How To Treat Thyroid
Can thyroid issues cause hair loss? Yes. Hair loss is one of the more distressing symptoms of thyroid disease. Find out how to fix it.
If you deal with hair loss or hair thinning because of thyroid imbalances or thyroid-related autoimmune disease, you are certainly not alone. An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid dysfunction – 60% of which do not have an official diagnosis.
According to The American Thyroid Association , this dysfunction is so prevalent that more than 12% of the population will develop a thyroid condition at some point in his or her lifetime.
Thyroid issues can wreak havoc on your skin, hair, sex drive, waistline, energy levels, anxiety and depression levels, sleep cycles, and even your bone density. If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, you might be no stranger to these problems.
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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What Is The Best Solution To Stop Hair Loss Due To Thyroid Problems
There are many causes of hair loss. However, there are also many methods of treatment. Diets, supplements, surgeries, medications, or exercises can be examples of these methods of treatment. Still, not all methods may be effective in hair loss due to thyroid problems. The solutions to this problem are the medications and nutrients mentioned above. You can apply both methods or choose with your doctor which one is more appropriate. Medications might be seen as a more precise solution but nutrients will also be effective. One is a natural treatment of hair loss due to thyroid problems. The other is the chemical one. You choose the one that suits you best.
If the hair loss is permanent or the hair does not regrow, you may want to consider hair transplantation. For information about this, you can contact us online or by video.
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Types Of Thyroid Disease
There are two main types of thyroid disease: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism .
The conditions that frequently cause hypothyroidism include:
- Thyroiditis: Inflammation of the gland, causing lower hormone production.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: Occurs in 5-9% of women after giving birth and is usually temporary.
- Hashimotos thyroiditis: An autoimmune condition that damages the thyroid.
- Non-functioning thyroid: In 1 out of 4,000 babies, the gland doesnt work from birth.
- Iodine deficiency: Low iodine levels can affect the thyroids hormone production.
The conditions that frequently cause hyperthyroidism include:
- Thyroiditis: A disorder that might also cause an influx of released hormones that were stored.
- Graves disease : A condition that causes the thyroid to overproduce.
- Nodules: Overactive nodules or a singular autonomously functioning nodule can cause imbalance.
- Excessive iodine: Medications and cough syrups full of iodine can cause the thyroid to overproduce.
Inadequate Iron As A Cause Of Our Hair Loss
Another extremely common cause of hair loss in hypothyroid patients is inadequate levels of iron, whether mildly low or the more serious form called iron deficiency anemiai.e. when our iron drops so low that the levels cant help the production of our red blood cells .
Why do inadequate levels of iron cause our hair to fall out, shed and/or thin? Iron is a critical nutrient within the hemoglobin in your red blood cells, carrying oxygen throughout your body. Thus, if your body is receiving inadequate levels of oxygen, it goes into a survival mode, shifting oxygen towards other important functions rather than your hair follicles. So your hair starts to fall out.
See where iron levels should be here. Its NOT about falling anywhere in those ridiculous ranges!!
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What Is The Link Between Thyroid And Hair Loss
Skin is the most extensive tissue of your body, making it one of the crucial targets for thyroid hormones. Hair follicles are skin appendages that can periodically and stereotypically undergo cycles of physiological regeneration.
The hair follicles’ ability to renew is due to stem cells’ presence at the hair follicles’ bulges. Stem cells are responsible for hair cycling and contribute to the regeneration of tissues after wounding.
Thyroxine hormone signaling is a significant regulator of the mobilization of stem cells in the hair bulge. Thyroid disease decreases the metabolic rate of bulge stem cells resulting in hair loss.
Thyroid Disorder & Hair Loss Whats The Connection
Statistics show that in India close to 12 million people annually are affected by thyroid malfunction, of which hair loss is a common symptom.
It has been proven that hair growth is highly dependent on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. These effects are seen when there is an increase in hair thinning or a high rate of hair loss anywhere on the body.
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Blood Flow And Hair Regrowth
Losing your hair can be distressing, but if it is caused by thyroid disease it is most likely reversible. To help you on the journey towards healthy hair, it is key to focus on blood flow to scalp as it directly impacts hair follicle. If one of the symptoms of thyroid gland you are experiencing is hair loss, scalp stimulation becomes even more important as your body naturally produces less hormones to stimulate your hair follicles, so dont skip on additional support to your scalp.
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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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?
The Basics Of Hair Loss
Hair loss can occur for a large variety of reasons. In men, the most common cause of hair loss is male pattern baldness a form of hormonal hair loss thats caused by a genetic sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.
This type of hair loss occurs when DHT gradually miniaturizes the hair follicles, stopping them from producing new hairs.
However, its also possible for your thyroid to contribute to hair loss by disrupting your bodys natural hair growth cycle.
As weve covered in our guide to the hair growth process, every single hair on your scalp goes through a four-stage growth process, with each stage corresponding to a different phase in the hairs development:
During the anagen phase, the hair grows from the follicle
During the catagen phase, the follicle shrinks and the hair detaches from your scalp
During the telogen phase, a new hair starts to grow underneath the old hair
During the exogen phase, the old hair falls out and is replaced by the new hair
As part of this process, old hairs that have reached the end of their growth cycle are constantly falling out from your scalp, causing you to lose about 50 to 100 hairs every day. Since your hair follicles dont all grow in sync, this daily loss doesnt have any impact on your appearance.
Understanding this simple process is key to understanding how thyroid disorders, as well as a range of other medical conditions, can affect your hair.
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Common Thyroid Conditions & Hair Fall Issues
The thyroid gland is located along the windpipe and is responsible for producing a hormone that helps with cell reproduction, maintains energy levels, and influences metabolism.
When thyroid levels become imbalanced, the following thyroid diseases can occur
- Hypothyroidism is a condition with an under-active thyroid gland which can directly be attributed to hair thinning and hair loss if left untreated. An insufficient amount of thyroid hormone is produced which, in turn, compromises the chemical reactions required in the body. It results in a low cell regeneration factor. Low levels of iron and nutritional deficiencies are common factors for hypothyroidism.
- Hyperthyroidism is the overproduction of the thyroid hormone. The bodys metabolism rate increases leading to hair loss, weight loss, irregular heartbeat, sweating, anxiety, and mood swings. This condition is not easily diagnosed due to the generic nature of its symptoms but can eventually be isolated by checking thyroid hormone levels.
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What Does The Thyroid Do
A butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck, the thyroid is an important hormone-secreting gland. The thyroid produces two main hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine , which can influence every cell in your body – dictating heart function, metabolism, and body temperature.
A healthily functioning thyroid can balance these two hormones flawlessly. However, this gland can malfunction for a million reasons.
A disorder or disease can occur when the thyroid produces either too little or too much of these hormones. There are many treatments available for thyroid disease, however, changes in hair loss can persist even after thyroid regulating treatment has begun.
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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.
Can Thyroid Issues Cause Hair Loss
Yes. Hair loss is one of the more distressing symptoms of thyroid disease. Some people experience âclumpsâ of hair falling out in the shower. While others just notice a generally thinner ponytail. But why does this happen?
Across the board, thyroid-related hair loss can be caused by abnormal hormonal imbalances and can impair the function of the hair follicles. However, itâs common that normal hair growth is restored once the hormonal abnormality is corrected.
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Hair Loss And Thyroid
Inside Understand the relation between hair loss issues and thyroid. Why do you lose hair in thyroid disorder? Plus details on the treatment of thyroid hair loss.
Hair loss is one of the most common symptoms of thyroid disease. Several females who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism complain of hair loss as their main symptom.
In Hashimotos and in hypothyroidism hair loss is very difficult to treat. As the incidence of hypothyroidism is rising so we are seeing more and more females with hair loss issues. It is often frustrating for females to deal with hair loss on a daily basis and can affect the quality of life for them.
Hair loss in thyroid condition is described in various different ways:
1. Several females just complain of hair thinning
2. Other females complain of diffuse hair loss all over the scalp
3. A few females also complained of patchy hair loss
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.
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