Thyroid Disorders And Hair Loss?

Just a tiny percentage of hair loss cases may be attributed to abnormal hormones, often blamed for the condition. Various factors may cause hair loss, and some thinning of the hair is to be expected as we age. Every male and every woman will experience hair loss at some point, although it's more common in women after delivery and menopause. The hair on our scalps does not grow at a constant rate. A cycle of development and rest occurs in each hair follicle (the cellular unit responsible for hair creation). During the telogen phase, new hair grows out of the old. Dogs, for example, shed a lot of hair at the same moment, or "molt," since this process is synchronized in certain species.

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Dr. Reena Jogi is a dermatologist who specializes in PRP Hair Restoration in Houston, Texas.


Causes of Hair Loss Due to Thyroid Disease

Because the development of human hair is not synchronized, different hair follicles might be at various phases of their growth cycle simultaneously. In other words, it is normal to lose some hair regularly and have new hair come back in the same place. 

The sickness leads all hair follicles to enter a resting phase, resulting in a temporary cessation of hair growth. Hair loss may not be noticeable for many months since the hair cycle is so lengthy (several months). By then, the individual will have recovered from their sickness. Because the onset of new hair growth corresponds with this kind of hair loss, baldness is only temporary [1].

Thyroid Illness and Hair Loss

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism that are severe and long-lasting may lead to hair thinning. The loss is widespread and does not affect just one part of the scalp. The hair has a scant appearance all around. 

It is common for regrowth to occur after effective treatment of the thyroid disease, although this may take many months and be insufficient. Hair loss is uncommon in people with moderate (e.g., subclinical) hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, or short-term thyroid disorders.

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may appear suddenly or have been present for months or even years before they are finally discovered. Thyroid disease-induced hair loss usually takes months to become visible [2]. 

Long hair cycles are to blame. Hair loss may follow thyroid therapy, and thyroid medication may be incorrectly blamed, resulting in treatment cessation, which might aggravate hair loss.

Hair Loss and Antithyroid Treatment

Carbimazole and propylthiouracil, two antithyroid medications, may rarely cause generalized hair loss. It might be difficult to identify whether hair loss is caused by antithyroid medicines or by the consequences of earlier thyroid overactivity. 

Antithyroid medications are unlikely to be the source of the problem, and finding an alternate method of treating hyperthyroidism is uncommon. Hair loss is not a side effect of radioiodine [3].

Symptoms of Hair Loss Caused by Thyroid Disease

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may cause gradual hair loss. Patches missing or bald places may go unnoticed. Perhaps you've noticed general thinness to your locks?

As many as 100 hairs fall from your head each day. Uneven hair loss may occur if the natural cycle of hair development is disrupted. Drugs may be causing hair loss, although this may be because hair goes through a life cycle [3].

Hair Loss Associated with Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Hypothyroidism (or hyperthyroidism) is the most common cause of autoimmunity. A person is more likely than others to get another autoimmune illness if they already have one. Rarely, but more often than predicted, persons with autoimmune thyroid illness develop alopecia areata (hair loss due to an immunological response). 

Alopecia areata, in contrast to the other kinds of diffuse hair loss discussed above, results in isolated patches of hair loss that are frequently circular. This condition is temporary and does not develop in most instances, although it might lead to considerable baldness. 

Lupus erythematosus, for example, is a rare autoimmune disorder that may cause hair loss by scarring, which is connected with autoimmune thyroid problems. In addition to polycystic ovarian syndrome and autoimmune thyroid disease, generalized hair loss, irregular periods, obesity, and acne may be signs of the condition [4].

Investigations For Hair Loss

If you have hair loss that's causing you to worry, you should visit your primary care physician for an assessment. Hair loss in the absence of other thyroid-related symptoms is rare in patients with thyroid illness. 

Additional tests to rule out other reasons for diffuse hair loss, such as iron deficiency, may be recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may want to rule out other, less common reasons for hair loss [5]. 

Can You Expect Regrowth?

Regrowth may be unexpected, so try to be patient and be mindful that new hair may have a different texture or color than the old.

It's reassuring to know that you're not the only one experiencing the emotional toll of hair loss. After losing your hair for whatever reason, accepting the circumstance, focusing on your strengths, and making efforts to enhance your new appearance can make it easier to manage.

It's possible that your thyroid is not the source of the problem; thus, don't put your faith in miracle cures. For further information, consult with a medical practitioner. Some people can conceal or cover up their hair loss symptoms using wigs, hair extensions, scarves, and even make-up. Pay close attention to the advice of hairstylists who have had extensive training and experience [6]. 

Hair Supplements

Hair that has been straightened or braided is more prone to breakage, so avoid employing these methods. Make use of combs and brushes with extra-wide teeth.

Washing, treating, and grooming your hair should be done with care. When it comes to color, highlights, and conditioning, stay away from over-the-counter items and always use solutions advised by a professional. Caffeine-based shampoos are popular, although they aren't really helpful [7].

Hair supplements that contain iodine or that interfere with levothyroxine absorption should be avoided. Iodine-rich foods like kelp and 'thyroid support products' should be avoided since they may induce either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism).

Iodine supplements should only be used if prescribed by a doctor or medical consultant. Take your levothyroxine dosage at least four hours after consuming calcium-rich meals or supplements. Any uncertainty should be clarified with your pharmacist.

Role of Biotin in Hair Regrowth

Small levels of biotin (vitamin B7) may be found in egg yolks, liver, nuts & seeds, salmon, and avocadoes. Sweet potatoes and avocados also contain biotin. Hair and nail health is often cited as a benefit of taking this supplement. 

Several cosmetics and multivitamins include this ingredient, even though the advantages are speculative. Many cosmetic biotin supplements include substantially larger amounts than the 30mcg daily recommendation, ranging from 5,000mcg to 10,000mcg [8]. 

Mega-doses of biotin may cause misleading TSH, FT4, and FT3 levels, producing a reading that signals an overactive thyroid in thyroid patients (hyperthyroidism). 

The American Thyroid Association recommends avoiding biotin supplements for at least a couple of days before blood tests to minimize the chance of a false reading if you're using them to boost hair growth. It is also a good idea to tell your doctor about these or any other supplements you've been taking.

Hair Loss Caused by Hormones: Treatment Options

Diet and stress management may have a significant impact on the health of one's hair.

  1. Make sure you're getting enough iron. Ferritin, a blood protein linked to hair development, is reduced when low iron levels. Low ferritin is also a symptom of thyroid problems. Therefore, you should get your ferritin and iron levels examined and your thyroid levels.
  1. Make sure you're eating enough protein, which is a key component in forming healthy hair.
  1. Take a biotin-fortified multivitamin. It's not only the vitamins that are good for your hair; it's also zinc, copper, and CoQ10. Biotin, a B vitamin, is a must for healthy hair, skin, and nails, and it is widely available as a supplement. Remember that "pharmaceutical-grade" vitamins are safer and more effective, so make sure you purchase from a trustworthy vitamin supplier.
  1. Keep an eye on your stress levels daily. Too much stress results in an overabundance of cortisol. The delicate balance of our hormones may be upset by long-term stress, leading to hair loss as a side effect.
  1. It's possible that taking thyroid medication while also being under a lot of stress isn't the best thing for you in the long run. According to Integrative Health Coach Jen Mayo, hair loss and hormonal imbalances are both exacerbated by stress hormones.
  1. An 'always-on' stress response results from stress being ingrained in the body. Trauma and stress may develop physical difficulties unless treated, and treatments to manage symptoms can help [9].

The Bottomline

Before treating your hair loss at home, see your doctor. Hair loss is more common in more severe thyroid problems.

Hair loss might sometimes be a sign of anything else wrong with your body. Regrowth and other symptoms that you're experiencing may need the use of medicine in addition to home cures. A few months of therapy should result in fuller hair.

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