May 18th, 2017          Written by a Staff Member of Hair Loss in Women

thyroid imbalance and womens hair loss

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland on your neck that is below the Adam’s apple, and along the front of the windpipe. It’s one of your largest endocrine glands. It’s job is to produce hormones that regulate the speed of your metabolism. Imbalances in the thyroid and hair loss may be related.

If your thyroid is out of balance, it can affect many systems in your body. In general, if your thyroid is out of balance, you will feel it. Thyroid issues are especially common in women.

And since your hair cells are some of the fastest growing in your body, when your thyroid is producing too little, or too much thyroid hormones, you will often see your hair breaking easily, dry hair, thinning hair, and even shedding.

If your body is under a lot of stress, it may stop producing hair to focus on another system in the body. So the health of your hair is one way to check your overall health.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism

A underactive thyroid is called hypothyroidism (the most common thyroid imbalance), and an overactive thyroid is called hyperthyroidism (which is more common in women).

Both can affect your hair, and not just on your scalp. Both types of thyroid issues can cause hair to fall out. The good news is that usually your hair will grow back once your thyroid has been successfully treated.

Women suffering from hyperthyroidism may also have itchy and dry skin.

Changes in weight is one of the most common symptoms of thyroid issues. Hyperthyroidism will cause weight loss, and hypothyroidism will cause unexplained weight gain. So if you’ve been exercising and watching your diet and you’re STILL putting on weight, you may have a underactive thyroid.

A underactive thyroid will cause a lack of mental clarity, and often making people feel tired, having no energy, and sometimes depressed.

An overactive thyroid can cause your heart to beat faster (even causing heart palpitations), create a feeling of being amped up, and may include anxiety, sweating, and an aversion to heat. It may also cause problems sleeping, and irritability.

Another way to tell if you have a thyroid issue is to check for swelling in your neck below your Adam’s apple. If you’re not sure, try drinking water in front of a mirror.  Tilt your head back and look for bumps or protrusions.

Thyroid issues can affect the menstrual cycle.  Sometimes women think they’re going into menopause, when they’re actually dealing with a thyroid imbalance.  It’s possible to be going into menopause and have thyroid issues.

Hyperthyroidism can also cause frequent bowel movements, whereas hypothyroidism can cause constipation.

Getting Diagnosed

A family history of thyroid issues increases your chances of having an imbalance. If you have some of the above symptoms (for either imbalance) please see a doctor. A doctor can give you simple blood test to see if you have thyroid issues.

 

Have you experienced an under or overactive thyroid and hair loss? Please leave us a comment below.

 

Comments 3

  1. I am nearly bald. and can NOT find a doctor to help. I have tried for years when the thinning first started. and now, I am about 90% bald. I have just the top layer of hair that i keep back to hide my scalp, but it is increasingly getting more difficult to strategically cover up the baldness. My Thyroid seems to function low normal…. but my thyroid antibodies are through the roof elevated..NOONE will listen to me. I am 52 years old… and just so self conscious and depressed about my hair loss… it effects every aspect of my life…and is on my mind every single second of every day. I just don’t know what to do.

  2. Hi Gina, I’m not a doctor but I do have alopecia. I remember desperately wanting my hair back. I tried steroids, steroid shots, ointments, lasers etc. Some would work for a little while but my hair continued to fall out. I was a prisoner to my hair loss. I hated wearing wigs!!! They are itchy, unrealistic looking, uncomfortable, would not stay on!! One day I was at a local alopecia support group and I meet a woman wearing a vacuum hairpiece. It was beautiful and SO realistic….but that was not even the best thing. The best thing was that you did not need tape or glue and it suctioned on. She said she could swim, workout and even go on roller coasters!!! I bought one that same year and have been wearing them for 16 years now. They are LIFE changing. I have never looked back and never even think about my hair loss….I have the best hair I have ever had!!!!!

  3. Taking control of my hair loss by shaving it off was honestly the most liberating feeling. I felt so self conscious with the wisps I had. There was no way to cover my hair loss. But once I decided to shave it, I felt so much better. Not saying that option is for everyone, but I no longer worried about what I saw in the mirror. The patchiness was more a constant stress to me than not having hair. If you’re not comfortable with that, have fun with a bright summery scarf! Color coordinate each day with your outfit! There are fun ways to tie and wrap it. Different materials too. I’ll wear a silk scarf, tie a bow and offset it behind my ear for a “dressier” look. Cotton paisley scarfs for casual looks. When the weather cools down, adorable crocheted beanies with flowers keep my head and ears warm. I even have a lace headband with big flower on the front that makes me look like an infant! Sometimes I’ll wear big dangly earrings to accessorize. Not having hair really shows off the ears so might as well dress them up!! Hoping you find courage and strength in this journey. Here to talk anytime.
    Janice

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