Healthy Hair Growth and Thyroid Disorders
It's estimated that as many as 200 million people worldwide (59 million in the U.S. alone) have a thyroid disorder, and the majority don't even know it. The thyroid, a gland located in the neck, is the master gland of metabolism. When your thyroid doesn't function correctly, it can dramatically increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, infertility, hair loss and a whole host of other health problems.
While all symptoms of thyroid disorders are challenging, many claim thinning hair, hair loss and the change in hair’s texture are some of the most difficult symptoms with which to cope.
Top Hair Loss Issues for those Suffering from a Thyroid Disorder
Below we address some common concerns regarding hair loss due to a thyroid disorder and natural alternatives to healthy hair growth. If your question is not addressed, feel free to contact one of our experts by clicking to the left.
The thyroid gland regulates our metabolism, including the rate of cell division within the matrix of the hair follicle. The hair follicle is responsible for nourishing and growing healthy hair.
Hypothyroidism, or an under active thyroid decreases, cellular metabolism, which in turn, slows cell division within the hair matrix leading to slower hair growth. Hypothyroidism also slows the hair growth cycle so there is more time spent in the resting (shedding) stage. People with hypothyroidism also produce less sebum from the sweat glands in the scalp leading to dry, brittle hair, which is more prone to breakage and damage. In addition, less sebum also puts people at higher risk of fungal infections of the hair follicles.
Hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, speeds up the hair growth cycle causing hair follicles to enter the resting (or shedding) stage faster so there is less time in the growing phase. With progressively shorter growing stages and longer resting (shedding) stages, more hair is lost, hair follicles dramatically shrink, and the flow of blood and nutrients to the hair follicle is significantly reduced. While some follicles will become dormant, most will simply produce progressively finer and thinner hair until the hair is too fine to survive.
The most common treatment for hypothyroidism is replacing the low thyroid hormone in the body with oral supplements.
For hyperthyroidism, treatment options may include anti-thyroid medication and radioactive iodine therapy to regulate the gland.
Once your thyroid hormone levels stabilize, hair loss can be reversed. Even hair loss caused by some thyroid hormone replacement medicines can be reversed. With proper nourishment, damaged and dormant hair follicles can be repaired and even reactivated, resulting in new hair growth.
Unfortunately, some thyroid hormone replacement medicines actually cause hair loss. Please read the drug information to determine if hair loss is a side effect of your thyroid hormone replacement medicine.
In addition, some people with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism appear to more easily convert testosterone to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT binds to receptors in the hair follicle stunting the normal growth cycle. As the hair cycle progresses in a DHT-laden follicle, the growth stage will shorten and the resting stage will extend. With progressively shorter growing stages and longer resting stages, more hair is lost, hair follicles dramatically shrink, and the flow of blood and nutrients to the hair follicle is significantly reduced. While some follicles will become dormant, most will simply produce progressively finer and thinner hair until the hair is too fine to survive.
Absolutely! Once your thyroid hormone levels stabilize, hair loss can be reversed. Even hair loss caused by thyroid hormone replacement medicines can be reversed. With proper nourishment, damaged and dormant hair follicles can be repaired and even reactivated, resulting in new hair growth. You may consider eating a diet rich in protein, essential fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, Biotin, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. You may also want to supplement your food intake with a natural supplement like Hair Essentials™ that offers an abundant supply of hair-healthy nutrients.
The best way to prevent hair loss and damage from both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is through early diagnosis and treatment of the disorder. The sooner you identify the issue and nourish your body with hair-healthy nutrients – the better! Some all-natural hair supplements like Hair Essentials™ pack a powerful punch as it relates to hair loss and quickly deliver vital nutrients to the scalp to help restore healthy hair growth and nourish thicker, stronger new hair growth.
With any hair loss condition, it is also important to eat a balanced, healthy diet, manage the stress in your life, get quality sleep each night, and reduce exposure to environmental toxins.
Natural Remedies for Thyroid Induced Hair Loss
Try these natural remedies to help reverse hair loss, prevent future hair loss and encourage healthy hair regrowth. It is important to consult your physician before pursuing these alternatives.
Supplement your diet with Hair Essentials™. Hair Essentials™ provides more than 20 hair-healthy vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and other nutrients that are quickly absorbed and delivered to the scalp where they work synergistically to:
* Encourage hormones responsible for hair growth to stay in balance
* Regulate the time hair remains in the dormant stage
* Stimulate inactive hair follicles and repair damaged hair follicles
* Reduce scalp inflammation which can lead to hair loss
* Seed follicles with the nutrients they need for new hair growth
* Provide vital nutrients for the structural development of healthy hair
* Protect hair follicle cells against oxidative stress and damage
* Reduce the production of DHT
* Inhibit the binding of DHT to hair follicles
Try green oats and primrose oil for hypothyroidism. There is some suggestion among herbalists that green oats and evening primrose oil are effective remedies for low thyroid function.
Green oats carry high concentrations of both soluble fiber and protein, two dietary elements that hypothyroid individuals are typically in need of. Green oats can not only help keep blood sugar stabilized, encouraging metabolic function and alleviate constipation and abdominal bloating, but also reduce hair and nail thinness.
Evening primrose oil is often used for the treatment of hypothyroidism-induced hair loss. Primrose oil provides essential fatty acids that can stop the unnecessary loss of hair and in fact help hair regrow. The essential fatty acids in primrose oil are also helpful in strengthening brittle nails and reducing instances of nail peeling.
Try green tea for hyperthyroidism. Green tea may be of benefit for those with hyperthyroidism because of its antioxidant effect, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Studies have shown that a higher intake of the Green Tea leads to higher levels of six hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), a protein which prevents testosterone from converting to DHT (the underlying cause of androgenic alopecia). Research also suggests that green tea can help soothe skin and reduce inflammation providing a healthier environment for hair growth. By drinking green tea, using green tea extract or rinsing your hair with green tea, you can benefit from its healing properties.
Consider going gluten-free. According to research reported on in the medical journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences, a significant number of patients with autoimmune thyroid disease also have celiac disease. Celiac disease is a disorder that causes the intestines to react abnormally to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut, and other related grains. According to a 2001 study, most patients with hypothyroidism normalized after a year of following a strict gluten-free diet and so, the researchers concluded, “gluten withdrawal may single-handedly reverse the abnormality.” A growing amount of research suggests that when people adopt a gluten-free diet, not only do their celiac-related antibody levels improve, but their thyroid antibody levels also decrease. In addition, many clinicians report that eating a gluten-free diet may help improve thyroid function even if people do not have celiac disease. And did you know that Hair Essentials is certified gluten free?
Try color therapy. Color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, is an alternative medicine method based on the use of color, particularly projected colored light. Trained chromotherapists claim to be able to use light in the form of color to balance energy wherever it is lacking in a person's body. The color blue relates to the throat chakra, or area of vital energy. Associated body parts in the throat chakra are the throat, lungs and the thyroid gland. Through color therapy, the color blue is used to jump-start metabolism and build physical vitality, while having a healing, cooling and soothing influence.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.