One can experience hair loss when the thyroid gland is not working correctly. Our thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland which is situated in the lower front part of the neck.
The thyroid gland makes thyroid hormones, which our body uses for energy, to stay warm, and to keep the organs and muscles functioning properly.
Hyperthyroidism vs Hypothyroidism
The most common thyroid-related issues result from an abnormal production of the thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, involves insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone produced. Hyperthyroidism also called an overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone in your body.
Having an overactive or underactive thyroid gland might cause hair loss in some people.
Typically, autoimmune conditions are the most common reason for abnormal thyroid hormone levels. In this article, we will examine the link between thyroid function and hair loss. We also look at possible treatment options and home remedies for thyroid-related hair loss issues.
What is the connection between thyroid and hair?
Thyroid conditions might be a reason for your hair loss if they are severe and go untreated. Understanding how these conditions cause hair loss involves a deep understanding of how our hair grows.
Your hair starts growing at the root in the bottom of your hair follicle on your scalp. Then your scalp’s blood vessels feed the root, thus creating more cells and making your hair grow. Hair will then pushed up and out through your skin. It passes through all the oil glands that help keep it soft and shiny. Your hair grows for a while but then falls out of the head as each new regrowth cycle begins.
1) When the hormone production of the body is disrupted, specifically of hormones T3 and T4 Trusted Source, it affects all the other processes in the body. This also includes the development of hair at the root.
2) The hair will fall out and might not be replaced by new growth, resulting in hair thinning across your scalp and other areas such as your eyebrows.
Alopecia is an autoimmune situation which is often observed with thyroid conditions. It causes patches of hair loss in more discrete areas in your body. After some time, this condition may lead to baldness. Other autoimmune diseases that might lead to hair loss and are often linked to thyroid issues include polycystic ovary syndrome and lupus erythematosus.
Symptoms Of Thyroid Related Hair Loss:
Slow and gradual hair thinning is the most common symptom of thyroid-related hair loss if you are facing one. It does not cause bald patches on the scalp. You might notice that more than usual hair strands while combing or clogging up your shower. Hair loss that is related to the thyroid is usually temporary.
It is quite normal to lose 50-100 strands of your hair regularly. This situation happens because 5-10% of your hair is in the telogen phase or resting phase on any particular day. Loss of hair beyond this needs medical attention and might be related to thyroid. You should get yourself evaluated for thyroid hormone levels.
Usual symptoms of hypothyroidism include-
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Feeling cold
Usual symptoms of hyperthyroidism include-
- Sleeping disorders
- Brittle hair
- Weight loss
- Increased sweating
- Fast heartbeat
Mild forms of thyroid conditions do not generally lead to hair thinning. As a result, consult with your doctor to keep your condition under control with medication might keep your hair thicker or regenerate growth. You will not get results instantly because hair takes some time to develop and then grow.
Possible medications might include-
- Levothyroxine for hypothyroidism
- Propylthiouracil and methimazole for hyperthyroidism
- Beta-blockers for hyperthyroidism
Your doctor will check your thyroid levels while you are kept on medication. In some cases, surgery might be necessary.
With treatment ongoing, hair growth might be noticeable within several months. You must be aware that the new hair growth may differ in colour or texture from your original hair.
Home Remedies for Hair Fall
While the home remedies listed down do not hold any scientific evidence, you can still give them a try to boost hair growth.
You must address nutritional deficiencies are linked to hair loss. The following are crucial for your hair growth:
- Vitamin B7 and B complex
- Vitamin C, A and E
- Coenzyme Q10
You need to talk to your doctor if you can turn to a multivitamin supplement.
1) Iron-Rich Foods
Iron deficiency and thyroid-related hair loss are interlinked. You can get yourself tested for iron levels in your body and consider taking supplements for iron-rich foods like liver, beef, eggs, lamb, green leafy vegetables and so on.
2) Stay Away From Inflammatory Foods
You must avoid inflammation-causing foods like processed foods, fried foods, red meat and sugars. This can increase your thyroid. You should have anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric and ginger. Also, remember to eat a diet rich in whole foods.
3) Include Herbs
It is advised to include herbs like palmetto, red clover, false unicorn, chaste berry and dong Quai in the diet that are known to treat hair loss. You must consult a doctor before you start using them.
4) Apply Essential Oils
Essential oils like eucalyptus oil and other plant extracts are helpful and known to improve hair growth. You must consider a patch test before you start using essential oils for hair growth.
5) Control Iodine Consumption
Iodine is directly associated with the thyroid. You must keep a watch on your iodine intake by understanding how much iodine you would require in a day.
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