Alopecia and thyroid diseases

An abnormal hormone is often thought to be due to the loss of the scalp, but perhaps surprisingly it is not the only minority of this miserable symptom. Many different conditions can lead to hair loss. Some hair loss is part of normal life. Women who are after birth and at the time of menopause can lose their hair and nearly all men will lose their hair by the time they become adults. Older males and females develop varying degrees of alopecia, which is mainly determined by genetic factors.

Human scalp hair does not grow constantly. All hair follicles (units of hair production) go through a growth phase and undergo a rest period (rest period) while the hair grows long. During the rest phase, the hair is swept away and replaced with new hair. In some animals, this process is synchronized. That is why dogs lose a lot of hair at the same time. Human hair growth is not adjusted in the same way, so different hair follicles are at different stages of the growth cycle at any time. So, there are usually a number of continuous alopecia, which is usually balanced by new hair growth. One of the most common causes of hair loss is called “telogen outflow”. This can be triggered by severe disease, such as pneumonia or major surgery. Due to the stress of the disease, all hair follicles enter the resting phase, hair growth temporarily stops. Human hair cycle is long (a few months), so hair loss may not be revealed for several months, and by that time it will recover from sickness. Such depilation is also consistent with the fact that as soon as new hair begins to regrow, hair loss is temporary.

Alopecia and thyroid diseases
Severe and prolonged hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cause loss of hair. The losses are dispersed, not the discrete areas but the entire scalp. Hair looks sparse uniformly. Successful treatment of thyroid disorder is normal, but it takes several months and may be incomplete. Mild (eg asymptomatic) hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism, or short-lived thyroid disease is unusual for hair loss to occur.

Several forms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism occur suddenly and are diagnosed at an early stage, others may be present for several months or years before diagnosis. Hair loss due to thyroid disease will become evident several months after the onset of thyroid disease. This is due to long hair cycle. In such a case paradoxically hair loss may follow treatment of the thyroid gland, thyroid drugs are accidentally blamed, leading to discontinuation of treatment, which may deteriorate hair loss.

Hair Loss and Antithyroid Treatment
In rare cases, antithyroid drugs (carbimazole and propylthiouracil) can cause distressed hair loss. It may be very difficult to know if hair loss is due to previous hyperthyroid hyperactivity or action of antithyroid drugs. It is unusual for all probabilities to find an alternative treatment for hyperthyroidism, not due to antithyroid drugs. Radioactive iodine does not cause hair loss.

Alopecia associated with autoimmune thyroid disease
Most people with hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism have autoimmune thyroid disease. People with autoimmune diseases are more likely to develop autoimmune diseases. Alopecia is an autoimmune condition that happens more frequently in hair loss occurring in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease by chance. Unlike the diffuse hair loss type described above, alopecia causes a discrete, often circular, hair loss area. In most cases, this is temporary and does not progress, but unfortunately it can cause serious alopecia. There are other rare autoimmune conditions that can cause hair loss due to scarring associated with autoimmune thyroid disease (eg lupus erythematosus). Polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with autoimmune thyroid disease and sometimes manifests as diffuse alopecia. Other features are irregular periods, obesity and acne.

Survey of depilation
If you are experiencing hair loss and it is enough to cause concern, you should ask for advice from your GP. It is unusual for thyroid disease to cause hair loss without accompanying thyroid gland excessive or failure symptoms. Your doctor will decide whether it is appropriate to undergo additional tests to eliminate other causes of diffuse hair loss such as iron deficiency. There are rare causes of depilation that your GP may find worth eliminating. Introduction to skin specialists may be necessary for accurate diagnosis.

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