Thyroid problems seem to be coming more common and we are seeing a lot more patients who are suffering with a thyroid issue in clinic.
The thyroid is located in the neck and is in charge of secreting Thyroxine(T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones regulate the speed at which our cells work at (this includes our follicles) and are essential for our heart function, metabolic rate and digestion.
You usually hear people say they have an under active or over active thyroid and this refers to whether too little or too much of these hormones is being produced.
This is also known as under active thyroid. This is where not enough of the hormone T3 and T4 is being produced.This can cause symptoms such as fatigue, irregular periods, muscle aches, weight gain, muscle weakness and hair loss. An under active thyroid can cause hair loss because the lack of hormones can interfere with the regulation of the hair growth cycle. (See our previous blog that covers the hair growth cycle). This will mean that more of the hair will enter the Telogen phase meaning more hair will shed out at the same time. This usually happens all over the scalp making the hair appear thin. An under active thyroid can also cause the hair to become brittle.
This is also known as an over active thyroid and is where too much of the hormone T4 and T3 are produced. The symptoms of an overactive are different to that of an under active thyroid, this includes the symptoms of hair loss. Symptoms may include a lump or swelling in the neck, anxiety or stress, weight loss and hair loss. The hair loss may present as thinning all over the scalp but can also fall out in patches and the hair may become soft and fine a bit like baby hair.
How can hair loss be managed if i suffer with a thyroid problem?
My first port of call would be to ensure that you have had an up to date blood test to ensure that the thyroid issue has not caused any other concerns such as low iron.
Ensure that you have spoken to your GP or a specialist about your thyroid problem and take the correct medications if needed.
Eat a healthy diet and include leafy green vegetables, a good source of iron and protein rich foods such as spinach, nuts and lean meats.
Get out and exercise. Exercise is great for tackling stress and keeping your body healthy.
If you are concerned about your hair speak to a Trichologist they will offer support and guidance. Your hair can often take a long while to recover after suffering an illness but can take even longer if you have an ongoing illness to manage.
Your Trichologist will be able to guide and support you through your hair loss.