Hair loss - everywhere!

I am 62 this year and wondering how much of my hair loss is down to hypothyroidism, and how much to my age?

I have been hypo now nearly 20 yrs, and on T4 only until last year when I was allowed to experiment first with T4/T3, and then T3 only for much of the year. Recently I decided to add back in some T4 as I found the T3 only regime harder to manage (re doses and feeling unstable during the day at times).

I restarted T4 on Jan 12th gradually building up to 50mcg, and still keeping 20mcg T3 first thing, and another 10mcg added early afternoon. My temps are reasonable, though start low and climb during the day to normal or near normal, and my BP actually slightly better as more stable, though low first thing, like my temperature.

However, I have just noticed that my hair which I felt had been improving on my head is now thinner, and even more horrified to realise that I have virtually no hair on my arms now (v v fine), and I haven't shaved my legs or underarms for ages. Not sure when this happened, but feel that the T4 might be contributing. Is this possible? It was never like this when I took it for all those years!

I have an ME diagnosis on top of the thyroid one, (had it around 9 yrs now), and have been unwell with sore throat/virus symptoms since Dec 23rd with only small breaks in that. However I was on T3 only when this started, and feel that the damp/mould might be a factor in this part. I haven't bothered to go to the GP as I don't have much faith in them, but I could I guess have a full blood count done again. Not that she takes any notice when my lympocyte count is down, plus my platelets!!! (just below or borderline).

I am now wondering whether to cut the T4 again at least to 25mcg and increase the T3 - maybe phase the T4 out again.

Any thoughts? At least on the hair aspect anyway.

6 Replies

  • hi i have been on t4 for 14yrs and a t4/t3 combo for 18mths....i lost all my underarm hair years ago and the hair on my arms if fairly non existent which i dont mind at all...the hair on my head tends to go in will go rally thin then slowly thicken up again only to start thinning again lol...i have just grown used to it....i worry much more about all my pain and fatigue....i do have ra as well x

  • If you haven't had a recent thyroid gland blood test I would ask for one to be done. Get a copy of the results, with ranges from the surgery, for your own records and post them for members to comment on them. Your may be undermedicated. These are two links:-

  • Thank you Shaws. I have been experimenting a bit with T3 only for a year, and recently with T3/T4 so as you can imagine I have not wanted too much intervention re the GP in case she jumps to any unwanted conclusions. I think I am due for a test actually......

    I am now planning to go back to T3 only as I feel this hair loss may be due to the T4 addition, which as you say, may also have made me undermedicated. At the end of the year last year I felt that it had improved somewhat.

    Thank you v much for the links too - am about to read in full, but the first thing I see is that some people suffer from hair loss as a side effect of T4!!

  • Thank you kizzy for replying. That is very interesting to hear your experience of similar issues. I know what you mean about not minding about some hair loss - I used to be very hairy on my arms and legs!! However it still worries me, as it's not as it should be.

    My thoughts are that hair loss is part of the autoimmune attack and if you also have RA (rheumatoid arthritis?) then this also is autoimmune.

    I have also noticed that I have Lichen Planus in my mouth at the moment which is my other autoimmune condition, so that confirms that I am suffering autoimmune attack at the moment.

    I have changed my diet pretty drastically but I know that I do eat some things (eg nuts) that would be considered not good in autoimmune terms, but my diet is so restricted already I have felt unable to give them up as yet.

    I noticed that my hair had improved in the autumn but like you, it seems to be going in phases, and I now need to check by cutting out the T4 I think if it's contributing to the attack.

    I have also used Low Dose Naltrexone in the past, and I am thinking of trying that again, as it's good for autoimmune illness.

  • Hello Agapanthus

    I'm replying as I have some hair loss as well. I'm a 60 year old female, although I'm not on thyroid medication my results are always low in range , Free T4 hovering around 12 - 13. I had a hemi thyroidectomy 7 years ago.

    I hardly ever have to shave under arms now (although I did when I was younger), or my legs. I have a few teeny weeny hairs on my arms which you need a magnifying glass to see.

    My head hair doesn't seem too bad, although there's always a lot in the shower tray after I wash it.

    Another thing I've noticed is that I don't sweat much either.

  • Thank you for replying Artemis. I think it's true that we do lose hair as we age, especially from our head, but having none on the arms and legs seems to be more unusual as far as I can tell.

    Like you, I seem to have stopped sweating also at the moment!

    Personally I think it's an autoimmune reaction so I am working on that idea at the moment and hoping to restart Low Dose Naltrexone which I took about a year ago for some time.

    Also I have been trying out mixing some T4 with T3 for 6 weeks having been on T3 only for a year, so I am going to stop the experiment and go back to T3 in case that has affected things badly too. I rather think it has as I have had a lot of knee pain - far more than I had before.

You may also like...