Thyroid UK
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Causes of Hair Loss?

Does anyone have any details on the causes of hair loss? I know it's normal to lose a good few head hairs during the day, but I feel like I've been losing more than usual in the past couple of weeks. Obviously, it's hard to be specific about this (and it may even be that I just hadn't paid attention to what was normal for me). I first started to wonder after running my hand through my hair and losing quite a few strands, and now when I brush my hair (morning and night) there seems to be a lot of hair in the hairbrush. (Texture-wise, it's been described in the past as "fine hair, but a lot of it", and it's currently in a shoulder-length bob, so the strands aren't particularly long.)

I'm hypo but didn't have head hair-loss as a symptom. I don't have any thin patches that I can see, and my hairdresser has never mentioned anything being amiss. I'm currently on 5 grains of NDT (Nature-Throid) and wondering if hair loss is a symptom of too high a dose?

Thanks in advance for any comments or advice.

14 Replies

Low Ferritin or Low Iron ? ....maybe ?

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As Marz says, low ferritin/iron and possibly low zinc. Evening primrose oil and Biotin are recommended for hairloss/thinning.


Good thinking – I need to get my ferritin retested – it was quite high last time, but I think that's down to inflammation (the rest of my iron results were on the low side of normal). I need to get my minerals tested too.

Thanks so much for your replies – much appreciated. x


Low B12 can also cause hair loss, I'm a bloke who's bald but had a massive bald patch on the back of my head, which grew back once I started B12 injections, my sister also had hair loss due to low B12. It's Something that you need to get checked out if you haven't already.


Thanks, Iverson. B12's on my to-do list as well! :-)


Hair loss is common in hypothyroidism but some people believe that NDT helps it a lot.

I myself have had alopecia areata a few times.

This is a shampoo I found helpful.

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Thanks, Shaws. What's confusing me is that it's never been an issue, even when my hypo was going untreated (I always felt like it was a bullet I'd dodged, so it seemed a bit odd to be noticing it now that I'm on a fairly high dose of NDT). I think I've used Nizoral before, for an itchy scalp, so I'll give that another go. I often use Neutrogena T-Gel shampoo – I even use it as a facial wash if I'm having a major problem with flaky skin or rosacea – I think perhaps the anti-fungal ingredients help. But as it's quite harsh and pongs I try to keep it as a last resort for skincare!


Re flaky skin, I got so fed up with having red itchy skin on my face and I used god alone knows how many creams, some really expensive all designed for eczema, eventually I started looking at what was in the creams and basically they have to fill them with chemicals to stop them going off or separating out, so i decided to make my own, I know it sounds a bit extreme but it's actually really easy, it's one cup of oil, any sort you want, a couple of spoons of beeswax, melt oil and wax together is a bowl over hot water, sick it in a blender and as you blend add two cups of warm water, you'll have enough cream to last you months and you know whats in it. If you want it to smell you can add an essential oil you like. Really simple really inexpensive and it won't irritate your skin. promise you wont go back to the chemical bath that is bought cream.

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That sounds brilliant – may give it a go with some coconut oil. The Essence of Eden extra-virgin one is really good (and they're a really nice company to deal with).


sometimes when you begin taking the thyroid hormone your hair can come out as the levels build up then it all settles down again. same can happen if you reduce a dose, it is usually temporary if scary! but do the other checks that have been recommended on here as well. hashi x

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Thanks, Hashi – I've been taking NDT for about 6 months and gradually building up the dose, so that's useful to know.


is it possible that since you are on such a high dose of NDT that for some reason (stress, nutrients, etc) some of the T4 is converting to reverse T3 and/or T3 may be low? are you feeling other hypo symptoms?

I must add this seems like a high dose of NDT. Have you tried just T3 alone?


Hi Suzannai, thanks for your kind reply. I haven't tried T3 alone, and I agree that 5 grains seems like a large dose although the jury's been out when I've queried that on forums. (People have said it's high but not unusually so, also I'm on the big side – 5 ft 10 ins and very overweight, which can sometimes mean you need more.) When I got tested prior to taking NDT I had high T3 but Reverse T3 was well in range. Dr Peatfield said conversion wasn't a problem, it's just that the T3 isn't getting into my cells. Stop The Thyroid Madness talk about "pooling" but I know Paul Robinson is cynical about that, so it could be something like high cortisol causing problems – some interesting theories on the subject in this thread, which I'm going to go through in more detail:

I'm going to get some tests done in the next couple of weeks, including thyroid and saliva cortisol, so I'll hopefully have a better idea of what is and isn't what then!

I seem to have a combination of hypo and hyper symptoms (plus a few benefits in between, like gradual weight loss and my menstrual cycle normalising after stopping for several months) but nothing has really jumping out at me (eg they have sweating as a hyper symptom, but I've always "glowed" a lot (!) and while I have trembly legs and can feel wound up, I'm also permanently knackered!


My hair loss was originally caused by hypothyroidism. And next was a B12 deficiency. Third was brushing my hair too much. Fourth was using a heavy towel and wrapping my hair in it. Fifth was vigorously drying my hair.

After I started taking enough B12 recently, my eyelashes thickened and I lost most of the gray ones. I had about 50/50 ratio of gray to dark brown color. And my eyelashes are now plentiful. I stopped losing so much head hair. I'm on the right dose of thyroid for me.

My natural hair texture is fine. I read online about fine hair and its care. Brush daily with as few strokes as possible. Use a wide toothed comb when hair is wet. Never wrap fine hair in heavy towels. Dry hair by blotting it. Hairdressers use this type of motion.

I found a waffle-textured microfiber towel which works perfect for my hair. It's super lightweight and dries fast after I use it.

I'm on 163 mcg of Synthroid (a combination of two smaller doses rather than alternating two larger doses), very overweight, and 5 ft 11 in.

Your hyper or hypo symptoms may be symptoms of a vitamin B12 and/or iron deficiency not just thyroid symptoms. Or you could be overmedicated. I assumed, wrongly, that my symptoms were caused by a lack of thyroid until I discovered I was low on B12.

Here's a link to a conversion chart for Nature-Throid, Westthroid Pure, Armour, Synthroid, Tirosint.

I've read on a medical site, (and other ones), that rarely a dose over 200 mcg is needed nor does it do much good. I can't handle anything beyond 175 mcg and that caused me to become hyperthyroid.

One endo prescribed 200 mcg for me and refused to give me less. I even wrote him a letter describing my overmedicated symptoms. Because I didn't have hand tremor he dissed all my symptoms. To save my life, I had daily heart pounding episodes, I cut my dose in half until I found a doctor who would listen to me.

I actually found a chart online which states the most common symptoms of overmedication. It gave percentages. Hand tremor occurs in 32 to 97 percent of patients. That means I may or may not have it.

According to that chart here are the most reported symptoms of Thyrotoxicosis or being overmedicated in order of frequency:

Nervousness, 35 - 99%

Increased Sweating, 45 - 95%

Heat Intolerance, 22 - 92%

Palpitations, 22 - 89%

Fatigue, 27 - 88%

Weakness, 27 - 88%

Weight Loss, 50 - 85%

Dyspnea, 41 - 81%

Increased Appetite, 41 - 81%

Hyperdefecation, 4 - 36%

Clinical Signs:

Tachycardia >90, 50 -100%

Thyorid Enlargement, 37 - 100%

Tremor (usually refers to hand as doctor asks patient to hold out their hands), 32 - 97%

Lid Retraction, 34 - 80%

Hyperactivity, 39 - 80%

Atrial Fibrillation, 3 - 38%

I had every symptom except hand tremor. That was one dumb Endo. I've got a smart one now.


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