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The Relationship Between Thyroid Nodules and Hair Loss

by | Jul 2, 2024

Explore the connection between thyroid nodules and hair loss at our specialized thyroid nodules clinic in Singapore. Learn about the causes, symptoms, and advanced treatment options to manage both conditions effectively.

woman and hair loss

Introduction to Thyroid Nodules and Hair Loss

The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck just below the voice box. Thyroid gland produces hormone that is required for our metabolism with under or over hormone secretion both causing physical problems. Thyroid nodules are abnormal lumps (growths) within the thyroid gland.

Thyroid nodules are common, with 8% of women and 2% of men having nodules that are large enough that they can be felt. Fortunately, many of these nodules are small and asymptomatic, but as they grow larger, they can cause  a variety of issues. Thyroid nodules can either increase or reduce the amount of thyroid hormone produced by the gland, and one of the symptoms this can cause is hair loss.

Thyroid Nodules and Hormonal Imbalance: How They Affect Hair Health

Hair loss can be a result of both an overactive thyroid and an underactive one. “Cold” thyroid nodules produce less thyroid hormone, resulting in hypothyroidism, while “hot” nodules produce more, resulting in hyperthyroidism.

The hair loss is of a type called telogen effluvium, which is caused when your hair roots enter the resting stage of their cycle too early. Normally, each hair follicle goes through a cycle. It starts in the growth cycle, when a new hair is produced. Variations in the growth cycle caused by genetics are why some people naturally grow longer hair than others. After a few years, the follicle takes a break, and other follicles take over. The hair eventually falls out or sheds. Telogen effluvium means that your follicles go into resting stage too early, meaning your hair falls out prematurely and is less likely to be replaced.

 

Recognizing Hair Loss as a Symptom of Thyroid Nodules

Hair loss caused by thyroid issues is typically diffuse. It affects the entire scalp, and can also affect other parts of the body, such as the underarm area or, in men, the face. Body and facial hair loss, however, may not be noticed by individuals who routinely shave.

The hair loss can be dramatic, however, with hair coming out in chunks. Hair loss warrants a check of thyroid levels and a check for nodules if it is accompanied by other thyroid symptoms, such as weight gain or loss, fatigue, or changes in sleep patterns.

 

Treatment Approaches: Addressing Thyroid Nodules to Improve Hair Growth

The good news about telogen effluvium is that while it is dramatic, it is also temporary. The hair cycle returns to normal and hair grows back, although this can take some time, once the thyroid imbalance has been addressed.

Thyroid nodules that are not causing symptoms are generally not treated. When they are, a common treatment is radiofrequency ablation to shrink the size of the nodules. This is typically recommended for nodules that are large enough to be felt and may be causing problems like pain when swallowing. You may also receive medication – either levothyroxine to supplement underproduction of thyroid hormone or antithyroid medication to reduce hormone production (note that these medications can sometimes cause hair loss as a side effect).

Once hormone levels are back to normal, hair regrowth will resume. However, it can take several months. Also, hair loss can sometimes occur after treatment has started because it takes several months to show up as a symptom. This is normal and should not be a sign to stop treatment.

 

Lifestyle Modifications: Supporting Hair Health Alongside Treatment

Hair loss is cosmetic, but can have significant effects on your self esteem and mental health, not to mention being obvious to those around you. Some thyroid patients may choose to wear a wig in public until their hair recovers.

You should support your hair’s recovery alongside treatment for your thyroid by eating a balanced diet and including foods and supplements to encourage hair growth. Look for foods rich in omega-3 such as soy and tofu, or a flaxseed oil supplement. If you don’t eat meat, consider supplementing vitamin B12, and add foods containing B6 such as bananasb and potatoes. Take a daily vitamin, and make sure it contains biotin, which is an essential nutrient for hair and nail production. Read more about having a thyroid-healthy diet here in our other blog post. Make sure you manage stress and get enough sleep. Don’t be afraid to take steps to hide your hair loss and keep yourself looking good as worrying about your hair loss can slow regrowth.

 

Looking Ahead: Long-Term Care and Maintenance of Hair Health

As long as you keep your thyroid hormones in balance, your hair will grow back the way it was before. The keyis to monitor thyroid function and go to all followup appointments. If prescribed medication, take it as required. As long as you do this, the long term outlook for your hair is better. Thyroid nodules can impact thyroid function and this can, in turn, cause a form of hair loss. Treating the thyroid nodules should cause your hair to come back. However, you do need to take steps to keep your thyroid healthy.

If you have thyroid nodules and are experiencing hair loss, the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singpore can help. Contact us and fill out the form to schedule an appointment and discuss a thyroid nodule evaluation and your treatment options with our thyroid nodules specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja.

Thyroid Nodule Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) Treatment

Radiofrequency ablation aims to give patients a non-surgical option for treating thyroid nodules. This procedure is a minimally invasive option that a surgeon can perform, should the preliminary tests determine that you would benefit from it.

The Advantages of RFA of Thyroid Nodules
The major advantages of the technique are as below.

  1. It is done as day surgery procedure under light sedation.
  2. It takes about 45 minutes to one hour to complete the entire procedure.
  3. Patients are discharged the same day.
  4. Normal thyroid tissue adjacent to the nodule is preserved.
  5. It does not affect thyroid function.
  6. Multiple nodules can be treated at same time.
  7. The treated nodules do not regrow again.
  8. No surgical scar with needle mark on the skin.
  9. Quick recovery and back to full activity and normal lifestyle.
  10. The technique is suitable to treat even large thyroid nodules.

Find out how thyroid nodule Radiofrequency Ablation can help you in a minimally invasive way on our blog post, “Thyroid Nodule Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment: Diagnosis,  Management, and Recovery.”

Find the Right Doctor

From family and internal medicine to specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja is the best in the field. As a vascular and interventional radiology specialist, Dr Manish Taneja looks after peripheral vascular disease, aneurysms, dialysis interventions, venous diseases like deep vein thrombosis, and varicose veins/spider veins/reticular veins. He is also competent in performing newer endovascular procedures such as uterine artery embolization, prostate artery embolization, genicular artery embolization, and erectile dysfunction interventions. Dr. Manish Taneja also has extensive experience in performing all vascular interventions, non-vascular interventions and interventional oncology procedures.

Read More About Vascular Treatments on Our Blog

To dive deeper into the types of vascular treatments such as thyroid nodule radiofrequency ablation, head over to our clinic’s blog.  Read our recommended vascular treatments related blog posts to stay informed.

Thyroid Nodule Resources

How to Keep Thyroid Healthy for Optimal Well-Being

As part of the endocrine system, the thyroid hormones must be perfectly balanced at all times for the body to function normally.

Woman holding and using megaphone

Caring For Your Thyroid Health

Have you ever experienced difficulty swallowing or breathing? You may have risk factors including a family history of thyroid nodules or iodine deficiency. Thyroid nodules are abnormal lumps (growths) within the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland located below your voice box. Even if most thyroid nodules are benign, 10-15% of nodules are cancerous. Sometimes overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue can lead to hyperthyroidism. In other cases, multiple nodules can form in the thyroid called multinodular goiter. Fluid filled thyroid cysts can be one type of thyroid nodule within the thyroid. More complex nodules may lead to thyroid cancers. Depending on the root cause and type of nodule you have, patients can monitor with regular ultrasound or even have a thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAC) if required. Surgery to remove partial or whole thyroid gland can be done but thanks to minimally invasive treatments such as Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA), this procedure can treat noncancerous and cancerous thyroid lumps.

Types of Thyroid Nodules and Cancer

Watch our video guide and find out more on our blog post, “Types of Thyroid Nodules and Cancer” with the types, causes, evaluation, biopsy, treatment options, and when to see a thyroid specialist. Find answers to questions on whether thyroid nodules are cancerous or not.

Arrange Your Appointment

Consult Vascular Specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various conditions and pain management. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our thyroid nodule specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.