Is My Thyroid Condition Causing My Hair Loss?

Is My Thyroid Condition Causing My Hair Loss?

Your thyroid is a small gland in your neck. It produces and regulates three essential hormones, which influence numerous bodily functions, including metabolism, temperature, heart rate, and hair growth.

But unfortunately, thyroid conditions are very common. An estimated 20 million Americans have thyroid disease, which means your thyroid makes too much or too little of these key hormones.

As a thyroid specialist at Gulf West Medical AssociatesRajesh Dave, MD, can help. He offers comprehensive care for some of the most common thyroid conditions, and he understands the impact that thyroid disease can have.

Because thyroid hormones affect so many functions in your body, thyroid disease can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms, and one of the most noticeable is hair loss. Thyroid-related hair loss can be significant and make you panic, but managing your condition can help reduce symptoms.

Why thyroid disease causes hair loss

Your hair follows a predictable growth cycle. Each hair starts in a hair follicle, which is a tiny tube in the top layer of your skin. Hair starts growing at the bottom of the follicle, where it’s nourished by nearby blood vessels.

As it grows, your hair reaches the surface of your skin and starts getting longer. Each hair keeps growing for a while, then eventually falls out and a new hair takes its place. Some hair loss is a natural part of this cycle, and most people lose 50-100 hairs a day.

Thyroid hormones play a part in this hair growth cycle. The hormones influence the health of your hair follicles and, in turn, the health of your hair.

If you have hypothyroidism, your thyroid doesn’t make enough hormones. Low thyroid hormone levels can make your hair follicles go dormant, which may make you start losing more hair than usual.

If you have hyperthyroidism, your thyroid makes too much of certain thyroid hormones. High thyroid hormone levels can also shock your hair follicles and make hair become thinner and more brittle.

Other signs of thyroid disease

Hair loss is a common sign of thyroid disease, but it usually isn't the only sign. Hypothyroidism can cause additional symptoms, like:

Hyperthyroidism can also cause other symptoms, including: 

If you have hair loss or balding without other symptoms of thyroid disease, something else may be causing your hair loss. Other possibilities include hereditary hair loss or an autoimmune condition, like alopecia areata.

What to do about thyroid-related hair loss

Dr. Dave can diagnose most thyroid conditions with a physical exam and bloodwork. Depending on the type of thyroid disease you have, he may prescribe medication to regulate your thyroid hormone levels.

Most people find that medication effectively relieves their symptoms, and hair eventually begins to grow back. But if you’re already on a thyroid treatment plan and you’ve noticed increased hair loss, talk to Dr. Dave.

Worsening hair loss and other symptoms may indicate that you’re not taking the correct dosage of your medication. Adjusting your treatment plan can rebalance your thyroid hormone levels, and effectively slow excessive hair shedding.

If you’re concerned about hair loss, find out if a thyroid condition could be the cause. Book an appointment at our Port Richey, Florida, office by calling 727-848-0247 or using our online booking tool today.

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