Thinning Eyebrows with Hypothyroidism

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Thinning eyebrows, especially of the outer third which is commonly seen in thyroid patients, can be frustrating and distressing. Many people take to investing in make-up or procedures such as micro-blading each and every year to ‘correct’ their eyebrow hair loss, but what if it could be down to your thyroid?

The above photos were taken in August 2018 and October 2018, just six weeks apart, but the eyebrow growth astounded me. After years of thyroid problems, over-plucking my eyebrows and assuming I’d never have naturally thick brows again, I was really surprised by the outcome in such a short space of time.

Within 6 weeks, I had gone from filling in my eyebrows with make-up daily, to now doing absolutely nothing with them on a daily basis.

So how did I do it?

Optimal Thyroid Levels

First of all, I can’t stress optimal thyroid hormone levels enough. The main reason why so many thyroid patients still feel unwell when on medication is due to their levels not being optimal. Falling ‘in range’ or having ‘fine’ or ‘normal’ levels isn’t enough for some of us and we do much better with Free T3 and Free T4 sitting higher up in range.

Put simply, when your doctor runs a test and you get the results, optimal levels are the results that most thyroid patients state they feel best at. This is a place within a given ‘range’. So it’s not just about falling in range that matters, but where in range you fall. 

Functional Medicine state that a TSH less than 2 is considered optimal. This means that most thyroid patients feel most well when their TSH is less than 2. But thyroid hormone levels Free T3 and Free T4 must also always be tested when looking at your thyroid health.

A Free T3 in the top quarter of the range is most often recommended, with a Free T4 mid-range or a little higher and I do personally feel best at these, with my results sitting in these optimal places in range for a while now. When they drop, I feel it very quickly.

Thyroid antibody tests TpoAB and TgAB can also be very important. These tests tell you whether your hypothyroidism is autoimmune (which it is for around 90% of us) and often, lowering and keeping these antibodies as low as possible can help with thyroid symptoms and management of hypothyroidism too.

Stomach Acid 

Low levels of stomach acid, commonly experienced among thyroid patients and especially those on T4-only medications, can contribute to hair loss. This is due to stomach acid aiding your ability to digest crucial nutrients and protein used in hair growth.

I take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and a digestive enzyme with each meal to aid digestion and stomach acid, helping me to absorb more of those important nutrients from food.

Some people also find that adding a daily probiotic helps, as it can help to balance out the good and bad bacteria in the gut and exploring your gut health and addressing any underlying candida, infections or leaky gut will help to improve not only hair growth but your overall health; including energy levels and skin complaints.

There is also a new scientifically-backed personalised gut health service from Thyrve, that includes customised probiotics and dietary recommendations based on your own gut health. The test-to-treatment service can help with weight maintenance, fitness, skin health, metabolism, mood, digestion, bloating and more, due to how important gut health is to your overall health. The status of your gut is the best indicator of your health. You can check them out here.

Vitamins and Supplements 

There are certain vitamins and supplements that can help with hair growth and preventing hair loss. In my case, I’ve found that obtaining good iron/ferritin levels is key, which is worth bearing in mind since low iron levels are another very common problem in those with hypothyroidism.

If your body isn’t getting enough iron from your diet, it will begin to pull ferritin from nonessential tissue such as hair bulbs, resulting in hair loss. So supplementation may help a lot.

However, it is important not to supplement in iron unless you definitely have a deficiency or low levels as it can be dangerous. You should also always take any iron containing medications or supplements at least four hours away from thyroid medication to avoid absorption being affected.

I take a multivitamin that includes zinc, selenium, B vitamins, A, C, D, E etc. which are all said to help with healthy hair growth.

Stress 

I often stress about stress before there’s anything to even stress about. I’m not kidding!

Chronic stress is a well recognised contributor to hair loss and so it’s important to be aware of how your stress levels may be impacting your health.  Exploring adrenal function and cortisol levels wouldn’t be a bad idea either as adrenal fatigue is seen in as many as 90% of those with Hashimoto’s and can contribute to a growing list of symptoms and complaints with hypothyroidism.

Castor Oil

I started off by massaging castor oil in to my brow area every night, although I quickly forgot and got out the habit after a few nights! So I don’t think I can attribute much of the hair growth to this oil. However, castor oil is an effective remedy due to its rich content of fatty acids, nutrients and minerals, so it helps to nourish and moisturise your hair follicles while the massaging action can encourage hair growth from dormant follicles.

See my past article on hair loss here. 

If you found this article beneficial, please take a moment to share it so we can help others get better with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, whilst also raising awareness. "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate."

Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism

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Rachel Hill, Thyroid Patient Advocate, blogger and author, has Six 2018 WEGO Health Award Nominations. She is a highly ranked writer appearing in the Top Hypothyroidism Websites and Top Thyroid Websites and has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN and ThyroidChange, to name just a few. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and also contributed the foreword to Emily Kyle’s The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook.

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