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Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss

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Hair Loss Causes

One of the first symptoms of a thyroid disorder is hair loss. But in many cases this symptom tends to get ignored since a certain proportion of hair loss happens among many people. To ascertain the increase in hair loss is therefore, not so easy. There have been instances when hairdressers have pointed out abnormal hair loss that has ultimately led to diagnosis of hypothyroidism (deficiency of thyroid hormones).

Hair growth can be affected by various aspects of the body. A disruption in the normal functioning of the body can potentially affect hair growth, hair strength and the overall health of the hair. Normally, though, the rate of hair growth is dependent on various factors like hereditary, diet and exercise, hair cells grow faster than other body cells. At any given point in time, one tenth of the hairs do not grow. The remaining active nine tenths that are in the growing mode continue to grow at the rate of approximately half an inch every month for three years.

Hypothyroidism often results in significant changes in the overall quality of hair. There is a considerable loss in texture and shine. Another sign of “hypothyroid hair loss” in women is the loss of hair in a pattern that is generally associated with male hair loss. The male pattern of hair loss is significant loss of hair around the temples and at the top of the head. Hair loss can also be a significant side effect of thyroid medications. If you are taking a synthetic hormonal supplement as part of your thyroid treatment, excessive hair loss can actually be a side effect of the drug. You should consult with your health care professional about these side effects.

Proponents of natural thyroid medication theorize that hair growth is controlled by the kidneys. According to them hair loss can be due to:

~ Excessive production of testosterone that can result from high levels of exercise or over stimulation.
~ Poor metabolism that can result from bad eating habits.
~ Lack of absorption of nutrients in food.
~ Over stimulation of adrenal glands by thyroid hormonal supplement.

The two symptoms of hypothyroidism that lead to a perceptible change in the physical appearance are hair loss and obesity.