One of the first things that you hear from people who have thyroid issues is that they begin to lose hair. Not just a few pieces here and there, but huge chunks from the temples, forefront, and above the ears. This can be devastating.
For most people, it is like taking away their self-confidence and ability to have faith in the way they look and who they are a person. No matter what kind of thyroid problem you may suffer from, losing hair is one of the biggest and most eminent symptoms you will go through.
Why does this even happen in the first place? What is thyroid disease? Who does it happen to? What can you do about it? Here are answers for you.
Understanding the Basics of Thyroid Gland and Its Disorders
The thyroid gland is the one that is located right beside the Adam’s apple in the throat and is believed to be one of the most important of the endocrine system’s glands. It produces thyroid hormone which is responsible for the management of the proper metabolism and body temperature as well as other bodily functions.
If the thyroid gland is unable to work well, it will either not secrete enough hormones or produce too much of it. This can lead to the metabolic system becoming too slow or too fast. This will cause hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism respectively. These disorders are two of the most common thyroid gland problems.
Hypothyroidism is one of the most commonly occurring thyroid problems in the world, particularly in US. It afflicts women over 30-60 years old. Some common signs and symptoms include:
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Sensitivity to cold
- Depression and anxiety
- Muscular aches and pains
- Lowered heart rate
- Dry skin and brittle hair
- Hair loss
Hyperthyroidism is when there is too much production of the thyroid hormone. This causes the metabolic rate to excessively speed up. Other symptoms include:
- Weight loss even though there is an increase in appetite
- Tremors in hands and fingers
- Intolerance to heat
- Palpitations or increased heart beat
- Anxiety or mood swings
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme hair loss
- Pale and clammy skin
- Extreme tiredness
Why Does Hair Loss Occur?
People experience some of the worst kind of hair loss because of thyroid problems. It is commonly seen that people who have hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism experience dry and brittle hair. This happens because of the imbalance of hormones in their body. Whenever the hormones are disrupted, hair sheds. This means that you will see visible reductions in the hair on your head as well as other areas of your body.
Many people experience hair loss over their eyebrows as well. This mostly happens to people with hypothyroidism and they lose eyebrow hair from the edges.
What to do for Thyroid Induced Hair Loss
Other than seeing your primary doctor, you will also need to see an endocrinologist. They are the specialist of thyroid gland disorders.
Pay Attention to Your Drugs
This is something you need to be mindful of. Have you been taking Levothyroxine for too long? Because if the answer is yes, then that can be the cause of your rapidly falling hair. According to studies, it is one of the symptoms of excessive use of hormone replacement therapy. Your doctor may need to lower the dosage or take some other vitamins along with it in order to reduce its side effects. Talk to your doctor about it. Don’t quit on your own without consulting your doctor first. They will be the ones to decide what is the best plan of action for you.
Are your Iron Levels Good?
Got your ferritin levels checked recently? This is important for the health and development of your hair. This is the reason why pregnant women have such nice hair because they are taking iron supplements regularly. Be sure to not take iron within 3 hours of your thyroid medication and do not start the supplements without the advice of your doctor.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Studies show that the higher your vitamin D, the better your thyroid will work. Have you gotten it checked recently? Have you been taking supplements? Talk to your doctor about it. Ask what they think. Get some supplements prescribed and take them. Expose yourself to at least 20-30 minutes of sun to absorb that healthy and vital vitamin D. You will be surprised by how good you and your hair starts feeling within a short span of time.
Improve Your Diet!
This is essential. The saying that you are what you eat is not said without weight. The cleaner you eat, the better you will feel. Consume calcium and iron rich foods, so that both your thyroid and hair gain strength. Also add food items that contain iodine in them like seafood. This way your thyroid health will also improve significantly and your hair fall will also reduce dramatically. However, realize that some women may be sensitive to iodine and should not consume it.