Articles Tagged with: hyperthyroidism
illnesses and hair loss

3 Underlying Illnesses That Cause Hair Loss

illnesses and hair lossHair loss can be a problem in and of itself, caused by a condition or factors which have no other significant health effects. For example, this is the case with androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary hair loss condition that affects over three million Americans annually and is responsible for over 95 percent of hair loss cases in men and women. Sometimes, however, hair loss is an unfortunate result of other serious underlying medical conditions. When hair loss is caused by other illnesses, it can still be effectively addressed in conjunction with treatment for the condition which is responsible for the loss.

Some of the more well-known and common illnesses which can cause hair loss include:

Lupus

A chronic and often painful autoimmune disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, commonly called lupus, afflicts at least 1.5 million Americans according to the Lupus Foundation of America. Lupus disproportionately affects women – it is nine times more common in women than in men – and hair loss is one of many unfortunate symptoms of this condition, along with severe fatigue, joint pain, joint swelling, headaches, and a rash on the cheeks and nose (known as “butterfly rash”).

Lupus causes the body’s immune system to create antibodies which attack healthy cells and tissue. This includes hair follicles. The antibodies cause the hair shaft to be rejected by the body, resulting in hair loss. Lupus symptoms tend to cyclical, coming and going between flare-ups and remission, which means hair may grow back naturally in some cases, only to again fall out. If, however, scarring occurs in affected hair follicles, the loss can be permanent.

Thyroid Disease

Found in our necks, the thyroid gland creates and releases hormones throughout the body. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, either by releasing too many hormones (hyperthyroidism) or too few (hypothyroidism), it can throw off the body’s natural functioning and cause many unwanted conditions. Since hormones are the fuel behind hair growth, a disruption in hormone production caused by a compromised thyroid will have a direct impact on hair growth, retention, and loss.

Diabetes

The high blood sugar levels which are at the heart of diabetes can wreak havoc on the body and cause a wide range of physical disruptions. Diabetes can cause hair loss when those elevated blood sugar levels interact with and change the shape of red blood cells. Misshapen red blood cells have a more difficult time traveling through smaller blood vessels, including the capillaries that supply vital blood to hair follicles. When that blood flow is disrupted, follicles may die and hair may fall out.

Not only can serious illness lead to hair loss, but many treatments for disease, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer patients, can also cause hair to fall out. Hair loss in those dealing with a challenging medical condition can make an already difficult situation even more so. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we can help develop a hair loss treatment program that works in conjunction with treatments for the underlying condition causing that loss.

Schedule a hair loss evaluation to learn more about effective treatment with the world-renowned experts at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. To learn more about treatment, contact our clinic at 305-925-0222.

How Thyroid Disease May Cause Hair Loss

How Thyroid Disease May Cause Hair LossHair health, fullness, and sheen are often indicators of the body’s internal wellness. Many diseases, conditions, and subsequent treatments trigger hair loss or dull, breaking strands. Two of those conditions are hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. While they are complete opposite in terms of their issues – one is an overproduction while the other is an underproduction of hormones – they share a common symptom: hair loss.

If you suffer from a thyroid disorder and are currently experiencing hair loss or balding, knowing why and the steps you can take to combat this unfortunate side effect is important.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a gland that releases a steady amount of hormones in the body. It’s pertinent to proper metabolic functions, growth, and development. The thyroid is located just below your voice box on the front of your neck. It is shaped somewhat like a butterfly with two lobes on each side connected in the center by a thin tissue. The thyroid stores hormones in small droplets within it’s vesicles, or follicles.

What does it do?

The thyroid is responsible for the production of three key hormones: T3 (also known as triiodothyronine), T4 (also known as Tetreaiodothyronine), and Calcitonin. T3 and T4 are both made up mainly of iodine.

Being the main component of two thyroid hormones, the thyroid requires iodine to function properly. Usually, the body absorbs iodine through the intestine and enters the blood stream. Then, it’s transferred to the thyroid gland to build T3 and T4. The body cannot produce iodine on it’s own since it’s a trace element.

One reason for an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is a lack of iodine. Other potential causes are genetics, age, Hasimoto’s thyroiditis, and various medications. Under-activity usually develops over time, rendering it hard to notice. The symptoms are weight gain, slowed metabolism, loss of energy, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, slow pulse, constipation, and hair loss. Many patients with an underactive thyroid assume their symptoms are part of the aging process, rather than a serious hormonal condition.

Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, occurs from an overproduction of hormones in the thyroid gland. Energy metabolism speeds up and overactive thyroids lead to hot flashes, trembling, insomnia, racing heart, fatigue, diarrhea, weight loss, and hair loss.

Autoimmune diseases, issues with the thyroid axis, or autonomy from the pituitary gland are the three main causes of an overactive thyroid. The pituitary gland is responsible for regulating the amount of thyroid hormone produced, and a lack of communication between the two can cause overproduction.

Why does a dysfunctional thyroid lead to hair loss?

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair loss. First, overactive thyroids sometimes lead to an increased development of DHT. DHT influences the development of sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics, including physical appearance. But too much DHT can cause hair follicle shrinkage or elimination, resulting in shedding or thinning hair. Therefore, when an overactive thyroid impairs the production of DHT from testosterone, balding occurs.

For patients currently prescribed medication for an underactive thyroid, it’s important to note the side effects. One of the most common treatments is levothyroxine sodium, which also goes by the brand names Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid. Sythroid specifically has been shown to cause long-term hair loss in patients.

How to treat thyroid-related hair loss

Whether you’re suffering from hair loss due to a hormonal imbalance from hypothyroidism or your thyroid medication is causing your hair loss, you have options for treatment.

First, many individuals take additional medication to offset the hair loss from their current thyroid medication. Results vary since medication affects every individual differently, but make sure to consult your physician prior to adding or subtracting from your current regimen.

Hair transplant surgery is another treatment option known to deliver consistent results. Given the advances in hair transplants, such as the Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT) developed by Dr. Paul Rose, transplants are more naturally looking than ever. Using FIT, Dr. Rose extracts individual follicles from donor areas and moves them to balding areas with little scarring. Follicular Unit Transplantations (FUT) is a more traditional approach offered by many restoration experts, including the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami.

Many individuals aren’t candidates for additional medication or hair transplant surgery after suffering from thyroid-related hair loss. Low-level laser therapy, or LLLT, uses safe lasers to stimulate hair follicles. At-home laser caps can be worn underneath virtually any hat or covering.

Learn More About Hair Loss Treatment in Miami

If you’re suffering from hair loss related to an underactive or overactive thyroid, the Hair Transplant Institute can help. We offer a variety of treatment options, customized to individual conditions, to revert this unfortunate side effect of thyroid dysfunction. Visit Miami Hair online, or contact our institute at 305-925-0222 to learn more about our personalized approach to hair loss diagnosis and treatment.

Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss

Hypothyroidism and Hair LossThe length, thickness, and color of your hair is often a good indication of the health of the rest of your body. This is particularly true in the case of hormones, as the quality of your hair may be representative of overall hormonal balance.  By the same token, hair loss might be an indication that a hormonal imbalance exists. Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and thyroid are a few of the hormones that may have a profound impact on the appearance of your hair. Of these three hormones, thyroid is a common cause for hair loss among individuals who have either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. To better understand why, we must first examine how these three major hormones interact with one another during the hair growth cycle.

Understanding Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, & Thyroid

Testosterone: Testosterone is widely recognized as the male hormone, however it is present in females as well. The hormone is primarily produced by the reproductive organs of both men and women—in the testes and ovaries, respectfully. Smaller amounts of testosterone are also produced in the adrenal glands of both sexes. In males, the primary role of testosterone is to fuel the development of reproductive tissues. In both sexes, testosterone also plays a critical role in the development of bones, muscle mass, and of course, hair.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): DHT is formed when testosterone is synthesized by a very unique enzyme, 5α-reductase. DHT also influences the development of sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics, like physical appearance. Unlike testosterone, DHT may cause the hair follicle to shrink (and in some causes disappear). This leads to thinning, shedding, or loss of hair.

Thyroid: Thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland, one of the body’s largest endocrine glands. Thyroid hormone serves as a “regulator” of sorts, controlling a number of vital body functions. These include metabolism, involuntary muscle contractions, and the production of cellular energy. When a thyroid condition exists, the body has a difficult time producing the correct amount of thyroid hormone. As a result, the body becomes unable to effectively regulate other body functions, including hair growth.

Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss: 4 Things to Know

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Common causes of hypothyroidism include iodine deficiency, lack of proper gland function, or even stress.

When it comes to hypothyroidism and hair loss, there are 4 important things to know and understand:

1. Overactive Thyroid May Increase Synthesis of DHT

As noted above, DHT is a synthesized version of the hormone testosterone. Unlike testosterone, however, DHT disrupts the natural growth cycle of hair and may eventually cause total loss of the hair follicle. For some individuals, a thyroid disorder may perpetuate hair loss by exacerbating the conversion of testosterone into DHT.

2. Thyroid Medication May Cause Hair Loss

Thyroid disorders come in two main varieties: Hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. A common treatment for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine sodium, a prescription medication that is available under many brand names including Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid. Prolonged hair loss is a side effect of this medication for many individuals, specifically for patients taking Synthroid.

3. Additional Thyroid Medications Might Be Necessary to Prevent Hair Loss

If you take thyroid medication and exhibit signs of hair loss, you may need additional prescription medications to effectively treat both conditions. Patients must understand that any prescription drug may cause short term or long term side effects however, and they must always consult a physician prior to starting, switching, or ending a prescription medication regimen.

4. Drug-Free Hair Loss Treatments Are an Effective Option

If you suffer with hair loss that is the result of a thyroid condition, or is the side effect of the thyroid medication you take to treat your condition, you may want to explore other drug-free hair loss treatments. These may include:

  • Hair Transplant Surgery: Hair transplant procedures are now conducted with greater precision and effectiveness than ever before. The Hair Transplant Institute’s very own is co-creator of Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT), a new transplant process by which individual follicular units are extracted from the donor area and transplanted with minimal scarring. More traditional Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) procedures are also available.
  • Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LLLT treatment for thinning hair uses state-of-the-art lasers to stimulate hair growth at the follicle. Click here to watch Dr. Nusbaum explain this exciting new technology in this introductory video segment to laser hair therapy with the LaserCap™ device.

Schedule an Evaluation with the Hair Transplant Institute

Our friendly staff includes South Florida’s finest hair transplant surgeons, microscopists, technicians, and registered nurses.  We understand the agony and frustration that accompanies hair loss, and we are committed to helping you develop a customized plan that will create natural results.

To learn more about Miami hair transplant procedures at the Hair Transplant Institute, please contact us online or call us directly at 1.877.443.9070.

Causes of Hair Loss in Women

Causes of Hair Loss in WomenThe causes of hair loss in women may differ from those in men due to a number of factors, most significant of which is biology.  One of the biggest biological differences between men and women are hormones.  Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and thyroid, to name only a few, largely dictate the outward appearance of both males and females.  This includes height, weight, and of course, hair.  Other causes of hair loss in women include genetics, nutrient deficiencies, and general health of the skin (in particular, the scalp).  This article has been created to help women identify the 6 most common causes of hair loss including thinning, shedding, and balding.

Top 6 Causes of Hair Loss in Women

1. Unhealthy Scalp

It comes as no surprise that certain scalp conditions may be causal factors for hair loss.  The scalp is the foundation from which healthy hair grows, and growth may be inhibited when the foundation is compromised.  Specifically, the following skin conditions may lead to hair loss in women:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis:  This condition makes may agitate the skin of the scalp, face, and torso.  When affecting the scalp, most individuals know this condition by the name dandruff.
  • Psoriasis: An autoimmune disease, psoriasis appears in the form of scaly red and white patches on the upper most layer of skin.
  • Dermatophytosis: Known by the common name ringworm, dermatophytosis is caused by a fungal infection and appears as a light red circular mark on the skin.

2. Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid disorders are relatively common among American adults, affecting a reported 5 percent of the population.  Thyroid disorders come in one of two varieties:  Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.  Both hypo- and hyperthyroidism may contribute to hair loss in women.  In the case of the former, the body under-produces the thyroid hormone and individuals may notice weight gain, persistent feelings of fatigue, and a general inability to concentrate.  Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is marked by an over-production of thyroid hormone that may cause other side effects like rapid weight loss, muscle atrophy, and irritability.

3. Telogen Effluvium

Another common cause of hair loss in women is telogen effluvium.  This disorder is characterized by unnatural thinning or shedding of the hair and is most commonly triggered by periods of immense or abrupt body stress.  Women who are pregnant, experiencing extreme weight loss, or feeling persistent mental/emotional stress may develop this scalp condition in which hair spends an abnormally short amount of time in the growing portion of the hair growth cycle.  This causes hair to enter the telogen phase (shedding phase) more quickly than is normal, increasing the rate at which hair is expelled from the scalp.

4. Androgenetic alopecia

The American Academy of Dermatology has named androgenetic alopecia as the most common cause of hair loss among both men and women.  Androgenetic alopecia is hereditary; the “gene for hair loss” may be passed down from parent to child.  Contrary to popular hair loss myths, androgenetic alopecia may be inherited from either the mother’s or father’s side of the family.

5. Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata affects an estimated 4-5 million Americans, making this condition a very common reason for hair loss among women.  Though the precise cause of alopecia areata is not known, women who suffer with unhealthy amounts of stress or general illness are most susceptible to developing the condition.

6. Anemia

Anemia is caused be an iron deficiency in the blood.  This is marked by a low level of red blood cells and may be the result of a diet that is significantly lacking in iron rich foods like egg yolks, dark green vegetables, lentils, and artichokes, among others.  Anemia is also characterized by extreme fatigue and pale skin, as a low blood cell count renders the blood unable to transport adequate amounts of oxygen.

Learn More About Preventing Hair Loss

Early detection is the best means of identifying, treating, and overcoming hair loss.  To learn more, please visit our quick-reference guide titled Women and Hair Loss: Top 4 Signs.  If you are experiencing thinning, balding, or shedding hair, you are not alone.  A reported 20 million women suffer with hair loss in America alone, and there is a wealth of treatment options available.

Our clinic proudly represents the top team Florida hair transplant surgeons, lead by Dr. Bernard Nusbaum and .  To learn more, please schedule a hair loss consultation with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami or call toll free 1-877-443-9070.

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