Sudden and rapid hair loss: Hi everyone ~ I'm new... - Thyroid UK

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Sudden and rapid hair loss

SageCat profile image

Hi everyone ~ I'm new here and am hoping for some advice. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism back in 2008 and after a couple of tries at getting the drug level right my GP put me on 125mgs of Thyroxine daily. I have regular blood tests to make sure that the dosage is still the right one for me and everything has been fine up until a couple of months ago when I began to notice that more of my hair was being left in my comb than was normal for me. Since then, it has accelerated alarmingly to the point that every single comb through of my hair is producing more and more shed hair. Washing my hair is a nightmare that I am dreading more and more with each passing week. I am losing so much volume which I can't afford to lose as my hair even prior to this has always been very fine, but fine hair is not the same as what I am experiencing now. My question is this ~ can severe hair loss happen even if one is on the right dosage of Levothyroxine as my GP assures me that I am?

25 Replies

I lost hair constantly when underactive but was fine and back to normal when dose corrected. However another possibility of course is that many women can lose up to a third of their hair with age. Sad but true . .mine started thinning a few years ago . .just constant so have to brush out every day twice a day to avoid having to pick hair off my clothing! Of course you may be a young person and none if this apply in which case it's something else.

SageCat profile image
SageCat in reply to Catseyes235

Oh how I wish I were a young person, but alas I am not! I'm 63, but please don't tell everybody!!

Catseyes235 profile image
Catseyes235 in reply to SageCat

Well I can beat you on the age score! Just have to put it down to what the medical profession say is 'wear and tear' and .the natural consequence of .aging especially if your on optimum thyroid replacement and eating a good diet.

Catseyes235 profile image
Catseyes235 in reply to SageCat

Forgot to say I'm on 150 mcg even though my blood tests suggest I'm on too much thyroxine . .but doc agrees that as long as I'm fine and no symptoms of being hyper the don't worry. A good doctor will always look at the symptoms not just bloods.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator

Presumably you mean Hypo (not hyper)

Low vitamin levels are extremely common especially if you have autoimmune thyroid disease (also called Hashimoto's)

Have you had thyroid antibodies tested, if post results

What about vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12. Post results and ranges if you have them, ask agP to test if not been done

Ferritin is often culprit with hair loss.

Also what are your Thyroid results, often what GP thinnks is adequate replacement, leaves us hypo due to under medication

Ideally you will have a TSH, FT4 and FT3

If you can't get full thyroid and vitamin testing from GP

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

Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw or

All thyroid tests should be done as early as possible in morning and fasting and don't take Levo in the 24 hours prior to test, delay and take straight after. This gives highest TSH and most consistent results

SageCat profile image
SageCat in reply to SlowDragon

Thanks for taking the time to reply SlowDragon. I had a blood test last week to check iron levels, and that was apparently normal. The one thing that it did show was that the thyroid stimulator (what is that??) result was just on the high side, but nothing that would warrant upping my levo. I am taking extra Vit D and have just started Evening Primrose Oil capsules. I have no idea what TSH, FT4 AND FT3 are. Can I ask my GP for these levels? Maybe I'll just go ahead and go through the Medichecks Thyroid thingey. What are the thyroid antibodies? I've never heard my GP mention any of this stuff!! This is showing me that I need to maybe be a bit more aggressive with my GP and not take what he tells me at face value. Anyway, thanks again for your detailed reply. Very informative and very useful.

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to SageCat

Excellent video series - free this evening only to view

thethyroidsecret.com/specia...

Home website of this support group

thyroiduk.org/tuk/about_the...

In answer to your exact question, without going into any further details, the answer is : yes.

However, it's a little more complicated than that. The point is, even if everything else is normal - i.e. your thyroid hormone replacement is optimal, your cortisol is optimal, your nutrients are optimal, etc. - during the time they weren't optimal, your hair started dying. It might not fall out immediately. But, it has to come out at some point, to leave room for new hair to grow, so, the dead hair will keep on falling out until it is all gone.

In my case, several months after my T3 was optimal, all my hair fell out in one go, in the shower one day. A terrible shock, as you can imagine. I was bald, with just a little fringe around the edges. I shoved on a woolly hat and went to the doctor's that afternoon, whipped off my hat in a dramatic gesture, and the moron said... perfectly normal at your age! I nearly strangled him! I said there are women out there in your waiting room older than me and none of them are wearing woolly hats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, long story short, it did start growing back again, after a few weeks. And it was thin for quite a while - this was in 2014 - but now it's not too bad at all. Like you, I've never had thick hair - except when I was pregnant. But, I do have to be careful with my iron. Have to keep ferritin levels up.

There are so many reasons for hair-loss, it can be difficult to find what exactly is causing it. You have to make sure everything is optimal for you, not just in-range. What's more, it could be the levo itself that is causing it, because it can cause high levels of the bad testosterone - I forget the name. So, you can try taking Evening Primrose Oil and Borage Oil, to counteract that.

It's difficult and up-setting, I know. But, if you keep researching, and trying things, I'm sure you'll find the answer that's right for you. :)

bluebug profile image
bluebug in reply to greygoose

One important thing to add is that hair loss in women is not that rare, and as such there are many scam products around that claim to stop hair loss and encourage growth.

If you see a product and you aren't sure whether it is a scam, it is better to start a thread on this forum about the product is as someone will either have used it, will know it is a dodgy product doing the rounds or will know/find information about the product you have missed.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to bluebug

I would never recommend that someone puts their faith in products that you put on your hair. Good hair health comes from the inside, not the outside.

bluebug profile image
bluebug in reply to greygoose

I know you wouldn't.

Unfortunately on this forum some posters see such products and try them when they are useless.

SageCat profile image
SageCat in reply to bluebug

Thanks bluebug. That's very useful to know. There are only two products that I have bought at the moment. The first one is a shampoo with a matching conditioner which claims to be a DHT blocker, which I believe can be a cause of hair loss. The other one is a Revlon product which I found on Amazon called (imaginatively!) 'Pro You Anti-Hair Loss Treatment', which contains rosemary and hops. I also thought about making an infusion of Nettle and Peppermint tea bags and using that as well. The problem is that I'm panicking now and even though I know that nothing will give me immediate results, I feel that I have to be trying everything out there, which is probably the worst thing I could be doing!

foxglove profile image
foxglove in reply to greygoose

A bit off topic, but would you be kind enough to tell me how you keep ferritin levels up? Thanks

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to foxglove

Iron tablets. That's all. I know that doesn't work for everyone, but it does for me.

foxglove profile image
foxglove in reply to greygoose

Thanks - will try

SageCat profile image
SageCat in reply to greygoose

Thank you greygoose. I keep expecting to find all of my hair, what's left of it, on the pillow or in the shower tray one day soon and I'm not sure how I would deal with that. I'm 63, so my GP would probably come back with the age thing ~ and then I would have to hit him!! I think the bad testosterone thingey is DHT, and I am currently using a DHT blocker shampoo, and am on my fourth use of it. I've also today started Evening Primrose Oil capsules. My iron levels are normal according to last week's blood test. I have an appointment to see a trichologist on Thursday to see if he can hopefully come up with a diagnosis. I know that hair loss in women is a minefield, but it's so very distressing and at the moment I'm just floundering around in the dark. I'll keep up my research! Thanks again.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to SageCat

You're welcome. :)

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator

See your GP to exclude that it is not an autoimmune disease called Alopecia Areata.

bluebug profile image
bluebug in reply to shaws

That's if the GP cares.

Unfortunately many GPs do not care that your hair is falling out or even if you are bald, and that it is a sign of some not being right.

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to bluebug

I am just listening at the moment to the Thyroid Pharmacists' videos and one point that came up is that we can get more autoimmune conditions if we have one. I would ask everyone to watch this video. I am only up to Episode 2 and it has been an eye-opener so far.

thethyroidsecret.com/specia...

Kentishtown profile image
Kentishtown in reply to shaws

Just to say I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism 9 months after giving birth to my 1St born only to then be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 2 and a half years later 5 weeks after I had my 2nd RA is in my family but both are autoimmune diseases

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to Kentishtown

I am sorry you have both, particularly rheumatoid arthritis as I know how disabling it can be. I do hope you have good Specialists looking after you.

Kentishtown profile image
Kentishtown in reply to shaws

Not really You are Just left to get on with both Fingers crossed I am on some biological infusions for the RA which seem to be working somewhat at the minute But I have never felt free from tiredness and brain fog since I got the thyroid disease and the RA just makes it worse

shaws profile image
shawsAdministrator in reply to Kentishtown

I am hypo and have P.A. also. So the fact seems to be if we have one we may get more than 1. I don't want any more.

SageCat profile image
SageCat in reply to shaws

Thank you shaws. Funnily enough I came across this autoimmune disease yesterday on one of my research sessions! I shall ask him.

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