Do you suffer from a thyroid disease or disorder? If so, you may have experienced or are experiencing some degree of hair loss. This has happened to me too! It’s bad enough having a thyroid problem (I have Hashimoto) but the side effects that come along with that, no thanks!
When I was first diagnosed with a thyroid problem, about 10 years ago, I noticed that my hair had changed. It was dry, brittle, and falling out! I literally had to change my part to cover up a spot that got extremely thin. It’s since grown back, but it was really upsetting at the time.
Since I’ve been through the thyroid hair mess, I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned about thyroid issues with you and also some of the ways that I’ve corrected these issues. Please note that I am not a doctor. Anything I suggest is what has worked for me based on my experiences and research I’ve done, but we are all different and some things will work for one person and not another. I hope you find this information helpful and maybe some of what has worked for me will work for you as well.
Treating Your Thyroid Effectively
First and foremost, make sure you’re treating your thyroid correctly. In my experience, I had to go through several years of doctors who were not treating my thyroid issue correctly. It was a frustrating experience to have them tell me over and over that I was fine, when in fact, I was not fine. I felt awful and continued to have the full spectrum of side effects from Hashimoto thyroid disease. When I finally found an integrative medical doctor, I never looked back. I still have my ups and downs, but we work together to keep my thyroid treated correctly, keeping my thyroid hormones in the optimal range for me.
I personally do not mess around with Levothyroxine drugs because they contain only T4 hormones. Our bodies are supposed to convert that T4 thyroid hormone to the active T3 hormone our cells need. For some of us, such as myself, our bodies don’t convert T4 to T3 properly, leaving us symptomatic. This is why I personally do better on a combination or T4 and T3 thyroid hormone replacement treatment. I’m on a natural desiccated thyroid medication – I have my prescription compounded at a compounding pharmacy. There are other natural ways to go as well, such as Nature-Throid or Armour Thyroid, among a few others.
That said, there are many different ways to treat your thyroid, but not all doctors agree on that. This is why I sought out an integrative medical doctor and would likely never see an endocrinologist again. I feel that I get more comprehensive testing with my integrative doctor and she considers all the factors when looking at my blood work and diagnosing what’s going on with my thyroid.
You have to figure out what works best for you with regards to doctors and treatment, but optimal treatment is key to getting back on track.
Are You Nutrient Deficient?
Once I started going to an integrative medicine doctor I was tested, and continue to be tested regularly, for nutrient deficiencies. Initially they found that I was deficient in iron, B12 and vitamin D. All of these deficiencies can contribute to fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain and hair loss. Unfortunately these types of deficiencies are commonly associated with Thyroid disorders.
That said, I was definitely feeling the full effect of being deficient in all of the above. I started up on my supplements and continue to take them to this day. I believe that correcting those deficiencies has definitely made a difference in my skin, my hair and how I feel in general.
It typically takes about six weeks for supplements to really integrate into your body and do their job, so don’t give up if you don’t notice any difference in just a week or two.
I use the Floradix brand Iron + herbs for my iron supplement. It doesn’t taste great, but it absorbs into my body properly without any weird side effects. Plus it’s Gluten, wheat, yeast, dairy, lactose and GMO free.
Adrenal Fatigue May Contribute to Hair Loss
Adrenal fatigue is about as fun as it sounds, and unfortunately this is something that I have experienced as well. A little information on the adrenal glands – they are located at the top of each kidney and produce hormones that help the body control blood sugar, burn protein and fat, react to stressors such as illness or injury, and regulate blood pressure.
There are a TON of symptoms that go along with Adrenal Fatigue: Fatigue, Joint inflammation, chronic pain, headaches, weight gain, constipation or diarrhea, fibromyalgia flare-ups, dizziness, and the list goes on.
I experienced adrenal fatigue when my thyroid wasn’t functioning property and my progesterone levels were very low. My adrenal glands were working overtime to support these issues and were eventually fatigued, bringing on a number of the symptoms I listed above.
I actually used essential oils to help support my adrenals during this time. I used a mixture of Frankincense, Coriander, Cypress and Geranium. You can also use Rosemary and Ylang Ylang, which smells amazing. These oils can be massaged into the area above the kidneys. Be sure to use a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, as to avoid any skin irritation.
Supplements to Help Strengthen Your Hair
Listed below are some suggested supplements for strengthen your hair and helping with hair loss:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fats are essential fats that the body can’t make and must get from foods. Foods high in Omega-3 include fish, nuts, flax seeds, and leafy vegetables. Many people, such as myself, also use supplements.
Collagen is a complex structural protein that maintains strength and flexibility throughout the body. I’ve been using this great brand, NeoCell Super Collagen. I just add it to my smoothie every morning. It’s great for skin, hair, nails and joints.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose oil has high quantity of fatty acid called GLA and it is their presence that contributes to the oil’s amazing healing feature. The presence of rich fatty acids in evening primrose is capable of nourishing the scalp thus taking care of a variety of hair problems.
Biotin supports healthy hair and nails. I’ve been loving this brand of biotin as it is Non-GMO, gluten free, free of preservatives, soy and stearates.
Essential oils can help support hair regrowth because of their ability to stimulate the tiny blood vessels of the scalp where the hair follicles are created. You can blend a base of jojoba and/or grapeseed carrier oil with specific essential oils such as Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender and Cedarwood, and massage into your scalp This may help to stimulate your scalp which can in turn increase the blood flow which carries the nutrients to the follicles.
All in all, I’ve found that having thyroid issues in general goes hand in hand with other issues such as low progesterone, adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, etc., and all of this has contributed to my hair issues.4
With my doctor, I was able to work on my thyroid levels as well as my progesterone levels and I started feeling pretty normal relatively fast. However, it’s not so easy to revive your hair. That takes a little more time and a lot of consistency with supplements and proper medications.
The best advice I can give you is keep doing research, pay attention to your body, and find a great doctor that is going to work with you to get you on track if you require medications – treat the root issue(s). Find the supplements that will work best for your needs. They truly do make a huge difference. Fill up the deficiency gaps and try to work on maintaining that healthy diet.
There is no overnight fix, but you can slowly bring your hair back to life by understanding what your underlying issues are and addressing them accordingly.
The effects of a dysfunctional thyroid can be so challenging to work through, hair loss included! I hope you found this article helpful in your journey to finding solutions to any hair issues that you might be suffering from due to thyroid issues.
As you can see, these issues tend to be complex and there is no easy fix. However, you too can get through these issues by working with your doctor to manage your thyroid at an optimal level and by supporting your body with the right supplements, essential oils, diet and exercise.