Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, and Women’s Hair Loss
If you have suffered unexplained hair loss, it may be a symptom of a thyroid problem. Hair loss is rarely the only sign of such conditions. However, it can often be the most noticeable symptom and the one that leads to a thyroid diagnosis. Thyroid problems are a more common cause of women’s hair loss since thyroid dysfunction is less likely to affect men. Although we offer a number of surgical treatments for hair loss, they are not typically suitable if you are suffering from a thyroid condition. In most cases, your hair will start to grow normally once your thyroid function is under control. Nevertheless, it is vital to have this symptom evaluated, since it can help your doctor evaluate your overall health more accurately. To learn more about female hair loss and thyroid problems, contact our Chicago, IL practice today.
What Are Thyroid Problems?
The thyroid gland, located at the base of your throat, produces important hormones that regulate many of your body’s functions. These include heart rate and metabolism. There are two types of thyroid problems: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. If you suffer from hyperthyroidism, your body produces too much thyroid hormone. Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include unexplained weight loss, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, sweating, and skipped menstrual cycles, among other things. Grave’s disease is one of the most common types of hyperthyroidism.
On the other hand, if you suffer from hypothyroidism, your body will not produce enough thyroid hormone. This can cause a range of symptoms, including unexplained weight gain, depression, chronic fatigue, joint pain, and heavy menstrual cycles. Hashimoto’s disease is a common type of hypothyroidism.
How Do Thyroid Problems Cause Hair Loss?
Irregular thyroid function will cause testosterone in your scalp to convert to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Eventually, DHT will shrink or even destroy hair follicles in various stages of growth. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause hair loss, although the balding pattern will be different. With hyperthyroidism, your hair could become very fine and thin across most of your scalp. If you have hypothyroidism, you may lose hair on other parts of your body. One telltale sign of hypothyroidism is hair loss on the outside of the eyebrows.
In some cases, the treatment for thyroid dysfunction can also cause hair loss. Though rare, thinning hair can be a side effect of thyroid replacement drugs.
Treatments for Thyroid-Related Hair Loss
At the Chicago Hair Institute, we offer a number of hair replacement surgeries that may be appropriate if your hair loss is due to genetics, age, trauma, or similar causes. However, if you have lost hair because of thyroid dysfunction, you will not typically be a candidate for surgery. Fortunately, your hair should thicken once you receive appropriate thyroid treatment. If you continue to lose hair after you start taking medication, this is a sign that your thyroid function is not yet in balance. You should talk to your doctor about proper thyroid levels and adjust your medications, as needed.
Contact the Chicago Hair Institute for More Information
To learn more about thyroid dysfunction and its connection to hair loss, contact our office today.