What Does Thyroid Disease
Unlike male pattern baldness, the hair loss of thyroid disease usually involves your whole scalp and not just certain areas. So rather than a receding hairline or bald spots, it’s typical for all of the hair to appear sparse or thin. The exception is alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that sometimes occurs with thyroid disease, which does cause bald patches.
Does Low Estrogen Cause Hair Loss
Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Its normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day, many of which end up on your pillowcase or stuck inside your hairbrush.
However, if youre losing a lot of hair every day, theres a chance that its linked to an underlying health issue.
One potential cause of hair loss is a change in your levels of certain hormones, particularly the female sex hormone estrogen.
Your estrogen levels may drop in response to a health issue, the use of certain medications or during menopause.
Below, weve discussed how low estrogen can contribute to hair loss, as well as the treatment options that are available if youre experiencing hair loss and think that low estrogen levels are the cause.
How To Stop Hair Loss Due To Thyroid Conditions
Many people worry that all of their hair will fall out, but the truth is that hair loss caused by thyroid disorders is usually temporary and can be reversed, especially if you work with your endocrinologist to get tested and on the right treatment for your condition. Using thyroid medications to rebalance your hormones may help replace the lost hair, even though it could take some time before you see new growth.
According to Amy Myers MD, youre going to want to ask your doctor for a full thyroid panel to check your TSH, free T4, free T3, and reverse T3.
These levels should be optimal, not just normal. The difference? Normal results especially with TSH and T4 could still cause issues like hair loss. Youll then want to work with your doctor to find the right kind and dosage of thyroid medication for your specific thyroid hormone imbalance. Your endocrinologist will help you arrive at the right treatment for your symptoms.
Be sure to see a specialist who understands the nuances of thyroid conditions. Its important that you keep track of your symptoms, note how long youve been taking your medication, get regular thyroid checkups, and advocate for yourself at your doctors appointments. Ask about every possible treatment option and all the combinations that might work for you, especially if hair loss continues well after medical treatment.
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Mechanism Of Thyroid Related Hair Loss
Normally, the thyroid gland function is to release triiodothyronine and thyroxine hormones into the bloodstream to regulate wide range of body functions, including the regulation of central nervous system and metabolism. An overactive thyroid gland apparently stimulates the production of excess of hormones, which tend to boost the metabolic rate by assisting the system to drive energy into the cells. An over-functioning thyroid gland increases the heart rate, nervousness, perspiration, including hair loss. Moreover, the hormonal imbalance ceases the growth of hair from the hair follicles. Hence prescription thyroid hormones should be taken daily to correct the problem as the hair regrowth occurs when the body produces appropriate hormones to promote hair formation.
Hair related signs in thyroid disorders
Some of the commonly experienced hair related signs during thyroid disorders are as follows:
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What Causes Low Estrogen
Several different factors can affect your estrogen levels. The most significant is age. In menopausal women, its normal for the amount of estrogen thats produced by the body to decline.
In premenopausal women, the body should produce approximately 30 picograms to 400 picograms of estradiol per milliliter of blood .
And for postmenopausal women, its normal to have a blood estradiol level of 30 pg per mL or less.
Several other issues may also cause low estrogen:
Being underweight or having very little body fat. Research
has found that estrogen production is usually lower in women with very little body fat than in women with normal levels of fat.
Being overweight or obese
. Similarly, research has also found that women with very high levels of body fat are also more likely to have decreased estrogen levels.
Exercising excessively. While a moderate amount of exercise is great for your health, large amounts of high-intensity exercise
may affect your hormone production and result in lower estrogen levels.
Being under significant stress. Research
shows that psychological stress may make the natural falls in estrogen that occur during your menstrual cycle more extreme, cranking up the hormonal imbalance and the issues that come with it.
Polycystic ovary syndrome . This is a common hormonal disorder that tends to affect women in their 20s and 30s. It can cause a range of symptoms, including changes to your menstrual cycle and PCOS-related hair loss
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Dry Coarse Or Brittle Hair Could Be Due To Thyroid Disease
Hypothyroidism can cause your hair to become dry, coarse, or brittle. In his 2011 research paper “Thyroid Hormone Action on Skin” published in the journal Dermato-Endoctrinology, Joshua D. Safer, MD, listed a series of changes to the hair that can occur as a direct result of a thyroid disorder. “In hypothyroidism, hair can be dry, coarse, brittle and slow growing,” he explains. Conversely, hyperthyroidism can lead to your hair feeling extra soft and fine.
The connection between your hair and your thyroid stems from the interference of thyroid hormones T3 and T4, the experts at Healthline explain. When the levels of these hormones are out of line, it affects the development of new hair at the root of your hair follicles. Usually, these roots are fed by your blood vessels to create more cells and grow your hair. But that process doesn’t go as planned with a thyroid disorder.
Difficulty Dealing With Temperature Changes
If you are struggling to adjust to changes in temperature, you may be suffering from a thyroid problem. If your thyroid does not make enough hormones, you might have difficulty handling colder temperatures. For example, you might feel very cold when you go outside during the winter. In addition, you might have to turn up the heat in your home and wear jackets when you are inside. Its also common for your feet and hands to become cold.
When your thyroid gland is too active, you might have difficulty enduring hot weather. For example, you might sweat when you are in relatively mild climates. In addition, you might turn on the air conditioner in your home and experience hot flashes.
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Can Low Estrogen Cause Hair Loss
Estrogen is one of several essential sex hormones in your body. During puberty, it plays a major role in starting your menstrual cycle and defining your female physical features.
Throughout your life, estrogen is responsible for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, keeping your bones strong and healthy and affecting certain aspects of your brain function.
Although the link between estrogen and hair health isnt completely understood, experts believe that these hormone levels do play a protective role against hair loss.
This is because most research shows that women with low levels of estrogen are more likely to develop female pattern hair loss as a result of the hormonal imbalance.
Female pattern hair loss is the womens equivalent of male pattern baldness . Its caused by a combination of hormonal and genetic factors.
Unlike male pattern baldness, which usually causes a receding hairline or bald spot around the crown, female pattern hair loss generally causes your hair to thin around your part line .
Over time, this type of hair loss can become more severe until the hair on the top of your scalp has an almost see-through appearance.
When we talk androgenetic alopecia, were usually talking about men. But, believe it or not, female hair loss loss is quite common in women, especially as we age. In fact, research shows that around 21 million women in the United States alone show some degree of female hair loss.
Lauren Jones: My Shot Of Hope
A blood take a look at may help decide if the thyroid is functioning usually or if it produces too little or too few thyroid hormones. When the thyroid doesnt perform correctly, the signs will be imprecise and the issue can stay undiagnosed for years. The results can range from continual fatigue to infertility.
To compile a listing of frequent indicators of thyroid issues, 24/7 Tempo reviewed quite a few websites that concentrate on well being and thyroid points particularly.
One in eight girls can have a dysfunctional thyroid throughout her life, which may trigger menstrual issues, problem getting pregnant, in addition to well being issues as soon as a lady is pregnant. Girls whove gone by radiotherapy or have anemia or Sort 1 diabetes are at the next threat for thyroid illness.
Extra girls than males have thyroid illness, together with thyroid most cancers, which will be detected with a biopsy or imaging assessments, together with an MRI, an ultrasound, a radioiodine scan, or a chest X-ray. About 33,000 girls are identified with thyroid cancer a 12 months, and 1,000 girls die from the illness.
Much like thyroid illness, many different well being issues are hiding behind imprecise signs most individuals dismiss as being the results of lack of sleep or an excessive amount of stress. Here are 28 warning signs you are in bad health.
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Things That Stopped My Thyroid Hair Loss
You will NOT take my hair.
I always had very thick, long, curly hair. Around the age of 30 I started noticing my hair clogging the shower drain from time to time. However since I still had so much hair, it wasnt high on my personal list of worst hypothyroidism symptoms.
Then all of a sudden one close look in the mirror when I turned 42 years old changed all that.
As I was brushing my hair something caught my eye in the mirror.
Waitis that my scalp showing through?
A closer look.
My hair was noticeably thinner on both sides of my head above my ears, front, and at the temples.
My gut reaction was a scream, then tears.
What happened to my hair?
Hey Thyroid, Do NOT mess with me.
I cut off all my long hair, literally into a short pixie cut. I couldnt stand to watch the mounds of hair falling off my head.
I went into deep research mode, searching for every article and published study that I could find. I turned myself into a human guinea pig trying every supplement that I found connected to hair loss discovering a few that worked and too many that didnt.
I saved my hair. And you can too.
There Are Some Other Surface Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease You Should Be Looking Out For
The thyroid is so integral to your body’s regulation that anytime levels are off, it can cause a vast array of issues. Safer’s paper warns that there are multiple skin manifestations of thyroid dysfunction, including thin, scaly skin edema to the hands, face, and eyelids thin or brittle nails irregular sweating cold intolerance heat intolerance and drooping of the eyelids. Of course, that’s in addition to an enlarged goiter at the base of your neck, the tell-tale sign of a thyroid issue.
If any of these symptoms are occurring, your doctor can check your hormone levels and determine the best course of action. Given the wide range of conditions that both hyper- and hypothyroidism can cause, it’s essential that you don’t delay investigation.
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Feeling Down Or Depressed
Hypothyroidism is linked to depression. The reasons for this are unclear, but it might be a mental symptom of an overall decrease in energy and health .
64% of women and 57% of men with hypothyroidism report feelings of depression. About the same percentage of men and women also experience anxiety .
In one study, thyroid hormone replacement improved depression in patients with mild hypothyroidism, compared to a placebo .
Another study of young women with mild hypothyroidism showed increased feelings of depression, which were also connected to decreased satisfaction with their sex lives (
Feeling depressed is a good reason to talk to a physician or therapist. They may be able to help you cope, regardless of whether the depression is caused by thyroid problems or something else.
Summary: Hypothyroidism can cause depression and anxiety. These conditions are shown to improve with thyroid hormone replacement.
How Long Does It Take Hair To Grow Back
What about expectations? I’ve come to learn that people are not too patient when it comes to hair regrowth.
And I don’t blame them one bit!
Which is why you should be aware of what to expect when you are trying to grow your hair back.
You should know that it takes WEEKS to MONTHS to see improvement in your hair growth if you have any sort of thyroid condition.
In fact, the minimum amount of time it takes to see improvement is usually around 6 weeks.
And it’s usually around this time that you start to see baby hairs start to grow back.
Don’t expect to see significant improvement in the density of your hair for at least 4-6 months.
Your ponytail should be thicker, your hair should be shinier, your eyebrows should be back, and so on.
But this all assumes that what you are doing are the RIGHT therapy and the CORRECT treatment.
It’s certainly possible for you to make changes you think might be working but not see any progress at all for months.
This is part of the trial and error process, so don’t be discouraged.
Because it takes so long, you may want to make more than one change at a time to see if you can see improvement faster.
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Lifestyle And Habit Changes
If you have low estrogen levels due to a lifestyle factor for example, excessive exercise your healthcare provider may suggest making changes to increase your estrogen production.
You may need to adjust your activity level or diet. If youve experienced weight gain over time or are clinically obese, your healthcare provider may suggest losing weight. Other lifestyle changes, such as reducing your stress levels, may also help to promote optimal hormone production.
Your Guide To Thyroid Medication
Optimizing your thyroid levels with thyroid hormone replacement medication is usually the first step in minimizing symptoms.
Eat a healthful diet
The more dietary stress you put on yourself, the more likely you are to experience inflammation that can interfere with your thyroid function. Eat a healthy diet of nutrient-rich foods and limit processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol to support your hair, skin, and nails from the inside. Peptides and lipids are natural oils important to healthy hair, skin, and nails. They are available in eggs, nuts, and avocados.
Antioxidants can also provide your skin with a lift when eaten in addition to being applied topically. Anti-inflammatory foods like ginger and turmeric may support your endocrine system to give the proper growth cues to your glands.
Consider vitamins or mineral supplements
Supplements that can help with new cell growth and fortifying your hair, skin, and nails may include collagen, antioxidants, biotin, and calcium. We recommend you discuss any supplements with your doctor before beginning a new regimen.
Keep in mind that if you take a supplement that contains biotin, it can interfere with some thyroid lab results, so check with your lab to ask if you should avoid taking biotin before testing your thyroid.
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How To Grow Your Hair Back
Okay, so let’s get into the specifics.
I mentioned previously that it can be difficult to figure out what is actually causing your hair loss and that’s because there are several things that matter to thyroid patients and no one else.
Let’s get into each of those:
#1. Thyroid hormone status.
The first and most obvious source of hair loss stems from the status of thyroid hormone in your body.
For most people, this will mean that you are NOT getting enough thyroid hormone.
If you don’t get enough then the hair in your hair follicles won’t grow, it’s quite simple.
This is also true for people who are taking thyroid medication.
The key to fixing this problem is to simply adjust your dose .
Taking a higher dose of thyroid medication will increase thyroid hormone status and improve hair growth.
You should also be aware that an excessively HIGH dose of thyroid hormone can also cause hair loss as well.
This is unusual, but it does happen from time to time.
Both a hyperthyroid and a hypothyroid state, induced by thyroid medication, can trigger hair loss.
But as I mentioned, probably 98% of you reading this are not taking enough thyroid medication so you will need to increase your dose.
#2. Thyroid medications.
The next source of hair loss can stem from the very medication that you are taking to try and fix thyroid hormone status.
That’s right! Thyroid medication ITSELF can cause hair loss regardless of the dose that you are taking.
There’s a big difference between those two.
Role Of Thyroid Gland In Your Body
The thyroid gland is one of the most important endocrine glands in your body. It is located under your voice box at the front of the neck. It regulates body functions by continually releasing thyroxine hormones into your bloodstream. Thyroxine acts as a catalyst for maintaining the rate of oxidative metabolism in most tissues of your body.
If your body needs more energy in certain situations like pregnancy, recovering from illness, etc., the thyroid gland produces more hormones. The pituitary gland helps the thyroid gland to make the right amount of hormones.
Cells in your body receive their ‘cue’ from thyroxine. Thyroxine stimulates cells to perform their functions quickly and upregulates cellular utilization of energy. The thyroid gland’s functional defects result in
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