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5 Facts About The Links Between The Thyroid and Hair Loss
by April Maguire
Like it or not, hair loss is a natural part of aging. In fact, according to statistics, you have less than a 30% chance at holding on to the bulk of your hair for the rest of your life. While we accept these changes as part of the aging process, there is still an underlying cause that triggers this hair loss. In many cases, problems with the thyroid gland correlate to problems in the hair growth cycle. While the relationship between the two is complex and our understanding of it is still evolving, here are five key facts that you should know about how the thyroid affects hair loss.
The link between the thyroid and hair loss is so strong that it often doesn’t matter how the thyroid is out of balance. According to research, both overactive thyroids and underactive thyroids have been tied to hair loss. Because of this strong correlation, it’s safe to say that any kind of issue with your thyroid can wreak havoc on your hair.
Not the Only Symptom
Even though issues with the thyroid lead to hair loss, oftentimes this symptom isn’t the only one that people experience. In addition to hair loss, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is associated with fatigue, depression, irritability, irregular heartbeat, insomnia and weight loss. If you’re noticing that your hair is thinning but you don’t have any other symptoms, then your thyroid may not be to blame.
Thinning, Not Baldness
Hair loss that comes from a thyroid imbalance usually follows a specific pattern. Generally, thyroid problems cause an overall thinning of hair, as opposed to producing individual bald patches. Additionally, this hair thinning is the result of long-term thyroid issues, and isn’t ordinarily one of the first symptoms to appear.
Disrupting the Hair Cycle
Ordinarily, your hair goes through a three-stage cycle of growth and shedding. Ideally, your body grows new hairs at the same rate that it releases older ones, so that you have a consistent amount of hair on your head. Unfortunately, thyroid problems disrupt this cycle, leading to more shedding than growth and leaving your hair thinner.
Treatment Takes Time
If your doctor has diagnosed a thyroid disorder as the cause of your hair loss, just remember that it can take a lot of trial and error to find the right treatment. Some thyroid treatments have even been blamed for exacerbating hair loss. So if you’re on medication to correct your thyroid, patience is key.
While the links between the thyroid and the hair growth cycle are strong, thyroid disorders are not the only reason that people lose their hair. If you’re concerned about your hair loss, consult with your doctor to determine the cause and decide on a course of treatment.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!