Can baldness be caused by a thyroid problem?

Specific Conditions

Hair loss can be brought about by different causes. Androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness is among one of the most common. It is evidenced by a gradual recession of the hairline from the different regions of the scalp that can result in a horseshoe type hair pattern with only the back and sides of the head having hair. There is also the case of alopecia areata that is the random appearance of smooth, round bald spots all over the head. It comes and goes without warning and may result in total baldness of the scalp otherwise known as alopecia areata totalis. Baldness can also be influenced by stress, poor diet, illnesses, chemotherapy and other health problems.
A medical condition that can cause hair loss is one that is associated with the thyroid. This gland is responsible for regulating the hormone levels of the body. Any sharp increase or decrease in its levels can affect changes in weight, thoughts and mood. There are two cases that can be associated with this condition. Hypothyroidism is the cause of an underactive thyroid gland that can result in hair loss on the scalp as well as all over the body. Hyperthyroidism on the other hand is the result of an over active thyroid gland. It can create diffuse thinning all over the scalp and cause existing hair to become thin and wispy.
There are other symptoms to look out for regarding a problematic thyroid. Aside from one of its most obvious manifestations such as weight gain, these are the other signs that could be associated with it:

  • swelling of the neck
  • variations in the heart rate
  • mood swings
  • inability to tolerate warm or cold temperatures
  • muscle pains
  • weakness, fatigue or insomnia
  • difficulty in focus, memory lapses and concentration

The reason why hair loss occurs is because the body’s hormones are throwing its hair growth cycle off its normal course. This would lead to a longer resting period that can cause hair to be shed at a higher rate. Too much hair at rest would mean that there is not enough of it growing. There needs to be a balance between the growth and resting stages for the scalp to maintain a full head of hair. A problematic thyroid will definitely make it difficult for the body to maintain a regular hair growth cycle.
Fortunately, it is quite possible to treat this condition. A qualified physician can properly diagnose a problematic thyroid and recommend how to approach its cure. The main goal is to be able to bring it back to normal levels. A thyroid condition can be treated with levothyroxine, a common remedy for a problematic thyroid. Supplements should be avoided because this can contain certain amounts of iodine that can further aggravate the situation.
The scalp will slowly recover its hair once this root cause is addressed. There are others however, that would like to hasten its restoration by using minoxidil. It is sold under the brand name Rogaine and is a topical solution to be applied twice a day. This remedy has been proven to work by thickening the hair strands making it look denser. Minoxidil is effective though side effects may include itchiness and chest pains.


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