Can anyone help me with hair loss? : The picture... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

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Can anyone help me with hair loss? 

Smv95 profile image

The picture is from a hair wash this morning. It comes out in little clumps each time I rinse my hair. I have hypothyroidism and had my thyroid out 8 years ago. I take thyroxine 150mcg and have blood tests every 6 months to check my levels. I've been given ferrous sulphate 200mg and take this every day as my doctor told me I'm low in iron, and iron will help but I've now taken this since summer with no improvement. What else can I do!? I work within the hair and beauty industry and it makes me so conscious. I used to have such a full head of hair!!!

(I'm sorry for the grim photo but I thought it was best to post for reference)

27 Replies

We could make informed comments if you posted recent thyroid blood test results and vitamin test results.

Smv95 profile image
Smv95 in reply to Lalatoot

Past TSH results

TSH results
Smv95 profile image
Smv95 in reply to Smv95

T4 results

T4 results

I have had a full blood count and other tests but there's so many results, which one would you like?

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Smv95

How long have you been on ferrous fumerate

GP should be retesting every 2-3 months

When were vitamin D, folate and B12 last tested

Are you currently taking any supplements apart from iron?

Smv95 profile image
Smv95 in reply to SlowDragon

Since June time, I was told to purchase my own so got 200mg ferrous sulphate. I get tested 4 monthly for my thyroid. Folate was 6.4 ug/L B12 was 401 ng/L and vitamin D was 57.9 nmol/L in September, hope that all makes sense I was told to take multivitamins but I haven't quite frankly

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Smv95

What’s the ranges on the folate and B12 results

If in U.K. vitamin D is measured in nmol

Multivitamins are never recommended on here

Usually cheap poorly absorbed ingredients, too little of what we do need and most contain iodine not recommended for anyone on levothyroxine unless tested and found deficient. Levothyroxine contains all iodine likely to need unless vegan

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator

Welcome to the forum

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4 and FT3 plus both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested.

Very important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 at least once year minimum

Low vitamin levels are extremely common, especially with autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s or Ord’s thyroiditis)

Autoimmune thyroid disease with goitre is Hashimoto’s

Autoimmune thyroid disease without goitre is Ord’s thyroiditis. Both are autoimmune and generally called Hashimoto’s.

In U.K. medics never call it Hashimoto’s, just autoimmune thyroid disease (and they usually ignore the autoimmune aspect)

Recommended on here that all thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and before eating or drinking anything other than water and last dose levothyroxine 24 hours before test

This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip)

Private tests are available as NHS currently rarely tests Ft3 or all relevant vitamins

List of private testing options

thyroiduk.org/getting-a-dia...

Medichecks Thyroid plus antibodies and vitamins

medichecks.com/products/adv...

Blue Horizon Thyroid Premium Gold includes antibodies, cortisol and vitamins by DIY fingerprick test

bluehorizonbloodtests.co.uk...

If you can get GP to test vitamins and antibodies then cheapest option for just TSH, FT4 and FT3

£29 (via NHS private service ) and 10% off down to £26.10 if go on thyroid uk for code

thyroiduk.org/getting-a-dia...

monitormyhealth.org.uk/

NHS easy postal kit vitamin D test £29 via

vitamindtest.org.uk

If TPO or TG thyroid antibodies are high this is usually due to Hashimoto’s (commonly known in UK as autoimmune thyroid disease). Ord’s is autoimmune without goitre.

About 90% of all primary hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto’s. Low vitamin levels are particularly common with Hashimoto’s.

Gluten intolerance is often a hidden issue too. Request coeliac blood test BEFORE considering trial on strictly gluten free diet

Link about thyroid blood tests

thyroiduk.org/getting-a-dia...

Link about Hashimoto’s

thyroiduk.org/hypothyroid-b...

List of hypothyroid symptoms

thyroiduk.org/if-you-are-un...

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator

Smv95

Vitamin deficiencies that can lead to hair loss:

hubpages.com/health/16-Vita...

Do you take your iron with Vit C and 4 hours away from thyroid meds, 2 hours away from other meds and supplements?

Smv95 profile image
Smv95 in reply to SeasideSusie

I take it at night with water, and with Sertraline 50mg and my contraceptive pill. I try and take another at lunchtime with food as I was advised to try and take a couple

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Smv95

It's difficult to juggle times when taking more than one iron tablet; however, it affects absorption of other meds so really should be 2 hours away from those you've mentioned.

Smv95 profile image
Smv95 in reply to SeasideSusie

Okay, is iron better off taken with food? I could space it out if I took the iron with my meals?

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Smv95

Everything I've read says that iron tablets are better absorbed without food, but if you get gastric discomfort then it's OK to take with food but may not be as well absorbed.

Smv95 profile image
Smv95 in reply to SeasideSusie

No use then! I'm always eating and the morning time I take my thyroxine and before I sleep I take my antidepressant and contraceptive lol

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Smv95

But you can take them with food as I've said.

Hi

How long have you had hair loss, hair loss has been associated with Sertraline. In fact many antidepressants can cause it, as can many other medications, some women find hormonal birth control can cause increased hair loss. I was taking Trazodone years ago, I noticed more hair coming out when I brushed or washed my hair.

Now I'm very anal lol and always read the side effects of any medication before using it and no where was hair loss mentioned but I saw lots of stories online about trazodone and hair loss to the point where legal action was being started in the US against the drug company because they hadn't stated on the info leaflet that hair loss was a possible side effect.

They've now been forced to state that it is a risk. I stopped using it and the hair loss stopped. Hair loss is difficult to get to the bottom of, as there are so many things that can cause it. Stress, illness, thyroid,menopause, hormones, genetics. But my point is there are numerous medications as well.

Sertraline I started taking November 2020. I've always lost hair since my thyroid, but it seems more now. It could well be the antidepressant, but I rely on it! But thats definitely an interesting point

Hi

There are lots of other antidepressants around that don't cause hair loss, might be worth chatting with your GP and see if there's an alternative.

Yes definitely worth a try, thank you

Hello Smv and welcome to the forum :

So do you have any results and ranges there for Free T3 and ferritin ?

So you have had a thyroidectomy and being dosed on monotherapy with T4- Levothyroxine.

A fully functioning working thyroid would be supporting you daily with trace elements of T1, T2 and calcitonin plus a measure of T3 at around 10 mcg plus a measure of T4 at around 100 mcg.

T4 - Levothyroxine is a storage hormone and inert and needs to be converted by your body into T3 which is the active hormone that the body runs on, and said to be about 4 times more powerful than T4 with the average person needing to make/convert around 50 T3 daily just to function.

Your ability to convert the T4 into T3 can be compromised by low vitamins and minerals, especially those of ferritin, folate, B12 and vitamin D.

Conversion can also be compromised by inflammation, any physiological stress ( emotional or physical ) dieting, depression and ageing so whilst we can't turn back the clock we can take back some control of some aspects of your health and well being.

Some people can get by on T4 only, some people findT4 at some point in time seems to stop being as effective as it was once was and need to replace the T3 their own thyroid would have given them and take a T3/T4 combo, other people can't tolerate T4 and take T3 - Liothyronine only whilst other people feel at their best on Natural Desiccated Thyroid which is made from pig thyroid dried and ground down into tablets referred to as grains, and contains all the same known hormones as that of the human gland.

In order to establish if your body is utilising the T4 well we need to see a T3 and T4 result, from the same blood draw and ideally these two essential hormones should be balanced in the ranges at around a 1/4 ratio T3/T4.

The thyroid is a major gland responsible for full body synchronisation including your physical, mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual well being, your inner central heating system and your metabolism.

If you go into the Thyroid UK website who are the charity who support this forum you will find a list of symptoms of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism and they are both the extreme ends of the T3 range and it is where your T3 level is within the range that gives you your wellness.

Once on any form of thyroid hormone replacement, and especially since your haven't a thyroid you must be dosed and monitored on your T3 and T4 levels and a TSH is of little value.

Your TSH and T4 are said to be "abnormal " - this is a silly expression as there is no normal but a range, and it's where you feel well within the range that matters.

Your TSH is under the range and your T4 is over the range but you might need T4 over range if it gives you a good level of T3 - do we have this result please ?

It is not normal not to have a thyroid and the computer doesn't know your medical history and it's dogma irrelevant.

It is known that low vitamins and minerals can be a cause of hair loss and I think once you are optimally medicated, in both vitamins and minerals and likely on full thyroid hormone replacement, your whole body will benefit and your health better restored, including your hair.

Smv95 profile image
Smv95 in reply to pennyannie

Being optimally medicated, seems to be my issue. I have had a LOT of stress coming up to 5 years, so this all could be related too. It just all affects my confidence and vice versa, its so hard not to be stressed! HahaI can't seem to find my T3 result but all of my tests seem to be from September. I think I may use the link that someone else posted and get it all tested myself and then see where I stand!

pennyannie profile image
pennyannie in reply to Smv95

No worries :

Yes, I'm afraid we do need to some extra analysis and with a full thyroid panel to include your TSH, T3, T4 and antibodies plus inflammation, ferritin, folate, B12 and vitamin D we will be better able to see what is going on and what you can do to help yourself.

If your doctor can't help you there are companies on the Thyroid UK website who can, some even offer a nurse home visit to take the blood for you.

Arrange an early as possible morning blood test, fast overnight, jut taking in water, and do not take your daily T4- Levothyroxine until after the blood test.

If taking any supplements containing biotin, leave these off for around 7 days prior to the blood test as the biotin can interfere with the laboratory assays used, and if not sure, just stop all supplements for the week, so we can see exactly what your body is holding onto.

When with the results and ranges simply start a new post with the results and ranges and forum members will be able to read and explain anything that looks amiss and your next best steps back to better health.

It's where we all start off and how you will start to improve your health and well being.

Was there a ferritin level is those last results ?

This was my issue and everywhere I read in my research before I found this amazing forum suggested ferritin needed to be over 70 for any thyroid hormone to work effectively and I now find I feel at my best at around 100 :

Smv95 profile image
Smv95 in reply to pennyannie

Thanks so much for this. I have so much stress in my life with trying to sell my house I do worry this is also an issue! I will certainly get these tests done and start there, I've not felt right for 12 years quite frankly since having a goitre.My serum ferritin in November was 26 ug/L

pennyannie profile image
pennyannie in reply to Smv95

Snap -

I too was in the 20's at around 22/23 :

Both of us sitting in the bottom of the range, when we need to be sitting at at least over 70: It took me a good year building up and once I reached over the mid 40's I did start feeling stronger and less " flaky " - and threw away the antidepressants

I've just looked up at the other replies and see you've been given advice on the vitamins and minerals :

I now aim for a ferritin of 100 : folate at around 20 : serum B12 500++ and vitamin D at around 100 :

So what we really need is a T3 and T4 reading taken from the same blood.

Monitor My Health is, I believe a recommended NHS laboratory and a fast, and cheapest route to get this missing piece of the puzzle, and SDragon has given the link.

It is very common when hypothyroid to have low stomach acid and no matter how well you may eat your body isn't able to break down the nutrients in your food to keep you strong and well, as you are not metabolising and repairing your body on a daily basis as core strength vitamins and minerals are being used up.

Many of us, once optimal through supplementing, than have to continue with ferritin, folate, B12 and vitamin D on maintenance doses for likely forever .

There are lots of different kinds of iron supplement. They contain differing amounts of iron, and the dosages vary tremendously as well.

Several of them are described in this post I wrote for another member. You may find it of interest :

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

I took maximum dose of ferrous fumarate for nearly two years, but during that time I was testing regularly to be sure that a) my level was rising, which it did very slowly, and b) to check whether I'd got my level of ferritin to mid-range, and that my serum iron was not going too high as well.

If your doctor is not testing you regularly while you are on iron supplements he is not doing his job properly. Iron / ferritin is poisonous in overdose, so care should be taken to make sure levels don't go too high, and regular testing is essential.

Many of us on this forum with nutrient deficiencies, including iron, find that we might get our results to optimal, stop taking supplements, then are shocked to find that levels have dropped dramatically soon after. So taking a maintenance dose is often required, and it can take a while to find the dose of supplements that keeps us optimal.

From your results you look overmedicated as your FT4 is 25.3 (ref 12-22) and your TSH is 0.02. Are you on suppression therapy for thyroid cancer? Too much thyroid hormone isn't good for your hair.

Smv95 profile image
Smv95 in reply to annabianca

Yes at the time I was on 175mcg and I was advised to drop the 25mcg so am now on 150mcg. No, I've not had thyroid cancer. Just was diagnosed young with a goitre at 15 and had a thyroidectomy at 18

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