Does Levothyroxine Cause Hair Loss
- Understanding the hair growth cycle
- How does hypothyroidism cause hair loss?
- Shouldn’t levothyroxine treat my hair loss?
- How to slow or reverse hair loss
Off-kilter hormones can easily disrupt the delicate hair growth cycle. This disruption is especially true for thyroid hormones, which are responsible for regulating the cellular growth and metabolism of every cell in your body. Hair loss is a common side effect of hypothyroidism, but it is a treatable problem. However, many people wonder if levothyroxine, the most commonly prescribed treatment option for hypothyroidism also causes hair loss. Ahead, a look at if levothyroxine causes hair loss.
How To Treat Thyroid
If your healthcare provider diagnoses you with a thyroid condition, youll likely be prescribed medication to treat your condition.
For hyperthyroidism, your healthcare provider may prescribe an anti-thyroid medication such as Tapazole® or propylthiouracil. These medications stop your thyroid gland from producing overly high levels of thyroid hormones.
Depending on your symptoms, treatment for hyperthyroidism may include radioactive iodine and/or beta-blockers. Severe cases of hyperthyroidism are occasionally treated by removing some or all of the thyroid gland in a procedure known as thyroidectomy.
Most of the time, thyroid-related hair loss resolves on its own after you successfully treat the underlying condition. After treating your thyroid condition, it can take several months for your hair to start growing again.
You might be able to speed up this growth using minoxidil, a topical medication that improves blood flow to the scalp. Because thyroid-related hair loss isnt caused by DHT, finasteride isnt effective at treating or preventing this form of hair loss.
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.
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Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Hair Loss And Your Diet: What To Eat And What To Avoid
Hashimotoâs thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder. According to a 2019 study published in the Cureus Journal of Medical Science, people with Hashimotoâs experience numerous persistent symptoms, including hair loss. You may be able to improve hair loss due to Hashimotoâs through diet and supplementation.
Hypothyroidism Hair Loss Is Reversible
Thinning hair can be quite scary and is often a good sign of other things going wrong within the body. Working with an integrative doctor who will help you to find the root cause of your hair loss is the key to getting your hair back to healthy. As far as nutrition is considered, ditch the inflammation-causing foods and use supplements to optimize absorption of key nutrients that are needed for healthy hair to grow.
You will reap the benefits of healthy hair in no time!
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Helpful Supplements & My Nutrafol Review
I have been through them all, folks. Sad to say it. Theres a lot of absolute garbage out there too, false claims, weird ingredients, Ill spare you the details and let you know what I do like.
To sum up: After you know your levels and your root cause, address this appropriately through diet and supplements to support your bodys natural healing process.
Ignoring Their Brain Health
The most common form of collateral damage in chronic Hashimotos patients is accelerated brain degeneration. Brain degeneration leads to identical symptoms of hypothyroidism, including fatigue and depression. I strongly suggest all thyroid patients become experts in identifying and supporting their brain health by referring to my second book, Why Isnt My Brain Working?
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Can Thyroid Related Hair Loss Be Reversed
Thyroid related hair loss is temporary. Hair loss is naturally reversible if you take the right treatment for thyroid problems. The most common medicine used for thyroid disease is levothyroxine. Hair loss is one of the side effects of synthetic thyroid hormones.
In Ayurveda, the role of ‘Agni’ in your body is foremost to interpret hypo/hyperthyroidism’s pathogenesis. Ayurvedic herbs nourish ‘Agni’ to achieve the thyroid gland’s wholesome regular activity while supporting stem cells replenishing hair growth.
Thyroid related hair loss is reversible by controlling the excessive imbalance of thyroid hormones. It is a slow and steady process to return complete stability to your thyroid gland. Meanwhile, you can strengthen your hair follicles to resist hair loss.
The stress of the imbalance prolongs your hair follicles’ resting phase, ceasing your hair growth temporarily. Ayurvedic essential oils rejuvenate the outermost part of the skin cells to reactivate your hair life cycle.
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.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose Hashimotos Disease
Doctors diagnose Hashimotos disease based on
- medical history and physical exam. Your doctor will start by taking a medical history and performing a physical exam. In addition to asking about symptoms, the doctor will check your neck for a goiter, which some people with Hashimotos disease can develop.
- blood tests. Your doctor will order one or more blood tests to check for hypothyroidism and its causes. Examples include tests for
- the thyroid hormones T4 and T3
- thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH
- thyroid peroxidase antibodies , a type of thyroid antibody that is present in most people with Hashimotos disease
You probably wont need other tests to confirm you have Hashimotos disease. However, if your doctor suspects Hashimotos disease but you dont have antithyroid antibodies in your blood, you may have an ultrasound of your thyroid. The ultrasound images can show the size of your thyroid and other features of Hashimotos disease. The ultrasound also can rule out other causes of an enlarged thyroid, such as thyroid nodulessmall lumps in the thyroid gland.
Who Is More Likely To Have Hashimotos Disease
Hashimotos disease is 4 to 10 times more common in women than men.2 Although the disease may occur in teens or young women, it more often develops in women ages 30 to 50.3 Your chance of developing Hashimotos disease increases if other family members have the disease.
You are more likely to develop Hashimotos disease if you have other autoimmune disorders, including4
- celiac disease, a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine
- lupus, a chronic, or long-term, disorder that can affect many parts of the body
- rheumatoid arthritis, a disorder that affects the joints
- Sjögrens syndrome, a disease that causes dry eyes and mouth
- type 1 diabetes, a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high
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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
With Medication Prescribed By Your Doctor
Before your doctor prescribes any hair loss treatment, he may like to do some blood tests to check for deficiencies and hormonal imbalances. When these tests are within the normal range, your physician may prescribe a medical treatment named minoxidil. For women experiencing surgical menopause, hormone replacement therapy may be a suitable treatment option for hair loss after hysterectomy.
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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”?
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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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.
Exploring Natural Hair Care Remedies
Once you start taking medication to regulate your thyroid issue, theres a good chance that you wont want to take any additional medications or use other chemicals on your body or as part of your scalp care routine. Here are some natural and evidence-based remedies which may help restore your hair and promote healthy growth.
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How To Stop Hair Loss Due To Thyroid Conditions
Many people worry that all of their hair will fall out, but the truth is that hair loss caused by thyroid disorders is usually temporary and can be reversed, especially if you work with your endocrinologist to get tested and on the right treatment for your condition. Using thyroid medications to rebalance your hormones may help replace the lost hair, even though it could take some time before you see new growth.
According to Amy Myers MD, youre going to want to ask your doctor for a full thyroid panel to check your TSH, free T4, free T3, and reverse T3.
These levels should be optimal, not just normal. The difference? Normal results especially with TSH and T4 could still cause issues like hair loss. Youll then want to work with your doctor to find the right kind and dosage of thyroid medication for your specific thyroid hormone imbalance. Your endocrinologist will help you arrive at the right treatment for your symptoms.
Be sure to see a specialist who understands the nuances of thyroid conditions. Its important that you keep track of your symptoms, note how long youve been taking your medication, get regular thyroid checkups, and advocate for yourself at your doctors appointments. Ask about every possible treatment option and all the combinations that might work for you, especially if hair loss continues well after medical treatment.