Many people have heard of the thyroid, but they’re probably not sure what it is, where it is, or what it does. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of a person’s neck. The thyroid gland makes thyroid hormones, which the body uses for energy to stay warm and keep the organs and muscles working properly. If thyroid hormone production is disrupted, a person may experience health problems.
The most common thyroid-related problems result from an abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, involves insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone.
An overactive or underactive thyroid gland may cause hair loss in some people.
What is the Link Between Thyroid Health and Hair Loss?
The thyroid hormone plays an essential role in developing and maintaining hair follicles. Follicles are the small pockets under the skin from which hairs grow. Severe or prolonged hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may result in hair loss. When the body has too much or insufficient thyroid hormone, it can “shock the system” into a state of telogen effluvium, a scalp disorder where hair roots enter the resting stage of the hair cycle too early.
Hair loss is also a possible side effect of some antithyroid drugs, including methimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU). Doctors prescribe antithyroid drugs to treat an overactive thyroid.
What are the Signs of Thyroid-Related Hair Loss?
It is unusual for hair loss to be the only symptom of an overactive or underactive thyroid.
Some common signs of hypothyroidism may include:
- Feeling cold
- Unexplained weight gain
- Dry skin
Some common signs of hyperthyroidism include:
- Fine or brittle hair
- Muscle weakness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fast heartbeat
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased sweating
It is worth noting that hair loss, as well as hyper-and hypothyroid symptoms, are nonspecific and might be due to other conditions as well. Therefore, a person must visit their doctor to have their thyroid levels checked before a doctor can make a diagnosis.
No matter the reason, experiencing hair loss is stressful and overwhelming. At NM Hair Replacement Studio, we can provide you with a private consultation free of charge to discuss the next moves on your hair recovery journey.