What You Need to Know About Thyroid Disorders and Hair Loss
As both men and women age, they begin to worry about hair loss. What is normal, and what is not? Are there health problems out there that could contribute to early health loss? One of the more common medical conditions that can lead to hair loss is hypothyroidism, usually in its advanced stages. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair to fall out.
How Much Hair Loss is Normal in Adults?
Normally, as adults, we shed about 50 to 100 strands of hair a day, as our hair’s life cycle goes into resting mode. Once the resting mode has ended, those same follicles are reactivated, and new hairs begin to push their way out. Our hairs are constantly entering and leaving new stages in the hair life cycle. However, certain circumstances can cause excessive shedding and noticeable hair loss. This can be because of thyroid disease as well as a host of other conditions, such as diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome.
Is It Thyroid Disease? Know the Symptoms
If you have been experiencing excessive hair loss, you may wonder if you have a problem that’s causing it. You won’t just start losing your hair if you have a thyroid disorder. There will be other signs and symptoms. If you’re a woman, you’ll have painful menstrual periods. Both men and woman may get muscle or joint pain, and experience extreme fatigue in some situations. People with low thyroid hormones, also known as hypothyroidism, may also have problems with their skin. It will be thick and scaling. You may find yourself prone to skin infections and rashes such as eczema. Thyroid disease manifests itself in many ways. You may have a sore throat or trouble clearing you throat. You may just feel unwell in general.
If you have a thyroid disorder and it goes untreated, it can contribute to other health problems. Your thyroid helps regulate most of the hormones in your body. This is why, if you suspect a thyroid disorder, you should make an appointment with your personal physician. He or she will take a blood panel testing your hormones and start you on medication if your thyroid levels are too low or too high.
Thyroid Medication and Hair Loss
Levothyroxine is usually the drug prescribed for thyroid replacement. You will take it every day, preferably before breakfast, and wait half an hour before eating. When you first start treating your thyroid disease, the medication may, paradoxically, cause short-term hair loss. This is because of the surge of hormones.
Unfortunately, there is really know way to know which patients will end up losing hair while on the medications. If you notice more hair in your brush or on your pillow when you wake in the morning, you may have some hair loss due to the medication. There isn’t much you can do at this point to prevent hair loss. Take comfort in the fact that your hair will probably grow back in six to twelve months.
Encouraging New Hair Growth
While you can’t prevent hair loss from thyroid disorders or medication, you can take measures to help it regrow healthy and strong. Make sure you get enough protein and iron in your diet. You should also take a multivitamin that contains A, B, C and D vitamins. You may also want to consider a Biotin supplement, which helps encourage strong hair, skin and nails.