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Hair Loss and Thyroid Disorders


Many different conditions can lead to hair loss; some hair loss is part of normal life. Women after childbirth and at the time of the menopause can lose hair and almost every man will lose some hair by the time of reaching adulthood. Elderly males and females will develop baldness of various degrees, which is largely determined by genetic factors.

Severe and prolonged hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause loss of hair. The loss is diffuse and involves the entire scalp rather than discrete areas. The hair appears uniformly sparse. Regrowth is usual with successful treatment of the thyroid disorder, though it will take several months and may be incomplete.  Some forms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism come on abruptly and are diagnosed early, while others may have been present for months or years before diagnosis. Hair loss due to thyroid disease becomes apparent several months after the onset of thyroid disease. This is due to the long hair cycle.

Hair loss and anti-thyroid treatment -

Anti-thyroid drugs can, in rare cases, cause diffuse hair loss. It may be very difficult to tell whether the hair loss is due to the effects of the previous over-activity of the thyroid or the anti-thyroid drugs.

Hair loss associated with autoimmune thyroid disease –

Most people with hypo- or hyper-thyroidism have autoimmune thyroid disease. If a person has one autoimmune disease he/she is more likely than others to develop some other autoimmune condition. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss that occurs in people with autoimmune thyroid disease more often than expected by chance. Unlike the types of diffuse hair loss described above, alopecia areata causes discrete, often circular, areas of hair loss. In most cases this is transient and does not progress, but unfortunately it can cause significant baldness.

What can I do?

Most cases of scalp and eyebrow hair loss caused by thyroid disorders are temporary, but it may take several months for the medication to stimulate your hair to regrow. Try to be patient as regrowth can be unpredictable, and be aware that new hair may differ in texture and colour.

Some alternatives are to cover up the baldness until the hair grows back, DermMatch could be the product for you. It helps give the appearance of thicker, fuller hair!

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