Thyroid Disease and Hair Loss
Note from Dr. Khoshaba
March 13, 2018
How do you know if you have SIBO?
March 27, 2018

Thyroid Disease and Hair Loss

Women have more prevalence of thyroid disease; they are 5 to 8 times more likely to have this verses men. This means that they can be at more at risk for thyroid-related hair loss. This can actually be very stressful for women because hair is considered a sense of identity and a beautiful accessory associated with femininity. If a man was to lose his hair, he could shave it off and have no social stigma associated with it. Women, on the other hand, often resort to finding a solution such as taking over the counter supplements like biotin and using expensive hair care products that claim to help regrow stronger and thicker hair.

The following causes of hair loss that can be seen in Hashimoto’s patients because they are more at risk for having more inflammation and altered gut function which can prevent good nutrient and amino acid absorption.

1- Thyroid disease related:
Get your thyroid levels evaluated. Patients often think that hair loss is only associated with hypothyroidism, however, it can also be seen in hyperthyroidism. You can ask your doctor to check:

  • TSH
  • Free T3 and free T4
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroid antibodies such as TPO (Thyroperoxidase) and TGB (Thyroglobulin).

2- Iron Deficiency Anemia:
Lack of iron can impair hemoglobin function, which will affect the oxygen-carrying capacity of your cells to help repair and stimulate hair growth. This can be simply checked with a lab test that includes:

  • a CBC (Complete Blood Count)
  • Iron panel
  • Ferritin

3- Lack of Amino Acids
Amino acids are simple building blocks of protein and women who are nutritionally deficient in this macronutrient group can be at risk for hair loss. In a cross-sectional study published in 2017, the prevalence of nutritional deficiencies was analyzed in people with hair loss. Results showed that amino acid and micronutrient deficiencies affected all types of hair loss. The most common amino acid deficiencies were seen included histidine, leucine, valine and cysteine and micronutrients such as iron and copper. There are great micronutrient and amino acid specialty panels that can help you identify single markers that can be contributing to your hair loss.

4- Stress
This is due to changes in adrenal hormone levels. Hashimoto’s can be a stressful situation on the body as it is an autoimmune condition and this can increase levels of inflammation. The best way to check your adrenal function is to have 2 hormones checked:

  • Cortisol
  • DHEA-sulfate

Cortisol is best checked at 8 am because this is the highest peak your body will produce during the day (or at least it should!). These two hormones balance each other. If your cortisol is high, then DHEA levels are low which will impact the formation of your other hormones including estrogen and testosterone. The inverse is also true if your cortisol is low, then DHEA levels can increase. When these hormones are off in any way, hair loss is a common symptom. There are many natural ways to help restore balance including using plant extracts from Magnolia Officinalis and Phellodendron amurense. These herbs have been used for over thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices.

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