Hair loss can occur for a variety of reasons, including from abnormal production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland, a butterfly shaped gland located in the lower part of the front of the neck, is responsible for making thyroid hormones. The body uses these hormones to stay warm, keep muscles and organs functioning properly, and to supply energy. Today we explore the link between hair loss and thyroid function and discuss possible treatment options.
Link Between Thyroid Health and Hair
Hair loss can occur in individuals who have either an over- or underactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism (underactive) occurs when there is an insufficient amount of thyroid hormones, whereas hyperthyroidism (overactive) involves overproduction of the hormone. Because the thyroid hormone places a significant role in the development of hair follicles, too much or too little of the hormone can cause the system to switch to a state of telogen effluvium, a condition that causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into the resting stage of the hair growth cycle. This can result in as much as 70 percent of scalp hairs to fall out within 2 months.
Common Signs of Thyroid-Related Hair Loss
Everyone sheds a certain amount of hair daily as part of a normal hair cycle. In fact, you can expect to lose between 50 – 100 hairs a day, usually without even noticing. However, those with telogen effluvium often experience hair loss in handfuls. What’s more, while it’s most noticeable on the scalp, it can affect any part of the body. Other symptoms of over- or underactive thyroid include:
It is unusual for hair loss to be the only symptom of an overactive or underactive thyroid.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Feeling cold
- Unusually dry skin
- Depressed mood
- Unexplained weight loss
- Irritability & nervousness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Increased sweating
- Hand tremors
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fine or brittle hair
- Muscle weakness
- More frequent bowel movements
Each of the above symptoms, plus hair loss, can stem from other conditions, as well. See your doctor to have your thyroid levels checked and to determine the exact cause. You can’t treat thyroid hair loss until to thyroid issue is first resolved. Treatment can include medications, internal radiation therapy, and surgery.
Dietary and lifestyle changes can improve overall hair health and promote growth. Eat a balanced diet that includes fish, dark green vegetables, and protein-, biotin-, and calcium-rich foods. Manage stress, exercise, stay hydrated, and get an adequate amount of sleep.
So, you doctor has determined the cause of your thyroid condition, you do have significant hair loss, and now you want to rectify the situation. That means it’s time to contact the hair transplant team at DiStefano Hair Restoration Center for a free consultation. We can work wonders for you, just as we have for hundreds of other patients throughout Southern New England.