Severe and prolonged hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can lead to hair loss. The loss is diffuse and involves the entire scalp rather than discrete areas. Hair looks evenly thinning. Regrowth is possible with successful treatment of the thyroid disorder, although it takes a few months and may be incomplete. It is unusual for mild hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, or short-term thyroid problems, to cause hair loss.
Some forms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are detected and diagnosed early, while others can take months or years to be diagnosed. Hair loss due to thyroid becomes apparent several months after detection of thyroid disease. It’s because of the long hair cycle. In such cases, paradoxically, hair loss may follow thyroid treatment and thyroid medication may be blamed for it, leading to discontinuation of treatment, which in turn may make the hair loss problem worse.
What does thyroid hair loss look like?
Thyroid-related hair loss and hair changes have some characteristic patterns, such as:
- Diffuse hair loss or thinning over the entire scalp
- Hair loss that occurs in inconspicuous areas of the scalp, resulting in smooth, circular bald patches
- Loss of body hair other than the head: A symptom of hypothyroidism is loss of hair from the outer edges of your eyebrows
- Changes in hair texture: With hypothyroidism, your hair may be dry or coarse; with hyperthyroidism it can be extra soft and thin
How to stop hair loss due to thyroid?
1. Watch your iron intake
Iron is one of the most important minerals for the thyroid to function properly. Its absence can trigger certain problems, including hair loss. Consider consuming iron-rich foods like beans, red meat, seafood, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, eggs, etc. In addition to iron, make sure you have other nutrients like zinc, biotinvitamins, lysine and selenium, as they can stimulate hair growth.
2. Add anti-inflammatory foods
The next step to reversing your thyroid hair loss is to make sure you don’t eat inflammatory foods like processed foods, fried foods, and sugar. You can have anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric and ginger which will likely boost your endocrine function. Your thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, and improving your endocrine system can help relieve thyroid symptoms.
3. Control iodine intake
Although adding more iodine to your diet can improve your metabolism and prevent enlarged thyroid glands, too much can also cause an imbalance in the body, further worsening thyroid symptoms, including Hair loss.
4. Practice yoga and meditation
do yoga and meditation regularly can help reduce your stress levels in the body. As stress and the thyroid have a close connection, meditation and yoga can help manage thyroid symptoms and improve your overall health, which will have a positive impact on your hair.
5. Include herbs in your diet
Along with consuming a nutrient-dense diet, you should also incorporate herbs into your diet like saw palmetto, red cloves, black cohosh, and dong quai. These herbs are well known to treat the health of your hair. You can also add cinnamon and coriander herbs which are supposed to Boost metabolismwhich is vital for low thyroid function.
6. Apply essential oils
Essential oils won’t magically help you produce thyroid hormones, but they can definitely improve thyroid symptoms. Essential oils are known to boost hair growthso these oils can solve the problem better!
Vitamins for thyroid hair loss
Nutritional deficiencies can lead to hair loss even without any thyroid issues. Specifically, the researchers explain that levels of specific vitamins and minerals may play a role in hair retention and hair loss:
- vitamins B-7 (biotin) and B-complex
- the copper
- the iron
- vitamins C, E and A
- Coenzyme Q10
A multivitamin can help improve your condition. beware that too much supplementation can cause hair thinning.
Thyroid Hair Loss vs Male Pattern Baldness
Androgenetic alopecia and hair loss caused by thyroid problems can cause hair to fall out in distinct patterns. This allows doctors to easily distinguish between the two types of hair loss.
Hair loss due to hypothyroidism is more diffuse and has no pattern. It involves the entire scalp. The ability to see the scalp through the overlying hair is typical.
male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia can occur in both sexes. Men usually notice thinning hair on the top and front of the head above both temples. Women notice it more on the top and crown of their head. In women, the hairline usually does not recede like in men.
If your doctor suspects that thyroid problems are the cause of your hair loss, they will do a blood test to find out more. A diagnostic blood test can help measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). An excess of TSH indicates hypothyroidism, while an abnormally low level indicates hyperthyroidism. Your doctor will then prescribe thyroid hormone medications to restore your thyroid levels to normal.
What is the connection between the thyroid and hair?
Thyroid problems can be a reason for your hair loss if severe and left untreated. Understanding how these conditions cause hair loss involves a thorough understanding of how our hair grows.
Your hair begins to grow at the root at the bottom of your hair follicle on your scalp. Then the blood vessels in your scalp supply the root, creating more cells and making your hair grow. The hair will then be pushed up and out through your skin. It passes through all the sebaceous glands which help keep it soft and shiny. Your hair grows for a while and then falls out of your head with each new cycle of growth.
1) When the hormonal production of the body is disturbed, especially of the T3 and T4 hormones, it affects all other processes in the body. This also includes hair development at the root.
2) Hair will fall out and may not be replaced by new growth, resulting in thinning hair on your scalp and other areas such as your eyebrows.
Alopecia is an autoimmune condition that is often seen with thyroid conditions. It causes patches of hair loss in more inconspicuous areas of your body. After a while, this condition can lead to baldness. Polycystic ovary syndrome and lupus erythematosus are other autoimmune diseases that can cause hair loss and are often linked to thyroid problems.
Symptoms of Thyroid Related Hair Loss
Slow, gradual thinning of hair is the most common symptom of thyroid-related hair loss if you are dealing with it. It does not cause bald patches on the scalp. You may notice more wisps of hair than usual when painting or clogging your shower. Thyroid-related hair loss is usually temporary.
It is completely normal to lose 50 to 100 strands of hair on a regular basis. This happens because 5-10% of your hair is in the telogen or resting phase on any given day. Hair loss beyond this requires medical attention and may be related to the thyroid. You should get evaluated for thyroid hormone levels.
Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include-
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Be cold
Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include-
- Sleeping troubles
- Brittle hair
- Increased sweating
- rapid pulse
Mild forms of thyroid conditions usually do not cause hair thinning. Therefore, seeing your doctor to keep your condition under control with medication could keep your hair thicker or regenerate growth. You won’t get instant results because the hair takes a while to grow out.
Possible medications could include-
Levothyroxine for hypothyroidism
Propylthiouracil and methimazole for hyperthyroidism
Beta blockers for hyperthyroidism
Your doctor will check your thyroid levels while you continue to take medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.
With ongoing treatment, hair growth may be noticeable after several months. You should be aware that new hair growth may differ in color or texture from your original hair.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you know if hair loss is from the thyroid?
Severe and prolonged hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to hair loss. The loss is diffuse and usually involves the entire scalp rather than discrete areas. Hair looks evenly thinning. Regrowth is possible with successful treatment of the thyroid disorder, although it may take several months and may also be incomplete.
2. Is thyroid hair loss reversible?
Well, hair loss caused by thyroid disorders is usually temporary and can be reversed, especially if you work with your endocrinologist to get tested and get the right treatment for your condition.
3. What vitamins can I take to boost my thyroid?
Vitamin A plays an essential role in thyroid function and helps regulate thyroid hormone metabolism and inhibits thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).