What causes hair loss? Is it low ferritin, the ... - Thyroid UK

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What causes hair loss? Is it low ferritin, the being hypothyroid itself or/and medication?

sip1 profile image
26 Replies

My hair has become so thin, sometimes I just want to cry. It's especially thin around the sides - above my ears, and I often find hair on my pillow, coming out in the shower, when I brush it, falling out on my clothes - in fact, I find hairs everywhere about the house!! I struggle to tie it back nowadays because I can see my head through it, and have to fiddle about for ages, using grips to make sure my head is covered.

I'm not on any meds yet, but I have read that levo can make hair loss worse? Is it just levo, or all thyroid medication including NDT? My ferritin is currently 69ug/L (13.0 - 150.0), so I'm not sure it's that.

Does hair improve once on the correct medication? The thought of it getting any thinner just makes me feel sick. :(

26 Replies
HarryE profile image

Mine has stopped coming out, but new growth might be a while longer I think. I started treatment about 8 weeks ago.

shaws profile image

Hypothyroid can cause hair loss. It is a clinical symptom. I would ask to be referred to a dermatologist as it sounds like Alopecia Areata to me.


sip1 profile image
sip1 in reply to shaws

I don't think it's alopecia as I don't have bald patches - it's just fine. Finer than it used to be, but even (if that makes sense!)

I too have very thin hair, it has worsened since being diagnosed. I don't have low ferritin and my thyroid results are all okay according to the doctor. It has made me depressed and I am very conscious of it. The doctor says it's normal as you get older for hair to thin. It makes it worse as it's very fine. I see myself having to wear a wig when I get older. Does anyone on hear know of any good lotions or supplements that may help x

sip1 profile image
sip1 in reply to

I've ordered this healthmonthly.co.uk/swanson... Ultra Hair Revitalizing Formula I've only been using it for a couple of weeks, so too early to say if it'll work but I've read good reviews on it

in reply to sip1

Thanks for that will give it a go x

Sue777 profile image

My hair has stopped falling out 5 months after starting treatment on Levo and just noticed my fingernails look healthier than they have in years! X

Clutter profile image

Any thyroid dysfuntion, hyper and hypo, can cause hair thinning/loss and it can also be a side effect of Levothyroxine.

Evening Primrose Oil, and Biotin are recommended to help wih hair loss/thinning. Biotin is available on Amazon. It can take over a year to feel benefits though. :( Someone also recommended shampoo from the Aveda ivati range.

HuffPost Article on Biotin huffingtonpost.com/2013... ignore scare mongering and scroll down to comments section which are very positive and recommend daily dosing required.

Well Woman.com well-women.com/hairloss...

Mary Shomon thyroid-info.com/articl...

sip1 profile image
sip1 in reply to Clutter

Thank you Clutter. Do you know if NDT can have hair thinning effect too? Or is it generally Levo?

Clutter profile image
Clutter in reply to sip1

I honestly don't know, Sip.

NoWoreez profile image
NoWoreez in reply to sip1

Biotin messes with thyroid test results so discontinue couple days before lab work.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to NoWoreez


More a case of biotin can interfere with some blood tests including thyroid tests.

It doesn't always. Depends on the technology used by the laboratory.

jezebel69 profile image

Hi sip - do you know what your vit B12 and vit D3 levels are? I've noticed that my own hair loss is worse when I stop medicating with these supplements.

sip1 profile image
sip1 in reply to jezebel69

I know my B12 is fine, don't know about D3 but I do take this supplement, so I don't think it would be that...

Ctb567 profile image

Hi I'm not an expert on hair loss but I remember that one of my friends had really bad hair loss to the point where she had to wear a wig. The doctors found out that she had a zinc deficiency and tried to treat it but no matter how much she took her levels didn't go up and at that point she found out she had Coeliac disease which was stopping her from absorbing vitamins. Now because your ferritin level is quite good you probably don't have Coeliac disease but perhaps getting a zinc test could be the right way to go? I know a lot of people with thyroid problems find it harder to absorb certain vitamins too and I think zinc could be one of the them.

Hope you feel better soon :)

sip1 profile image
sip1 in reply to Ctb567

Thanks CarlyS123 - I've just started adding zinc into my daily supplements actually, so I wonder if this might help.

galathea profile image

Low ferritn. (Below 70 ). Is linked to hair loss. healthguidance.org/entry/42...


sip1 profile image
sip1 in reply to galathea

Do you think bumping my ferritin up a little might help then? Should I regularly have my iron levels checks at my GP's to make sure I'm not taking it too high?

galathea profile image

Well at 69 you can afford to be higher, might be worth bumping it up if you can. Shouldn't think there would be a need for frequent testing, just supplement for a few months, keep a note of what you take and see if its improved by much after 6 months. And see if the hair as improved too. Xx

sip1 profile image
sip1 in reply to galathea

Thanks Galathea :)

Mia09 profile image

I've just started using "Swell" by Marks and Spencer. Its pricey - £21 for a trial size which includes a shampoo, conditioner and thickening lotion which you apply before blow drying. I have used it three times up to now and my hair looks slightly thicker. My hair dresser told me about a Dove product which his wife uses but when I looked at the chemicals in it I thought I'd give it a miss.

freespirit44 profile image


I experienced hair loss which was triggered by stress. However, concurrent with this I also had thyroid issues. I was also very depressed about the hair loss. It has been a journey of 2 1/2 years but my hair is coming back. I am not a doctor and would not want to give other than general information to you. But this is what I did. I attacked it by reading all that I could about thyroid and alopecia, especially the hair loss at that time. I was most distressed by losing my very thick hair. I had these tests and supplemented what was low or changed what was high: All the vitamin levels, especially D3; zinc, magnesium, selenium; B-12 and folate; essential fatty acids including GLA (there is an enzyme deficiency which prevents linoleic acid from converting to GLA; genetic testing for mutations to MTHFR which prevents you from methylating B-12 and folate; all the sex hormones because estrogen dominance and high testosterone can cause problems (conversion to DHT); make sure your copper is not high as this is a big cause of hair loss. Copper's primary antagonist is zinc, so make sure your zinc is at proper levels and copper should then fall to normal levels barring any disease with high copper. Find more on this at acu-cell.com, a website filled with incredible empowering information. I began to see changes and new hairs coming in after correcting the mineral levels, and especially Vit D3. Have your iron checked. I have read (from a nutritionist) that hair regrowth will not happen until the ferritin is above 70. I personally had ferritin above 70 some of the time but what mattered for me was the SATURATION %. I had an iron saturation of only 18% at the time of the hair loss. I now have one ranging from 31 to 36% and this is good for me. I called some specialists in NYC and one shared with me that he feels the saturation is ideal at 35. This does not mean that is right for you. Excess iron can be fatal, so make sure you consult a trusted holistic or functional medicine doctor, or an intelligent and well-educated and well-read hematologist. I consult doctors who are functional medicine. At a saturation of 31 to 35 my ferritin is only 100 and so that is very good. A high ferritin is very dangerous and should be avoided and hence consulting with someone intelligent is absolutely necessary. I talk a lot about iron because I feel that was one of my issues. I took a natural iron from India Organics and it is made from Indian Curry. I was not eating much meat and so after I began doing that and taking a low dose iron (18 mg/day) my saturation began rising. This is only one piece of the puzzle. For me, the most important things I did were: raise my Vit D3 level, zinc level, magnesium, iron, take biotin, multi B, B-12, and folate; work on estrogen dominance, keep testosterone from converting to DHT, and keep away stress. Working on stress is hard if it is a part of your daily life. I meditate and am going to begin Yoga. I walk/run alternately 2 times a day. I am a very positive person and I work at maintaining this and not allowing negative thoughts in. For a while during my worst stress I did allow negative thoughts in. This is very important. Lastly I will say again, that do NOT take any supplement, especially IRON without consulting a specialist because high levels of iron can be fatal. I tend to do things on my own as I did not always have a holistic doctor, but I ALWAYS checked levels via lab tests before I made any changes. Good luck on the hair regrowth. It can happen.

freespirit44 profile image

Another thing - in reading a comment from CarlyS123 I see the mention of Coeliac. And YES absolutely. I forgot to mention this in my post above. I do not have Coeliac however I DO have gluten intolerance and when I would eat gluten I would get little bumps on my head and my head would itch a LOT. So, avoid wheat and gluten if you are determined to intolerant. Because it is one of those factors in hair loss for sure.

In young women hairless is often caused by low stomach acid so check out the HCL test .

hi i know how you feel …. do you have stomach problems ….. one of the main reasons a young woman in her 20 s can loose hair is because of low stomach acid check it out and good luck…. your ferritin should be higher than that solgar have a good gentle iron supplement easy on the stomach .

Hafa profile image

My hair loss slowed down when I started thyroid meds and like other have posted, my nails returned to normal. I'm 61 and stopped hormone replacement therapy (thyroid med did not play well with the estrogen) and that impacted my hair quality again. I started using Rogaine for women (minoxidil 2%) and it created spectacular hair growth, looked like a flashback to the 1980s..lol! I told my stylist what was happening, she had wondered why some times I needed only a trim due to my thinning hair, yet months later, she had to prune extensively. It's one of the things I try to laugh about in my thyroid journey....

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