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
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.
Biology Of Thyroid Hair Loss
It all starts with the brain. Thyroid stimulating hormone is produced by pituiary glad located at the base of our brain. TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine , and then triiodothyronine . When it comes to hair growth, T4 stimulates hair matrix keratinocyte production and multiplication. Keratinocytes is a major cell type in the outer layer of the skin. In hair growth, keratinocytes play an especially important role, since they help forming hair follicles and help regulate stem cells of the follicle.
Both T3 and T4 also slow down apoptosis ;the death of keratinocyte cells. This further upholds and supports correct functioning of the hair follicle and healthy hair growth.
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Thyroid Conditions And Hair Loss: What You Need To Know
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Is your hair starting to look thinner than usual? Its common for men to experience some degree of hair loss at some point in our lives. In fact, one form of hair loss called androgenetic alopecia is thought to affect 50 million men in the United States alone.;
While androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss men experience, hair loss can also occur as a result of certain medical conditions.;
If you have a thyroid condition such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, its possible that this could contribute to hair loss. Thyroid conditions can also occur in conjunction with autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata, which can affect the growth of your hair.;
Hair loss from thyroid conditions can vary in severity, from mild diffuse thinning to almost total loss of hair on your scalp. Below, weve explained why and how thyroid-related hair loss occurs, as well as what you can do to treat hair loss thats caused by a thyroid condition.;
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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Will Eyebrows Grow Back After Hypothyroidism
Experiencing eyebrow hair loss is no fun, but the news isn’t 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. “It’s 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, don’t stress by trying to make them look perfectly symmetrical. After all, they’re sisters not twins.
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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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What Are Other Causes Of Hair Loss
Be sure to raise any hair loss concerns or questions with your doctor, and to look into your family history as well, as it may provide clues and a path toward a solution. Hair loss can also be caused by:
- Inherited male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Hair damage from overstyling or products
- Fungal issues, like ringworm
- Too little protein or iron in the diet
- Trauma to the body
- Chronic stress
Can Thyroid Related Hair Loss Be Reversed
Thyroid related hair loss is temporary. Hair loss is naturally reversible if you take the right treatment for thyroid problems. The most common medicine used for thyroid disease is levothyroxine. Hair loss is one of the side effects of synthetic thyroid hormones.
In Ayurveda, the role of ‘Agni’ in your body is foremost to interpret hypo/hyperthyroidism’s pathogenesis. Ayurvedic herbs nourish ‘Agni’ to achieve the thyroid gland’s wholesome regular activity while supporting stem cells replenishing hair growth.
Thyroid related hair loss is reversible by controlling the excessive imbalance of thyroid hormones. It is a slow and steady process to return complete stability to your thyroid gland. Meanwhile, you can strengthen your hair follicles to resist hair loss.
The stress of the imbalance prolongs your hair follicles’ resting phase, ceasing your hair growth temporarily. Ayurvedic essential oils rejuvenate the outermost part of the skin cells to reactivate your hair life cycle.
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How To Regrow Your Hair With Hypothyroidism:
While thyroid function is very important for regrowing your hair back it’s not the only factor involved.;
Often times hair loss in hypothyroid patients is a result of multiple factors.;
This means that just assessing for one problem, or taking one supplement or making one change will not be as effective as trying multiple things at once.
This has to do with how thyroid hormone interacts with other hormones and nutrients in the body.
If you have hair loss and you aren’t sure if you have hypothyroidism then make sure to check out this post here for a complete list of symptoms related to your thyroid.
If you KNOW you have hypothyroidism already and are experiencing hair loss then read on…
#1. Check your Thyroid Dosing & Medication
The first thing you should be evaluating is your thyroid function.;
I’m assuming you already have a diagnosis of hypothyroidism by the time you read this.
That means you are most likely taking some form of thyroid medication.
And this is where things get a little bit tricky:
It turns out you need enough thyroid hormone in your body and system to have proper hair growth.;
T3 and both T4 prolong the duration of the hair growth cycle by blocking an inhibitory growth factor TGF-B2 .
On the flip side – too much thyroid hormone can increase hair loss as well.
What this means for you is that you need to find the sweet spot where your body has enough thyroid hormone in the body , but not enough to increase hair loss.
So how do you know if you have “enough”?;
How Many Of These Signs And Symptoms Do You Have
Dry, pale, and cool skin Moist, velvety, and warm skin like a babys Dry skin with deep cracks and scale Deep, noticeable lines on your palms and soles Yellowish-orange color on your palms and soles Doughy and swollen face, especially on your eyelids, lips, and tongue Widening nose Sweating less than before Goiter Protruding eyes Flushing on your face and red palms Darker skin in the creases of your palms, on your gums, or elsewhere in your mouth Rashes, especially in the creases of your skin Painless lumps and patches of scaly, discolored skin, and the affected skin feels hard and waxy Reddish spots on the skin that come and go
When eyes protrude, its often a sign of thyroid disease.
Painless lumps and patches of scaly skin feel hard and waxy
Lumps on discolored skin that feel hard and waxy can be a sign of thyroid disease.
Thinning eyebrows on the outer edge Coarse, dull, dry, and brittle hair that breaks easily Soft and fine hair with lots of shedding Thinning hair or balding patches Growing more slowly Dry, itchy scalp and dandruff Less hair on your legs, arms, and other areas
Thick, dry, and brittle with visible ridges Soft, shiny, and easily crumble Growing more slowly Peel, crumble, or break easily Lift up Curved with swollen fingertip and thickening skin above the nail
Curved nails with swollen fingertip
Itchy skin without a rash Untreatable and itchy hives
Existing skin disease
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What Is A Thyroid Disorder
A thyroid disease generally refers to a medical condition that stops your thyroid from producing the necessary amount of hormones your body needs. If the thyroid function goes awry, you could start experiencing an unusual symptom or two including hair loss, weight gain, brain fog and in some cases, excess body hair. Of course, symptoms can vary, and some people experience different things, depending on the type of thyroid issues they’re experiencing.
If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid concern, then you’re certainly not alone. Thyroid problems are pretty common, and you might be at a higher risk if there’s a family history of the condition. Those who live with type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, excessive iodine and primary adrenal insufficiency might also experience symptoms.
Australian-based surgeon;Dr. Robert Goldman;explained, “Having an overactive or underactive thyroid gland may cause baldness in certain individuals. Immune system conditions are the most well-known reasons for strange thyroid chemical levels. For instance,;Hashimoto’s thyroiditis;regularly causes hypothyroidism, while;Graves’ illness;is usually liable for hyperthyroidism.”
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.
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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.
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Dealing With Hair Loss Related To Hashimoto’s & Thyroiditis Hair Loss
What if you have hair loss related to Hashimoto’s or thyroiditis?
Does this change how you deal with or treat your issue?
The answer is… not really, and here’s why.;
It turns out that most patients in the United States who have hypothyroidism suffer from this condition as a result of Hashimoto’s.;
In fact, it is estimated that up to 90% of patients with hypothyroidism have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as the underlying cause.;
So, patients with thyroiditis have all of the usual problems that most hypothyroid patients have, plus they have a few extra from the autoimmune and genetic aspect of Hashimoto’s which can complicate the hair loss picture.;
What does that mean for you?
It means if you have Hashimoto’s you still need to look at all of the “usual suspects” including:
- Iron and ferritin levels
- PLUS: Sensitivity to hair and makeup products;
Those who have Hashimoto’s will know that they are often very sensitive to inactive ingredients which include dyes and fillers in all products ranging from supplements to shampoos and conditioners.;
In addition to all of the recommendations above, you will want to make sure that you also ditch out low-quality hair products which you may be reacting to.;
These products can damage what little hair you have left and some of the chemicals may be absorbed transdermally .;
And last of all, you may need to look into genetic causes of hair loss which may be caused due to your genes .;
Do Thyroid Medications Cause Hair Loss
Unfortunately, eyebrow hair loss thyroid problems don’t just occur because of the medical condition. Your thinning hair could also be triggered by the thyroid medication you take to stop eyebrow hair loss, which seems pretty unfair! It also could be that your thyroid medication dosage needs adjusting, or maybe you’re simply reacting to the ingredients in the drugs. One thing is for sure; your health comes first. So before you ditch any thyroid medications in frustration, be sure to talk to your prescribing doctor.
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Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency
Not having enough Vitamin D has also been implicated in hypothyroidism by some practitioners and experts. As such, taking a supplement or boosting intake of the vitamin through fortified foods helps. Also ensure that you get about 20 to 30 minutes in the sun to help your body produce the vitamin.
This could help with improving thyroid function and overall metabolism. Over time, as function of the thyroid gland is restored, your hair growth may also improve and return to normal.7
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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Explore Eyebrow Transplant Restoration
If your eyebrow loss is permanent, thankfully, there’s a procedure that can help frame your face once again. Restoration works in a similar way to a scalp hair replacement and occurs when a section of skin with lots of hair follicles is transplanted to the brow area.