HomeHair Loss in WomenThyroid Hair Loss
Thyroid Hair Loss
Hormones have a profound effect on hair follicles and the quality of hair produced. There are many hormones which can influence hair loss such as estrogens, DHEA, and throxine. As already discussed in other articles, DHEA is often responsible for hair loss whereas estrogens have a protective effect to prevent hair loss. Besides these hormones both the underactivity and hyperactivtity thyroid hormones can also be responsible for hair loss, which can be together termed as tyroid hair loss. Hair follicles are particularly sensitive to concentrations of thyroid gland derived hormones. Thyroid hormones have a global influence on the cellular metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and minerals. The cells of the hair matrix, due to their high degree of metabolic activity, are most profoundly influenced by the deficiency or excess of thyroid derived hormones.
Low Thyroid and Hair Loss
The thyroid is intimately involved with hair function, hair re-growth and also the hair loss. Having early graying and loss of outer eyebrows, is a cardinal sign of low thyroid activity.
Hypothyroid cases involve diffuse telogen effluvium type hair loss 50 % of the time and occasionally anagen effluvium too. At first the hair loss is usually limited to the scalp but later, hair loss may spread to the eyebrows, chest, arms, and leg hair. Sometimes diffuse loss of pubic hair may also occur. Losing the outer one third of eyebrow hair is a distinctive symptom of hypothyroidism called “Hertoghe’s symptom” However, this symptom is only found in 25% of people who have hypothyroidism.
It is widely believed that females who suffer thyroid disease lose hair due to decreased metabolism in their scalp follicles, resulting in early release of the shaft, root and all. Sometimes the hair becomes just too brittle, and there is a great deal of loss from split ends and breakage.
Thyroid function is essential for overall metabolism of the body; and when thyroid function is low, intestinal absorption and utilization of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional cofactors is also compromised. Not only are there not enough of the raw materials available, but the enzymes, and sometimes the temperature required for optimal chemical reactions, is lessened which is also reflected in hair loss. But it is necessary to differentiate the thyroid hair loss due to nutritional deficiency.
Hair loss due to hypothyroidism is diagnosed with the help of blood tests to identify deficiencies in concentrations of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxin, and other thyroid gland controlled hormones.
Hair Regrowth Treatment for Low Thyroid Hair Loss
Hypothyroidism can be controlled by providing patients with hormone supplements. When the hormone deficiency is successfully rectified, hair regrowth usually occurs although it may not be complete regrowth. Hormone supplements used as hair re-growth treatment can be synthetic manufactured drugs or naturally derived from animals. Some dermatologists claim the natural hormone supplements are superior for promoting hair regrowth.
Sometimes hypothyroidism can lead to androgenetic alopecia. A drop in thyroid hormone production means a reduction of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SBHG) concentration in the blood. SBHG is important in reducing the activity of testosterone. With reduced SBHG levels, more testosterone is available for conversion to dihydrotestosterone and adverse impact on androgen sensitive scalp hair follicles. This may be another reason why some people have incomplete hair re-growth despite successful hair re-growth treatment with thyroid hormones.
Restoring Hair Regrowth
The human body uses its own wisdom to conserve energy when possible, from nonessential areas, shunting repair and regeneration power and directing it to those functions which it considers more essential. But when normal functioning is restored, the body regains its potential to repair and regenerate, and hair re growth is no exception.
The female hair re-growth reversal through restoring thyroid function requires long years of treatments, sometimes with a fairly high dose of thyroid medicine. Thyroid metabolism is a complex process and requires eight separate layers of biochemical control each requiring specific vitamins, minerals, and other cofactors that would allow a full recovery of function.
Treatment for thyroid disease involves carefully regulated doses of thyroid hormone. Too large of a dosage may cause unwanted side-effects so doctors are cautious when prescribing initial treatment. The dose is gradually increased until the level of hormone in the patient's blood returns to normal. Only then may thyroid hair loss begin to reverse.
In addition, a rich Vitamin, Mineral, Amino Acid, and essential fatty acid replacement program is also essential for restoring the female hair growth affected by the abnormal thyroid function.
These above mentioned four categories of nutrient supplements need to be well represented, using high quality natural or herbal products to restore and regenerate normal scalp function via optimizing thyroid metabolism.
Hyperthyroidism - Another Hair Loss Thyroid Disease
Hyperthyroidism also occurs more often in women than in men, about 8 to ten times more. It is peculiar to know that women in their twenties and thirties the most commonly affected. This condition is the result of an excessive amount of thyroid hormone in a person's system. There are a number of disorders associated with it.
Up to 50% of women with hyperthyroidism develop diffuse telogen effluvium type hair loss. The extent of hair loss is usually more limited than that observed in people with hypothyroidism.
Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism
The diagnosis of hyperthyroidism is confirmed by blood tests that show a decreased thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level and elevated T4 and T3 levels. TSH is a hormone made by the pituitary gland in the brain that tells the thyroid gland how much hormone to make. When there is too much thyroid hormone, the TSH will be low. A radioactive iodine scan (a test that uses injected radioactive iodine to examine the activity of the thyroid gland) will show an enlarged thyroid gland that is over-functioning.
HGH Hormone Supplements
Women undergoing treatment for hyperthyroidism hair loss may benefit significantly from use of hgh supplements. HGH (Human growth hormone) supplements have the effect of increasing the effectiveness of nearly every gland and organ in the body and the thyroid is no exception. The hgh supplements help to restore the thyroid gland function and once the hormone balance and the metabolism is optimally regained in females, their hair growth is also restored.
If you suspect you may be experiencing symptoms similar to the ones listed above, discuss them with your doctor.
Post-Partum Hair Loss and Thyroid
Post-partum hair loss due to a general body “fatigue” after giving birth and/or the sudden change in estrogen hormones with giving birth, also leads to increased hair loss and this may be one of the first symptoms noticed. Many women suffer thyroid dysfunction after childbirth that coupled with post-pregnancy hair loss which is known as post-partum thyroiditis.
Post-partum thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland that occurs following delivery, and it is estimated that this condition occurs in up to 20% of mothers.
The pituitary gland can act directly or indirectly on hair follicle activity. The pituitary gland produces growth hormones that have a direct impact on the cells in hair follicles. The pituitary hormones also influence the production of hormones made elsewhere in the body including; gonadotrophin, TSH and ACTH. These hormones in turn have an affect on hair follicle growth. In hypopituitarism one may see hair loss symptoms observed in other hormone deficiency diseases such as hypothyroidism.
A drop in pituitary hormone production results in very fine and dry scalp hair. The outer third of eyebrow hair can be entirely lost similar to that seen in hypothyroidism (called “Hertoghe’s symptom”). Men may have diffuse beard hair loss. Body hair can also be affected and may become very fine. Women in particular may almost entirely lose their pubic hair. Much of this hair loss is telogen effluvium where hair follicles have entered a prolonged inactive state due to lack of stimulation by hormones.
Individuals with pituitary dwarfism may have persistent thin, dry, sparse hair. Arm pit, pubic, and beard hair fails to develop. Administering growth hormones to children with pituitary dwarfism can help increase body growth and hair follicle activity.
If you think you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above consult your doctor.