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Possible Hair-loss related to Thyroid


Quasar
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Hi Ko, Future-HT-Doc and all others,

 

Here's what my Thyroid test reading looks like :

 

T3 : 0.941 ng/dl Normal values : 0.8 to 2.0

T4 : 6.13 ug/dl Normal values : 5.1 to 14.1

Ultra TSH : 10.24 ulU/ml Normal values : 0.27 to 4.2

 

Are these indicative of mild/clinical hypo-thyroidism? Do you think I should get some additional tests done to zero-in on Hypothyroidism? Is Hypo-thyroidism be one of the contributing factors to diffused thinning and hair-loss all over. Are TSH levels sensitive to other things?

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Hi Quasar:

I want to preface this by saying I don’t have a medical background and my comments should not be construed as a medical diagnosis. Considering your T3 and T4 levels are normal, but your TSH level is high, this could translate to a mild case of hypothyroidism (if it were a severe case, your T4 level would at least be low along with the elevated TSH level). Have you experienced any other symptoms outside of hairloss? What did your doctor say about the elevated TSH level?

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Hi Ko, Future-HT-Doc and all others,

 

Here's what my Thyroid test reading looks like :

 

T3 : 0.941 ng/dl Normal values : 0.8 to 2.0

T4 : 6.13 ug/dl Normal values : 5.1 to 14.1

Ultra TSH : 10.24 ulU/ml Normal values : 0.27 to 4.2

 

Are these indicative of mild/clinical hypo-thyroidism? Do you think I should get some additional tests done to zero-in on Hypothyroidism? Is Hypo-thyroidism be one of the contributing factors to diffused thinning and hair-loss all over. Are TSH levels sensitive to other things?

 

 

YES YES and YES

You are HYPO no doubt

 

You need to find out if your have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

and get both thyroid antibodies lab work: anti-TPO and TgAb

 

These are some other blood work you should get related to thyroid but get on NDT natural desiccated thyroid (such as, ARMOUR) which has T1, T2, T3 and T4 vs. synthetic (such as Syntroid) hormones which provide only T4 and some say cause thinning

 

TSH: for diagnosis of hypopituitary, NOT to diagnose or dose your hypothyroidism (unless it’s high). If you allow a doctor to diagnose or dose you by this lab test and range i.e. to say you are normal simply because it’s in range or below 10…you could still be hypothyroid.

 

Free T4 and Free T3 (note the word “free”–important since it measures what is unbound and available.)

 

Reverse T3: to be done at the same time you do the Free T3. Then calculate your ratio with the results and measurements.

 

Thyroid Antibodies: anti-TPO and TgAb will help discern Hashimotos. You need BOTH, not just one of them. You can add TSI for the Graves antibodies–some have all three.

Four iron labs: Ferritin, % Saturation, TIBC and serum iron (sometimes the latter will just say Iron, or total iron). A high ferritin can also point to inflammation. Up to five days off iron supplements is necessary to see what your body is holding onto.

 

Adrenal Cortisol levels: Saliva, NOT blood. Blood is measuring both bound and unbound cortisol and does NOT give results you can go by. See the facilities below, because you don’t need a prescription. You’ll need to be off all cortisol-containing supplements for two weeks before testing.

 

B-12 and Folate

 

Magnesium and Potassium, plus Calcium, Sodium, Glucose, etc (All the latter are part of the Comprehensive Metabolic Profile–CMP blood test–as well. You can also ask for the RBC (Red Blood Cell) versions of Mag. and Pot, which measures cellular levels. For potassium, make sure the rubber tourniquet is not left on more than 60 seconds, says this study. Also note that the Buccal Mg lab test is finally available and seems to be more correlated to cardiac health than RBC Mg, but is expensive and not always easy to get.) You will want to be off these mineral supplements for several days so you can measure what your body is hanging onto.

 

Vitamin D3 (25-hydroxyvitamin D lab test…) and read why you may need another Vitamin D test.

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Hi,

 

Thanks for your extremely detailed response. Here are my lab results upto this point -

 

T3 : 0.941 ng/dl Normal values : 0.8 to 2.0

T4 : 6.13 ug/dl Normal values : 5.1 to 14.1

Ultra TSH : 10.24 ulU/ml Normal values : 0.27 to 4.2

 

FT3 : 3.00 pg/ml. Range : 2.02-4.43

FT4 : 1.19 ng/DL. Euthyroid Range : 0.93-1.7

 

Let me know what do you think of FT3 and FT4.

 

I took the TPO Ab, TG Ab and Ferritin tests as well today and the results would be out only by Wednesday. I have a few quick questions -

 

1. I just got the Ferritin test done. Should I also get % Saturation, TIBC and serum iron done? How important is D3, B12 and Foliate?

 

2. Can I get onto a minimum dose of a few iron supplements, NDT Thyroid like Armour before my test results are out and I can consult an endocrinologist next week? I am losing my frontal thick hair as well now!

 

3. Getting treated for Hypo-T, what are the chances of growing back the hair which I am currently shedding/already shed in the last couple of months? What has been your experience?

 

4. Should I continue with Minoxidil/Finasteride treatment? I have diffused hair loss and you could probably call me a NW5. Thinning all over the top and crown, with few thick hair left on the frontal hairline.

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Quasar,

 

Remember that only a doctor familiar with your case can answer these questions. Any abnormal lab value should be thoroughly reviewed and discussed with the physician who ordered the test.

 

Having said that, let's discuss a few general things:

 

Elevated TSH with normal free and bound T3 and T4 is the definition of subclinical hypothyroidism. However, many think this diagnosis is controversial, especially in a situation where the TSH is greater than 10 and there are possible symptoms (the alopecia).

 

Alopecia is light of thyroid dysfunction can mean 2 different things: diffuse alopecia that is truly secondary to thyroid hormone problems and auto-immune alopecia that is occurring with another autoimmune disease (Hashimoto's disease) - which is very common. True thyroid loss may be reversible; auto-immune alopecia - without extensive immune suppression therapy - usually is not. The antibody labs will help differentiate.

 

Iron deficiency is a fairly different process that is normally unrelated to hypothyroidism. A true iron workup would include the ferritin, TIBC, % saturation, and serum iron. However, this would be done in the face of microcytic anemia presumed secondary to iron deficiency. Thyroid dysfunction can cause anemia as well, but a CBC to check whether the hemoglobin is actually low would normally be done first.

 

Armour thyroid - desiccated pig or cow thyroid - contains variable amounts of T3 and T4, and is generally not used by endocrinologists for that reason. It's also not likely to offer acute reversal or stabilization of alopecia. I think discussing starting armour and continuing minoxidil and finasteride must be discussed with your physician. You could probably talk to the doctor who ordered the labs before seeing endo.

 

Good luck!

"Doc" Blake Bloxham - formerly "Future_HT_Doc"

 

Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

 

All opinions are my own and my advice does not constitute as medical advice. All medical questions and concerns should be addressed by a personal physician.

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Hi Future_HT_Doc,

 

Quasar,

 

Remember that only a doctor familiar with your case can answer these questions. Any abnormal lab value should be thoroughly reviewed and discussed with the physician who ordered the test.

 

Good luck!

 

I did a photo-consultation with a hair physician over the e-mail who asked me to get test for Thyroid, since thyroid dysfunction contributes to diffused hair-fall. I took it upon me to get tested for Thyroid and antibody tests along with Ferritin. However, I do plan to visit an endocrinologist.

 

Armour thyroid - desiccated pig or cow thyroid - contains variable amounts of T3 and T4, and is generally not used by endocrinologists for that reason. It's also not likely to offer acute reversal or stabilization of alopecia.

 

 

So, if I did suffer from Hypo-T, even after taking medication(like Synthoid etc.), the hair fall still may not stabilize in your opinion - is that what you meant?

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look Q

 

you are hypo thyroid

whether your MD wants to treat you or not

 

if not FIND ONE WHO WILL

 

thyroid disease is under diagnosed in the US. Conventionally trained MDs treat lab numbers NOT SYMPTOMS. So if you want to suffer symptoms without treatment then continue consulting with conventional meds. If not go to that website i recommended and seek out a DO (osteopath) and/or naturopath that will treat your symptoms.

 

you probably have more symptoms than hairloss and if you don't you will since you are hypothyroid.

 

low thyroid function symptoms include hairloss

but hair loss as a side effect of T4 only meds like "synthroid" have been reported widely as well

so treat with armour or some other NDT

 

additionally, you should have an ultrasound of your thyroid for nodules. it is probably enlarged.

there are life threatening side effects from low thyroid function over the longterm

 

a tsh of 10 needs ATTENTION NOW

this is not something with which to joke around

 

GO TO AN ENDO THAT SPECIALIZES IN THYROID FUNCTION

not an MD that gives flu shots

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