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12 Tips to Optimize Thyroid Health for Hair Loss

May 10, 2023 | Blog, Hair Loss, Thyroid Health

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thyroid health for hair loss

We all love our hair, and for many of us, losing it can be a blow to one’s self-esteem and can be very distressing. If you’re suffering from hair loss, you’re not alone. HYPOTHYROIDISM, a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, is a common cause of hair loss. Many individuals with hypothyroidism experience hair loss as the most frustrating symptom of all. But don’t worry, you can take steps to improve your thyroid health and STOP your hair loss. In this article, we’ll share with you 12 tips to optimize thyroid health for HAIR LOSS and HAIR GROWTH that have worked for others with hypothyroidism and may work for you, too.

 

How to Optimize Your Thyroid Treatment – Comprehensive Testing

 

The first and most crucial step in stopping hair loss is ensuring optimal thyroid treatment. The thyroid hormones T4 and T3 are essential for proper hair follicle functioning. The most popular medication if you have been diagnosed with HYPOTHYROIDISM is SYNTHROID, which is synthetic T4.

If you have been prescribed Synthroid (levothyroxine)and not seeing improvement in your symptoms, it may be time to consider a COMBINATION of T4 and T3 thyroid hormone replacement treatment.

Comprehensive testing includes TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and THYROID ANTIBODIES, is necessary to determine if you have optimal thyroid function. For some individuals, their bodies don’t convert T4 thyroid hormone to T3 properly, leaving them symptomatic. In such cases, a combination of T4 and T3 thyroid hormone replacement treatment may be more effective. If your doctor refuses to run full thyroid testing, consider ordering your own thyroid lab panel. Finding a FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE doctor who understands thyroid function and is willing to explore treatment options is essential.

 

Low Ferritin

LOW FERRITIN levels, the stored form of iron, are a common cause of hair loss, especially in women with hypothyroidism. It’s crucial to have iron testing, including FERRITIN, to determine if you’re experiencing hair loss due to low ferritin.

Don’t settle for “normal” ferritin levels; optimal ferritin levels for women are at least 80 ug/L. If you’re supplementing with iron, make sure to take the right dosage, as overdosing on iron can be dangerous.

Correct ferritin levels maximize your hair’s “anagen” or “growing” phase and encourage your hairs to grow to their full length. Treating low ferritin was another major piece of my hair loss solution.

Also, be sure to take iron supplements at least three hours apart from your thyroid medication to ensure optimal absorption.

 

Low Stomach Acid

LOW STOMACH ACID results in malabsorption of iron (which, as you know, is necessary for maintaining our hair) and many other essential nutrients. Drinking warm water with lemon every morning and before meals has definitely helped. You can also take an Organic Apple Cider Vinegar drink before meals. This has also helped with heartburn, gas, acid reflux, and bloating.

 

Nutrient Deficiencies

NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES are a common issue for people with hypothyroidism and can contribute to hair loss. Nutrient testing, including iodine, zinc, selenium, vitamin D, B12, and magnesium, can help determine if you have any deficiencies. Be sure to supplement with these nutrients if you’re deficient.

 

Drug-Induced Hair Loss

Many different types of DRUGS can cause hair loss, including thyroid medications. Think back to the start of your hair loss, did it happen at the same time you started a specific thyroid medication? If so, talk to your doctor about switching to a different brand or adjusting your dosage.

 

Rule Out Alopecia Areata

ALOPECIA AREATA is a hair-loss condition that typically causes patchy bald spots on the scalp. It is an AUTOIMMUNE in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles.

 

It is estimated that 90% of people with hypothyroidism have the thyroid autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Thyroid antibodies are often not tested, and many people have Hashimoto’s and don’t know it. It is essential to address the underlying autoimmune issue if this turns out to be the cause of your hair loss.

Testing for thyroid antibodies, TPOAb and TgAb, can help diagnose Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In many cases, conventional medical treatment for Alopecia Areata involves medications that suppress the immune system. However, there are also natural remedies that may help manage this condition, such as essential oils, massage therapy, and acupuncture. Be sure to discuss these options with your healthcare provider before trying them.

 

Sex Hormone Imbalances

HORMONAL SHIFTS, such as those during perimenopause, can cause hair loss. Testing for sex hormone imbalances, such as ESTROGEN decline, can help determine if hormonal shifts are the cause of your hair loss.

 

Chronic Stress

STRESS is a fact of life, but chronic stress can be harmful to our health, including our hair health. Stress causes the ADRENAL GLANDS to produce the stress hormone cortisol, which can impact our hair growth cycle. In some cases, chronic stress can lead to a condition called TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM, which causes the hair follicles to enter the resting phase of the hair growth cycle prematurely, resulting in increased shedding of hair. If you’re experiencing chronic stress, it’s important to take steps to manage it. This might include practices such as MEDITATION, YOGA or EXERCISE or seeking support from a therapist or counselor.

 

Scalp Massage and Essential Oils

Massaging your scalp and using ESSENTIAL OILS such as ROSEMARY and peppermint, can help improve circulation to the scalp and promote hair growth.

 

Hair Styling Practices

While not a direct cause of hair loss, certain HAIR STYLING practices can contribute to hair damage and breakage, which can make hair appear thinner and more brittle. This might include EXCESSIVE HEAT, HARSH CHEMICAL treatments, or tight hairstyles that pull on the hair, such as braids, cornrows, or tight ponytails. If you’re concerned about hair loss or damage, it’s important to be gentle with your hair and avoid practices that can cause further harm. This might include letting hair air-dry instead of blow-drying, using heat-protectant products when heat styling, or opting for looser, gentler hairstyles.

 

Genetic Factors

Finally, it’s worth noting that genetics can play a role in hair loss. ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is a hereditary condition that affects millions of people. This type of hair loss is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors and tends to run in families. While you can’t change your genetics, there are still steps you can take to help manage hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia. This might include working with a dermatologist or trichologist to explore treatment options such as medications or hair transplant surgery.

 

Seeking Professional Help

If you have tried various remedies and still experience hair loss, it may be time to seek professional help. A dermatologist or a trichologist can help diagnose the cause of your hair loss and recommend appropriate treatment options. They may also perform a scalp biopsy or other diagnostic tests to help identify the underlying cause of your hair loss.

However, a FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE doctor will address some of the ROOT CAUSES discussed today, including NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES and CELLULAR TOXICITIES, something that no PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG or SCALPEL can do.

 

Conclusion

Hair loss can be a distressing symptom of hypothyroidism, but it is not inevitable. By adopting a comprehensive approach to managing hypothyroidism, including optimal thyroid treatment, addressing nutrient deficiencies, and managing stress, it is possible to improve hair health and reduce the risk of hair loss. If you are experiencing hair loss, it’s important to speak with your FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE doctor to determine the underlying ROOT CAUSES and appropriate treatment options. With the right treatment and care, you can maintain healthy hair and feel confident in your appearance.

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