Am I Losing Hair Because of an Underactive Thyroid
Hair loss is one of the first signs that something is wrong inside your body. This is because hair cells are the fastest-growing structures that respond to biological disruption. When an imbalance occurs, like underactive thyroid, your body shuts down your hair growth and redirects the energy to other areas that are in need of that support.
As a result, the entirety of your scalp goes into resting mode. When the hair cells begin to die, there is no new strands to replace them. This is why patients with an underactive thyroid have thinning hair or start balding.
Many patients consider this to be the worst symptom of their thyroid condition.
Run a Symptom Comparison
Before we go any further, it’s important to point out that hair loss is one symptom of many. From a biological standpoint, it could mean many things. Always consider all of the symptoms you’re having before jumping to causal conclusions.
Hair loss can be dealt with by a dermatologist, so the first step to handling it is to get a dermatological evaluation. The evaluation is a good step if for no other reason than to rule out other causes of the problem, including infection.
If an underactive thyroid is suspected you will either be sent to your general practitioner or an endocrinologist for a more complete workup and treatment protocol. It is a good idea to talk to an endocrinologist as soon as possible if you suspect you have a thyroid condition. These doctors are thyroid specialists and they can help you recover from hair loss and manage your other symptoms.
They are also good resources of the latest information on these conditions that your general practitioner may not be aware of.
Regrowth takes Diligence & Patience
It’s very important not to have unrealistic expectations about growing your hair back. While no patient to date has lost all of their hair due to underactive thyroid, depending on when you’re diagnosed, you could lose up to 50%. A loss like that takes several months of the correct treatment to reverse itself.
We say “correct” treatment because some hormone replacement therapies actually have a side effect of hair loss. This means that even though you’re getting the hormone you need your hair loss could continue because of the medication. Synthroid is one of the worst offenders when it comes to continued hair loss. The other enemy of hair growth is under treatment.
You have to be on the right drug at the right strength in order for your hair to start replenishing itself. If you’ve been on hormone replacement therapy for several months, but see little to no improvement, it’s time to talk about trying some alternative treatments.