Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease
Photo: Burdun Lliaya/Shutterstock
Q: Recently my hair on my head was thinning and becoming very coarse. I am losing my eyebrow hair too. What is happening to me?
A: These are signs and symptoms of thyroid disease. Generalized thinning of the hair on your head and a texture change such as coarse hair and loss of eyebrow hair are common signs of thyroid disease. Thyroid disease is a well-known cause of hair loss.
Most likely you are experiencing hypothyroid or low thyroid. Think of your thyroid as the carburetor of your body. If it is running low, your hair and nails will grow very slowly. Usually, the eyebrow hair on the lateral side or outer side of the eyebrows is missing, and you might have other symptoms such as depression, raspy voice or even swelling of the ankles.
Hair loss that occurs from a low thyroid must be treated immediately because it does not always grow back. Treatment such as a hair transplant can replace this lost hair but only after the thyroid issue has been corrected. There is a very easy blood test to screen for thyroid dysfunction and it should be done on an annual basis. The typical treatment for underactive thyroid is usually a synthetic thyroid replacement. The thyroid function generally returns to normal after a few months.
If you think you are having any of these symptoms, do not wait too long to seek treatment. Be aware that thyroid problems usually run in families. If your mother has a history of hypothyroidism or has very thin hair, keep an eye on your own thyroid.
General practitioners may overlook this diagnosis because They are not specialists in skin, hair and nails. A dermatologist may more easily diagnose this problem. A dermatologist who also specializes in hair and hair transplants can not only diagnose the thyroid problem, but can replace the lost hair with a hair transplant. Hair transplant is a permanent solution, so if your condition worsens your hair will not fall out.
See also:
Hair loss
Low thyroid and hair
Menopause and hair loss
Medication and lifeless hair