You just cleaned off your brush last week and when you go to brush your hair today…it’s full of your hair. What the heck just happened? Well if you’re here then you already know about Hashimoto’s or thyroid disease in general or you think you might have something wrong with your thyroid.
I grew up being told I had 2 different Native American tribes in my recent family history. In my early 20s I realized I didn’t have anywhere near the amount of hair that most women my age had. I only had about 10 fine hairs on each of my arm pits and I didn’t have the forest on my legs that most women I knew had. My arm hair was about average and yes, I even had hair on the bottom knuckles of my toes and fingers. The hair on my head was thick hair and there was a lot of it. I definitely considered myself lucky!!
A little at a time my hair was falling out, more than normal, and I just didn’t think much of it. Then I noticed I only had to shave under my arms once every 6 months. Then a few years after my 2nd child I noticed the hairs on my arms were really thin and not as long as they used to be. The hair on my head was still long so I didn’t notice it not growing much but I did notice it was getting thinner. I went to talk to a Dr when I was 29, going to several more doctors over the years until I was 36 when I realized I hadn’t shaved under my arms for more than a year and when I looked closer I didn’t see any hair. None.
I had been on Levothyroxine for several years and I asked to be switched to Synthroid because I was feeling worse and worse and had been told others had great success on the name brand. After I started Synthroid, my hair really started falling out. My doctor said it would take time but it would eventually stop. About 4 months later I noticed that it had slowed down but my hair was so thin by this point, maybe I was just hoping. I didn’t feel any better even a year after that and my labs were all over the place (still) so I asked to be switched back to Levothyroxine. It was much cheaper and I was hoping to stop losing so much hair. I had read up on switching thyroid meds and realized that when you switch and your body is getting used to the new meds, it does have a 2-4 month period where you are more likely to lose hair. After 4 months I wasn’t losing as much but was still losing hair so I found a new doctor, again. By now even my leg hairs are sporadic. It just looked weird. I felt self-conscious because now my hair looked dead, rough/frizzy, lifeless and thin. By this point I noticed that I didn’t have anything except a little peach fuzz on my thighs (front and back). My doctor at the time said it was probably just because of my age. Done with her too!! I started actively reading and looking for a doctor who would work with me. Honestly, my only concern was getting my hair back!! Vain, I know, but sooo true. My hair was my pride and joy. Fast forward to today. My hair is well on it’s way to recovery, so hopefully something in here will help you too.
If you’re not sure if you have a thyroid disease, be sure to keep reading, there’s more than 1 reason you could be losing your hair. If you know full well you have a thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and your still losing your hair, I’ve got more info for you.
My Go To
I have and will say this many times because it is 100% too true… Vitamin deficiency. Did you know that having a Vitamin D deficiency or low Iron can cause hair loss? The thyroid controls or helps regulate a lot of hormones in your body. Hormone imbalances can also cause hair loss. Vitamin B12 deficiency can unbalance hormone levels. There is a direct correlation between good vitamin/mineral levels that your body needs and normal hormone balances and functions. Some people, especially those who have an autoimmune disease, can have early gray hair because of mineral deficits. Your body gets this particular mineral/vitamin from cruciferous vegetables which people with thyroid problems should avoid. Without proper levels of catalase in your body it can’t break down the hydrogen peroxide…what does hydrogen peroxide build up do…it gives you gray hair, and a lot of it too. There are other foods beside’s all the cruciferous veggies that you can eat to help your body produce more Catalase. These include: Apricots, Avocados, Cherries, Cucumbers, Zucchini and a few others. As you get older your body naturally loses it’s ability to produce catalase so eating more of these foods can give your body the boost it needs. If you’re one of the people who don’t have a problem eating cruciferous veggies then you have a lot of options like broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale and all the others.
If you can’t eat cruciferous vegetables and you aren’t a fan of the other ones I listed, you can use glutathione to help break down the hydrogen peroxide build up. Catalase and glutathione do the same thing, it breaks down the buildup so the body can use it or get rid of it as it needs to.
Another cause of hair loss and Hashimoto’s is due to taking or having too much Vitamin A. Many women use anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cream that has Vitamin A in it. If you already have enough Vitamin A in your body and you use these kinds of cremes a lot, you can be causing your hair loss. Other signs are nausea, stomach cramps, rough hair, thinning eyebrows, dizziness and more. Too much Vitamin A can also cause you to not be able to absorb other fat soluble vitamins and that can cause problems too.
More Well Known Causes
If you have (or think you have) Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis you know this is an autoimmune disease and there is a very good chance that if you have 1 autoimmune disease, you will have others. Alopecia is one well-known hair loss disease, but did you know it’s an autoimmune disease which attacks the hair follicles? Other autoimmune diseases that cause hair loss are Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Graves’ Disease, and Lupus.
Psoriasis and ringworm are other culprits in hair loss. Anyone can get ringworm and it is very easily treated. The hair will grow back once this condition has been treated. Psoriasis by itself does not cause hair loss but the scratching/itching at the scaly patches can. It also causes stress to most people who have this condition because it is so noticeable and the stress itself can cause temporary hair loss. Once the patches clear, hair almost always grows back. The exception to that rule is if you’ve scarred your scalp by scratching or using harsh chemicals to try to treat it.
One of the BIGGEST factors for hair loss is STRESS The most common for hair loss with Hashimoto’s is emotional, mental or physical stress. The emotional stress is pretty self-explanatory, you are emotional over something that stressed you out. Like financial, relationship, or work related problems. Having a chaotic or overloaded schedule can be especially bad for autoimmune sufferers until they calm their immune system and get it healed, then you should still be careful that it doesn’t cause a flare up, but it should be less problematic. Physical stress is like pregnancy, illness like a cold or infection, having surgery or dealing with another autoimmune disease like diabetes. It can also come from having a demanding/physical job like construction Mental stress is more about your anxiety, depression, if you have OCD or expect perfectionism from yourself or others.
OK, Make It Make Sense
Hair loss and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or any of the other reasons listed here can be treated and reversed except when it’d due to scarring. In my opinion, and remember how vain I was about my hair… hair loss should help you get yourself fixed, it could even be your driving force (it was one of mine) but please don’t bother with trying to get a quick fix for it. Hair loss WILL stop when you are healthy again. If you focus on just getting your hair loss to stop…you will probably wind up very frustrated. I mean really, you won’t even notice a difference for months.
Can you imagine how great you can make yourself feel if you focus on getting everything else right with your body in those months and then noticing that it’s been a whole month since you cleaned your hairbrush…while you’re exuberantly getting ready to go do something you haven’t had the energy to do in years? If you are only focused on getting your lustrous locks back, you will probably not get it and even if you do, you won’t do anything with it except throw it up in a messy bun or pin it back and crawl back in bed. Here’s a list of what your priorities should be when trying to combat hair loss and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis:
- Get a good doctor who is willing to work with you and test the right thyroid levels and your vitamin/mineral levels
- Listen or learn your body
- Heal Yourself
- Give yourself a break when you need to but don’t stay down too long.
- Fight to feel better. Fight for your health. Fight for your hair!! 🙂 and then Fight to win it all for life.
Please comment below and let me know what you think. Do you have any hair loss or hair health stories to share? And as always, if you have any questions, be sure to leave them below and I will gladly get back to you as quickly as possible!