Is Thyroid Disease Causing Your Hair to Fall Out and Do You Need a Transplant Surgery to Recover Lost Hair?
Thyroid diseases are closely tied to hair loss. This butterfly-shaped organ, located in front of the neck, is responsible for the production of hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). From regulating our basal metabolic rate, hair growth, body temperature, muscle contraction, neural development, reproduction, skin homeostasis, and even intelligence, the importance of these hormones cannot be undermined. Here, we’ll discuss thyroid hair loss.
There’s no denying that hair loss negatively affects the quality of one’s life. It can be emotionally distressing and physically exacting. Moreover, it can cost one a fortune when they start looking for solutions to recover or even hide their bald spots. Imbalance of thyroid hormones is one of the many reasons why hair loss might occur. Although iodine deficiency has been popularised as the reason for this disorder, there are many other factors such as pregnancy, age, gender, medications, and genes, etc.
If we take a look at its prevalence rate, hyperthyroidism affects 5 out of every 1000 women while hypothyroidism, 3 out of every 1000. Its incidence is greater among females. This condition is rather dangerous when it develops during pregnancy because it has been found to cause premature birth, death of the fetus, miscarriage, and impairment of neuropsychological development.
Types of Thyroid Disorders and Their Symptoms
There are two major classifications of thyroid disorder. Both are more common in women.
When the production of thyroxine and triiodothyronine decreases by the thyroid gland, this condition results. Initially, its symptoms might be barely noticeable. However, one might experience weight gain, fatigue, lethargy, constipation, hair shedding (hair becomes dry and rough), decreased intellectual functioning, and weight gain, among others.
The most common cause for its development is Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune disease that damages the functioning of the thyroid gland. The exact reasons for its development are still unknown, although it is believed that genetics might be involved. It is also thought that the presence of certain viruses or bacteria might be responsible.
As iodine is responsible for the production of T3 and T4, its deficiency can also cause hypothyroidism. Other than that, thyroid cancer, inflammation of the glands, and even taking certain medications can affect the production of these hormones.
The excessive production of hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine marks the condition of hyperthyroidism. Its symptoms include weight gain, sweating, abnormal menstrual cycle, nervousness, anxiety, tremors, hair loss (with hair becoming extra soft and thin), fatigue, upset bowel movement, and increased heartbeat, among others. Usually, it is accompanied by swollen thyroid glands. As the production of hormones increase, the metabolic rate also rises. Furthermore, the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and reproductive functions are negatively affected.
A common reason for hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease, which is also an autoimmune disorder. In this, the cells of the thyroid gland start producing greater quantities of T3 and T4. Other reasons can be excessive intake of iodine, inflammation or infection of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis), and development of thyroid nodules.
It is also possible that treatment of one kind of thyroid disorder, such as hyperthyroidism, can cause the other one i.e. hypothyroidism. Radioactive iodine is used to treat the former, which can lower the level of thyroid hormones to abnormal levels.
In instances of autoimmune disorders, the body cells start attacking the hair follicles, which can cause alopecia areata. It is noticeable as bald, circular patches on the scalp. It can also cause complete baldness.
How Thyroid Disease Relates to Hair Loss
Sometimes people may take normal hair loss (about 50 to 100 strands of hair) to mean something alarming. This is no cause for concern.
Even in the case of thyroid hair loss, the condition is usually temporary, which means you can recover completely. But the problem is that this symptom of thyroid hair loss usually becomes visible when the disease has become more severe. You’ll most likely be prescribed medicines to deal with this. And the medications for thyroid disease can lead to hair loss, although it is rare.
Moreover, as autoimmune diseases are the most common causes of hypo and hyperthyroidism, it so happens that our body cells will start attacking the hair follicles, which will cause hair fall.
Another reason is the shocking of hair follicles due to excess or deficient thyroid hormones in the body. This will cause the majority of your hair to enter the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle, instead of the anagen phase. In the latter phase, the hair grows actively. This is followed by a temporary period of rest called the catagen phase, which lasts for around three weeks. Finally comes the telogen phase. Normally, once the hair has fallen out, new ones begin to grow in their place. This is imperative for a healthy growth cycle.
These are some of the causes responsible for thyroid hair loss. In any case, you should consult a doctor. If the condition is left unchecked for a long time, it can affect your joints, heart health, and even lead to obesity.
Kinds of Thyroid Hair Loss
The pattern of hair loss in the case of thyroid disease is not always the same.
- Chronic telogen effluvium or diffuse hair loss is one way in which thyroid hair loss occurs. Almost 70% of the hair will enter the telogen phase and fall out excessively from all over the scalp. This can take almost two to three months to occur. The most common reason for diffuse hair loss is thyroid disease or iron deficiency, which is why their levels should be checked.
- Another is the formation of circular, smooth, and discrete patches, which is also known as alopecia areata. Both hyper and hypothyroidism can cause this. However, it commonly occurs in the latter.
Treatment for Thyroid Hair Loss
It is important to consult a professional immediately. Self-diagnosis is never the right option when it comes to a serious illness. Many people believe that proper dietary intervention can eventually help them. While it may be true in some cases, you need to know what’s causing your hair to fall out. Only then can any solution work.
Meanwhile, make sure that you don’t give in to the use of products marketed as the one-in-all solutions. You will be scammed out of your money and be left with disastrous results. Therefore, here, you must remain patient. It will take a few months, but your hair will regrow. But you have to be careful with how you deal with your hair. They’ll require more delicate treatment than usual. Do not pull hard on your hair, and use a wide-combed brush.
Some people choose wigs, hair extensions, or makeup to hide their bald spots. But there can be many disadvantages to them, such as the undue pressure can cause traction alopecia. Moreover, there’s a risk of developing infection and dandruff. They can be helpful for temporary use, but in the long run, they are plain harmful.
Another thing to take care of is that you shouldn’t think of iodine as your sole saviour. If you consume too much iodine, it can cause hyperthyroidism (if that’s the cause already, then iodine consumption will exacerbate your symptoms), which will also cause hair fall. That’s why you need to get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible.
Do you need to Get Thyroid Hair Transplant Surgery?
That depends on the severity of the condition. Hair loss due to thyroid disease is mostly temporary, although you may experience some changes in the growth pattern and even hair texture. In any case, if a clinic, after proper diagnosis and consultation, finds thyroid hair transplant surgery to be the best option for you, then you should go for it. Moreover, mild cases of hyper or hypothyroidism do not require large-scale intervention for hair restoration in most cases.
However, for the damage to not be permanent, finding the right treatment is the key. In case, thyroid disease has extensively damaged your hair growth, thyroid hair transplant is possible. And you can achieve great results from it too. All you’ll need is a healthy donor area for that.
Should Longevita be Your Choice of Clinic?
We truly believe that everyone should get the treatment they need. Whenever a patient comes to us, we make sure to go through every detail of their case. From the history of any disorders to the current medications they’re on, we’d need to know everything. This is how we determine what their treatment plan should be (it’s always customised) and what results they can expect.
We do perform thyroid hair transplant, but not without consultation with our highly experienced medical professionals. They will ensure that you’ve put your trust in the right place. They’re aware of the medical trends in their field of expertise, technologically and technically, so you can remain stress-free throughout. Because we’ll help choose the best for you.
You can contact us today to find the solution for your hair loss. Our medical team is available online. Around the globe, we’ve medical tourists come for their transplant surgery. Once you start your journey with us, we’ll be there till the end.