The connection between our thyroid and hair loss may not be evident at first especially considering the fact that hair loss is not exactly a type of symptom that is distinctively associated with thyroid conditions.
That said, it is the goal of this article is to shed light on that topic as means of helping those people who are currently diagnosed or are suspected to have thyroid problems to gain a better understanding about their condition particularly in terms of dealing with hair loss.
Hair life-cycle: An overview
First, let’s try to understand the different phases that our hair undergoes. There are three stages of hair life-cycle: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen.
Anagen is basically the stage wherein our hair is still actively growing. The catagen stage, on the other hand, is the transition time when the growth of our hair starts to slow down to a halt. This phase usually lasts for about 3 weeks. Lastly, the telogen phase is the time wherein our hair starts to shed. Note that the normal amount of telogen hairs that are shed on a daily basis is around 50 to 150.
Hence, when you observe a sudden, unexplained, and excessive hair loss, that could be caused by an underlying or undiagnosed condition--in this case, possibly a thyroid problem.
Hair loss due to thyroid disease
As mentioned earlier, hair loss can be associated with various medical conditions. So, how do you know if it's a thyroid disease that’s causing it?
First of all, our thyroid can easily influence different processes and functions in our body. This, of course, includes hair growth. So, any changes or disruption in the normal thyroid hormone production that is left untreated can potentially lead to hair loss.
A thyroid-related hair loss usually develops slowly and instead of losing a large chunk of hair on certain sections of the scalp, the excessive shedding is diffused. Another common sign to look out for is the thinning of eyebrows which typically starts from the outer section.
Note that hair loss can be experienced by people suffering from either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. It happens at the later stage of these diseases, so it is strongly advised to watch out for other symptoms of thyroid problems.
On a lighter note, thyroid-related hair loss can be reversed with proper treatment. Once your thyroid function is back on its normal pace, you will notice an improvement in a few months time.
What you can do
A thinning hair is not a pretty sight, especially for the women. So, it is imperative that we take all possible actions to prevent or reverse the condition before it’s too late. That said, here are some tips on what you can do.
See a dermatologist
Although you are currently dealing with a thyroid disease, it doesn’t mean that there can’t be any other problem that’s causing you to lose so much hair. That said, seeing a dermatologist will help you determine whether there are other contributing factors that can possibly aggravate your condition.
Get your labs done
As mentioned earlier, hair loss usually happens at the later stage of a thyroid disease. That means, it can be prevented with early diagnosis. So, have yourself checked and take all the necessary tests that your doctor will recommend in order to properly assess your thyroid health.
Get the right treatment and take the right supplements
In the case that you do have a thyroid disease, make sure that you’re taking the right treatment for your condition. This goes without saying that you keep track of your dosage at all times. Also, if you decide to take thyroid supplements, do so with the recommendation of your doctor.
Go on a thyroid diet
You can’t always rely on medications and supplements. A thyroid diet or simply, a thyroid-friendly meal plan is still one of the most effective ways to prevent or properly manage your thyroid health. Do your research and determine which types of food are good for you and which ones are not. Note that these can vary depending on whether you are currently dealing with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Try natural treatments
Natural treatments include alternative medicines or herbs. Some of the commonly used herbs used to treat hair loss are chaste berry, black cohosh, and saw palmetto. These so-called natural treatments can be taken orally or applied topically. Either way, it is best to consult your doctor first before trying them.
Consider using essential oils
Essential oils can help treat and manage symptoms of thyroid diseases including hair loss. Again, you can do your own research to determine which types best suit your personal needs. To help you get started, some oils you can try are lavender, rosemary, and garden thyme.
Hair loss is just one of the many symptoms of thyroid problems and although it is not the most serious condition and may even be reversible, it still can easily take an emotional toll on a person. That should be enough reason for us to pay closer attention to our thyroid health. After all, our hair is our crowning glory. So, you wouldn’t want to lose yours now, would you?