Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
Synthroid Side Effects
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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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Synthroid Side Effects

My hair has been falling out in mass amounts for 3 months now and according to the insert that came with the Synthroid the hair loss was suppose to be temporary.  I am going to the doctor tomorrow to see about getting on Armour but I have talked to other people taking Armour and they are experiencing hair loss also.  Why is it that my hair continues to fall out if my thyroid hormones are stabilized?  I have been tested for all other underlying conditions that can cause hair loss and the doctor told me everything looks good.  I just need to know if this will stop or is it a side effect that I will continue to have from thyroid medication?

Jennifer
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If the hair loss is due to thyroid, it should resolve within 3 months of normalizing the TSH in most cases.  Some patients do better with Armour in terms of hair loss but not always - it's worth a try.

Hair loss can also be due to stress or changes in other hormones (estrogen, progesterone, tesosterone, etc) - if you are having normal periods and the labs have been okay then I would not worry much about hormones.  Stress causes a condition called telogen fluvium where hair loss is more pronounced, often starting even 2-3 months after the stressful period of time - this lasts 2-3 months then resolves.  As long as there is not patches of hair loss (leading to bald spots) then it is typically not a serious medical problem.

Vitamins such as biotin, lutein, zinc and b-complex are also important to hair growth.  Also make sure you are not iron deficient.
16 Comments
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Hi Jennifer, I might not be much help, just want you to know, that i have the same problem.  My hair started falling out in clumps about 4 years ago after my twins were born, evidentally I was having thyroid problems than and didn't know it, last year I was diagnosed with Hashi's and put on Synthroid.  now once i started the Synthroid, my hair still fell out, not as much, and than stopped all together, however, none of it has grown back, and I am curious as to why also.  I have had all the tests and everything looks fine, and my thyroid has been normal for close to a year, but am almost bald on top of my head.  Have you had estrogen and those such of tests? I don't understand why our falls out, and i'm really confused as to why when everything is stabilized does it not return to normal.  Armour could work for you.  Everyone is different.  Just make sure you have ruled out everything else first before checking the medication.  I recently stopped taking a beta blocker that I have been on a real long time, and didn't realize that it too causes hair loss, now that I have stopped that, I am anxious to see if I see a difference.  Has only been 3 weeks, and I hear it takes a long time for hair to regrow.  i wish you luck, and I hope some of this may have helped as a support, maybe not so much as advice.  Shannon
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Hi Shannon, how are you feeling these days?
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Hi Forum members,
I am leaving the post permanantly, no wavering whatsoever, this time it is final. I do want to say you guys are wonderful and have been really supportive and inspiring! I hope many of you continue being so on here!
No one has done anything to offend me (honestly) but ever so often, a kink is thrown into the works and is really no one's fault.
I hope an e-mail I just sent to a forum member was not offensive! It was my last one to them, I just was a little concerned about the overboard fears, dictated to us by happenings in the world, that make some people fear being tracked down by their e-mail adress etc... A little common sense in areas like this, go a long way!
I hope you all keep helping, supporting and inspiring eachother!
God Bless You All, Jesus Is Lord!
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I also was having a lot of hair loss recently when I started the generic brand of synthroid (which was four weeks ago)I have never been on meds prior to this. My hair has thinned and grown back over the years which I am now realizing after being diagnosed with hypothyroid was obviously the cause. I stopped the generic on friday of last week and just switched to synthroid and I actually think the major hair loss has stopped. My hair also feels softer as it had started to become increasingly dry. There are herbal remedies out there to help with hair loss- I have been using something called Shin Mein (I think that's the name) its a chinese remedy that helps stimulate hair growth and I know that it has been working for me over the past year- you may want to try this to help the re-growth. Also vitamins like inositol, and l-cysteine help hair, also try using mint shampoos as they help to thicken the hair shaft to give your hair more body and ultimately look fuller. I have tried everything except rogaine, which is another alternative. I wish more docs would do research on this as its such a depressing side effect of this disorder. Hope some of this helped, i'll keep you posted on my hair and what it does over the next couple of months. Also it will probably take a good year to notice any significant results from hair re-growth....
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Hi, Thanks for your comments, and all that you have done for everyone, myself certainly included, I am sad to think of you not being on here, but I too, have noticed the changes and know the direction in which it is going.  I'm sure the others out there as well have noticed that it is not as easy to jump on here and communicate as easily as before.  I too, am thankful for the months in which we have had this freedom to do so, and am really thrilled to have found this "patient" forum, it has really helped me the past months, as I'm sure it has helped many of you others as well.  I am happy that there is indeed a dr. available on here to answer questions, if that is in fact, what is happening, and feel sorry for the people awaiting responses, when we have been notified that this would be happening.  My post is not intended to offend anyone, and I do fully understand the expectations set forth by this forum.  I'm not feeling as though I need any further clarification from medhelp. Thanks to you Jimlow, you have been a blessing, and to all you others who get on here and share your experiences.  I will continue to get on here and help as much as I possibly can, even if that might not be much.(ha ha)  I wanted to get  my two cents in and want everyone to know how much you all are appreciated.  Thankyou to medhelp for allowing us to express ourselves as we feel we need to.  best wishes to all, Shannon
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Hi, how are you doing?  I am still feeling great after stopping that beta blocker, and I talked to my endo and thyroid panel looks good and have a TSH of .75.   I have been breaking out in acne like crazy here lately though, have any of you noticed this as a symptom?  I do not generally have a problem with this, but wow, here lately I have.  I think also that I am starting to see some new hair growth on my scalp, that's the first I have seen in a year.  i think this past year, and feeling so crummy, really just had my body in a state of shock.  Let me know how you are doing Ar.  Shannon
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I have been on meds. for over 3 years for hyperthyroidism from Graves disease.  This is way too long to be on meds. and I am now faced with the decision to have the RAI treatment.  It is posts like yours that scare me.  Were you once hyperthyroid?  Have you had the RAI and have you had any other bothersome side effects from being hypothyroid?  Thank you.
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Hi everyone!

Sorry I should have explained what that email ws about.  I guess we are "chatting" a bit too much.  If anyone is interested I found a pretty good site that addresses autoimmune disorders-Widebertha's autoimmune forum.   There are about thirty five message boards set up.  Right now I have been on the hypoaldosteronism board but it is pretty empty-there seems to be a busy thyroid group there and addison's.  Also the moderators are very up on the science and quite knowledgable.

Come check it out as I think I will not post here any more after the next couple of days.  In all honesty I have checked out the other lists on this site and feel like it just says "blah blah blah "straight out of a med textbook and then says "please don't sue me".   I know Dr.Mark is very caring so I am sure he'll be more indepth with his answers.  I guess we are all pretty complicated however and have moved past what normal drs want to think about-we are almost on our own.
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wow, these have been great days here at the forum. However, it's difficult to communicate with these restrictions. I really don't know why Med Help doesn't allow more patient support but...it's their call. I guess I'll come here every once in a while but not very frequent now that my "friends" and supporters are leaving.....Good luck everyone.
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Duchess47,

I never intended to scare you in any way and apologize as that was not my intention.  If you have already tried suppression therapy and your doctor is now recommending the RAI treatment than I would go by what he says.  

I too have Grave's Disease and had the RAI treatment.  I am just having a really hard time with my medication and getting my dosage right.  Not everyone is the same and you could do very well.   My mom had it done 15 years ago and has been great ever since, everyone is unique.  Once again I am sorry.

Jenni
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ShannieK,

I am sorry to hear about your hair loss, that is terrible.  I went and saw a new doctor today (9/15/05) and he prescribed me Armour, which I am hoping will help me not only with the hair loss but also the depression, fatigue, aches/pains, headaches and the list goes on and on.  I just want to get better and hope that you will get better too!  Thansk for your post!

Jenni
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I don't want you to feel you said anything wrong, I am greatful to hear about the possible side effects of what I will inevitably have to go through.  There is no way I can stay on my meds. for very much longer as they are casuing me problems.  I like to hear about everyone else's experience.  Doctors don't seem to like to reveal all the bad stuff.  That is why this forum is so great.  I really appreciate your comments and I hope that you will have some resolution with your own issues.
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What kind of problems are you experiencing with the meds your on now?  Once you have the RAI treatment you will have to be on a thyroid hormone replacement for the rest of your life.  That was the hardest thing for me to accept at first but now the hardest thing to accept is that my hair won't stop falling out and I can't dicontinue this medicine to make my hair stop falling out.  It is just very frustrating and it is hard to not be depressed, as hair loss is extremely traumatic, and the doctors don't seem to care as long as you are within a normal range.  I have now switched to Armour and am hoping this will reduce the amount of hair I am losing.  Am keeping my fingers crossed.  I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do.  It isn't an easy decision.

Jenni
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Jenni,

I have Graves Disesase with hyperthyroidism for which there is no cure only treatment. 3 different doctors think that my symptoms may be realted to the medication I am on, as it is not a good idea for me to have been on them for so many years.  I have muscle and joint pain, fevers of unknown origin, fatigue, heart palps.  I am not looking forward to RAI as I know it will leave me hypothyroid and that has it's own set of issues.  However, I also understand that hypo is easier to control than hyper.  Any information or advice you have is of great value and appreciation.
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Duchess47,

I too am experiencing all of the symptoms you are minus the fevers and I am now hypo from the RAI treatment for Grave's.  I believe either way is not a good way to live because both hyper and hypo have side effects and the drugs that treat the conditions also come with side effects.  I wish you the best and hope things work out for you!

Jenni
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A related discussion, connection between synthroid and myasthenia gravis was started.
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A related discussion, Thyroid Disorder affects was started.
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