Could thyroid disease be behind your hair loss?
Hair loss is a problem that affects a staggering number of people! According to the American Hair Loss Association, up to 66% of men will notice some form of hair loss by the age of 35. By the age of 50, up to 85% will have hair that is thinning significantly. 25% of men with hair pattern baldness will notice their hair falling out before they reach the age of 21. That’s a lot of people, and mostly men, dealing with hair loss!
There are many things that can cause hair loss, including:
- Hormonal changes
- Medical conditions
Your thyroid gland may also be playing a part in your hair loss. Before we get into what thyroid hair loss is, it’s vital to understand what the thyroid gland does.
READ MORE: Increase Scalp Circulation for Better Hair
The thyroid gland is responsible for producing the hormones that:
- Regulate your metabolism
- Control your cardiovascular function
- Regulate digestive function
- Contribute to brain development
- Maintain healthy bones
These hormones are vital for a healthy body, but if not produced in proper quantities, they can contribute to a number of health problems.
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Hair growth is one of the functions controlled by the hormones produced in your thyroid gland. When your thyroid produces enough hormones, your hair follicles are able to maintain a healthy cycle of growth, shedding, and resting. Most of your hair is in the “resting” part of the hair growth cycle, and only a small portion is “growing” at any given time.
But, if your thyroid gland doesn’t produce the right balance of hormones, the changes in your hormone levels can affect the cycle of hair growth and resting. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can produce too much of certain hormones, while an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can produce less than your body needs. Both of these thyroid problems can contribute to hair loss. When your thyroid is overactive, the over-production of the hormones can cause your hair to become very thin and fine. You’ll notice that all of the hair on your scalp thins out. However, an underactive thyroid can be even worse, as the under-production of hormones can cause your hair to fall out. This hair loss may not stop on your scalp, but it can spread to the rest of your body.
Read More: Increase Scalp Circulation
How can you tell if you have a thyroid condition that is causing your hair thinning or hair loss? Here are a few of the symptoms of thyroid conditions:
- Changes in your menstrual cycle
- Irritable mood, anxiety, and nervousness
- Sleeping too much (lethargy) or not enough (insomnia)
- Drastic changes in your weight–both loss and gain
- Intolerance to hot or cold temperatures
- Dryness on the skin and/or hair
- Weakness or pain in your muscles
- Reduced cognitive function: concentration difficulties, memory troubles, etc.
All of these things are signs that you may have a thyroid condition, and they’re an indication you need to visit your doctor to get checked out.
The good news about thyroid hair loss: it’s treatable!
Once the thyroid disorder is diagnosed, you will be able to take steps to treat the problem and restore thyroid function to normal. By treating the thyroid condition, you will regulate the hormones that control your hair growth cycle. A healthy balance in your hormone levels should restore your hair growth back to normal, preventing your hair from further falling out or thinning. That’s why it’s so important to get yourself checked out; once you know what the problem is, you can take steps to deal with it!