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Hair Loss Thyroid

The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate the rate of the metabolism, growth and development. The hair and skin are some of the fastest growing cells in the body and they are, therefore, among those that are most likely to be affected by thyroid disorders that affect growth and the metabolism.

One of the symptoms that many people with thyroid disorders find most distressing is hair loss. Hair loss can occur as a result of either hypothyroidism, when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones, or hyperthyroidism, when it produces too much. It is more common with hypothyroidism, however.

Hypothyroidism or an under active thyroid results in a slower metabolic rate because the levels of thyroid hormones are too low to keep the metabolism going at the proper speed. This means that less energy is used and the hair cells are not able to grow quickly enough. The hair can become dry and brittle, and it can become thinner.

Hair loss usually slows down and stops once treatment for a thyroid disorder is initiated. It can take several months for the effects of the treatment to affect the symptom of hair loss.

In some cases, patients may continue to experience hair loss despite receiving treatment for their thyroid disorder. There are several ways in which it may be possible to change the medication that is being taken in order to prevent hair loss, if it is still occurring despite the current treatment.

The standard treatment for hypothyroidism is a tablet containing a synthetic version of the thyroid hormone T4. This tablet is taken once a day. It replaces one of the thyroid hormones that the thyroid gland is no longer producing in adequate amounts, and in most cases it successfully alleviates the symptoms of an under active thyroid gland. The usual drug that is given is levothyroxine or Synthroid. One of the possible side-effects of this drug is prolonged hair loss, so if the symptoms are occurring while taking this medication it could be the drug rather than the condition that is causing the problem. Switching to a different drug could help.

Another possible reason for hair loss that occurs despite treatment is that the dosage of the medication is too low. This can be checked with a blood test to measure the levels of thyroid hormones. Some people may still experience symptoms such as hair loss despite having thyroid hormone levels that are close to the lower boundary of what is considered normal. It is important for patients to discuss symptoms with their doctor in order to ensure that they are receiving a sufficient dosage.

The usual treatment for hypothyroidism contains only the synthetic version of the hormone T4. It is also possible to take a treatment that combines synthetic versions of both thyroid hormones, T4 and T3. Some patients may respond better to combined treatment, therefore, changing to the T4/T3 treatment could help to alleviate symptoms such as hair loss that are not stopped by T4 treatment alone.

Alternative treatments such as evening primrose oil may also be able to combat hair loss that continues despite treatment for hypothyroidism.


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