Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis And Hair Loss: Everything You Need To Know
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1% to 2% of the U.S. population has Hashimotoâs thyroiditis. It occurs more often in women than in men and is the most common cause of underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, in the U.S. Hair loss is, for many, one of the most distressing symptoms of thyroid disorders and may be challenging to treat if you have Hashimotoâs thyroiditis.
When To Contact Your Doctor
If youve checked off signs and are not feeling yourself, discuss this with your primary care doctor. These signs dont necessarily mean that you have thyroid disease. By asking you about your symptoms, your doctor can decide whether you need a blood test to check for thyroid disease.
Have a skin, hair, or nail problem?
Discover the benefits of seeing a dermatologist.
ImagesImage 1: Getty ImagesImages 2, 3, 4: Used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Jun 48:970-2.
ReferencesAi J, Leonhardt JM, et al. Autoimmune thyroid diseases: etiology, pathogenesis, and dermatologic manifestations. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 48:641-59.
Anderson CK, Miller OF. Triad of exophthalmos, pretibial myxedema, and acropachy in a patient with Graves disease. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 48:970-2.
Bae JM, Lee JH, et al. Vitiligo and overt thyroid diseases: A nationwide population-based study in Korea. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 76:871-8.
Callen JP. Dermatologic manifestations in patients with systemic disease. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008: 681-2.
Kalus AA, Chien AJ, et al. Diabetes mellitus and other endocrine diseases. In Wolff K et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill, China, 2008:1470-4.
How Does Hypothyroidism Cause Hair Loss
Whilst its easy to see how your thyroid is important for your hair, its not always easy to connect it to hair loss. Alopecia is actually one of the main symptoms of dealing with hypothyroidism, which explains why hair loss is such a common side effect of hypothyroidism.
A more depth explanation is that hypothyroidism is where your thyroid doesnt produce enough hormones for your body to function normally. The food that you eat wont be metabolized properly, which will sometimes result in hair loss and protein is an important nutrient for a healthy scalp. For this reason, hair loss is sometimes a side effect of an underactive thyroid.
If you want to start ensuring you do what you can to maintain a healthy thyroid, you should follow a balanced diet and exercise regime. This will help you not only to maintain a healthy thyroid, but a healthy body entirely.
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It’s Most Commonly A Sign Of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid is underactive, meaning it does not create enough thyroid hormone. According to David Beatty, MRCGP, a general practitioner with more than 30 years of experience, if you have hypothyroidism, most of the eyebrow hair loss occurs in the outer third part of your brow where it extends toward your ears. Thinning eyebrows in this area are often cited as a unique, early symptom of hypothyroidism.
Other symptoms of an underactive thyroid include dry skin, brittle nails, or weight gain, says Shafipour.
Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease
Any type of thyroid disease can cause a number of different symptoms, but they can sometimes be subtle. In addition to hair loss or thinning hair, be aware of these other symptoms:
- Changes in mood, such as anxiety, irritability, and increased nervousness
- Being unable to tolerate hot temperatures or cold temperatures
- Insomnia or lethargy and sleeping too much
- Weight changes either weight loss or weight gain
- Abnormal menstruation
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A Final Word About Hair Loss
Stress can make you shed hair like crazy. Im speaking from personal experience, as well as the experiences of hundreds of my clients. What can you do to reduce the stress in your own life that might be contributing to hair loss? Taking time to care for yourself with yoga, meditation, journaling, or light exercise are all great options to help reduce your stress load. Here are some of my favorite strategies, that you can save or print for easy reference:
You might also consider supporting your stress hormones with adaptogenic herbs, such as those in Rootcology Adrenal Support.
I want you to know that there is help for your hair loss! I know how crushing it can be to deal with a symptom as difficult to disguise as hair loss, but there are so many avenues for you to explore that can lead to a huge shift in your current hair growth. As I began to get to the root cause of my own thyroid condition and make changes that restored health and balance to my body, the hair loss I was experiencing stopped. Start with the solutions that resonate the most with you and are easiest to implement, and note that it may take several weeks to see noticeable changes with any supplement, medication, dietary, or topical changes that you make.
I wish you all the best on your journey toward recovering a healthy head of hair!
P.S. Be sure to sign up to receive my Thyroid Symptom Hacker for more tips on overcoming hair loss!
Damaged Vs Destroyed Thyroid Gland Tissue
Very few organs in the body have the natural capacity or ability to grow back.
One such organ that does have regenerative capacity is the liver.
In fact, we know that civilizations from long ago knew of the livers ability to regenerate because they included it in some of their myths !
In Greek Mythology, Prometheus was doomed to eternal punishment for giving fire to mankind and part of that punishment included his liver being eaten repeatedly by an eagle.
Unfortunately, there is no such myth or story about a regenerating thyroid gland !
Tissues such as your heart cell tissue and brain cell tissues do not have regenerative capacity like the liver.
Think about what happens to someone after a stroke.
A stroke occurs if the brain has been starved of oxygen. The result is that a portion of brain cells are permanently damaged from this oxygen deprivation.
I know what you are already thinking.
What about people who have had a stroke and experience something like the inability to move their right arm but then slowly regain that ability over time.
Doesnt this mean that their brain tissue is regenerating?
Well, yes and no.
And this is where we must draw a distinction between DAMAGED thyroid gland tissue and DESTROYED thyroid gland tissue.
In the case of stroke, there will be portions of brain tissue that are permanently destroyed and those which are only slightly damaged.
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Why Is My Hair Falling Out Reasons For Thyroid Hair Loss
Thyroid hair lossits frustrating, terrifying and just downright unfair.
In your 20s, youd cry over bad hair days. Today, youd weep tears of sheer joy just to have those hairs back! Sound familiar?
While all the symptoms of thyroid issues are unpleasant, the hair today, gone tomorrow factor is enough to make youerrpull your hair out.
But, why is this happening? Perhaps more importantly, how do you reverse thyroid hair loss? First, lets take a look at a few reasons you may experience hair loss.
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Correct The Iron Deficiency
Iron is another important factor for optimal thyroid function that can affect hypothyroidism hair loss. If you are deficient in iron, dont automatically assume that you need an iron supplement. The more important issue to address is whether or not you absorb iron properly. If you have a leaky gut, gut dysbiosis, or autoimmune conditions such as Ulcerative colitis or Celiac disease, it is important to implement nutrition tactics to heal the gut. Once you heal the digestive tract, chances are iron deficiency will correct itself as well.
Eating foods that are naturally rich in iron like offal, specifically liver, can be beneficial to improving iron stores. If eating liver sounds yucky to you, try grass fed liver capsules like these.
When you work with your doctor to improve iron stores in your body, make sure to not only look at iron, but also ferritin levels. Ferritin is the protein that stores iron in the body and research has shown that optimal levels are needed for hair loss to stop and for hair growth to begin.
In order for hair growth to occur, serum ferritin levels should be above 70ng/ml.
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Is Hypothyroidism Genetic Like Male Pattern Baldness
If youre bald or balding, you probably know that your genetics are primarily to blame for this. Its also true that your hypothyroidism is also actually down to genetics.
Though the research on this isnt conclusive, it does seem that this is one of the main issues that seems to cause hypothyroidism.
Reversing Thyroid Hair Loss Takes Time
On average, it takes 6-9 months for hair growth to come back. Hair growth is usually the last thing to return when youre getting your body back in balance. But, take heart. Over time you should be able to see baby hairs coming back bit-by-bit.
Need extra support? Dont pull out anymore precious hair trying to figure out solutions to your thyroid issues on your own! Why not set up a FREE clarity call! Lets chat and get to the root of your mysterious symptoms for good. In the meantime, check out these powerful thyroid truths!
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What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D
Recommended doses of vitamin D. One of the functions of vitamin D is to stimulate new and old hair follicles. When your body is deficient in vitamin D, new hair growth can slow down. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body.
Doctor Visits And Follow
Your health care team will explain what tests you need and how often they should be done. Your schedule of doctor visits, exams, and tests will depend on the original extent of your cancer, the specific type of thyroid cancer you had, how it was treated, and other factors.
Papillary or follicular cancer: If you have had papillary or follicular cancer, and your thyroid gland has been completely removed or ablated, your doctors may consider at least one radioactive iodine scan after treatment, especially if you are at higher risk for recurrence. This is usually done about 6 to 12 months later. If the result is negative, you will generally not need further scans unless you have symptoms or other abnormal test results.
Your blood will also be tested regularly for TSH and thyroglobulin levels. Thyroglobulin is made by thyroid tissue, so after total thyroid removal and ablation it should be at very low levels or not be found in your blood at all. If the thyroglobulin level begins to rise, it might be a sign the cancer is coming back, and further testing will be done. This usually includes a radioactive iodine scan, and may include PET scans and other imaging tests.
For those with a low-risk, small papillary cancer that was treated by removing only one lobe of the thyroid, routine physical exams by your doctor, thyroid ultrasounds and thyroid blood tests are typical.
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Will Eyebrows Grow Back After Hypothyroidism
Experiencing eyebrow hair loss is no fun, but the news isnt all bad. In most cases, the thinning or loss of hair is temporary, but it may take a few months for the prescribed medication to incentivize hair growth phase again, said Khoshaba. Its also important to be patient, as the regrown hair may be a different color or texture.
Being diagnosed with a thyroid condition will signal some big life changes. You can help yourself look and feel better by maintaining a nourishing diet, taking the right medication, cutting down on stress and using holistic products on your hair and skin. And as you deal with eyebrow hair regrowth, dont stress by trying to make them look perfectly symmetrical. After all, theyre sisters not twins.
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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.
Your Eyebrow Hair Will Typically Grow Back Once Your Thyroid Condition Is Treated
Fortunately, thyroid-related eyebrow hair loss is typically temporary, according to MedicalNewsToday. Once you treat your condition and your thyroid levels return to normal, your hair should grow back and return to its original fullness.
Untreated thyroid disorders lead to other health complications beyond hair loss. Both untreated hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can increase your risk of heart failure, according to the Mayo Clinic, while hypothyroidism is specifically linked to slowed mental functioning and hyperthyroidism is linked to vision loss. Both of these thyroid imbalances can also progress into severe states as well if untreated, producing life-threatening conditions like myxedema with hypothyroidism and thyrotoxic crisis with hyperthyroidism. And for more on your thyroid, If You Notice This on Your Nails, Get Your Thyroid Checked, Doctors Say.
The Basics Of Hair Loss
Hair loss can occur for a large variety of reasons. In men, the most common cause of hair loss is male pattern baldness a form of hormonal hair loss thats caused by a genetic sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.
This type of hair loss occurs when DHT gradually miniaturizes the hair follicles, stopping them from producing new hairs.
However, its also possible for your thyroid to contribute to hair loss by disrupting your bodys natural hair growth cycle.
As weve covered in our guide to the hair growth process, every single hair on your scalp goes through a four-stage growth process, with each stage corresponding to a different phase in the hairs development:
During the anagen phase, the hair grows from the follicle
During the catagen phase, the follicle shrinks and the hair detaches from your scalp
During the telogen phase, a new hair starts to grow underneath the old hair
During the exogen phase, the old hair falls out and is replaced by the new hair
As part of this process, old hairs that have reached the end of their growth cycle are constantly falling out from your scalp, causing you to lose about 50 to 100 hairs every day. Since your hair follicles dont all grow in sync, this daily loss doesnt have any impact on your appearance.
Understanding this simple process is key to understanding how thyroid disorders, as well as a range of other medical conditions, can affect your hair.
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Too Much Thyroid Hormone
Similarly, too much thyroid hormone is bad for your hair. If your thyroid replacement medication was recently increased or you switched brands of thyroid medications, hair thinning may be a sign youve reach a hyperthyroid state. The amount of thyroid hormone in your body directly affects how your hair follicles work. Find the sweet spot between too much and not enough.
Consequently, you could totally be taking thyroid medication and still be losing hair because you are on the wrong dose.
Newsflash! Until you find that Goldilocks amount, your Rapunzel dreams are but a fairytale.
Treatment Options For Thyroid Hair Loss
Treating thyroid-related hair loss requires treating the thyroid problem. A doctor will usually prescribe a synthetic hormone containing levothyroxine to treat an underactive thyroid. Treatment for an overactive thyroid varies from person to person. Some of the most common methods include: antithyroid drugs, iodine intake, surgery. In this article we cover how to tackle the symptom of thyroid problems however bear in mind that the root cause needs to be treated as a priority, since the symptoms can only be alleviated to a limited extent. The best approach would be to get your blood tested and understand what is the optimal level of T3 / T4 hormones your hair will return to normal as a result of the treatment and over a course of time.
Meanwhile, home remedies and lifestyle changes available for sufferers of both conditions. Those can take a few weeks or months to work so it is important to approach it with a curious mind and willingness to learn about what works for your body, as opposed to expecting overnight results.
As a general rule, eating a balanced diet can help to promote growth and improve the condition of hair. A healthful and balanced diet is one that contains protein, fruits, vegetables, grains, and a moderate amount of fat.
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What Are The 5 Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency Frequent Depressive Disorders. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of depression and more serious illness in older people. Constant fatigue and weakness. Your muscles contain vitamin D receptors that directly affect muscle strength. Pain and stiffness in the bones.