Thyroid UK
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Hair loss with Levothyroxine

I posted a couple of weeks ago and had very supportive replies about my hair loss since taking Levothyroxine. I would appreciate it if you could look at my blood test results. My trichologist says they are normal and my only course of action is Minoxidil but, before I commit to that (for the rest of my life!), I thought I would try ferritin and zinc supplements to see if they would make any difference. What dosages should I take? Any other ideas?

TSH level 2.81

Zinc 10.5

B12 567ng

Folate 12.5ug

Ferritin 62ug

Vit D 76nmol

Thanks everyone.

4 Replies

SusanLaR Have you got the range for Ferritin, Folate and Zinc please? It's not possible to be completely sure about those but the others:

TSH is too high. You appear to be under medicated. The aim of a treated hypo patient is for TSH to be 1 or below with FT4 and FT3 in the upper part of their respective reference ranges. No FT4 and FT3 done?

Vit D recommended level is 100-150nmol/L so you need to nudge yours up a bit. 5000iu D3 daily throughout the winter should do it, re-test in the Spring and if you've reached the recommended level reduce to a maintenance dose of 2000iu daily, re-testing once or twice a year.

When taking Vit D we also need it's important co-factors K2-MK7 and magnesium. Vit D aids absorption of calcium from food and K2 directs the calcium to bones and teeth rather than arteries and soft tissues.

D3 and K2 are fat soluble so should be taken with the fattiest meal of the day.

Magnesium comes in different forms, check here to see which would suit you best and take in the evening as it is calming

B12 is recommended to be top of it's range, even 900-1000. You might want to nudge yours up to that level by taking Solgar or Jarrows sublingual methylcobalamin lozenges 1000mcg daily. When taking B12 we also need a B Complex to balance the B vits, one with methylfolate is preferable to one with folic acid. B vits are best taken in the morning, no later than lunchtime, as they can be stimulating.

Folate should be at least half way through it's range.

Ferritin needs to be half way through it's range with a minimum of 70 for thyroid hormone to work properly, and I've seen it said 100-130 for females.

Don't start all supplements at the same time. Introduce one at a time so you can identify what causes any adverse reactions should they happen.


Thank you so much for replying so I quickly and for all the information. Do you think it's worthwhile trying the supplement path before committing to the minoxidil?

The ranges are:

Folate 3.1 - 20.5

Ferritin 10 - 204

Zinc 11.0 - 19.0

I'll ask my GP about F3 / F4 testing but I don't think it's done here. She told me she knew nothing about NDT so probably will not be interested.

Thanks again



Folate is just over half way through it's range so that's good.

Half way through the range for ferritin is 107 so yours needs to increase. Are you supplementing, if so what and are you taking it with Vit C to aid absorption? (Also, if taking iron, are you taking it 4 hours away from your Levo?) With your level at 62, it should be possible to increase your ferritin quite well by eating liver once a week. This is what I have done as I can't tolerate iron supplements and I've gone from less than 50 to 90 in just a few months. As low ferritin can be a cause of hair loss I would try and get this up ASAP.

Your zinc is under range. Googling zinc deficiency has thrown up something interesting. Low levels of zinc can be associated with hair thinning. From

"5. Thinning hair

A common complaint of people battling adrenal fatigue, zinc deficiency is associated with hypothyroidism, an overlooked cause of thinning hair and alopecia. (11) According to Indian researchers, thyroid hormones are essential for zinc absorption. Subsequently, hypothyroidism-caused hair loss may not improve"

And from

"Hair loss and skin lesions: Zinc is important for normal cell growth. Zinc nutrition deficiency weakens the cells, which can result in hair loss in case of cells on the scalp and lesions on the skin. This is one of the prominent signs of zinc deficiency."

This site is very interesting and worth reading through, note the reference to vitamins A and D

and it goes on to talk about how it is important not to have to much or too little.

Particularly with the information about zinc in mind, I personally would be looking into supplementation before considering minoxidil. Also, an increase in your Levo to get that TSH down. If your GP won't do FT4 and FT3 tests then I'd suggest you do them with a private fingerprick test from Blue Horizon. You can get a basic one that tests just TSH, FT4 and FT3, or you can add in both types of antibodies too which is always useful unless you've already been tested positive for them:

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Personally I wouldn't go down the road of taking Minoxodil.As you say it would be for the rest of your life, (and expensive!)and it may not even work all that well, but if you then stop it it could make things worse.

Bear in mind that it can take a long time for your hair to improve, even if you are on the correct dose. I know how upsetting it can be,I have been through it myself after my thyroid was removed,and I lost half my hair.

It took a long time to improve, but it was nowhere near as thick as before.

Las year it went really thin again, possibly because I was taking multi vitamins with iodine, but can't be certain.

It's now been over a year since I stopped them,my hair has started growing a little again,I am hoping it will improve, but I have had my T3 taken away for now,so am dreading it getting bad again. I think with all the other bad symptoms, this is the one thing that upsets me the most.


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