Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Hairloss on synthroid? Confused!

I'm extremely confused about what causes hairloss exactly. I've been put on synthroid recently (I'm 40 years old) after the doctor discovered that my tsh level was at 87, in other words it was very high. He came to the conclusion that I was suffering from hypothyroid. The reasons which initially brought me to the doctor were fatigue, muscle aches and pains, constipation, I couldn't eat anymore without having stomach pains and generally feeling very bad. This went on for 3 months before they finally figured out that I was hypothyroid. Now during the whole time I hadn't lost a single hair. My hair volumn stayed normal despite the high tsh level.

Since teenage age I had problems with enlarged thyroid and was put on hormone replacement twice, once at around 15 (which wasn't synthroid at the time) and once during my early twenties (that time they put me on synthroid and I had immense hairloss).

During my early twenties, while being on synthroid for the first time I had extreme hairloss too, but didn't think it was the synthroid. Now I'm on synthroid again and experienced some hairloss at 50mcg, and after my second tsh test they had put me on 100mcg. Since then my hair is going out left and right. I'm shedding worse then my dogs. Upon calling the doc, he said that it's normal and that I won't get bald. My body just has to adjust and it will get better. But I don't trust it. Remembering back to my early twenties my hair was so thin during the entire year I took the synthroid that I thought I was going bald. It, also, took almost a year after getting off synthroid for my hair to recover and grow back to normal volumn.

I have the feeling it is the synthroid and not necessarily hypothyroid. Any thoughts on this? I would love to hear other people's opinions.
15 Responses
Avatar universal
It not the thyroid med.  More likely a delay or on going symptom from  hypo.

Always a chance something else is going, for other health conditions causes hair issues as well, like hair loss.

Hair and nails are the last of all the symptoms to heal and takes the longest to heal.

But end the end, it will.
211563 tn?1189998110
Lots of things can cause hairloss: trauma, stress, illness, medication, etc.  

I started taking Levoxyl a little over a month ago and I have had a LOT of hairloss, not just from my scalp, but my eyebrows and eyelashes too.  My Endo says that it's not the medication, but probably the trauma of the surgery.  The surgeon says it's probably NOT from the surgery, but maybe the stress of worry prior to the surgery.

Although my Dr. said the drugs would not cause this... it would be a result of being Hypo... I never was hypo.  I went from euthyroid with my thyroid gland to euthyroid after my TT with thyroid replacement hormones.  The drug insert on Levoxyl says that it can cause hairloss in the first few months of therapy and it is "usually temporary."  I do know that for some people, it is not temporary.  I can't tell yet... but am hoping if it IS from Levoxyl, it is temporary.  If it's from stress, it should end soon.

I posted a question on yahoo! questions and got a couple responses from women who did suffer massive hairloss for the first few months after starting synthetic thyroid.  All have said that it did go away with time... up to a year one woman told me.  

Whatever the cause is, I've read that some people have good luck with supplements to support hair growth and I am taking a cocktail of them to see if anything helps.  I am taking Biotin, B-complex, Omega 3 and Evening Primrose Oil.  I'm not sure if it's helping yet or not.  It's too soon, but I figure it certainly can't hurt.  You should check with your dr. before adding any medications/vitamins to your Synthetic Thyroid drug.

Hope this stops soon for you!
220331 tn?1199846119
220331 tn?1199846119
After 10 -15 years of doing medical and office administration I am a cosmetology student and to be quite honest I have learned that this is the most asked question we get.  I am new to this forum and new to all information regarding hypothyroidism.  What I do know is that the average person will normally lose 30-40 and sometimes up to 100 hairs per day...but this can change with whatever we put into our bodies; through diet, vitamins and medications.  It all shows up in our hair, which is why drug testing can be done and determination can be made of past usage.  So it is not some much that you are losing your hair...but that you are not generating new hair growth.
It also affects how haircolor and any chemical processes turn out on each individual...Pregnancy also affects hair growth and processes once again due to hormones, vitamins and diet.  

Now from what I have been taught, unless the person has Androgenetic (genetic) Alopecia (male pattern baldness or female pattern hairloss),  whatever we take in as a normal healthy person the body will work properly and process as it should but if there is a problem such as illness, injury or any kind of imbalance the body goes into preservation mode.  Meaning it will process priority only.  Kinda like when you are sick and you try to work out...your body will say okay...you want me to heal you or build muscle???...because it can't do both efficiently.

"You can also have an autoimmune disease called Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks hair follicles, resulting in, round hairless patches on the scalp. Severe to extreme cases involve many bald patches of hair or complete loss of hair on the scalp, although in some cases there is hair thinning without distinct patches of baldness. Hair usually grows back within 1 year without treatment; however, approximately 10% of people with the condition may never regrow their hair. " This last part was quoted from my textbook.

There is a product out there that I really like and bought for my mother after she had surgery and extreme hairloss.  I will be getting it for myself after my Thyroidectomy this week.  It is called Nioxin. You can get the shampoo, conditioner and treatment all in one package.  It worked really well for her and some of the patrons that come into the school that I attend.  The only thing is that when you stop using it the benefits go away.  You won't lose any more hair but it will not feel any thicker and I found that it will buy some time until your body kicks in and your hair grows back.

You can also try scalp massages and conditioning treatments that will keep the scalp and the hair healthy and can stimulate hair growth in some people.  I actually taught my husband how to give me a scalp massage and treatment so I don't have to go somewhere and pay to have it done.  Clarifying shampoos can help strip buildup and other environmental "gunk" off your hair...and I actually use Suave Clarifying shampoo once a week...wouldn't recommend it more than that and it works just as well as the expensive brands. I have some other info regarding how to give a (or get one) scalp massage if you would like me to post it.

Another tidbit of info...the skin is the largest organ of the body and it needs more water than any other organ...but is the last to get it...therefore you need to make sure you drink the water that you need.
Hope this helps,
97628 tn?1204465633
I noticed what you said about hair color.  I have always had very dark brown hair, and it's summer so it may just be that I need to wear a sunscreen or hat, but my hair seems to be bleaching a redder shade that doesn't exactly go with my complexion. A friend told me I should cover the "horrible red dye" but I haven't used any dye.
I suppose it is just the sun, but what you wrote made me think maybe not ...
I'm on 75 mcg daily of levoxyl.
97628 tn?1204465633
I noticed what you said about hair color.  I have always had very dark brown hair, and it's summer so it may just be that I need to wear a sunscreen or hat, but my hair seems to be bleaching a redder shade that doesn't exactly go with my complexion. A friend told me I should cover the "horrible red dye" but I haven't used any dye.
I suppose it is just the sun, but what you wrote made me think maybe not ...
I'm on 75 mcg daily of levoxyl.
220331 tn?1199846119
I am wondering since you say you haven't dyed your hair but are experiencing a "natural" bleaching if you spend a lot of time in the sun, in a pool or in the ocean?  All three of these things can act as a lightener on your hair.  If this is the case then I would suggest that you buy a big bottle of the cheapest conditioner you can get and saturate your hair with it.  What it does is fill up the cortex of the hair shaft and will not allow chlorine (which can turn lightened hair green or ashy) or salt water to penetrate the shaft.  It will also act as a protectant from the suns rays.  Just remember that just like sunscreen you need to reapply every so often.  If it is not any of these that is causing the problems I can only think of environmental or medication.  Either way you can probably take care of some of it by using a clarifying shampoo once but no more than twice a week to strip off some of the residue they cause.  Like I said earlier ...I love Suave Clarifying Shampoo...it works well for me but another brand may work better for you.  Let me know how it works.
97628 tn?1204465633
You are right, I do spend a lot of time out in the sun with activties, especially on weekends.
I love red hair, from strawberry blondes all the way through to deep auburn colors, absolutely beautiful, but my skin tone is dominated by yellow undertones and the shade it's turning, it's not quite "right" for me . When it's in the birghtest sunlight it's even got a brand new copper penny quality to it.
I will wear a hat and try the Suave Clarifying,I've used some other Sauve products before and liked them.
I'll  let you know if the situation stabilizes.
Thank you  :-)
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Thanks to all for the interesting tidbits. I will certainly look into the Nioxin.
I doubt that it's Alopecia Areata since I had a thick and full head of hair before taking the synthroid. I had no problems at all.
It just struck me as odd that when I took synthroid in my twenties I had the same exact problems with hair loss as I do now on Synthroid. Before and after Synthroid I never had problems even with being hypo...

I will certainly discuss this with my doctor again. I have read a bit more at this website and others, and heard that some people with similar problems changed from Synthroid to Armour and experienced much less hairloss or none.

I read that Armour contains not only T4 but also T3, T2, T1 (I believe).

If the body needs all these hormones to properly work, then why would they give patients only T4? I wonder if that could be the culprit...

I also have been experiencing joint pain since being put on Synthroid...
Avatar universal
It is the synthroid causing hair loss. I always had a thick head of hair and as soon as I started taking this medicine it started falling out. It was not massive amounts but after being on this medicine for 2 years the entire top of my head was 90% bald. My family doctor told me to stop taking it and see what happens. A week later I could see new hair growing back. I was put on armour thyroid and after 8 months my hair was back to normal but I had gained 45 pounds. The armour thyroid is not working for me and they have changed the dosage several times. Now they want to put me back on synthroid. There has to be another medication that works and wont cause hair loss. Have any ideas???
Avatar universal
Hi, i am also a cosmo...i work for a Redken exclusive salon. Thyroid medications have iodine in them..and like u said dagaz, any medications we take will deposit in our hair. Iodine is RED so many thyroid patients, including myself see a coppery red deposit in our hair. I love red brown hair on myself but i have to tweak my color to fight the copper to get a cooler red result. My mother is a thyroid patient as well, she hates red on her but no matter what color she puts on, it turns red. Even besides the red, my new growth wont hold dark colors more than a week and my ends will turn black. Ive recently found things tht help. O and my mom doesnt live near me so someone else does her hair lol. Redken has a product called PreArt...if u go to a Redken salon, tell ur stylist tht u r taking thyroid meds. The PreArt treatment will remove the mineral, environmental and medication deposits from the hair so coloring is more affective. Hope yhis helps. :-)
Avatar universal
Could it be that your dosage of Armour is not optimal for you?  Please post your thyroid test results and reference ranges shown on the lab report so that members can help assess your status.  
Avatar universal
Yes, I also think the Synthroid exacerbates my Alopecia. I notice more hair loss when my muscles tighten up in my neck, which happens primarily when I worry.  I've taken all sorts of supplements and haven't noticed any improvement.  I don't know what's IN Nioxin and am reluctant to apply a mystery product on my scalp because I suspect doing THAT will have adverse affects eventually, too.  Today, I tried acupuncture and will have to wait and see what happens.  My therapist was balancing meridians to help me deal with excess worrying and lack of sleep.  Since the two frequently occur in tandem, I thought it was worth trying.  If anyone knows anything about ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (like Cranialsacral, Acupuncture, Quantum Touch, Touch for Health, Zero Balance or ZB, Polarity etc.) and have had success with treating Alopecia using these modalities, please let me know/post here.  Thanks so much.  Hope this discussion continues.
Avatar universal
You might try the "Alternative Therapies" forum.
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