Disappearing eyebrows while on levothyroxine

A few months ago I noticed that my eyebrows were disappearing and that my eyelashes were getting much shorter. Over time my eyebrows have almost completely disappeared apart from a few wiry ‘Dennis Healey’ hairs.

The most common cause seems to be under active thyroid – however I’ve been on levothyroxine for almost 30 years since my daughter was born. My dose has been 112.5mcg a day for a number of years (100mcg one day and 125mcg the next).

I think I was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism but it was so long ago I can’t remember. However I have 3 other autoimmune conditions including vitiligo and Pernicious Anaemia.

I went through the menopause about 10 years ago but still get hot flushes.

I asked the nurse giving me my B12 jab about the eyebrows and she immediately booked me in for blood tests. I was told on the phone that most were normal but my thyroid results were ‘satisfactory’. When I queried that she said they were ‘good for you’.

Another nurse suggested I had a phone consultation with a Doctor who said basically the same thing but to come in if I felt I needed to. I’m very reluctant to do so as I have a new Doctor and have had such a lot of trouble in the past getting things diagnosed and treated properly. (It was about 13 years after a borderline B12 blood test that I was diagnosed with PA.)

So I asked a third nurse for my test results. She very reluctantly agreed to print just the thyroid results and gave me a lecture on using the internet.

These are the results:

Serum TSH level – 0.24 mlU/L (range 0.30 – 3.94 mlU/L)

With a note: On T4, adequate replacement

Serum free T4 level – 17.6 pmol/L (range 12.30 -20.20pmol/L)

I was surprised that these appear to be the only thyroid levels tested.

I don’t know what to do so any suggestions would be welcome. Should I insist on further tests? I’ve not felt well for years but get the response that the tests are OK and am made to feel they think I’m a hypochondriac. The disappearing eyebrows are a visible sign for once.

7 Replies

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  • Adequate is not the same as optimal, and it's optimal we want. I would imagine that you aren't converting well. But, you would need your FT4 and FT3 tested at the same time to know that.

    Your nurse is breaking the law! You have a legal right to have copies of your blood test results - all of them! - under the 1998 Data Protection Act. So, if I were you, I would go back to her and tell her you want the rest, and she can't refuse. You need to know exactly what was tested, and exactly what the results were.

    If you have PA, you're entitled to B12 shots for life on the NHS.

  • Ha! The Internet, root of all Evil! BEWARE! *insert eye roll here*

    Are you able to pay for thyroid tests on Blue Horizon? You'd also see if you have raised antibodies as well as the values for TSH, T4 and T3, which would be very useful.

    But of course remember, that would mean taking your health into your own hands and who knows where that might lead, with The Internet, and all that. :D I think getting one's own tests and results is totally liberating and gives you far more control over what direction you go next, instead of having to rely on snarky doctors and nurses! So if you possibly can scrape together the funds, do consider it.

  • Im also having problems with my meds not sure if im to high or to low was on 75 for 11 years now on 88mg of lavo my hair falls out as it never stopped since being on the medication fatigueand more i still have

  • After 11 years on thyroid hormones and on an optimum of hormone replacements you should have a normal, healthy, life with no clinical symptoms.

    One doctor said that we are given too low a dose nowadays to keep the TSH in range when before, when only NDT was available and no blood tests, the doses were between 200 and 400.

    web.archive.org/web/2010103...

    web.archive.org/web/2010103...

  • AuroraBz,

    Although loss of eyebrows and eyelashes can be due to hypothyroidism your TSH and FT4 indicate you are optimally medicated.

    Other reasons for hair loss can be low iron and low zinc.

    If you've not felt well for years it would be a good idea to ask for ferritin, vitamin D and zinc to be tested. I assume folate is periodically checked as you have B12 injections.

  • Castor oil is excellent for making eyelashes and eyebrows grow. Use a clean old mascara brush to put on. It works. Good luck

  • It really is a pity they haven't done a Free T3. You have clinical symptoms and you should be symptom free on an optimum dose. I'll give you a link and you can tell the Nurse you are a member of the NHS Choices group for information on the thyroid gland. Healthunlocked Thyroiduk.org.uk. Then ask for the FT3 to be checked :) of course they probably wont because if the TSH is in range they test nothing else. Read the following about FT3.

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

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