Hypothyroidism and premature grey hair - any advice?

Posted , 4 users are following.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was about 14 years old and was put on levothyroxine. Since then all my other symptoms have significantly improved, however I have noticed in the last couples of years that I am already starting to get grey hairs, with quite a few more coming through recently as a some people are stating to notice.

I just wondered whether anybody else had this problem with hypothyroidism and if there's any way to stop it? My latest blood test (last year) said I was on the right dose, however I have read that an untreated thyroid can lead to premature greying. I only turned 20 last month and it's heartbreaking to see more and more grey/white hairs appearing in my long dark hair sad

Any help/advice would be very much appreciated!

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  • Posted

    Hi Hannah,

    Now it could be just thyroid related, but if you notice any little depigmented areas arriving on your face and/or body, that may well be a related problem, Vitiligo! Reason I know this is I suffer from both myself.

    Indeed it was the vitiligo that gave my doc the clue to my awful health reasons in the first place, the Hypo!

    Vitiligo is another autoimmune condition, non life threatening, not painful, non communicable, just a pain in the a***, especially in the summer. It is where your body doesn't recognise the melanin in your skin and attacks it as an invader causing depigmentation. If you are caucasian, it is far less noticeable than if you are of darker skin. There is very little at the moment that can be done about it, though some folk have success with a prescription ointment called Protopic, and some a certain amount of success with Narrow band UVB treatment, (again through your doc/hospital.) I never bothered with any of it, just camouflaged the worst of the effects, and now I am two thirds depigmented anyway. I look very pale and interesting!

    There is increasing research gathering pace in the last few years on causes and treatments.

    If you have not noticed any whiter patches on you, just keep an eye out but report to doc if seen. Nowt to worry about, just a pain in the a*** like I say really, though it is important to get factor 50 minimum sunscreen for AT LEAST the patches if you do. I get mine on prescription!

    Hopefully, it is just normal for you however, either thyroid or not, (more noticeable however because your hair is dark).

    Hope this has been of help.

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  • Posted

    Yes, it very well could be a thyroid problem, mine went grey overnight (almost!!) although I am somewhat older than you!! Dark haired people seem to be more prone to greying hair, or is that because its easier to see? I have never heard of any treatments to reverse any of the thyroid symptoms.
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  • Posted

    Hi Hannah, i have had the same problem, i was only told that i have hypo about a year ago but they believe that i have had it since a very young age. I have had silly amounts of problem with the medication so much so that i am no longer able to take it and my doctors will not give me anything else for it because its to expensive for them and it has also made me have problems with every other kind of tablet, i can no longer take any form of medication without being sick sad I also have dark hair so i feel your pain the greys show up really badly they come through so quick and in large patches. its horrible considering im not even 20 yet. x
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  • Posted

    Hi Tashy,

    That is awful!!

    Can I suggest that you join two different Facebook pages that are extremely helpful and supportive I find. Hypothyroidism (just that word) and also a very new one, Hypothyroid UK which I am sure would be able to give you advice.

    Post what you have said here about your tablet problems, I am sure folk will be able to advise.

    When you are Hypothyroid, you cannot go without treatment, it could kill you, (and NOT quickly and painlessly!) xxxxx

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  • Posted

    Hi, Hannah. I, too, suffer with hypothyroidism along with diabetes and lupus (and a host of other related issues). I also have been graying far sooner than I should have been. I am also on Levothyroxine. My hair looks like my mother's and she was 82 years old. I have gray hair growing from my arms, face, eyelashes and eyebrows. This started when I was only 22. I also have noticed the white spots on my legs. I did not know what this was from and it was scaring me. However, nothing should surprise me any more. I had been dyeing my hair because it used to be black but it just became too much of a problem. So, now I just tweeze hairs from my face and hope for the best for my eyebrows and eyelashes. I did not know that I could do my body more harm if I stopped my meds, because I have tried to no avail. This forum is really providing me with some much needed information and I have an endocrinologist, rheumatologist and dermatologist! What am I paying all of them to do?! (Smile) Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I have been wondering myself - my pituitary was destroyed during surgery in my twenties, and I have all hormones substituted. I started "whitening" rapidly, and now, I am 50, I am TOTALLY white. It is actually a cool color, and I stopped coloring it about 3 years ago. But I was desperate in my twenties, thirties, and most part of my forties... I have never known whether my white hair is related to my lack of hormone production, or if it was just accidental!

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