Hair loss and thinning hair can be an unexpected and unwelcome side effect of a thyroid disease called hypothyroidism. If you're dealing with thyroid-related hair loss, don't worry! There are steps you can take to regrow your hair and get back to feeling like your old self. In this article, we'll explore the different causes of hair loss from thyroid disease and share some tips for regrowing your beautiful locks. So, let's get started on this journey to beautiful, healthy hair!
Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, is a condition that occurs when your thyroid gland doesn't produce and release enough hormones into your bloodstream. The thyroid gland is the largest endocrine organ in the body, which is located in your neck. Its main job is to produce the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are mainly responsible for controlling your metabolism. Therefore, without enough of these hormones, your metabolism and practically everything in your body slows down.
There are numerous thyroid conditions that can lead to hypothyroidism. The most common cause is an autoimmune thyroid disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. It can also be caused by thyroidectomy, the surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. This surgery is usually performed to treat thyroid cancer, goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), and suspicious thyroid nodules.
The growth of your hair is a cycle. We lose hair on a daily basis – it falls out and regrows even when we don't notice it.
The process of hair growth is like the growth of a tree. It starts in your hair follicle, a tunnel-shaped structure surrounding the root and strand of hair on your scalp. The blood vessels in your scalp then feed the root, producing more cells to make your hair grow. Then, hair sprouts sprout from the bottom of your hair follicles and push up and out through your skin. It gradually grows into the hair that you can see on your head. It'll keep growing for a while.
In hypothyroidism, the hormone production in the thyroid is disrupted. This disruption affects almost every part of your body, including the cycle of hair regrowth. Your hair may fall out and not be replaced by new growth. As a result, you'll experience thinning across your scalp. Thyroid dysfunction doesn't only cause hair loss on your head but causes you to lose some body hair.
At the same time, thyroid conditions prolong hair growth, making it take longer for hair to regrow after it is shed. Moreover, people with an underactive thyroid have less sebum on their scalps. Therefore, their scalps don't have enough natural oils to protect their hair, making it dry, weak, and more prone to breakage than usual.
Besides hypothyroidism, other causes of thyroid-related hair loss include:
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that can occur together with thyroid conditions, particularly autoimmune thyroid disease. This condition occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your follicles. Thus impacting the normal growth process of your hair. The condition causes patches of hair loss and can eventually cause baldness.
Thyroid medications like antithyroid drugs (medication to treat hypothyroidism) can sometimes lead to hair loss. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if it's your thyroid condition or your thyroid medication that is causing hair loss or thinning hair.
A healthy person can lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day. But if you feel like you lose more than that, it might be a sign that your hair loss is caused by a medical problem, such as thyroid problems.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of thyroid hair loss:
Your hair thins over time, and you can lose over 100 hairs per day.
Your hair falls out in patches, leading to some areas of baldness.
Your hair is dry and brittle and breaks easily, especially in cold weather.
You experience significant hair loss in the shower or when you comb your hair.
Additionally, you can consider it in conjunction with other common symptoms of hypothyroidism, including:
Lack of energy
Unexplainable weight gain
Slow heart rate
There are several medications and supplements you can take to reverse thyroid hair loss.
The best way to reverse thyroid hair loss is to treat the underlying cause. Thus, if your hair loss is caused by hypothyroidism, you need to take thyroid hormone replacement medication. This is the medication used to supplement your body with the thyroid hormone it's missing. Therefore, it can ease your symptoms of hypothyroidism, including hair loss.
It's important, however, that you take your thyroid medication as prescribed by your doctor. This means that you shouldn't change the dose without consulting with your doctor first. You also shouldn't take it more than once a day or regularly skip your dose. Taking too much thyroid hormone medication can lead to symptoms of hyperthyroidism. These include rapid weight loss, profuse sweating, fast heartbeat, etc. Conversely, if your dose is too low or if you keep missing your dose, your hypothyroidism symptoms will worsen. This means that you'll continue to experience thyroid hair loss.
Moreover, you should also take your medication on an empty stomach at the same time every day.
After several months of taking your optimal dose of thyroid replacement medication the right way, you'll hair loss will be reversed, and your hair will grow back.
Your thyroid gland produces 80% of the T4 hormone and 20% of the T3 hormone. But most of the T4 hormone is inactive. It's a reserve hormone for your body to convert to the hormone T3, which is active and affects metabolism.
Many people with hypothyroidism have difficulty making this conversion. As a result, they often feel that levothyroxine, a commonly prescribed thyroid medicine, doesn't improve their thyroid condition. This is because levothyroxine is the synthetic hormone of T4, so it only supplies the body with one thyroid hormone.
In comparison, natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) closely mimics human thyroid hormones. This is because it consists of T4, T3, Diiodothyronine (T2), Iodothyronamine (T1), and Calcitonin. This combination improves symptoms of thyroid disease, such as thyroid hair loss, a lot better in many patients.
The only drawback is that NDT products can be difficult to find in pharmacies. But alternatives are available, such as VitaliThy, a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online.
Aside from taking thyroid replacement medication to reverse hair loss, your doctor may recommend you take medication to improve the growth of your hair. This may include:
Minoxidil (Rogaine) – This is a prescription topical solution that you need to apply to your scalp.
Finasteride (Propecia) – this is a prescription medication available in pill form. It's usually prescribed for people with male pattern baldness. However, if you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant in the future, you may want to avoid this medication.
Vitamins are essential for healthy hair growth, especially biotin (vitamin B7). Biotin can increase the rate of hair follicle growth. Other vitamins that play important roles in the growth of your hair include vitamins A, C, and E.
Besides vitamins, you can also take other supplements such as iron, zinc, and copper to get healthy hair and prevent further hair loss.
In particular, iron and zinc help transport oxygen to cells in the scalp more efficiently, which prevents further hair loss.
Along with medication and supplements, there are lifestyle changes you can do to help slow hair loss, improve the growth of your hair, enhance your thyroid function, and elevate your overall health.
Note that these lifestyle changes won't treat the underlying problem. However, people with thyroid-related hair loss may be able to benefit from them.
Constant stress can throw your endocrine system out of whack, including your thyroid function. When you're stressed, your thyroid may reduce hormone production in order to converse energy. Besides its negative effect on the thyroid, a high stress level is also associated with hair loss.
Of course, you can't eliminate stress completely because it's part of life. However, you can learn how to manage it. You can try meditating or practicing yoga, make time to unwind, talk with people you trust, and get plenty of sleep.
Anyone needs a healthy diet, but it's especially important for those who have a thyroid disease like hypothyroidism.
Make sure you eat a lot of whole foods instead of processed foods. Fried foods, sugars, red meat, alcohol, and caffeine may cause an inflammatory response. Inflammation can cause your thyroid symptoms, including hair loss, to get worse. This is also why you should consider adding anti-inflammatory foods, such as turmeric root or fresh ginger, into your diet.
In addition, it's important to ensure that you are getting enough protein in your diet because protein is a building block for hair. Consuming protein-rich food will help you get strong and healthy.
Regular exercise improves blood circulation. In parallel, blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to your cells and the roots of the hair. As a result, your hair grows faster and healthier. In addition, regular exercise can help you reduce stress.
It's important not to overdo it when you are just starting out. A reasonable frequency of exercise is 3 to 5 times per week. Over time, you can gradually increase the number of days and the difficulty of your physical activity.
A few bad habits can make your hair thinner over time. For example, smoking reduces blood flow to your scalp and harms it, causing the roots of the hair to be damaged while your hair is weak and more prone to breakage.
In the same way, drinking alcohol and staying up late doesn't affect your hair directly. But they have been linked to other health problems leading to hair loss. Specifically, alcohol reduces the body's absorption of nutrients, while staying up late increases stress hormones and disrupts hormones, leading to hair loss and other potential diseases.
Some home remedies and natural treatments may further enhance the growth of your hair, helping you get healthier and stronger hair.
Many people with hypothyroidism want to reverse thyroid hair loss in simple and natural ways. One way to do it is to massage your scalp using essential oil.
An experiment showed that scalp massage increased hair density significantly after 24 weeks of implementation. The explanation for this outcome is improved blood flow. In addition, scalp massage can directly affect the papilla cells, the origin of the formation and growth of follicles, and makes your hair healthy.
One of the best essential oils to use for a scalp massage is eucalyptus oil, which is renowned for its ability to reduce hair fallout and improve your hair density. You can also try other oils, such as thyme vulgaris, arnica montana, pilocarpus jabarondi, and lavandula agustifolia.
The advice is to massage your scalp gently and wash your hair within 1 hour after using essential oils. This ensures your scalp is not overly moist and easily attracts dirt.
Your scalp is a small ecosystem where follicles form and your hair grows out. In other words, a healthy scalp is a good foundation for hair to grow stronger and shinier every day.
However, harmful factors from the environment, like air pollution, can make your hair dry and frizzy. In this case, you can improve the condition with moisturizing shampoos, hair conditioners, and masks.
Additionally, you can control scalp imbalances by supplementing with specific scalp care products. For example, anti-dandruff serum, hair follicle density serum, scalp serum, scalp scrub, etc.
There is no magic pill that will help you grow your hair instantly. But some herbs can slow down hair loss and stimulate new hair growth effectively. These include
Rosemary supports blood circulation in the scalp, regulates inflammatory responses, and improves hair growth.
Horsetail provides nutrients to the hair follicles, making hair thicker and stronger.
Nettle is rich in vitamins A, B, and C, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are all good for your hair.
Red clover stimulates protein synthesis in follicles, which leads to hair development.
If you experience hair loss or thinning hair caused by medical conditions such as thyroid disorders, you should talk to your doctor before adding herbs to your daily schedule. Some medications can react with thyroid medicine, which can cause unwanted side effects.
Beautiful hairstyles make you look great. But changing your hairstyle often will damage the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. In addition, drying, curling, and straightening devices, as well as chemicals in hair care products, may also affect your hair harshly.
Therefore, if you use a hair dryer, set it to the lowest setting or let your hair dry naturally by wrapping it in a towel. You should also avoid bleaching, dyeing your hair, or even tying it in a ponytail or braid. Moreover, people with fragile hair should not wash or brush their hair too much.
It's also a good idea to avoid using shampoos that strip a lot of moisture from your scalp.
Thyroid tablets are prescription medications that must be used under an endocrinologist's direction. Thus, you should tell the healthcare provider if you are treating other medical conditions beyond thyroid conditions.
Some medications react with thyroid medicine and cause adverse side effects. Therefore, you may need to take them at least 4 hours apart from your thyroid medicine.
Multivitamins or medications containing aluminum, iron, calcium, or magnesium decrease the effectiveness of thyroid medications. That's why you should take them at least 4 hours apart from your thyroid meds.
Insulin, a diabetes treatment, is required in higher doses in patients who have just started taking thyroid tablets.
Cholestyramine or Colestipol reduces the absorption of T3 and T4 hormones and should be taken 4 to 5 hours apart from thyroid medication.
Glucocorticoids or beta-adrenergic antagonists can slightly affect the conversion of T4 to T3. However, you might still take it without having to adjust your dose.
An estimated 201 medications interact with your thyroid medications. Therefore, you should be careful when taking any other medicine with your thyroid medication, even herbs or supplements.
Although taking thyroid medications can help people with hypothyroidism stop hair loss and boost the growth of their hair, these medications won't do anything to people who don't have hypothyroidism. In fact, it may cause you to experience symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid disorder can cause hair loss, but with the right medication and lifestyle changes, you can tackle this issue head-on. The most important thing is treating the underlying condition. This means supplementing your body with the missing thyroid hormones. One of the best ways to do it is by taking VitaliThy, a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online.
Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, exercising regularly, and reducing stress are all important steps to take in order to restore your locks and treat hair loss. Additionally, taking natural supplements and avoiding harsh chemicals like dyes and bleaches is recommended. With these tips in mind, you're sure to have a full head of hair in no time!
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