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Hair loss?
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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Hair loss?

Dear Dr,

Thank you for your time

I am a 37 yr old female in pretty good health.  I have been experiencing unexplained hair loss for 4 months now, enough to cause it to appear thin all over the head and around the crown.  

I have experienced many of the thyroid symptoms such as fatigue, heart pallipitations, night sweats hivese nervousness etc.  My doc suspected autoimmune thyroid and ran the antibody test along with the other thyroid hormone tests.  All of these came back normal 6 mnths ago.  1 month ago I had the repeated test of the TSH which again was in the normal range.

I have my doctors stumped as I also tested normal for the ANA ESR and other auto-immune testings.  There is no hair loss in my family and it was a rapid thing, occuring literally within 2 mnths.  

I hear that sometimes it can take awile for things so surface even thyroid problems.  Does this sound logical to you that it could indeed be my thyroid acting up and if so at what point (if it is my thyroid) would it surface in the blood workups?  I believe both grandparents had thyroid problems and were treaded for them, both around the age of 55 when it surfaced.

thank you for your assistance.
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The testing (two normal TSH readings 6 months apart and negative antibodies) at this time does not point towards thyroid etiology although the symptoms are suggestive.  It is often tough to determine the cause of hair loss -- more often than not it is due to stress.  The usual testing has already been performed from what you describe.
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OOps forgot to add that my scalp hurts to move my hairs around and it burns sometimes.

Thank you
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Do you have copies of your labs? What one doctor considers normal isn't always the normal to another. If you could posts your labs & the normal ranges it would help Dr. Mark give you a good answer.          
It's a good idea to get copies of all of your lab results & any tests the dowtor runs on you for your own record. That way you can track the changes too.

Good Luck, TJ
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Hi there thank you so much for posting, yes I do happen to have some lab results and he was looking I think for other things along with thyroid - here not sure what this all means but here goes

Thyroid Peroxidase (tpo) - 11 (normal range 0-34

Antithyroglobulin AB - <20  (normal range 0-40)

Serum Protein SPE (not sure why this was ordered or what it is)
IGG 1050
IgA 210
IgM 115

Complete CBC which was all normal with the exception of C3 which measured high at 53.7 normal range 12-30

He also did a sedimentation rate which was 6 (normal range 0-20)

I did have about 4 mos later a TSH I dont have the results in front of me but told this is normal also, I can get them but will be a week or so.

Hair continues to shed scalp showing through - looking it quicky like within a few months - also had a hormone female panel which showed testosterone high normal - Ob said possibly PCOS?  But I know many hormones are controled by the thyroid

I also know diagnosing hair loss is one of the hardest things, but any input would be greatly appreciated.  We have ruled out auto-immune disease based on a negative Lupus screening.

Thank you for your help
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Hi Dr thank you, I replied to this above before I saw your response.  Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.  It appears to can rule out thyroid - now to move on to some of the other things that can cause hair loss.  I think I might be in for a long ride ahead.  

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Hi,
In the past 8 years I have had estreme hair loss. Whether it be from my thyroid or what, I have been trying this treatment I found on the web site below. I seem to be getting some results with it. It's not expensive & all natural, it may be worth a try for you. You can get evening primrose at walmart in the pharmacy/vitamin section.

Good Luck & God Bless, TJ


   Consider an Alternative Treatment

When I have had major bouts of hair loss (despite low normal TSH and being on a T4/T3 drug), I took the advice of a doctor I interviewed for my book, Living Well With Hypothyroidism. Here's an excerpt from the book:

. . . evening primrose oil (also known as EPO) is a nutritional supplement that is frequently mentioned. In his book, "Solved: The Riddle of Illness," Stephen Langer, M.D. points to the fact that symptoms of essential fatty acid insufficiency are very similar to hypothyroidism, and recommends evening primrose oil -- an excellent source of essential fatty acids -- as helpful for people with hypothyroidism. The usefulness of evening primrose oil, particularly in dealing with the issues of excess hair loss with hypothyroidism, was also reinforced by endocrinologist Kenneth Blanchard. According to Dr. Blanchard:

"For hair loss, I routinely recommend multiple vitamins, and especially evening primrose oil. If there's any sex pattern to it -- if a woman is losing hair in partly a male pattern - -then, the problem is there is excessive conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone at the level of the hair follicle. Evening primrose oil is an inhibitor of that conversion. So almost anybody with hair loss probably will benefit from evening primrose oil."

As someone who has had a few periods of extensive hair loss since I became hypothyroid, I can vouch for the fact that taking EPO was the only thing that calmed it down. It not only slowed, then stopped my hair loss over about two months, but new hair grew back, and my hair was no longer straw-like, dry and easily knotted.            http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hairloss/a/hairloss.htm
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PS I'm taking 1000 - 1200 mg daily.
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Thank you soooooooo much for taking the time to post that nurselpn.

I have encorporated primrose in my diet, but have not been faithfull to it entirely.

I am taking a slew of things such as saw palmetto, biotin, bcomplex, iron a low dose, multiple vitamin and kelp with no results.

I will try and be more religious to the primrose oil and see if that does not help.  I sort of set it aside and now I will get it back out!  Thank you so much
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Please ask your lab what they consider normal ranges. A great number of labs are STILL going by the old numbers and thats a shame because many people, mostly women are told they are fine when they are NOT and blame themselves and have to live with these debilitating symptoms everyday and waste lots of money. In late 2002 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommended that the normal TSH range be narrowed to 0.3 to 3.0, anything over 3.0 should be considered hypothyroid. So millions of people are STILL misdiagnosed. Some thyroid experts even diagnose hypothyroidism with TSH levels above 1.5 or 2.0. I am not a doctor, but according to all this information you ARE hypothyroid and have been misdiagnosed according to old numbers that have been around for decades. You know your body and you know something is wrong, go with your gut and find an endocrinologist that will listen to you. I guess we can't recommend web sites in this forum, but maybe I can direct you to some info that has really helped me with my Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Try doing a search on: hypothyroidism top doctors. You will find a great website, go to their home and you will find a WEATLH of informaiton there. .thyroid-info. is THE ONE to look at!!!! If you are leaning also towards PCOS, that could be a possiblility as well. And I have learned that PCOS and thyroid problems are usually related and many people end up with both of them. I also have PCOS and had all of the symptoms except for hair loss! Since I have been diagnosed with thyroid problems, though, I have noticed my hair is beginning to thin at the front of my head and it makes me so upset, I have always had thick hair that people envy and now, well, it looks pretty rough! A gyno is not well informed about PCOS, try an Endocrinologist for that. I hope you get diagnosed and treated soon before you start feeling worse! Take care and get plenty of rest and ask your family and friends to help out with simple stuff, it can be a big help!
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I  JUST FOUND OUT I HAVE HIGH THYROID MY HAIR IS THINNING AND I AM WAITING FOR ALL THE TESTS RESULTS TO GET DONE. iM AFRAID BY THE TIME I GET TREATMENT I WILL HAVE LITTLE HAIR LEFT.i feel  so depressed about this whole thing. I never had any thyroid problems until now. IM wondering if all the pain meds i took this year is destroying my thyroid? Has anyone else had this happen to them? What can I expect about my hair? will i go bald. thanks I need anyones encouragement .  My tests so far are anti-tpo antibody 75 h anti-thyroglobulin 26 high my tsi 99 my tsh ultra-s-  .02 my t4  14  Thanks Laurie
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i am also 37 yrs old and have been experiencing extream hair loss all over! i have hypothyroid disease, but am on synthroid and my thyroid is stable! someone suggested maybe i have polycystic ovaian disease, which can cause hair loss! it's something to look into. i am also taking many vitamins like biotin, fish oil, saw palmetto, grape seed, choline and inositol, iron, and amnio acids... i will now add primrose oil and see if that helps! i just started birth control pills and rogain. at this point, i'll try anything to not go bald!
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I have Hyperthyroidism, a thyroid Goiter with several nodules, and just diagnoised with bilateral adrenal nodules.  I have lost some hair on top of my head and a lot comes out when I wash my hair.  I understand this is a condition associated with Cushing's Syndrome which I am being tested for now.  Does any have any experience with Cushing's Syndrome.
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Re-read southerngal32's post.  Then research ESTROGEN DOMINANCE and causes.  Research TSH results and how ineffective they are.  Have your free T3 and free T4 tested and if you have hyper or hypo thyroid or adrenal symptoms, don't let anyone convince you otherwise.  No one else is in YOUR skin.

It's saddening to read so many posts like this in one place.  I cannot emphasize enough that you must all research your medical histories with your current symptoms and look for the causes relentlessly.  No one else can do it as well as you can for yourself.  Anyone looking for instant answers and simple solutions will be disappointed.  There are none unless you are an exception to the rule and that is unlikely.  By the time someone gets to forums like these there are probably multiple hormone issues.  It only takes one imbalance to cause another, then another, and another ... resulting in chaotic and miserable living.  None of this occurs overnight.  Neither do the solutions fix anything overnight.  It is a struggle, but it can be overcome.

Don't give up and don't counteract you efforts by doing so much at one time that you wear yourself out.  Do what you can when you can.  Above all, write down questions and take them to one doctor after another until you find one who will listen to your symptoms and not just treat manipulated test results.

One doctor actually laughed when I told him I thought I had adrenal gland problems.  He said, "You have to treat the thyroid first.  Adrenal dysfunction can't be determined until then." (insert a condescending "you silly goose" tone)  I trusted him for almost another year because at least he would give me Armour though he wouldn't give me enough.  When I finally discovered OTC adrenal gland tissue I was blown away by the results.  In less than a week my temperament chilled.  A few weeks later my entire family agreed I was downright pleasant, something they hadn't seen for years.  Chronic anxiety and panic attacks were tremendously relieved, almost to nothing.  I was able to buy Thytrophin online and based on well documented OLD research, I figured out safe doses and incremental increases.  Within two months my hair began growing back; grayer and whiter, but just as thick as it used to be.  All the other supplements I was taking at the time began working better.  My skin is not so dehydrated.  My face dropped about 10 years according to co-workers and familyy.  I dont tire so easily.  No palps for a long time now ... there is a long list of improvements.

Recently severe and unexpected stress at work dealt worn adrenals a hard blow with a bad shift change and personnel issues.  Hydrocortisone relieved my adrenals considerably and I'm now weaning off that without problems so far.  My adrenal glands may never fully heal, but I can minimize stress to them so they can help the rest of my body as they are intended to do.  I know I am very fortunate that it's not a bigger problem and grateful.

There are so many aspects to what brings us together on this page and pages throughout this site.  You have to believe in your ability to pull yourself up and out of this creaking hamster wheel of misinformation and misdiagnosis.
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Hi straw-citizen, I need to talk to you, can you email me at ***@****  I need to find out more about the adrenal issue.  My hair continues to fall out with synthroid.  I just switched to natural thyroid but I need to know more about the adrenals. cathy
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What is evening primose oil.  Is is a oil for the scalp or medication that you take.  Also are there any side effects to taking it.  I currently take 150 mcg Levethyroid.

Thanks
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Medication that you take and side effects that I know of.
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A related discussion, Hair loss related to hypothyroid was started.
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A related discussion, hyperthyroidism was started.
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