Does Hypothyroidism Cause Hair Loss?

Hypothyroidism Written on board

Yes, hypothyroidism can cause hair loss. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the body’s needs. Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions, including metabolism, which can affect hair growth.

Hair loss in individuals with hypothyroidism is typically a result of several interconnected factors:

  • Altered Hair Growth Cycle: Thyroid hormones influence the hair growth cycle. With hypothyroidism, the hair growth cycle can be disrupted, leading to an increased proportion of hair follicles in the resting phase (telogen) and a decrease in the actively growing phase (anagen). This can result in hair thinning and loss.
  • Reduced Metabolism: Hypothyroidism slows down the body’s metabolism, which can affect the overall health of the hair follicles. Sluggish metabolism can result in weaker hair, making it more prone to breakage and hair loss.
  • Dry and Brittle Hair: Hypothyroidism can lead to changes in the hair’s texture, making it dry and brittle. This can make hair more likely to break and fall out.
  • Thyroid Autoimmunity: In some cases, hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Autoimmune conditions can lead to hair loss as the body’s immune system attacks not only the thyroid gland but also hair follicles.

It’s important to note that hair loss due to hypothyroidism is often diffuse, which means it occurs evenly across the scalp rather than in specific patches. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism may include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, and changes in skin and nails.

The good news is that once hypothyroidism is diagnosed and appropriately managed with thyroid hormone replacement therapy, hair loss caused by the condition often improves or stabilizes. It may take some time for the hair to regrow and regain its normal texture, but with proper treatment, many individuals with hypothyroidism can see positive changes in their hair health. If you suspect you have hypothyroidism or are experiencing hair loss, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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