Understanding the Causes of Hair Loss: Thyroid Imbalance

There are more than 56 million men and women experiencing hair loss in the United States today, but unfortunately, treating hair loss, particularly hair loss in women, can often be a bewilderingly complex problem.  Formulating an effective hair restoration treatment requires understanding the underlying causes that may be contributing to a specific patient’s hair loss, but there are literally dozens of different medical conditions that may be the culprit.  At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we are committed to treating hair loss in all of its forms, and we have found that one relatively common, but lesser known cause, particularly in women, is an imbalance in thyroid hormones.

womens hair loss specialist atlanta gaThe thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck, primarily responsible for producing the hormones that regulate the speed of the body’s growth and metabolism.  When the thyroid gland is not functioning correctly, it can produce either too much or too little of the hormone thyroxin, which can in turn affect a whole range of physical and mental processes, including hair growth.  When there is too much of this thyroid hormone (a condition called hyperthyroidism) the hair on the head can become fine, and appear to be thinning all over the scalp.  Conversely, when there is too little of this hormone (hypothyroidism), the hair can become dry and brittle in texture and hair loss can occur, not just on the scalp, but also anywhere on the body.  Fortunately, once the specific thyroid disease is diagnosed and the right treatment prescribed to regulate thyroid hormone levels, the hair loss problem should resolve itself, but this may take time.  Topical medications like mixoxidil (Rogaine® 5% solution) or any of the custom topical blends that we formulate for patients at The Griffin Center can often help to encourage more rapid hair growth and recovery.

Because women are between five and eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems, about one woman in eight can expect to develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime, making this one of the more likely potential causes of women’s hair loss.  Moreover, diagnosing this form hair loss can often be further complicated by other conditions.  According to the British Thyroid Foundation, many thyroid imbalances are the result of autoimmune disorders, and patients suffering from one such condition may have a higher than expected chance of suffering from another, like alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes discrete, often circular, areas of hair loss.  Regardless of the individual patient’s circumstances, Dr. Edmond Griffin or Dr. Ashley Curtis can perform a variety of diagnostic tests to ultimately determine the full causes of hair loss.  From there we can formulate a treatment plan that may include either surgical or non-surgical hair restoration procedures and treatments that will give the patient the best possible results.  If you have any questions about your own personal hair loss or if you would like to learn more about any of the advanced hair loss treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and schedule an appointment for a consultation.  Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.