Can mild hypothyroidism cause hair loss and digestive issues?

Posted , 3 users are following.

I am a 22 year old male that was recently diagnosed with mild hypothyroidism. I am wondering if this has been contributing to the symptoms I have been having.

Some healthy history:

I had a bad case of food poisoning in August of 2018 and since that point I have had terrible digestive problems that have seemed to improve over time. This includes random diarrhea, constipation, and I am assuming malabsorption considering the difference of color I noticed after these issues started (yellow & lighter in color). Surely it is important to add that I was incredibly stressed in the fall of 2018 and spring of 2019, which is when I was feeling my worst. Now, however, I am feeling better mentally but I seem to continue to shed hair. Its not a crazy amount, but I have also noticed my hair doesn't grow as fast as it used to and it has thinned out quite a bit. I eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and I am very mindful as to what I am putting into my body. At this time last year, (August 2018), I had felt the best I have ever felt in my entire life. My hair was thick, grew incredibly fast, I was constantly full of energy, and I used to be much more driven when it came to working out. I have had a multitude of illnesses since this time last year. I used to never catch colds and I was full of energy. I was having very bad night sweats for a few months, but they went away with time. Fatigue is one of the biggest things and my brain seems to be in a fog some days. It is important to add that I recently had all of my labs drawn in the last week and everything came as it should besides my TSH level, which was only slightly elevated and this is why I do not want to start on medication right away (my doctor prescribed levothyroxine). I am going to do a follow up in 3 months to have this checked again.

My diet:

As previously stated, I am generally very mindful as to what I am putting into my body. I eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, fresh juices, and nuts. I do not follow a restrictive diet (vegan, sugar-free, etc...) and I have a normal protein intake from animal sources. I do of course have a sweet tooth from time to time and I love bread and carbs (in moderation). My recent cholesterol lab result was great.

Ultimately my main question is - can mild hypothyroidism be causing these problems? And if so, what should I be avoiding in my diet? If not, how do I know that the hair loss I am experiencing is temporary or related to male pattern baldness?

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I also forgot to add that my T4 level was within range. My TSH was only elevated to 4.5, with the normal cap being 4.2.

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    • Posted

      My lymph nodes also commonly swell in my neck and under my arms as well, but this has not seemed to occur as much lately ever since I started taking a vitamin D supplement. My vitamin D level was normal borderline low as well during my most recent check up even though I take a supplement daily.

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  • Posted

    I am not a doctor, or in a field to comment on this from a health professional point of view. The symptoms you describe could be a range of things. However, in saying this, this is exactly the symptoms I had before I was diagnosed with only mild hypothyroidism when I was 29 years old.

    I had really bad digestive issues- lots of heartburn, stomach aches, gas, and toilet issues. I also was so tired all the time and sometimes felt like I was getting through the day on autopilot. I am a really healthy person, I exercise everyday, eat healthy and get enough sleep so I was like what is going on!I kept getting sick, like always felt like I was coming down with a cold, aching muscles, all my glands would be inflammed, headaches etc. and then I seemed to recover, but then it would repeat. Another issue that really raised flags was my hair started falling out. I had long blonde hair and one day I just noticed one side in particular was really thin and a lot shorter. I went to my hair dresser and she was shocked - she said all my hair was broken off and so thin complained to the last time I had been there. This was really concerning for me.

    I had got some bloods done when I felt like this 3 years earlier, but everything supposedly had come back fine and so they didnt flag anything. However, about a year ago when I went back to the doctors with continued complaints and my concerns with hair loss, I got all bloods done again and this time the doctor flagged I did have subclinical hypothyroidism and she mentioned that it had actually showed this 3 years earlier. I asked why no one told me that then and she said the levels arent bad enough to be mentioned as its not usually treated at this level, just monitored. But she was concerned that 3 years earlier and this result was the same. I got another test 3 months later and low and behold it was still low - so I was started on medication a year ago and have 3 monthly check-ups. I will say my life has changed a lot since starting on medication. It took a little while to get the level I needed right and I didnt feel better straight away but a year on I feel 90% better. My hair has grown back and thick again, I am feeling so much more lively and awake during the day. My digestive issues are pretty much resolved. I am pretty certain that its the medication that has helped this as I havent changed anything else and I am so glad to be feeling so much better! I am surprised as well as they said my levels werent enough that its usually treated but this seems to have helped me so much?

    Obviously with the commitment of staying on the medication for life is a big one, and I do sometimes think about this but at the end of the day I am just happy to have my health back and feel good again. Hope you are able to resolve your issues too

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    • Posted

      Hello and thank you for your response.

      Yes, like you, I exercise frequently and really make sure I am giving my body more of what it needs and less of what it does not. My doctor suggested that I take levothyroxine, but I am hesitant as I have read that it can cause more hair loss. I do not have any bald spots, but it looks very dry and thin compared to before all of this began. I think before starting any medications I am just going to see if any slight modifications to my diet will help.

      May I ask what kind of diet you currently have and if the medication you are taking is levothyroxine?

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    • Posted

      Hi Mdmiami,

      Yes I am on 37.5mg of Levothroxyine. I started on just 12.5mg and then it was still low so I went up to 50mg but that was too much so I dropped down to 37.5mg (which is a tablet and a half) and this seems to work great for me. Thats not a lot - most people I know on it take like 100 - 150mg so as mine is just slightly hypo then that amount works for me.

      My hair definitely has not kept thinning since being no it, in fact its grown quite a lot since starting it. More just I think because its not getting destroyed by whatever my thyroid was doing to my body.

      I am a nutritionist so as you can imagine I know exactly what is required to eat a healthy balance diet and am very healthy. Yes I have some blow o outs on the weekend and drink alcohol 1-2 nights a week but overall I eat very well and am doing 60 minutes of exercise a day, 7 days a week. I was doing all this before my medication, and since taking it, its the only thing that has changed and I feel so much better.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    You may have hypothyroidism with the symptoms you have mentioned. Its better to address this issues at the soonest time as this affects your overall health. All these indigestion, constipation, dry and brittle hair. As you go deeper into hypothyroid you will have more symptoms..bloating..water retention.. dry skin.. sleep issues that may affect your daily routine and health. Remember our hormones esp the endocrine gland is responsible for many coordinated functions in our whole body. Most thyroid sufferer have hair issues.. maybe hair loss, less growth and early gray hair. Your dr may start you at 50 or 75 mcg of thyroxin and you may need to take lab test after 3 month so see results. Your body will take time to adjust like 3 to 4 month till your body stabilizes and gets used with the synthetic drug. We may always opt for a natural replacement or natural drug but this may not always be available. You may increase your intake of iodine rich foods..and eat less of foods that inhibit iodine. You can research this topics. All the best and stay healthy.

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