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Rapid hair loss as a symptom of hyperthyroidism

Rapid hair loss as a symptom of hyperthyroidism


Rapid hair loss as a symptom of hyperthyroidism


Rapid hair loss can be observed as a symptom of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. During a body crisis, hair cells may close in order to redirect that energy elsewhere. A condition such as hormonal changes, poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, a new medication, surgery, or a medical condition can cause hair to fall out quickly — but one of the most common causes of rapid hair loss is thyroid disease. The following should be considered when dealing with hair loss:

  • Get an evaluation by a dermatologist first.
  • Make sure it is not due to the side effects of thyroid medication.
  • Make sure you don't get treated well.
  • Consult a doctor to ensure that there are no nutritional deficiencies or poor diet problems that can be corrected.

If you are experiencing hair loss, you may want to make sure that your problem is not caused by a thyroid condition.

 Although the usual causes of hair loss are genetic predisposition, hormonal changes, or some cancer treatments, thyroid hair loss must also be considered.

There are three types of hair loss.

 Thyroid alopecia, autoimmune alopecia, and male pattern hair loss. Thyroid hair loss can appear in both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. For those with thyroid hair loss, there will be a general thinning of the hair, without the bald patches characteristic of male pattern baldness.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, dry skin, abnormal sensitivity to cold, constipation, and depression. 

If you have one or more of these symptoms along with hair loss, consider getting tested for thyroid problems.

Synthroid is most commonly prescribed in hypothyroidism. This medicine is effective, but it can cause thyroid hair loss as a side effect for some people. Your hair loss may be due to Synthroid, so talk to your doctor about this possibility. Thyroid hair loss can also occur if you are under-treated. A TSH level of about 1-2 is optimal for many people with hypothyroidism with no hair loss.

Evening primrose oil supplementation is an alternative treatment that some have found helpful in reducing thyroid hair loss. Aromatherapy is another treatment that is said to be effective. Essential oils of thyme, cedarwood, lavender, and rosemary can be mixed and applied to the scalp to help stimulate hair growth.

Ayurvedic medicines such as Bingraj oil or Brahmi oil have also been used to treat hair loss due to thyroid diseases. These two oils applied to the scalp continuously for at least 3 months were said to aid in hair growth. Hair growth will also be supported by supplementation with the Ayurvedic herbs amla and Ashwagandha.

The definitive treatment for thyroid hair loss is hair transplantation.

 Small hair plugs are removed from the back or side of the scalp and then transplanted into bald parts of the scalp. Results can be seen after several months. This procedure is expensive and not always covered by insurance providers, but it can be worth every penny for those with this frustrating condition.

Make sure to get an evaluation first, before assuming it's your thyroid that's causing the problem. 

A dermatologist can evaluate your hair loss to rule out some possible causes, such as infection. Be sure to be patient, as it may take some time after starting a new treatment before you experience the results you want. The loss will slow and likely eventually stop if you start taking a new medication for hyperthyroidism, but it often takes a few months before you see these changes.

Make sure you understand the common types of hair loss; Generalized hair loss, alopecia, and male-pattern hair loss (which is amazing enough, women can get it just as easily). General alopecia is hair loss all over the head, especially while taking a shower or while combing your hair. Alopecia includes circular patches, and often involves complete loss of hair in these areas. Finally, male (or in many cases female) hair loss is concentrated on the temples and top of the head, but usually does not move beyond those points.

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