Thyroid Hair Loss: Causes and Symptoms

Yes, hair loss may be traumatic to the psyche of those affected, but this can also point out a more serious health problem. For the type of hair loss that is caused by a problem with the endocrine gland, it is important to resolve the underlying condition first so that the symptoms can be relieved.

Thyroid Disease Can Cause Hair Loss

  • Any disruption in the function of the thyroid gland will immediately affect the chemical or hormonal balance in the body which can also lead to changes in the quality of your hair.
  • An overactive and an underactive thyroid can both cause hair loss, but the good thing about thyroid hair loss is that it can be treated.
  • The characteristic of thyroid hair loss is that it can occur at any age. The progression is also much quicker than usual.
  • As the body is thrown in a crisis or too much stress, there is a high tendency for the hair cells to shut so that energy needed to normalize the body can be directed to the major organs. That is why hair loss is among the usual signs of too much stress within or outside the body.

So when we talk about thyroid hair loss, we can say that this problem is also due to hormonal imbalance. This occurs when a particular enzyme converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT attacks the hair follicles causing them to shrink and may even lead to permanent damage. When a person experiences hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, the action of DHT is sped up.

A lot of those suffering from thyroid problems would say that the rapid hair loss was the worst symptom they had. Another reason for it is that it is also the one that is most easily visible.

Thyroid conditions can cause the hair to thin; it may also become dry, coarse, and easily tangled as it shed in large amounts.

But there are also certain ways for you to find out if you are suffering from thyroid hair loss. Here are the symptoms that you need to look out for.

1. Thinning eyebrows

One good way of telling thyroid hair loss is if the eyebrows are thinning out. This can only be associated with thyroid hair loss so you might want to give your eyebrows a second look to see if they are becoming pencil thin, particularly on the outer edges, than how they used to be.

2. Swollen neck

Due to the anatomical location of the thyroid, which is at your neck, swelling in this area could indicate thyroid problems. This can easily be detected through visual examination, but even more obvious when palpated. When excessive hair shedding is accompanied by a swelling in your neck, there is a possibility that it could be thyroid hair loss.

3. Feeling tired most of the time

If you still feel fatigued even after getting adequate rest, there could be something wrong with your thyroid, especially when this is accompanied by a large amount of hair loss.

4. Dramatic weight change

If you are not making any changes in your diet or activity level and yet you still find yourself experiencing erratic weight changes that is coupled with hair loss, you could probably have your thyroid to blame for this.

5. Changes in the quality of your hair

You might also want to check the quality of your hair if they eventually turn dry, brittle, stringy and easily breakable. This can be a sign of thyroid malfunction and usually it is your hairdresser that would point this out to you.

So what then do you do if you happen to experience thyroid hair loss?

To be sure that you get the right diagnosis, it is best to approach a dermatologist for this problem. This may be an added cost with all the thyroid treatment you are having, but it really pays to know what it is for sure so that proper treatment may be commenced immediately.

In some cases the hair loss may also be caused by the thyroid drug you are taking. These include names such as Levoxyl, Levothyroid, Tirosint and Synthroid. With prolonged use, there is a great chance that you experience its side effects in which hair loss is one of them.

But you also have to make sure that you are not undertreated because the polar opposite of hyperthyroid can also lead to hair loss.

Doctors may also have your ferritin levels checked if you want to treat thyroid hair loss. Low levels may make it worse for patients, which is why they will be advised to take iron supplements. Remember iron is also an important mineral for hair health. But you also have to remember that iron supplements should be taken at least three hours apart from thyroid medications.

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