Thyroid issues are one of the most common health problems that can affect hair and lead to hair loss. However, people can suffer from a variety of thyroid conditions, and they are by no means uniform in their symptoms. So yes, thyroid hair loss is a very real medical issue.
What Is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland in the throat that is shaped like a butterfly. As part of the endocrine system, the thyroid produces hormones that regulate metabolism and certain bodily functions.
What Is Thyroid Hair Loss?
Among the many things thyroid hormones regulate is hair follicle maintenance and development. Hair undergoes cycles of growth, rest, and shedding before growing again. Thyroid imbalances, especially of T3 and T4 hormones, can trigger telogen effluvium – which is when hair follicles switch to the resting phase too soon. Telogen effluvium can lead to as much as 70 percent of hair on the scalp falling out in two months.
Additionally, certain thyroid conditions can trigger other medical problems. So even if the actual thyroid issue does not cause hair loss, it starts a domino effect of other diseases that cause hair loss.
Where Does Thyroid Hair Loss Occur?
Thyroid hair loss affects the scalp, of course, but it’s not limited to that. One of the ways to tell that you’re experiencing hair loss in relation to a thyroid condition is when you lose hair in other parts of the body, such as the eyebrows.
Signs of Thyroid Hair Loss:
- Thinning hair all over the scalp
- Hair loss in smooth, circular patches is also possible
- Loss of body hair
- Eyebrow loss, especially on the outer edges
- Hair texture changes
Is Thyroid Hair Loss Reversible?
That depends upon the particular kind of thyroid and hair thinning condition. If it is purely a hormonal imbalance (like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism) then hair usually returns once proper thyroid levels are restored. However, due to how hair cycles work, it can take a while.
If, however, the hair loss is due to an autoimmune condition that damages the thyroid, the hair loss may not be reversible – especially if an autoimmune condition, like Hashimoto’s Disease, then triggered autoimmune hair loss like alopecia areata.
How Can I Control Hair Fall Due to Thyroid?
If you think you might have an issue with thyroid and thinning hair, the first step is to have your thyroid checked. You need to know if it’s a thyroid imbalance such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, or an autoimmune condition affecting the thyroid. If it is a treatable hormonal imbalance, in addition to taking the recommended thyroid medication, some dietary changes can help support your body while it regains balance.
Those Options Can Include:
- Increased iron consumption
- Multivitamins to address nutritional deficiencies in zinc, Vitamins B7, C, E, A
- Limit or avoid processed foods
- Eat a balanced diet
- Add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet
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