While hair loss is more harmful to the psyche than anything else, some of the causes of baldness may represent serious health problems. If your hair loss is due to an endocrine condition, like diabetes or thyroid disease, proper treatment and control of the underlying disorder is important to reduce or prevent hair loss. After diabetes, thyroid problems are the most common glandular disorder the world over.
Thyroid problems are among the most common medical conditions but, because their symptoms often appear gradually, they are commonly misdiagnosed. So much evidence suggests that thyroid problems are due to an allergic or environmental cause that it seems sensible to remove those substances known to affect the thyroid to see if this corrects the condition before taking any medication.
Even though the symptoms can be uncomfortable as well as unpleasant, most thyroid problems are not serious if they are properly diagnosed and treated. If a man has a family history of thyroid problems, notices any symptoms, or is getting up in years (thyroid problems are more common as people age), he should have his thyroid gland tested. The good news is, like high cholesterol, doctors can conduct a simple blood test to check the health of your thyroid and many thyroid problems are easily treatable.
Thyroid Disease Can Cause Hair Loss
Both an overactive thyroid and an underactive thyroid can cause hair loss. Patients with an overactive thyroid gland, or hyperthyroidism, may also be symptomatic and require treatment to lower their thyroid hormone levels. Signs and symptoms of thyroid problems can be a result of either an overactive thyroid leading to too much hormone being produced causing symptoms of hyperthyroidism or an under active thyroid leading to symptoms of hypothyroidism. An imbalance in the level of these hormones (which may be brought by underactive or overactive thyroid glands)- may sometimes lead to hair thinning and hair loss. But, an overactive or underactive thyroid is not linked with a higher risk for other heart problems or an increased risk of death, researchers report.
Hypothyroidism should be suspected when you are experiencing some of the following symptoms: fatigue, muscle weakness, weight gain , appetite loss, hair loss, coarse, dry hair, dry/rough skin, recurrent infections, abnormal menses, inability to tolerate cold, decreased sex drive, depression, memory loss, muscle cramps, drooping and/or swollen eyes.
Many people notice rapid hair loss as a symptom of their hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism also known as Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune disease that causes gland inflammation or thyroid sluggishness. Hypothyroidism can cause hair loss, typically frontal, and is particularly associated with thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows (syphilis also can cause loss of the outer third of the eyebrows). Hyperthyroidism can also cause hair loss, which is parietal rather than frontal. Be Patient If you’re experiencing hair loss and are just starting treatment for a hyperthyroid or hypothyroid condition, it’s likely that for most of you, the loss will slow down, and eventually stop, once hormone levels are stabilized and in the normal range.
A wide variety of treatments are available, mostly aimed at suppressing or distracting the immune system. Some hair loss sufferers make use of so-called “clinically proven treatments” such as finasteride and topically applied minoxidil (in solution) in an attempt to prevent further loss and regrow hair.