Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hair loss...

One of the symptoms that precipitated my recent ultrasound/RAIU test was excessive hair loss. It's normal to lose a few hairs here and there and I can accept that. It's when you are washing your hair and squeezing out the water and your hand comes away with a collection of hair the thickness of 2 or 3 toothpicks that you panic. This was happening on a daily basis back in October/November so I mentioned it to my doctor (GP). That's when he suggested the ultrasound to see what may be happening with my thyroid. My blood tests were in the normal (lab) ranges at the time. (TSH = 1.19)

I've found a site online that discusses things you can do to stop hypothyroid related hair loss.

I can't recall if my hair loss continued while I was off my medication. (Actually, I can't recall much of anything during that time!) I only bring it up because in the last two weeks since starting a different brand of levothyroxine I am once again losing hair! I am going to wait and see if it continues over the next 6 weeks while I am increasing my T3 medication. Maybe that change will have an effect.

I did read in the link I mentioned above, that the author's "doctor believes that a TSH of around 1 - 2 is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms such as hair loss. (Note that these levels are kept lower for thyroid cancer patients to prevent cancer recurrence.) This was anecdotal information, until recently, when experts determined that values above TSH of 3 are considered hypothyroid." --Mary Shomon

So to everyone out there getting their Thyroid tested....get your TSH number from the doctor (better yet, ask for a copy of your lab results). DO NOT just rely on being told you are in the normal range. Keep track of your TSH over the years so you have a baseline and trend to follow should you ever develop thyroid issues.

Remember: "A TSH greater than 3, an endocrinologist you must see"


nancy said...

Hi. When I had bad hair loss, it turned out I was anemic and had really low ferritin, which is storage iron. This page helped me alot: I also found out the hard way that you can't go simply by the TSH, especially if you have symptoms. Mine was "normal-normal-normal". It was only when I read about doing the free T3 as well as the two antibodies tests did I finally get diagnosed with Hashimotos and hypothyroid. The book Stop the Thyroid Madness helped me immensely.

Anonymous said...

Depression and extreme stress are identified as the common causes of hair loss and altogether inadequate hair care, tumors, diseases like seborrheic dermatitis and hypothyroidism, malnutrition et al are certain other factors that contribute to hair loss in both men and women.