Adjust Your Thyroid Medication
A primary root cause of hair loss is a deficiency in thyroid hormone. This could be because youre not getting a high enough dose of thyroid medications, or because youre not getting the right kind of thyroid medication.
When your TSH is on the outskirts of the normal range, you can continue to lose hair, and your hair may lack luster and shine. If your hair tangles easily, this is a sign that you may not be getting enough thyroid hormone.
In 2015, I conducted asurvey of 2232 people with Hashimotos that resulted in as many as 36 percent of patients reporting that optimizing their TSH helped with improving their hair. Optimizing the type of thyroid medications they were taking also helped many people restore hair growth. As many as 38 percent of people surveyed reported that Nature-Thyroid helped to improve their hair however, it is important that you find the thyroid medication that is right for you.
*Note: While Armour Thyroid does not have any gluten-containing ingredients, it is not tested for gluten content, and cannot be certified as gluten-free. Armour does contain sodium starch glycolate, which can be derived from wheat or corn.
To learn more about how to optimize your thyroid medications, download my free eBook on Optimizing Thyroid Medications below.
Yes Levothyroxine Can Cause Hair Loss
Hair loss can be one of the most frustrating symptoms associated with thyroid problems.
And thyroid-related hair loss is not just associated with low thyroid conditions but also high thyroid conditions as well.
Today, though, we will be focusing on hair loss associated with levothyroxine.
Levothyroxine is the most commonly prescribed thyroid medication out there right now.
In fact, it’s one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States.
Levothyroxine is used to treat patients who have LOW thyroid function so people who are taking this medication have hypothyroidism.
Levothyroxine is supposed to normalize thyroid function by providing your body with the very thing it needs if you don’t have enough thyroid hormone.
We know that one of the side effects of having LOW thyroid function is hair loss.
And with that in mind, we have a little bit of a problem:
How can it be the case that the very medication which is supposed to fix a low thyroid causes one of the symptoms associated with that very condition?
In other words, shouldn’t it be the case that treating a low thyroid will help your hair grow?
You would think so but it’s not quite that easy.
Today you will learn:
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Does Thyroid Medication Cause Hair Loss
No. Do not stop taking your medication. Some patients don’t notice their hair thinning until after they begin their thyroid medication, leading them to believe that this is the cause of their hair loss. Discontinuing medication will worsen hair loss and may cause other dangerous problems.
Continue to take your medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Your hair should begin to grow back after starting medication. Give it at least six weeks to take effect.
Hair regrowth is usually successful with treatment, but there’s a chance it may not return to how it was before disease diagnosis. Consult your doctor if you do not notice any improvement in symptoms after four to six weeks of taking thyroid medication.
It’s essential to closely monitor your medication to find the optimal functioning of your thyroid. You made need adjustment in the dosing of your medication.
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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.
What You Need To Know About Hair Loss
If your condition is not due to a hormonal imbalance, your doctor may recommend treatment that includes topical corticosteroids. Topical corticosteroids may lead to red or puffy face and can reduce your immune systems ability to fight infection. In some cases, fungal infections, such as tinea capitis, can lead to hair loss. Fortunately, you can take antifungal medications to treat it and get a full head of hair again.
Hair loss is a normal part of aging, and there is no need to worry. In fact, it is perfectly normal for most people to lose a bit of hair every day, and it will grow back eventually. Some men and women experience hair loss as they age, while others simply have a genetic predisposition to the problem. If youre experiencing a lack of hair, you may have a weakened immune system, which can lead to hair loss.
For more severe cases of hair loss, a dermatologist may recommend a hair transplant. This procedure involves a surgeon removing plugs of hair from your scalp. It may take several hours and multiple sessions to complete the process. Its an invasive treatment, and may not be the best option for everyone. Your doctor will need to examine your scalp to determine the cause of your condition. In addition to a healthy diet, your doctor may recommend taking supplements of various vitamins and minerals.
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How Can You Determine The Cause Of Hair Loss
Yasmin, maybe you can go first and then Whitney you can follow up afterwards, the first question that I want to ask is whats the difference between thyroid related hair loss and male or female pattern, hair loss, and how can a patient or doctor determined the cause of hair loss? So I think again, going back to a little of what I said earlier, where timelines really important.
I think if youre going through big hormonal fluctuations as a woman, whether its perimenopause menopause or for some people, even as young as puberty, I, I see adult patients, but, during these hormonal transitions, we can start to see female pattern hair loss. With men,
a lot of the hair loss that we see is usually hormonally driven. And again, for them, meaning a lot of people will see it with like testosterone fluctuations with thyroid hair loss. Its all over. Its usually not scarring. We dont see it in one particular patch versus others. And usually treatment for that matter
will not necessarily cause a ton of regrown, but it should at least halt the loss pattern that youre seeing. We do hope that regrowth happens, but to say, unfortunately, quite frankly, we dont always go back to where we started with that. So a lot of times were looking at patients that were like, we want to halt what were doing right now, so that hopefully we dont have more.
How To Stop Hair Loss With Hypothyroidism
Dr. Yasmin Akhunji, MD, and Whitney Crouch, RDN, talk about the connection between thyroid dysfunction and hair loss and how to stop it.
In this video:
- How can you determine the cause of hair loss?
- The connection of ferritin to hair loss in thyroid patients
- What role nutrition plays in helping to curb hair loss
- What foods to avoid eating when experiencing hair loss
- How to ask your doctor to run additional lab tests
- What ingredients to look for in hair products
- Is there a thyroid medication that’s best for hair loss?
- How to better absorb nutrients/supplements in the gut
- How does stress contribute to thyroid symptoms like hair loss
- Can birth control contribute to hair loss?
- Testing for nutrient deficiencies to support hair loss
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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.
Circular Hair Loss Patterns
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder in which antibodies attack the thyroid gland leading to chronic inflammation. Studies show that having one autoimmune disease makes you more likely to develop a second.
A common autoimmune disease that results in unpredictable hair loss is alopecia areata. However, the pattern of hair loss from alopecia areata appears differently from hypothyroidism hair loss. The hair falls out in circular patches instead of evenly throughout the hair. Treatment for alopecia areata is different from that of hypothyroidism. Consult your doctor if you think you may be experiencing alopecia.
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Understanding The Hair Growth Cycle
There are three primary phases of the hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Every strand on your head follows its own growth cycle, which means that you will not lose all your hair at one time when they switch to the shedding phase.
Anagen is the growing phase of hair growth, and it typically lasts between 4-7 years. Certain factors can interrupt the anagen phase, including stress, illness, and significant hormone fluctuations.
Catagen is a quick resting phase that lasts about two weeks. During this phase, the hair follicle stops growing and waits for the bulb to begin detaching in your scalp.
Telogen is the final phase of the hair growth cycle. The strand fully detaches from your scalp and eventually sheds. This phase usually lasts three months and ends with the hair falling out. After these three months, a new follicle will begin to grow, starting the process all over again.
Why Is Thyroid Problems Cause Hair Loss And Its Symptoms
If thyroid disorders are severe and untreated, hair loss might occur. It is a common side effect of health problems like this. This is called hair loss due to thyroid problems. It is possible to scientifically explain the causes of hair loss. In addition, its symptoms are also known. In this title, we will explain the causes and symptoms of hair loss due to thyroid problems. Thanks to this, you will be able to take early measures and become aware of it.
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How Thyroid Hormones Cause Hair Loss
Your hair follicles follow a natural cycle of hair growth and resting phases. At any given time, most of your hair is growing while only a small portion of it is resting. But when changes in the body throw off that cycle, too much hair rests at one time and not enough grows, resulting in excessive hair loss, thinning hair, or balding.
Many medical conditions can cause hair loss, with thyroid disease a common culprit. Thyroid problems include both an underactive thyroid gland and an overactive thyroid gland . Because hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, abnormal levels of thyroid hormone produced by this gland can result in hair changes, along with many other side effects, if left untreated. When there is too much thyroid hormone, the hair on your head can become fine, with thinning hair all over the scalp. When there is too little of this hormone, there can be hair loss, not just on the scalp, but also anywhere on the body.
Ironically, taking the hormone levothyroxine to treat an underactive thyroid can contribute to some hair loss, among other side effects, but this seems to be more common within the first month of treatment and more often in children than adults. This hair loss is only temporary and will go away as treatment is continued and thyroid hormone levels stabilize.
Ferritin And Hair Loss
Studies suggest that people with low levels of ferritin may experience hair loss and thinning, especially those suffering from female pattern hair loss and male pattern hair loss. Ferritin is a protein that contains iron and is the primary form of iron stored inside of cells. When there isnt enough iron in the diet, the body takes ferritin stored in non-essential tissue, like that in your hair bulb, and gives it to essential tissue, such as your heart. Because your hair bulb is where all your hair cells are produced, this leeching of ferritin can cause your hair to shed before it reaches its maximum length.
The small amount of ferritin that is released and circulates in the blood is a reflection of the total amount of iron stored in the body. A quick boost of ferritin is available through eating lean red meat or fish or vegetarian and vegan options include iron-rich foods like kale, spinach and other dark leafy greens, also lentils, red kidney beans and pumpkin seeds that need to be combined with Vitamin C-rich foods to improve absorbency of iron into the bloodstream.
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Faq + Other Thyroid & Hair Loss Questions
If your questions weren’t answered in the information above I’ve also included several frequently asked questions below:
Can Thyroid Problems Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, both low thyroid and high thyroid levels can contribute to hair loss.
Hair loss is a documented and well-known side effect of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Can Synthroid Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, one of the side effects of Synthroid is hair loss.
This may be due to the medication itself or due to your dose itself.
Both high and low dosages of levothyroxine can contribute to hair loss.
Will Taking Levothyroxine Make my Hair Grow?
If your hair loss is due to hypothyroidism then taking Levothyroxine will improve your hair.
Many times the state of hypothyroidism results in a cascade of hormone imbalances and nutrient deficiencies that all lead to hair loss.
This means that you must address all of these problems for best results.
Does Cytomel Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, Cytomel and Liothyronine can both cause temporary hair loss that is usually self-limiting within 2-4 months.
In most cases, the hair loss side effect from taking Cytomel will simply fade with time.
Does Armour Thyroid Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, NDT including Armour Thyroid, Nature-throid, and WP Thyroid can all cause hair loss.
Does Hyperthyroidism Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, too much thyroid hormone in your body can also contribute to hair loss.
This can come from taking too much thyroid hormone as well.
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