Hair loss is an extremely common condition. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, half the adults in the United States will notice hair thinning before they reach the age of forty.
If more hair seems to be falling out than usual, the best thing to do is to speak to a physician. During the early stages, it may be hard to tell if your condition is due to genetics and pattern baldness or a medical condition such as a thyroid imbalance. But a doctor can determine the actual cause.
What Is the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland is a structure located in the throat area. It is shaped like a butterfly and produces several different hormones. The most common one is T4 (also called Thyoxin). It’s main job is to regulate basic processes in the body. The main ones include:
- development and growth
- levels of testosterone in the blood
Is Your Thyroid Causing You To Lose Hair?
Besides genetics, thyroid imbalances are a very common cause of hair loss and thinning. A doctor will need to conduct a blood test to make a formal diagnosis. But it will still be helpful to be familiar with common symptoms:
(1) fatigue and oversleeping
(2) inability to sleep
(3) irregular menstruation
(4) intolerance to temperature extremes
(5) dryness of the skin
(6) drastic mood shifts
(7) difficulty recalling information and performing other cognitive tasks
(8) sudden weight gain
(9) muscle aches
How Thyroid Disorders Affect Hair Follicles
A thyroid imbalance can take one of two forms:
(1) being overactive (hyperthyroidism)
(2) being underactive (hypothyroidism)
In both cases, testosterone converts to dehydrotestosterone (DHT) at a fast rate. And DHT will cause more hair follicles to enter a resting phase. Normally 10% of our hair is in a resting phase at any given time. The usual time frame is about three months before the hair shafts fall out.
But with thyroid issues, these cycles and processes speed up and hair falls out at a much greater rate. Unlike pattern baldness, however, new growth is still possible. However, this hair is thinner and drier.
Most individuals who are suffering from thyroid related hair loss will experience the loss of big hair clumps. This is particularly noticeable after bathing or showering.
Hair may also become depleted along the outside of the eyebrows. Follicles on other regions of the body may be affected as well.
Reversing Hair Loss By Treating the Thyroid
It is actually quite easy to treat hair loss that results from thyroid problems. Medication can be prescribed to restore a state of balanced hormones. One of the most commonly prescribed drugs is Levothyroxin. It is important to realize that many thyroid medications (including this one) list hair loss as a potential side effect.
Patients who can benefit from drug treatment will need to maintain a consistent treatment regimen for about a month. After this time, it is possible to see improvements in the quantity of new hair as well as the thickness.
It would be important to take proper steps right away in finding out how to treat hair loss.Delays can make it even more difficult to reverse the issue.