Everything You Need to Know about Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Hair Loss

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Hashimoto thyroiditis is a condition that refers to long-term inflammation of thyroid glands. This is an autoimmune disease that promotes antibodies in your body that inflame and attacks thyroid glands.

Your immune system instead of protecting thyroid tissues attacks and damages it. It most likely affects middle-aged women, but men and children can also suffer from it. Hair Loss is a common problem resulting due to Hashimoto thyroiditis.

What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a vital gland that plays an active role in the growth and development of the body. It produced hormones that create a coordinating function among body functions. the Thyroid hormone is directly involved in human hair growth and structure building

Relation between Hashimoto Thyoiriditis and Hair Loss:
Hashimoto Thyroiditis causes hypothyroidism that is one of the common reasons for Hair Loss in humans. Hair has a specific growth and development cycle. Prolonged thyroid disorder disturbs the hair re-growth cycle.

Disruption in thyroid hormones, T3 and T4 affect numerous body functions including hair development. Your hair does not grow at a normal speed. In this condition, hair reaches its normal age and falls, but new hair does not replace it.

Symptoms of thyroid-related hair loss:
It is possible to have Hashimoto thyroiditis without knowing it. The symptoms are not noticeable when it starts. Hashimoto thyroiditis may progress over the years causing chronic thyroid damage. Thyroid hormone in the blood drops gradually.

Hair falls in Hashimoto Thyroiditis:
Hair fall in this condition is quite different from the normal male- pattern- baldness. Hair does not fall in any specific pattern instead a diffuse thinning on the entire scalp is visible. Signs may resemble those of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism related hair loss and hair changing symptoms may include:
• Diffuse hair thinning
• Partial Alopecia
• Slow hair growth
• Change in hair texture
• Thin, dull, and brittle hair
• Hair de coloration
• Excessive hair loss like handfuls of hair at a time
• The scalp becomes visible through the hair

Causes:
The disease can be caused by genetic and environmental factors. The exact cause is not known yet. But some factors involved in Hashimoto thyroiditis and a combination of risk factors increase the disease-causing hair loss.

Genetic reasons:
People suffering from such hair loss may have someone in the family suffering from thyroid or autoimmune disorders.

Hormonal Imbalance:
The hormonal disorder is a major cause. The thyroid stops producing enough hormones that affect hair growth and development. Hormones T3 and T4 are likely to disturb during this disease.

Other autoimmune diseases:
Having an autoimmune disease can trigger other autoimmune diseases such as Alopecia Areata and celiac disease. Both of these can lead to severe or patchy hair loss.

Medication:
hair loss can be caused by some thyroid managing medicine. Once you stop taking then the hair will start growing again.

Who is more at Risk?
• Gender: Women are 4 to 10 times more affected than men,
• Genetic history; You have more chances such as hair loss if someone else in your family suffered from it
• Other autoimmune diseases: People suffering from other autoimmune disorders, arthritis, lupus, VitaminB12 deficiency, type 1 Diabetes
• Digestive disorders: inflammatory issues, the poor digestive system caused by an autoimmune disorder
• Radiation exposure: people more exposed to environmental radiation are more prone to catch the disease.

How Hashimoto's thyroiditis is diagnosed?
The diagnosis is challenging and may need an in-depth analysis to know the cause. Whenever you notice these symptoms along with hair loss consult a doctor.
• Fatigue
• Dry, dull hair, with hair thinning
• Dry patchy skin
• Puffy face
• Joint pain
• Excessive menstrual bleeding
• Weight gain
• Constipation

The diagnosis may include an investigation of your family’s clinical history, blood tests, thyroid scan. The diagnosis procedure is made on the case-by-case basis

• Blood test:
If your doctor evaluates, the hair loss is due to underactive thyroid he may suggest you a TSH thyroid-stimulating hormone test. Some other blood tests can also be suggested such as antibodies, other thyroid hormones, free T4 test, and cholesterol. These tests determine the hormonal, thyroid, or immune disorders that cause hair loss.

• Hair examination:
A complete hair follicle examination is possible to determine the stage of loss. Pull test, and pluck test determines the phase of the growth cycle.

• Trichoscopy:
To check the degree and amount of destroyed hair follicles.

Treatments:
The earlier you treat the symptoms of hair loss, you can avoid irreversible damage. Lifestyle changes and medication can help you manage symptoms like hair loss, although the treatment of the disorder is necessary.

Oral medication:
Oral thyroid hormones are prescribed to maintain a normal level of thyroid hormone.

Levothyroxine:
Conventional treatment of hair loss due to Hashimoto thyroiditis is Levothyroxine. It is a synthetic hormone used to replace T4 (thyroxine ). Regular use can bring back the right level of your thyroid hormone. By use, the symptoms will disappear.
You would follow a regular check-up to monitor your hormone level and quantity of dose. You may need to take medicine throughout your life
In addition, taking medicine before or after meals as directed by the physician, because food affects the absorption of the drugs you are taking to treat thyroid dysfunction.

Topical minoxidil, platelet-rich plasma injections to the scalp are also used to treat Hashimoto hair loss. Your doctor will decide the type of treatment according to the condition or stage of the disease.

Natural Treatments:
To slow down hair fall and prevention from further loss some home-based remedies are beneficial:
• Taking a balanced diet
• using anti-inflammatory foods, fruits, and raw vegetables
• live a healthy lifestyle, take some exercise daily
• avoid hair pulling, tight braid, or ponytails, treat your hair gently
• watch carefully your iodine intake, less or excessive intake can worse the hair loss

Is hair loss due to Hashimoto Thyroiditis reversible?
There are two conditions:
1. If the disorder is diagnosed in the early stages, the hair loss is revisable. You would prescribe medicine to regulate hormones. Once they are in order you can have hair back.
2. If the disorder has developed other autoimmune diseases in the body it may become difficult or even impossible to get back hair. ( Such as alopecia areata)

But the good news is mostly hair grows back as the hormones are normalized. After a child’s birth, women often face the situation, but gradually the hormones balanced up and the hair cycle work normally.

Dietary precautions for Hashimoto thyroiditis patients:
There is a strong relation between Hashimoto thyroiditis and alopecia. A special dietary chart is recommended to the patients to eliminate nutritional deficiencies and food allergies. A suggested diet should be;
• Gluten-free
• Pro-biotic enriched
• Iron-rich

Some foods are suggested to add in diet that helps to absorb thyroid medication, levothyroxine e.g.
Iron and calcium supplements. Eggs, fish, lentils are suggested to add to the diet.

Final words:
Hairloss caused By Haaashimoto can be fatal if remain untreated. It is a treatable disease so immediately consult your doctor to reduce its side effects. hair loss reversal will be a long process you need to be patient during the treatment. Do not lose hope, stay consistent and optimistic.
 
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