Inside – Understand the relation between hair loss issues and thyroid. Why do you lose hair in thyroid disorder? Plus details on the treatment of thyroid hair loss.
Hair loss is one of the most common symptoms of thyroid disease. Several females who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism complain of hair loss as their main symptom.
In Hashimoto’s and in hypothyroidism hair loss is very difficult to treat. As the incidence of hypothyroidism is rising so we are seeing more and more females with hair loss issues. It is often frustrating for females to deal with hair loss on a daily basis and can affect the quality of life for them.
Hair loss in thyroid condition is described in various different ways:
1. Several females just complain of hair thinning
2. Other females complain of diffuse hair loss all over the scalp
3. A few females also complained of patchy hair loss
Why Do You Lose Hair in Thyroid Disorder?
At the base of your hair are hair follicles that are responsible for hair growth. These hair follicles require a number of nutrients and are also dependent on several hormones for proper hair growth.
- Low thyroid hormone: Thyroid hormone is an important hormone in our body and is responsible for various functions and one of the functions is to keep the hair follicles in good health.
- Poor Mitochondria: Along with that in thyroid conditions we often see mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondria are needed to provide energy to the hair follicles and for hair to grow. So poor mitochondrial health is also a major reason for hair loss issues in thyroid patients.
- Inflammation: Also in thyroid disorders often there is also inflammation present, and this inflammation leads to the destruction of those thyroid follicles and thus causing hair loss.
Treatment of Thyroid Hair Loss
The only treatment available in conventional medicine for thyroid disorders is levothyroxine. But often taking levothyroxine doesn’t help with the hair loss issue.
Often females seek alternative help to improve their hair health. They try to search online for answers for getting their hair loss issue resolved and oftentimes start taking supplements without any medical consultation.
One of the most common supplements that females use for hair loss issues is Biotin but what they don’t know is that biotin can interfere with the thyroid hormone blood test results. If you want to know how Biotin interferes with the thyroid results then read my post on it.
But there are other ways that you can help improve this hair loss issue and that’s what I’m going to share today with you.
1. Nutritional insufficiencies: Hair growth is a dynamic process and requires a lot of energy as well as several nutrients. And oftentimes in thyroid disorder, our body is not able to produce enough energy and as well our body is low on several nutrients.
Some of the nutrients that are needed for hair growth are iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, B vitamins such as B6, B12, folate, vitamin C.
Some of these can be replenished by diet but others you might have to take supplements. Out of this if you have an iron deficiency then you should take an iron supplement to improve your iron levels.
2. Anti-inflammatory diet: Inflammation is an important factor causing the destruction of the hair follicles in thyroid disorder, so following an anti-inflammatory diet helps with hair loss issues.
In the anti-inflammatory diet, the first thing is to remove food which increases inflammation which are gluten, dairy, soy, corn, processed meat, sugar.
The second thing is to introduce food which reduces inflammation which is green leafy vegetables, spices like turmeric, ginger, fruits like blueberries.
3. Collagen Protein: Protein is very important for hair growth and one of the proteins which have been shown to be beneficial in hair loss is collagen peptides.
Now, these days collagen peptides are easily available in powder form and you can add them to your smoothies on a daily basis.
Collagen peptides have several benefits for thyroid patients as they help out with hair growth as well as also important for reducing inflammation.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for skin health including hair health also. Most of us are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and that’s the reason taking a supplement is very helpful. You can always eat a lot of fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids to get enough of them.
A few things that you need to remember when you are using fish as a source of your omega-3 fatty acids are that you need to get your fish from a source that is wild-caught and is it free from mercury.
And to have enough omega-3 fatty acids you need to eat fish at least 2 to 3 times a week. Otherwise, the easier way is to take an omega-3 supplement.
5. B Vitamins: several vitamins are needed for proper hair growth some of them are Biotin, B12, folate. Most of the time if you have a healthy diet you should have enough vitamins in it but sometimes our body needs are much more than what our diet can provide and that’s where supplementation can be helpful.
As I mentioned before you have to be careful when you are taking a bath in the supplement because it can interfere with your thyroid lab results.
So it is very important that you work with a qualified functional medicine provider who understands your need for vitamins and suggests you the best way of taking them. Otherwise, foods like lentils, almonds, walnuts, carrots, cauliflower are good sources of biotin.
6. Balancing Your Thyroid Hormone: Most of the time and females who have thyroid disorders are taking levothyroxine: which is not enough for proper hair growth. Especially if you have Hashimoto’s disease levothyroxine being a synthetic hormone might not be the best choice.
At the time it would be a good discussion to have with your provider about considering using natural thyroid hormones. But at the same time, you can also consider adding some natural desiccated thyroid supplementation to see that help you out.
Sometimes females will need additional T3 supplementation to help their own hair loss to improve.
7. Adrenal Dysfunction: Most of the females with a thyroid disorder also have adrenal dysfunction going on. Adrenals are other endocrine glands that produce several hormones what are the most important ones is cortisol.
In acute stress, cortisol is a life savior but when we have high levels of cortisol for an extended amount of time then we start seeing it’s a negative effect on our body.
One of the negative effects is that cortisol decreases production as well as the proper functioning of thyroid hormones. And the other effect is that it increases inflammation in our body and that also leads to thyroid follicle destruction.
Some of the ways to improve adrenal dysfunction are through doing either meditation, relaxation on a daily basis, or adding adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha.
These are several ways which can help with hair loss issues with your thyroid disorder.
Hair loss is common with a thyroid disorder and very difficult to treat. In conventional medicine, the only way to help hair loss issues in thyroid disorder is by using levothyroxine which often doesn’t work. In my practice, I have used other modalities to help several females with their hair loss struggle. There are several natural remedies for hair loss that I have discussed here.
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