Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss
Seymour M. Weaver, III, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist
Hypothyroidism is one of the diseases that have been linked to hair loss. This means that if you are currently suffering from hair loss in addition to fatigue, muscle craps, stiffness, sensitivity to cold, slowed heart rate and so forth you may be experiencing hair loss caused by hypothyroidism.
There are several different types of hair loss that can be experienced with this disease, such as
1) You can experience rapid loss
2) A slow thinning or
3) Changing in the hair that turn it into a dry, coarse, brittle texture.
The hair loss with this disease is caused by a decrease in scalp follicle metabolism, which causes the hair to release from the follicles, as well as a general decrease in strength and quality.
Hyperthyroidism has become an increasing problem and as a result so has the hair loss that results as a symptom. You may notice that the hair becomes finer and thinner plus shed excessively in long strands with white tips at the end.
Keep in mind that most treatments for hyperthyroidism lead to clinical hypothyroidism that will require thyroid supplements for life. So, it is common for the hair to change from the fine texture of hyperthyroidism to the coarse and dry texture of hypothyroidism during the course of treatment.
So, even when you receive treatment for the hyperthyroidism and the hormone levels return to normal, it can be difficult and a slow process lasting a year or more for your hair to grow back completely. There are treatments however, that can provide some relief for hair loss and may help in re-growing hair such as topical cortisone medications, intralesional injections, as well as hair vitamins and supplements.
Another point you should be aware of is that alopecia areata is more common in individuals with thyroid disease, so if you notice any smooth areas of baldness, get them treated immediately.
There are also some treatments for hypothyroidism, which may result in hair loss as a side effect in some people. Ask if your medication contains a drug, called levothyroxine as this has been linked to hair loss in users. This does not mean that you have to stop taking this treatment if it is working for you however, you may need to take additional medication to prevent any further loss of hair.
You can also try nutritional supplements these can be generic supplements containing the basics plus amino acids. These will help to provide you with nutrients that you already may have difficulty absorbing due to the hyperthyroidism and at the same time help your hair.
If this does not help, hair restoration treatments may be necessary or may be able to assist in helping to restore the hair that has already been lost. Dealing with hypothyroidism is hard enough without having to deal with the hair loss that comes with it. There are plenty of things that you can do that can assist in providing you with the hair loss solutions that you need.
Start first with speaking with your thyroid doctor before beginning any treatment or supplement to make sure that it will not cause issues with your current medical treatments.
Check also to make sure that your medication is not causing the problem with your hair loss. If it is adjusting, your medication could be all your physician will need to do to resolve your hair loss issues when it comes to dealing with hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism comes with a multitude of health concerns; hair loss does not have to be one of them.
Return to Hair Loss in Females
Return to Home Page
Complete the information box below if you would like to:
1) Ask Dr. Weaver a question or
2) Tell Your story about Hair Loss or Other Scalp Conditions