Hair Loss And Your Job
There tends to be a lot less stigma with being open about a cancer diagnosis in the workplace than there was even a generation ago. If youre planning to continue working or to job hunt during treatment, youre likely to find that many colleagues are understanding about what youre going through.
Still, its up to you to decide how comfortable you feel telling your colleagues or others you interact with in your job about your diagnosis and treatment. If youve lost your hair and you want to maintain your privacy at work, you might choose to wear a wig that looks as close as possible to your natural hair and to otherwise conceal your hair loss . If youre not as concerned about privacy, you might wear a scarf or choose not to hide your hair loss.
How you decide to handle hair loss at work might also depend on your job role and industry. For instance, if you work in a field in which your appearance is front and center more, you might decide that concealing your hair loss on the days you go into work helps you feel more confident.
For more info about navigating your work life during breast cancer treatment, including what to do if you think youve experienced discrimination, see Breast Cancer and Your Job.
Written by: Jen Uscher, contributing writer
This page was developed with contributions from the following experts:
Nik Georgopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor in cell biology, Paxman Scalp Cooling Research Centre, School of Applied Sciences, University of Huddersfield, UK
Thyroid Nodules: When To Worry
Suppose you go to your doctor for a check-up, and, as shes feeling your neck, she notices a bump. Then, suppose she tells you theres a nodule on your thyroid. Is it time to panic?
No, say experts at Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery. Thyroid nodules even the occasional cancerous ones are treatable.
Heres what you need to know about thyroid nodules and how concerned you should be if you develop one.
Why Is A Thyroidectomy Performed
Your doctor may recommend a thyroidectomy to treat a variety of diseases, disorders and conditions of the thyroid. Your doctor may only consider a thyroidectomy for you if other treatment options with less risk of complications have been ineffective. Ask your doctor about all of your treatment options and consider getting a second opinion before having a thyroidectomy.
Your doctor may recommend a thyroidectomy for:
Benign thyroid tumors, nodules or cysts
or an enlarged thyroid gland. Surgery may be recommended for a goiter that interferes with breathing and swallowing.
when radioactive iodine and medications are not options
Thyrotoxicosis, also called thyroid crisis or thyroid storm, is a sudden worsening of hyperthyroidism that can be life threatening.
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What Foods Are Bad For Thyroid
Foods that are bad for the thyroid gland include foods from the cabbage family, soy, fried foods, wheat, foods high in caffeine, sugar, fluoride and iodine. The thyroid gland is a shield-shaped gland located in your neck. It secretes the hormones T3 and T4 that control the metabolism of every cell in the body.
Will My Hair Grow Back
Im happy to say that YES!!
Your hair can grow back regardless of your thyroid
Heres the story
It all started in late 2012 when my hair was falling out in large amounts more than usual had a rubber band, stretchy like consistency
One day, I was lathering my hair in the shower and felt this texture on my hands I opened my eyes and saw hair everywhere
It was on my hands
The shower curtain
The drain was going to be clogged for sure after all that hair
I rushed out of the shower, wiped off the foggy mirror and there it was
#1 My eyebrows were thinning at the edges
#2 My hair was noticeably thinner
#3 My hair was falling out at the temples and forehead
#4 Scalp was starting to show through
Not really wanting a wig in my future, I set out to figure out how to make my hair appear fuller, and grow thick hair again
I spent years researching thyroid hair loss success stories trying to figure out what other people were doing about it
It seemed that no one had figured it out
Lots of products that promise your hair will grow thick, but none seemed to work
Then I had my biggest epiphany that I want to share with you because if you understand the root cause, you too will be able to take the steps necessary to grow hair again
This may surprise you, so brace yourself and stick with me until the end so that you can see how to grow your hair regardless of your thyroid levels being normal or not
So heres the first question I have for you
Think about this for a second
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Hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism And Hair Loss
Hair loss is a common symptom of both thyroid disorders. For instance, a research study showed that hypothyroidism isnt only associated with skin changes, but hair growth suffers too. The study used mice and found that those lacking TR1 and TR, the main thyroid hormone binding isoforms, experienced disrupted hair cycling. This impaired hair growth cycle was strongly linked to a decline in follicular hair cell proliferation.
Additionally, Egyptian scientists carried out a study to investigate whether alopecia areata was linked to thyroid autoimmunity and thyroid function abnormalities in 50 participants. They discovered that subclinical hypothyroidism was recorded in 16% cases. There were major differences between hypothyroidism patients and controls regarding T3 and T4 levels. Based on these results, scientists concluded that patients with alopecia should also be screened for hypothyroidism as these two conditions are connected.
When the thyroid produces an insufficient amount of much-needed hormones, the body is unable to metabolize protein properly. This is bad if you want to long luscious hair because these proteins is vital for hair growth. At the same time, acid levels in your stomach decline and dont allow you to absorb essential nutrients that support healthy hair growth process.
How To Stop Hair Loss Due To Thyroid
The first step to control thyroid hair loss is to treat your thyroid problem itself. You can stop thyroid-related hair loss with the balance of fundamental bio-elements in your body. Ayurveda classifies your body constitution into three doshas.
1. Vata Dosha
2. Pitta Dosha
3. Kapha Dosha
Pitta, the dominant fire element, is energy that directs digestion and enhances metabolism. Agni, the fire principle, or cellular intelligence leads to the body’s physiological and psychological processes. It includes cellular metabolism and the regulation of hormones at the level of neurons.
The objective of Ayurvedic treatments is to address the root of your problem by decreasing inflammation and regulating the immune system. Coating of Kapha dosha and fat tissue prevents Agni at the cellular level, leading to the malfunction of the thyroid gland. The treatment aims to remove the layer and enhance the work of Agni in metabolism.
Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, Hypothyroidism is predominantly a Kapha Vata disorder. The increased dampness of Kapha and the drying action of Vata over this Kapha plugs the channels, affecting the natural flow of hormones and metabolism. To put it simply, diet and lifestyle that is Kapha Vata-reducing, helps.
Put a stop to your hair loss while trying to balance your thyroid hormones in four possible ways:
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Q: Could My Thyroid Condition Be Causing My Hair Loss
A: Yes, it could. A lot of people with thyroid dysfunction shed hair.
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The hair loss is typically reversed after your thyroid hormone levels are normalized. But this may take some time.
Its important to point out that hair loss may not just be caused by your thyroid, however.
Having one autoimmune disorder also increases your risk for having others, some of which produce hair loss:
- Celiac disease can be associated with iron deficiency, which triggers hair loss.
- Alopecia areata, a skin condition, causes hair to fall out, typically leaving round spots without hair.
And for women, menopause creates a low estrogen state that can thin the hair follicles, giving the appearance of overall hair loss.
If youre shedding hair, I would definitely tell your physician, who can determine the reason. Doctors can sometimes prescribe treatments to minimize or reverse hair loss.
Mechanism Of Thyroid Related Hair Loss
Normally, the thyroid gland function is to release triiodothyronine and thyroxine hormones into the bloodstream to regulate wide range of body functions, including the regulation of central nervous system and metabolism. An overactive thyroid gland apparently stimulates the production of excess of hormones, which tend to boost the metabolic rate by assisting the system to drive energy into the cells. An over-functioning thyroid gland increases the heart rate, nervousness, perspiration, including hair loss. Moreover, the hormonal imbalance ceases the growth of hair from the hair follicles. Hence prescription thyroid hormones should be taken daily to correct the problem as the hair regrowth occurs when the body produces appropriate hormones to promote hair formation.
Hair related signs in thyroid disorders
Some of the commonly experienced hair related signs during thyroid disorders are as follows:
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What Does Inherited Hair Loss Look Like
Inherited hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss. It is inherited from either or both the mother and the father.
- In men, hair loss occurs on the scalp above the forehead and on the top of the head. Bald spots are noticeable.
- In women, hair loss occurs as thinning of the hair all over the scalp, but mostly on the top of the head. Women tend to keep their front hairline and do not generally develop bald spots.
Why Is My Hair Falling Out Reasons For Thyroid Hair Loss
Thyroid hair lossits frustrating, terrifying and just downright unfair.
In your 20s, youd cry over bad hair days. Today, youd weep tears of sheer joy just to have those hairs back! Sound familiar?
While all the symptoms of thyroid issues are unpleasant, the hair today, gone tomorrow factor is enough to make youerrpull your hair out.
But, why is this happening? Perhaps more importantly, how do you reverse thyroid hair loss? First, lets take a look at a few reasons you may experience hair loss.
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Scarves Hats And Turbans
Many people find that scarves and hats are the easiest, most comfortable, and versatile solution for managing hair loss from breast cancer treatment. Scarves and hats can hide your hair loss, help keep you warm, protect you from the sun, and they can be stylish and fun to wear. Learn more about Scarves, Hats, and Turbans for managing treatment-related hair loss.
Thyroid Conditions And Alopecia Areata
Many people with thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism suffer from autoimmune thyroid disease. People affected by autoimmune thyroid disease have a greater risk of developing other autoimmune conditions, such as alopecia areata.Alopecia areata is a type of autoimmune hair loss in which the bodys immune system targets and damages the hair follicles. Hair follicles that are targeted by the immune system can stop producing new hairs, resulting in hair loss.
Hair loss from alopecia areata usually occurs in small, often circular patches, rather than the receding hairline or crown hair loss of male pattern baldness or the diffuse thinning of thyroid hair loss. Some people with alopecia areata develop bands of bald skin, called ophiasis.
In severe cases, alopecia areata can also cause total hair loss on the scalp, as well as loss of hair in the eyebrows, eyelashes and beard area. Some people with alopecia areata may notice that their nails become slightly red, with a weak, rough and brittle texture or may have pitting in their nails.
If you have a thyroid condition and believe youre suffering from alopecia areata, contact your healthcare provider.. Several effective treatments can help you to manage the symptoms of alopecia areata, including corticosteroids.
Medications that stimulate hair growth, such as minoxidil, may also help to promote hair growth in people with alopecia areata.
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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.
Am I Likely To Have Hypothyroidism
In all honesty, no. True hypothyroidism effects less than 1% of people in the US, so it is very unlikely youre going to be effected by this. Its even less likely to have an effect on you if youre a young person, as hypothyroidism is more prevalent as you get older .
Now, there is something else which is called subclinical hypothyroidism. This is far more common than normal hypothyroidism, and effects up to 8% of the population. This is also sometimes know as mild thyroid failure. The symptoms for this are the same, but less intense than the symptoms that youll experience with hypothyroidism.
If youre young and relatively healthy, youre unlikely to have hypothyroidism and it is probably not the cause of your hair loss. If youre a guy, its more likely to be male pattern baldness. If youre a woman, then stress and other factors are a more likely scenario. It is however, very easy for your doctor to check if you have a underactive thyroid. If you think you may have this, then theres really no harm going to your doctor and asking them for a thyroid function test.
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Do Thyroid Medications Cause Hair Loss
Unfortunately, eyebrow hair loss thyroid problems dont just occur because of the medical condition. Your thinning hair could also be triggered by the thyroid medication you take to stop eyebrow hair loss, which seems pretty unfair! It also could be that your thyroid medication dosage needs adjusting, or maybe youre simply reacting to the ingredients in the drugs. One thing is for sure your health comes first. So before you ditch any thyroid medications in frustration, be sure to talk to your prescribing doctor.