aesthetic of the hair on your scalp.
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The Connection Of Ferritin To Hair Loss In Thyroid Patients
Is that sound correct? Yes. So as you mentioned, like hopefully when we get a thyroid hormones circulating correctly, we can have normal hair growth come back. And then of course treating any underlying causes that may still exist. Awesome. Our next question for both of you is what are your thoughts about ferritin testing and levels?
And whats the connection of ferritin to hair loss in thyroid patients? Yasmin you can take it first. Sure. So iron deficiency is exceedingly common. Especially when not all my patients are female, but quite a bit are when were talking about hypothyroidism in general and generally some of this coincides with our menstrual cycles.
And so for having heavier cycles or even just super regular cycles or chances of iron deficiency is higher with ferritin, ferritin is our gauge on seeing that. And generally what Ive been taught is if youre experiencing, seeing hair loss, if we see that your ferritin levels are low.
Typically my goal for any of my patients is to get them above 50 to 70, somewhere in there, as long as were higher than thats a good range. We just dont want it to be lower than that. Because again, iron deficiency can contribute to that hair loss pattern. Now its much more unusual for men to have
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What Does Your Thyroid Have To Do With Your Hair
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It is ten times more common in women, though men may also develop an underactive thyroid as well.
According to Armani, thyroid hormones help regulate metabolism, heart rate, and your overall mood. It also affects the rate at which the body uses oxygen and energy, which can also affect hair and nail growth. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. When this process occurs, hair that is in the growing stage enters the resting and shedding stage, called telogen. Hair may stay in this stage longer than normal, causing more hair to fall out as less hair grows.
An overactive thyroid, Armani warns, can also cause hair loss. So it is important not to self-medicate. People with thyroid disorders need ongoing treatment and regular thyroid monitoring.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, some other signs that a person may have hypothyroidism include:
- Trouble getting or staying pregnant
- Frequently feeling cold, including cold hands and feet
- A slow heart rate
How Does Hypothyroidism Cause Hair Loss
Hypothyroidism is the condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating the bodys metabolic rate including controlling heart, muscle and digestive functions, brain development, and bone maintenance. When not enough thyroid hormone circulates in your body, your cells cannot keep up with normal processes.
Low thyroid hormones can interfere with the hair growth cycle by shortening the anagen phase and delaying the start of a new follicle from growing. Thus, more hair than normal can be in the resting phase, making your hair thinner. Low thyroid hormone levels can also cause your hair to become brittle and dry, making it look even more sparse.
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Hair Loss As A Symptom Of Thyroid Problems
Growing hair is more complex than you think. Your blood vessels, skin cells, and oil glands are all responsible for strong and healthy hair. However, when your hormone production is disrupted, specifically the output of hormones T3 and T4 , it affects the life cycle of each strand of hair. This includes the development of hair at the root, how long it grows before falling out, and its replacement by new growth.
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Make Sure Youre On The Right Type And Dose Of Supplemental Thyroid Hormone
Once you know all of your thyroid levels, you can work with your doctor to make sure that youre on the right type and dose of supplemental thyroid hormone. Free T3, the active form of thyroid hormone, plays a big role in the health of your hair, yet the most commonly prescribed supplemental thyroid hormone is a T4-only hormone, such as Synthroid® or Levoxyl®. Many thyroid patients have difficulty converting T4, the storage form of the hormone, to Free T32, and do better on natural desiccated thyroid hormone, such as Armour® or Naturethroid®, which includes both T4 and T3, or by adding in a T3-only form of supplemental thyroid hormone, such as Cytomel® or a compounded time-release T3 formula. I discuss in detail all of the different forms of supplemental thyroid hormone in my book, The Thyroid Connection. Determining which supplemental hormone is right for you is a crucial step in reversing thyroid hair loss.
How Long Does It Take To Reverse Thyroid Hair Loss
Hair loss is one of the most frustrating symptoms many of my patients with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions experience. This is a problem with both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid conditions, and sometimes the hair loss can be very severe. In fact, its not uncommon for the patient to be most concerned about the hair loss, even if they are experiencing numerous other symptoms. As a result, many people who experience hair loss want to know what they can do to quickly stop this, and of course get their hair to grow back.
The good news is that most cases of thyroid hair loss are reversible. In other words, the hair loss will usually stop and eventually grow back. The bad news is that it can take a good amount of time for this to happen. When hair loss is a result of a thyroid hormone imbalance you would figure that the hair would stop falling out once the thyroid hormone levels have normalized. But unfortunately this usually isnt the case, as while everyone is different, it commonly takes a number of months after the thyroid hormones have normalized for the hair loss to stop.
Other Factors Which Can Cause Hair Loss In Thyroid Patients
Although in most people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions the hair loss is a result of the thyroid hormone imbalance, there can be other factors which cause hair loss. So lets go ahead and look at some of these other causes.
How Can One Determine The Cause Of The Hair Loss?
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Throw Out Toxic Shampoos And Conditioners
Just as important as what you are ingesting to improve your hair is what you are using directly on your hair. Many people with autoimmune diseases like Hashimotos are particularly sensitive to many of the chemicals used in common, everyday shampoos. Not to mention, these chemicals are also absorbed by the skin and can negatively affect hormones. There are more natural formulations of shampoos that can help rid the scalp of toxins and promote a cleaner environment from which healthy hair can grow and flourish. I prefer the Young Living brand of copaiba shampoo and conditioner which also supports dry scalp.
Stop Hair Loss With The Asoyu Hair Vitamins
The ASOYU hair vitamins *, also known as Hair growth capsules, supply the hair with important nutrients and ensure shine and suppleness. The capsules sometimes contain valuable vitamins and trace elements such as Folic acid, zinc, iron, vitamins A and C, and important B vitamins. Furthermore, in the ASYOU hair capsules also plant extracts that contain the plants amla berry, millet and turmeric. In Asia, the plants have long been known for their positive effects on hair health. One jar that contains hair capsules 180 pieces and covers the need for 3 months, because your hair is well looked after with just 2 capsules a day. So you have to resort to different preparations for longer, because the ASOYU hair capsules contain the important nutrients that your hair needs for healthy hair growth.
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