Does hair grow back when your thyroid Leveled out?

Discussion in 'Thyroid' started by Juliedoll, May 14, 2009.

  1. Juliedoll

    Juliedoll New Member

    Hi,
    This is my first post. I have been slowly losing hair all over, a lot on my sides/temples. I thought is was my age. Just 40.
    A random CBC showed my TSH was 5.6. Slightly high.
    Went to my PCP (could only see a P.A.) and she said "You are Hypo-thyroid, take this (Generic Synthroid" you'll feel better and hair will grow back." She NEVER checked my Free T3 and Free T4, My hormone levels.... She wrote me for .088 mcg of Levothyroxine. I got a terrible Headache and racing heart, beet red face. I could deal with that. But then I started swelling up, Sinuses swelled up, wheezing. I went in the next day and she had to give me steroids to calm the allergic reaction. I get more tests done tomorrow. 5/16/09 (Free t3 and t4,FSH,re-do of the Tsh.)
    I am losing my hair so bad, that my vacuum cleaner got clogged! All I want is to get leveled out on the proper medication and KNOW that my hair will grow back! I think about it all the time.
    I'm a single Mom of 2 kids and I wonder who will date me if I lose all my hair!:confused: AND the side effects of Synthroid IS HAIR LOSS!:mad: You can't win! I'm going to ask for Armour or another combo T3/T4 med.
    Does anyone know if you hair grows back once you are leveled out on the correct thyroid dose and your body had "normalized"?
    I know there are way worse problems. I do. I AM being vain. But I am shedding EVERYWHERE! I hate to see it in the shower, in my brush. I wonder if you just ALWAYS have very very thin hair forever, no matter what you do?
    I will take the medicine, because low thyroid makes you tired, bleed abnormally,cranky, puffy eyes and face and tons more.
    Wonderful for dating, huh?
    Anyone know if your hair grows back when you are leveled out?
    I'm SO glad there is a support group though! It's a lonely thing to have!;)
    Angela likes this.
  2. Georgene

    Georgene New Member

    Hi Juliedoll,
    I am brand new to this forum and I must say your words are as if I were speaking them. Only difference is I am a newby to thyroid and just started Armor thyroid and am feeling fine. I just wonder if once my hormones and thyroid are on track, will my hair grow back. I had long curly thick hair and over the past year I have lost about half of it. The ends are so scragly that I am tempted to cut my hair short. I too am looking or answers here. I will post as I go through my journey, but would greatly appreciate if others who have lived this can give me/us some words of wisdom.
  3. Women's Hair Loss Project

    Women's Hair Loss Project Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome, You Are Not Alone

    Hi Juliedoll -

    I wanna start off by saying I'm so sorry you are going through this, I know how emotionally devastating this disorder is, and it pains me to that that everyday another woman will wake up to find she is now faced with something she never would have imagined could happen. Secondly, I just want you to know that I'm not a doctor, I am a 31 year old, 10 year hair loss veteran :) Everything I write is really just my opinion and what I have read and experienced over the years.

    The short answer to your question is, Yes. Yes in some cases when a low thyroid is the precipitating factor to hair loss, rectifying it will restore balance and the hair loss can cease and hair can grow back. I think most doctors will tell you that. Here is a link to a "Thyroid Hair loss Success Story"

    I said it was the short answer because thyroid and hair loss is a really tricky thing. As you found, one of the side effects of Synthroid can be hair loss. What the heck right? I also use 88mcg of Synthroid and have my own thyroid story which is quite long. But my hair loss started long before I took the Synthroid and I also know it wasn't related to a thyroid disorder. My hair loss and onset of androgenetic alopecia was actually triggered by the use of the birth control pill Loestrin FE, or as I like to call it, the "devil pill."

    Clearly Synthroid does not agree with you, and I don't think that is uncommon at all. I think you need to consult with and educated specialist in thyroid issues. After feeling REALLY frustrated with my thyroid doctor I decided to have an over the phone consultation with Richard Shames, MD. I felt he was very caring and *listened* to what I was saying. When I made the appointment, I had to fill out some forms and fax it all back with my thyroid test results from my existing doctor, so he had all the info in front of him when we talked and I was able to address a lot of my concerns. So if you find you can't get any answers from the doctors you see, that may be something to consider. You do have to pay it out-of-pocket though. Here is his website:

    http://www.thyroidpower.com/

    Did you have other hormone related tests done, other than thyroid? Typically those come back "within normal range" but it is still a good idea to have them done, just to leave no stone unturned. Thyroid may be the cause of your hair loss but the possibility does exist that it could be caused by something else as well.

    Here are some links that may be of help:

    Synthroid and Hair Loss - Low Thyroid Medication Friend or Foe?

    The Number 38, Why Does It Make Me So Happy?


    Test Your Hormones When You Want - The Canary Club

    Don't feel bad about feeling bad about your situation. You are not being vain, I mean, geez louise this is OUR HAIR. And while logically we can understand that hair loss isn't on the same level as many other disorders and illness, it doesn't really lessen the gravity and impact it *can* have on our lives... after living with it for so long, I like to rephrase that sentence to "gravity and impact we *ALLOW IT* to have on our lives" I feel I have *allowed* my hair loss to get the better of me. I hid through my entire 20's because I was sad and embarrassed and worried about the future. And for what? 20s came and went, time I'll never get back. In my situation my hair loss will continue to be progressive and it is up to me to set my mind straight and make a choice to not let it consume me... My next trick after that will be to walk on water :D

    I have heard from several women who have had cancer and they said that having hair loss was *worse* than having cancer. I know, it's a bold statement and our mouths might drop open, but that is how serious it is to many of us. You are definitely not alone in this.

    I saw the photos in your album and you are a beautiful woman with adorable children! I'm glad you found us. :>
  4. NoraBe

    NoraBe New Member

    yes

    just had to say that YES when your thyroid levels are normal your hair will grow back sometimes it takes 3 months but it WILL grow back...

    when my thyroid was off it all grew back after the meds kicked in...

    my hair is now falling out due to the "mini Pill" birth control was on it for a year & it's been falling out for 8 months trying to find answers
  5. AGWilson

    AGWilson New Member

    I have been told my thyroid function is marginal (in the normal range, but on the low end of it). I have high TPO, which means antibodies are attacking my thyroid and slowly destroying it (autoimmune disorder). Has anyone else here had a thyroid that is barely low, but the hair loss is extreme? I've lost 50% of my hair (diffuse thinning) in the last 6 months and have never had this problem before. I really don't know if this is the cause of my hair problem. I'm 40 and most likely starting perimenopause. I've seen a dermatologist, gynecologist, endocrinologist, and now a gastroenterologist (I have a lot of gut issues). I'm afraid of hormone therapy as my mom developed uterine cancer after taking estrogen and my aunt died of cancer after taking high-dose birth control back in the '60s. Any advice?
  6. ltbrn312

    ltbrn312 New Member

    Hello. I am in the same boat; however, I have high anti-thyroglobulin antibodies, a thyroid ultrasound that confirmed Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a low marginal free T4 (0.85), & normal TSH (0.79). I have terrible symptoms of hair loss (50% loss) nail changes, various skin rashes, GI symptoms, fatigue, lethargy, etc.. I have been to many doctors who won't treat me because my TSH is "normal". I am so frustrated I e-mailed Oprah today with my story and frustration.

    As far as advice, I would caution taking high dose vitamins. Taking high dose vitamins actually made my hair loss worse and I became B6 toxic and selenium toxic (the latter of which causes hair loss). I try to keep my supplements simple, I take Carlson's cod liver oil, liquid evening primrose oil (great supplement for hypothyroid), Vitamin D3 (my level was low normal), a probiotic & floramyces for my GI tract, hemp protein drink daily, I was on iron for a ferritin of 12 now I just take it during my period (my latest ferritin is 78). I have changed my diet drastically and eat 3 fresh fruits daily, raw vegetables daily, salad daily, lots of beans (kidney, black, etc.). I stopped all dairy and use hemp milk and rice milk (soy milk is not good for hypothyroid), I eat very little meat, and keep my diet as close to gluten free as possible. My hair is better than it was last year but not the same as it was before all my issues. My doctor said my thyroid will burn out eventually and until then she will not put me on thyroid meds. I will refuse synthroid and only take Armour or something similar. I don't know if this helps. I hope to find a doctor who will treat my symptoms and not my "numbers". If anyone knows of one in the Philadelphia region please post it. Thank you.
  7. kdwmw

    kdwmw New Member

    Hi Ladies,

    I have Hashimoto's with borderline labs, as well. I was diagnosed when I went to my pcp about my hairloss. That was June '08. Luckily, my endo agreed to treat me per symptoms, not just #'s. I started right away w/ a half grain Amour daily and had significant improvement in all my symptoms except hair loss:(. About 8 mos. later, the extreme fatigue returned & my hair shedding got worse. They added .25 mcg levoxyl to the Armour and later upped that to .375 mcg. I've been on that dose since this summer. At first I got a huge shed, but it seems to be slowing down. I read somewhere that even the fluctuations within the "normal" labs causes the problems. It's the inconsistency, not the number. That makes sense to me. And with Hashi's, our thyroid can have stops & starts during its decline. So, long story short, it seems that until my thyroid actually poops out for good, there is no way to stabilize & hopefully grow my hair back. SOOO frustrating.
  8. brneyez

    brneyez New Member

    I hate to be a buzz-kill, but I experienced no new hair growth after my thyroid got leveled out. I've been taking levothyroxine for about 22 years. When I was younger, I had (maybe not) the thickest hair in the world, but pretty substantial. After I started taking the thyroid medication, I noticed hair loss right away, but since I was so young I was embarrased and didn't do anything about it. Now, here I am, 33 years old with just a fraction of the hair I had before. I haven't gone in to see a dermatologist because honestly I don't know if it would do any good. I went in to a Hair Restoration company, which was a total waste of time and money. They prey on women like us to make money, with no chance of new hair growth. I've also tried evening primrose oil, and some other pills/solutions that did not work either. I use a product called Toppik now, which conceals the thin areas. I love it, and would not go a day without it!
  9. sister1

    sister1 New Member

    Juliedoll,

    My experience is slightly different but I totally relate to your feelings and I do not feel you are vain. Who would choose to watch their hair go down the drain. I HATE IT!!!For me, it is the worst part of being hypo. I feel like my hair has always been my best feature...so to loose it at 45 is nothing short of devastating, not to mention beinhg single. It's hard to find a good doc who is able to look at your hormones and your thyroid because the two are so related to hair loss. I found that my female hair hormones as well as t3 and t4 (10 th percentile) were incredibly low but with normal TSH. The doc says it takes about 4 months to see any new growth. I think that once all the hormones are leveled it is possible to have regrowth. I am not a doc, but I have read that if any of these hormones are low there will be hair loss. For me it also the progestrone that is low (almost 0). So I have a double whammy. I am willing to purchase hair until I get this figured out. I have had my share of absolutely rude and inconsiderate docs who basically have related that they have more important things to do. I think that is the part that makes me feel most alone, until I read stories from others on this forum. Hang in there!!!!!!
  10. depressedashell

    depressedashell New Member

    thyroid

    Wow I am so happy to have found this site I thought I was going through this alone! My hair started to slowly fall out about 7 years ago and all my doctors told me it was from having a baby. I had thick long beautiful black hair and now its about 75% gone I have dealt with family and friends telling me I'm crazy because they cant see it, thats only because I know how to hide it! its to the point now that I cant really hide it anymore and I dont know what to do with myself I'm only 28! They said I have an underactive thyroid and Pcos and they gave me levothroxine and that crap gave me nasty migraines and made the hair loss so much worse now I'm terrified to try anything else! The endo I saw told me all my problems will go away when I lose weight well why did the hair loss start when I was at my skinniest! My primary care doctor put me on xanax everyone is just trying to make me shut up about it but they dont understand what its like to be a 28 year old single woman going bald! well at least I'm not alone but I cant take much more of this!
  11. sister1

    sister1 New Member

    thyroid

    Depressedashell,

    I am glad you have found good support here! It's hard to find a good doctor that will listen to YOU! You are your best advocate. It's been my experience that even the endocrinologists are quick to want to tell you stress or it's something else. We all know that translates as they really don't know what to do with your symptoms. I had one endo tell me that I could stroke out on a small dose of Armour. That is outrageous! I was able to find this out with help from folks on another thyroid support group. They helped me to push my doc to do additional labs since I was still having hair loss. Your thyroid has everything to do with mood, sleep, anxiety not to mention hair loss.

    I don't know much about PCOS but I know that the hormones and thyroid are complex. I hope you can find a doc that specializes in your area. You are not alone!!

    Take care,

    Sister1
  12. oneofme

    oneofme New Member

    Been taking Levothyroxine for years.... hair loss accelerating....

    I have taken Levothyroxine for 30 years bc I have a very inactive thyroid.... I have my levels tested about once a year but am long overdue. About 3 years ago I noticed my usually overgrown, thick hair was going to the drain and falling out but I had so little that I didn't really care. (Also had stressful family situation which is getting better.)

    Suddenly I noticed burning, itchy scalp along w a much accelerated thinning hair. The hair has stopped coming out so much, thank goodness; probably due to the lessening of stress, and I have some peach fuzz coming in; so I may be getting better.

    BTW, if you order Nizoral shampoo through Amazon should your scalp be burning, it helps a lot.... it's not available right now at drug stores, but soon will be.....

    I also am using Triconium scalp treatment which makes my hair seem fuller.

    I'm going to have iron and D and thyroid lab tests done soon; hope dr. will consider Armour or Cytomel bc the Levothyroxine isn't doing anything for my chronically dry hair/skin/constipation which has been going on for years..... since my levels appear to be normal, I've just put up w it....

    Anyone have any good results w Cytomel or Armour?
  13. pinknprplflower

    pinknprplflower New Member

    thyroid

    I started noticing hair loss when I was 18 years old, it was never that bad at that time, but none the less bothersome. I went to a handful of different drs that told me I was fine, and wanted to try to inject hormones in my scalp and a slew of other unappealing things. I was not interested. The hair loss continued for years and it just got thinner and thinner. When I was about 23-24 years old I decided that I wanted off birth control, I was convinced and still am to this day, that was the contributor to my hair loss. I have been off the birth control for about 3 years and the hair loss has only taken a turn for the worse. For many years I was able to hide the hair loss and the thinning didnt bother me much. I went to a "natural" dr finally this past summer. The thinning has got so bad I cant hide it and its seriously depressing me to look in the mirror. My dr did some testing and dertermined my thyroid was low and my DHEA levels were way off. She has me taking thyroid and dhea in hopes to get my levels get back up. She ensured me my hair will grow back it will just take time. It has been about 3 months on the medications and I've just noticed increased thinning and NO regrowth. I am almost 27 now and I fear Ill be bald by the time im 30, so I got back in contact with my DR and she recommend I start taking some vitamins that support hair growth. I just started taking flaxseed oil, D3, selenium, and bioten. I know these things take time so I am going to give it till I am scheduled to see her again in 3 mths to retest my levels from july. I am hopeful that my hair will grow back soon, if not I will just have to rock a wig! I will keep you all posted on my thryroid/hairloss deal! oh and to the girl who said she was vain, you are def not vain, this is one of the hardest things I have had to deal with in my life, stay strong sister!
  14. oneofme

    oneofme New Member

    Thyroid and hair loss

    Hi, All,

    I have read the posts and it's so sad that thyroid issues are causing hair loss and that drs. don't understand or know how to treat an underactive thyroid. I have take Levothyroxine for years and complain to my doctor of 20 years periodically of dry hair, skin, constipation, high temp. of 97.1, cold hands, recurring UTI's, fatigue, low mood. Thinning hair has accelerated in the last few years due to stress and aging; the Nizoral shampoo has helped a lot in the burning/itching scalp category which just appeared a month or so ago.

    I have destressed some (it took a while for the stress to abate and THEN my hair loss accelerated!) but some peach fuzz is appearing and the Triconium spray does seem to make my hair seem fuller.

    I am frustrated bc I just had a "full panel" of thyroid tests done but the free t3 and t4 were not done; I was told on the phone that my levels are fine on the Levothyroxine I am taking. (Dr. has advised Rogaine for hair loss and lotion for dry skin.)

    I'm going to see my gynecologist and psychiatrist (I see him twice a year; I take the same low dose of antidepressants ((have for years)) to avoid recurring depressive episodes) and after these appts may seek out a dermatologist to check why the sudden accelerated hair loss.

    I have been on a thyroid forum which advises which tests to be done and just now see that my d.o. hasn't done the free t3 and t4 which would perhaps warrant the addition or replacement of the Levothyroxine.

    I want to go to a dr. who can advise me of what to do, not vice versa!
    What kind of drs. do you all go to for thyroid treatment?
  15. pinknprplflower

    pinknprplflower New Member

    I am using a Naturopathic Doctor and she is also an Advanced Practitioner of Homeopathy, I gave up hope with all the other doctors, she has made huge difference in my life and really cares about my well being, I have faith in her that she will get to the root of my hair loss issue
  16. hypothyroid26

    hypothyroid26 New Member

    i cn undrstn i am jst 26 yrs old

    i cn undrstd hw u feel.i a mjst 26 yr old hypothyroid ...though after 1 month of medication i have started sheddng sm weight bt my hair loss is giving me night mares. As such i dnt have a good head of hair and due to excessive hairloss i can see bald patches on both sides of my forehead....i jst dnt knw what to do...i am on homeopathy medication for hairloss bt i dnt kn whthr it will prove any good...i want my hair back ..wht to do??help...
  17. oneofme

    oneofme New Member

    I've read that sometimes regulating of the thyroid will help in hair loss, but sometimes it takes different meds and doses to get the thyroid in sync. If you get lab tests done again, be sure to have them test the free T3 and free T4, not just the TSH as most do. And test for vit. D and iron...... I think our hair loss is due to different things, thyroid, stress, genetics, overall health. it's so hard to figure out.

    I am on a different thyroid med now (added Cytomel to Levothyroxine) to help w fatigue and other symptoms but I have no idea if it will thicken my hair and help prevent hair loss. Plus, i know it does take time to work (the thyroid meds.)

    I still have hair and it may get better bc I am having less stress now..... (oh, and trying to take Evening Primrose Oil and Selenium and iron and multivitamin and eating right, sleeping, exercising.....) but don't know if I will ever have a lot of hair as before.

    I am going to a derm. who supposedly specializes in skin and hair both. I'll ask for a thyroid panel and also ask her what kind of hair loss I have bc it's hard to understand how to treat it if I don't know what kind of hair loss I have!

    I use Nizoral shampoo for the itching/burning scalp I was having and also Tricomium spray which may have helped......

    Actually, I just want answers as to why the shed and less hair growth! Hope the derm. can help with that..... Do you have a good dr. who understands all this?
  18. Susie

    Susie New Member

    3 grains (180mg) was my magic dose of Armour

    After 1.5 years of hair loss, burning scalp, and inner ear pain and after 5 doctors and lots of wasted money, I finally am better. I lost over 60% of my hair. My thyroid labs were all normal but I had a borderline low FT4. Synthroid did not help. I found a doctor that let me switch to Armour but it took many many months before they would let me increase my dose to 2 grains (120mg). That helped the burning scalp pain some, but not the hair loss. I finally got a 90 day prescription and on my own, increased to 2.5 grains, then to 3 grains over a 5 week period. Presto! 2 weeks after going to 3 grains my hair loss went from 80-130 hairs a day down to 40. 12 days later my scalp pain went from level 5 down to 0 to 2. Now I only get a hot spot on the top in the evenigns but its only for a little while. Maybe the T3 in the Armour is wearing off. I may have to increase to 3.5 grains. My doctor was ok with what I did since I told her my success. During this time on Armour, I switched to the generic of Armour. It is called NP Thyroid made by Acella company. You can get it at Walgreens pharmacy. It dissolves easier and can be taken sublingually. I think it absorbs better because it has better fillers than Armour or Nature-Throid. Also, I have A LOT of hair growing back. Yeah!
    Other info:
    I am 47 and perimenopause. This brought the doctors down lots of bunny trails looking at sex hormones. I went off and back on Mircette birth control pill during this 1.5 years but it had no effect on my problem. I had a normal iron panel but was low (41) in ferritin. I took Hema-Plex 85 mg tablets twice a day and within 2 months my ferritin was at 92. I was low in Vit D and take supplements for that as well as others.

    I hope this helps someone.
    Susie
  19. pinknprplflower

    pinknprplflower New Member

    update

    update!
    I have had more blood work done since my last post to see if the medication was working for me. My dhea has gone back up and my dr is taking me off of it. yay! the thyroid medication did give me more energy but not nearly what i needed and my t3 level stayed the same. my hairloss has only worsened and not much has changed except for slight energy increase.

    she is switching my thyroid medication to "Nature-Thyroid" and I will be taking 1 grain per day.

    she also added in "isocort" this is to help with the energy levels so i can stay awake all day. fingers crossed.

    she thinks i should see results with this in 5-6 mths, its been trial and error so i can just try and see what happens!! I have alot of confidence in my dr and will keep you ladies posted with my progress... :)
  20. Susie

    Susie New Member

    What Labs have you had?

    Dear Pinknprplflower and Hypothyroid26,
    Have either of you had these labs?: Free T3, Free T4, TSH, iron panel, plus Ferritin. These are the minimum and the most basic labs that must be run for women with hair loss. Your doctor should have no issues running these tests for you, if they are really on your side.
    TSH isn’t always helpful and the lab ranges are out of date, but these tests, when interpreted correctly, will tell you if your hair loss is from a thyroid disorder, or if low iron is the culprit. These 2 issues are the most popular reasons for female hair loss. Here is an excellent resource for learning about this: www.stopthethyroidmadness.com This site has been the key to my success. There is a lot to read on this website, but these links within the site will answer a few questions. READ the whole site.http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork/
    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/lab-values/ This page explains where in the lab range that you should fall for optimum health. This was important for me to get to the right dose of Armour.
    Don’t get sidetracked by websites that only show reasons why you may be hypothyroid and don’t offer any real remedies. For example, websites that blame fluoride, amalgam fillings, and such. They may be a contributor, but changing them now will not bring a timely resolution to your problem. If you are hypothyroid, you need real medicine like Armour or Synthroid.
    Doctor #2 (a homeopath doctor) put me on kelp, an OTC herbal supplement concoction (that is supposed to jump-start the thyroid) and iodine. After 4 months of that with no improvement, she finally put me on a baby dose of Armour (30mg), which helped a bit but was too low a dose. Why she made me suffer for 4 extra months before putting me on real medicine is shameful. Then she wanted me to stay at that dose for 6 weeks!
    Doctor #3 kept telling me to go slowly with thyroid treatment (he meant several months to over a year) and said it takes time for hair loss to stop. It will not take several months if you are on the correct treatment. My hair was trying to grow back but the loss was more than the new growth. Increasing my Armour medicine to 3 grains (180mg) was the magic amount. 2 weeks after getting to 3 grains, my hair loss improved overnight. (The equivalent in Synthroid is 300mcg, I believe.) I also was taking vitamin supplements but those were only a support for the thyroid and adrenals—not the cure.
    BTW, my beginning labs showed low iodine, Testosterone, and DHEA. Iodine and DHEA supplements made my hair loss worse. I did not treat the low testosterone.
    Also, http://thyroid.about.com/ is a very informative site. Mary Shomon is a well-respected Thyroid Disease advocate. Lots to read here too.
    Since my previous post, I increased my thyroid medicine to 3.5 grains (210 mg) and my hair loss is about 25 per day when I wash my hair and less than 10 hairs on the no wash days.
    I’ll share my labs if someone wants to compare. Remember, all my thyroid labs were in the normal range but I was hypothyroid.
    Best wishes, Susie