Any time we see an unusually large bunch of hair falling off our comb, we are quick to blame our abnormal hormones. You may be surprised to hear that hormonal misbehavior is responsible for only a minor portion of our balding scalp.
In truth, several conditions could be responsible, including our thyroid glands. You see, it is not uncommon knowledge that conditions such as Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism could be the perpetrators too.
Let’s discuss the connection between thyroid and hair loss in details below:
CONNECTION BETWEEN HAIR LOSS AND THYROID
You may have heard of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Your thyroid is overactive in the former and may result in symptoms like anxiety, nervousness, weight loss, and brittle, dry hair. In the latter condition, you have an underactive thyroid, causing symptoms like laziness and obesity.
The latter condition causes brittle, dry hair, and both end up thinning your scalp hair. If you are familiar with the term telogen effluvium (TE), you would know that this form of increased hair loss occurs due to over-supplementation or disorders of the thyroid.
However, it is imperative to note that if you notice weight loss, weight gain, nervousness, fatigue, etc. hair loss can be a thyroid problem. Several other conditions could have similar symptoms, too, while your thyroid remains in perfect working order.
Coming back to your thyroid, the fact, however, remains that an imbalance resulting from the thyroid is more common in females and lesser in men.
The hair loss can speed up if your thyroid issues are severe or neglect treatment for a long time. Let’s look at how hair grows to track hair loss initiation from thyroid:
- First of all, your hair growth begins at the scalp, starting from the bottom of your follicles. The root is where the strands begin to emerge.
- For your hair to continue growing into long, healthy strands, your blood vessels need to feed the roots in the scalp. As more cells come into existence, more hair begins to grow.
- Your hair, protruding out of your skin, undergoes certain oil glands that lend it shine and softness.
- Hair growth occurs in a cycle. Hair strands grow for a while then fall out as a new cycle begins.
The production of hormones T4 and T3 are of vital importance for several processes in your body. So when any production suffers disruption, it ultimately obstructs the regulated processes, including hair development from the roots.
In such an occurrence, your hair begins to fall out, but many may not grow back, as it happens in an otherwise healthy cycle. This leads to hair loss and hair thinning in the scalp and even other parts of your body, like the eyebrows.
Many may resort to taking drugs for their thyroid; in fact, doctors prescribe them for patients too. The effects of taking certain drugs can include hair loss, such as antithyroid and Propylthiouracil drugs. However, you may rest assured that such side effects are rare in the majority of cases.
Furthermore, conditions such as alopecia often have connections with thyroid connections. Alopecia is autoimmune and may cause hair loss in patches over some of your less noticeable areas. Certain conditions, including lupus erythematosus and polycystic ovary syndrome along with alopecia, may result in baldness. These conditions have a link to thyroid problems.
So you see, several factors associated with thyroid and thyroid hormones themselves could be major contributors to your hair loss too. The best way to determine whether the thyroid is the culprit is to determine it medically, with a certified doctor’s help.
COMMON SIGNS OF THYROID-CAUSED HAIR LOSS
It can be a trifle challenging to determine on your own whether your hair loss is resulting from thyroid or other factors. In case it is due to hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, you will note hair loss at a slow speed.
In this case, you will not see distressing bald patches visible immediately but will note your hair is developing a scanty appearance overall. Again, symptoms will vary, and you need to consult a doctor to make sure the hair loss is indeed a result of your thyroid problems.
The good news for you is that hair loss resulting from the thyroid is temporary. In most cases, you will manage to recover all your hair, even if the drugs for your condition initially continue the hair fall. In time, the process will stop, and new hair will begin to grow.
HOW CAN I TREAT HAIR LOSS RESULTING FROM THYROID
If you have verified your hair loss is due to thyroid, then you may try some treatments to cure the condition. For starters, you must remember that mild forms of thyroid usually don’t cause hair loss.
Therefore, if you begin taking medications and consult your doctor for your mild thyroid condition, you can rest assured that your hair cycle will continue strongly, and you will enjoy thicker hair soon. All you need to do is exercise patience till desirable results begin showing after a while.
Doctors may prescribe the following to treat thyroid:
- Beta-blockers for hyperthyroidism
- Levothyroxine for hypothyroidism
- Methimazole and Propylthiouracil for hyperthyroidism
It is important to remember that it takes several months before you can notice considerable hair growth. The treatment is lengthy and time-consuming, so a lot of patience and commitment are necessary. Even when new hair begins to grow, the chances are that the texture and color will vary from your original hair.
As your doctor puts you on these medications, he/she will continue to monitor your progress. In case the drugs cannot control the thyroid levels, you may have to undergo surgery.
Some alternative natural treatments and home remedies include:
- Being gentler on your hair
- Observing your iodine intake
- Using essential oils
- Eating a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet
- Using herbs as treatments, perhaps orally.
- Including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet
- Addressing nutritional deficiencies in the body
- Boosting iron levels
The thyroid can often be the underlying cause of hair loss. However, the good news is that it is a temporary inconvenience, and with the right treatment and care, you may be able to recover most of your lost hair.