How Thyroid Disease Can Cause Hair Loss

Thyroid Disease

If your hormones are being affected by some type of thyroid disease, your whole body can be affected. It can affect your body in many ways, including your weight, mood, and even hair loss.  Hair loss is actually a fairly common side effect of thyroid disease, but the good news is that it is not a permanent problem as long as you get the treatment that you need.

Your hair follicles follow a natural hair growth cycle. At any given time, two-thirds of your hair is growing while only one-third of it is resting or transitioning. But any changes that occur in the body can throw off that cycle. This means that too many hairs are resting at one time and not enough are growing. The results are hair loss, thinning hair, and even balding.

How Thyroid Disease Can Cause Hair Loss

Hair Growth

There are lots of medical conditions that can cause hair loss, with thyroid disease being a main cause. Thyroid problems can include either an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) or an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Because normal hair growth is dependent on the proper functioning of your thyroid gland, if you have abnormal levels of thyroid hormone produced by this gland, it can result in hair changes along with many other side effects if it is left untreated. If there is too much thyroid hormone, the hair on your scalp may become fine with diffuse thinning hair all over your head. If there is too little of this hormone, there can be hair loss not just on the scalp, but also everywhere on the body.

This type of hair loss is only temporary though and will go away as treatment is continued and thyroid hormone levels stabilize. Most times the hair that was lost will also grow back.

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How Thyroid Disease Can Cause Hair Loss

Hair Loss

Any type of thyroid disease can cause many different symptoms, but they can sometimes be subtle symptoms. In addition to hair loss or thinning hair, be aware of these other symptoms:

  1. Changes in your mood, such as anxiety, irritability, or increased nervousness
  2. Being unable to tolerate temperature adjustments
  3. Insomnia or sleeping too much
  4. Changes to your weight — either gaining weight or losing weight
  5. Abnormal menstrual periods
  6. Pain or weakness in your muscles
  7. Dry hair or skin
  8. Trouble paying attention, remembering, and concentrating

Thyroid Hormone

Thyroid function can be assessed using a simple blood test, so if you notice any symptoms that could signal thyroid disease, see your doctor.

It can take some time to find the right dosage of thyroid hormone to get your thyroid under control. But once you do, the hair will stop falling out and will start to grow back. It also might make sense to try a topical medication that helps spur hair growth like minoxidil (Rogaine) to encourage hair growth.

If you are suffering with any type of hair loss, we will do a full assessment for you at your consultation.

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