Biotin and Thyroid Hair Loss

A butterfly-shaped gland, the thyroid is located just above the collarbone. It constitutes one of the endocrine glands which generates hormones responsible for controlling metabolism. Thyroid disorders can either rev up or slow down one’s metabolism since they disrupt production of hormones in the thyroid.

There is a wide range of symptoms that can be experienced when thyroid hormone levels are either too high or too low and one common symptom is hair loss.

There are several thyroid disorders that include;

  • Goiter: this is when the thyroid gland enlarges.
  • Thyroid nodules: presence of lumps in the thyroid gland
  • Hyperthyroidism: when the thyroid gland generates more hormones that those required by the body
  • Hypothyroidism: when the thyroid gland does not generate enough thyroid hormones
  • Thyroiditis: swelling of the glands

In order to diagnose thyroid disease, a medical practitioner will first look at your medical history and then take a physical exam that includes thyroid tests. In some cases, a biopsy is used. Treatment of thyroid disorders mainly depends on the particular disorder and may either be through thyroid surgery, radioiodine therapy or medication.

Hair Loss due to Thyroid Disorders

Often, abnormal hormones are blamed for the loss of scalp hair but in reality they are the least cause for hair loss. There are different causes of hair loss and sometimes, its natural as one grows older to lose hair.

Prolonged and severe hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can lead to hair loss on the entire scalp and not only discrete areas. Successful treatment of the disorder leads to recovery of hair although it may be incomplete. Hair recovery takes several months. Short-lived thyroid problems and mild hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism doesn’t lead to much hair loss.

There are thyroid disorders that come abruptly and are conspicuous and therefore can be diagnosed early while other conditions can be present for months or years before they are diagnosed. One experiences hair loss several months after they get thyroid disease since human beings have a long hair cycle. In some cases hair loss may follow treatment of the thyroid disorder and subsequent medication and one can erroneously blame the medication and withdraw treatment and this in turn will worsen hair loss.


Biotin plays a vital role in preventing hair loss. A vitamin, it encourages hair growth. Deficiency of biotin leads to breakage of hair that results to hair loss.

Biotin and hair growth are directly related and therefore it is important that one incorporates biotin in their regular diet. Examples of foods that contain biotin include liver, egg yolk, brewer’s yeast, soybeans, oats, green peas, sunflower seeds, brown rice, bulgur, walnuts, cauliflower, avocado, legumes, mushrooms and fish.

However, biotin supplements are also recommended since it would take consumption of thousands of calories daily to reach the recommended level. Adding five to eight grams to your food twice everyday can go a long way in preventing hair loss.

Biotin is also referred to as Vitamin B7. Part of the Vitamin B complex, it is water-soluble.  It is also worth noting that individuals with blood type A can’t absorb B vitamins. Persons with acid reflux and heartburn tend to absorb biotin slowly and as a result, hair loss may occur despite ingesting biotin.

It is common to find biotin in skin and hair beauty products. However, biotin is more beneficial when ingested than when applied to the skin.

There are several risk factors that can lead to biotin deficiency in the body and they include: excessive consumption of alcohol, pregnancy, smoking, prolonged use of antibiotic, consumption of copious amount of raw white eggs and serious digestive disorders like celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. Symptoms of biotin deficiency in the body can include hair loss, dry skin, muscle aches, digestive issues, cramps and mood changes.

Advantages of Biotin

  • It is affordable
  • Strengthens hair, nails and the skin
  • Improves regulation of blood sugar
  • Assists in weight loss
  • Assists in processing of energy and transporting carbon dioxide out of the cells

Disadvantages of Biotin

  • It can cause acne and skin breakouts
  • May lead to allergic reactions when it interacts with some drugs
  • Increases the risk of miscarrying in pregnant women
  • High dosage may lead to stomach cramps and diarrhoea
  • On ingestion, it may cause nausea

3 Common Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid Parts Labeled

Thyroid disorders affect about 200 million people in the world. They range from small problems (like goiters) to dangerous ones (like cancer). The most common thyroid disorders are a result of unusual production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland uses iodine to manufacture thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroxine is the main hormone created by the gland. After it is delivered to the body’s tissues through the bloodstream, a small amount is converted to triiodothyronine.

These two thyroid hormones are vital in controlling body temperature, body energy, the development of body tissues, and the body’s use of vitamins and other hormones. However, when there is an overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones, problems occur. Too much thyroid hormone causes hyperthyroidism while too little leads to hypothyroidism.

For the most part, thyroid disorders are treatable. While they may have unpleasant effects, they can be alleviated if they are properly diagnosed. Three common thyroid disorders include Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, and Goiters.

Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s disease, also referred to as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, occurs when the immune system falsely identifies the thyroid as a target and attacks the gland. This is known as an autoimmune condition. The immune system produces antibodies that wreak havoc on the thyroid gland. They gradually destroy the thyroid and affect its ability to produce hormones. According to the National Institutes of Health, Hashimoto’s disease is the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the US. It mostly affects middle-aged women but can also affect children, men, and women of all ages.


Scientists haven’t identified what makes the immune system to attack the thyroid gland, but they believe that these 4 factors play a major role.

Hormones: Hashimoto’s disease affects more women than men. Some women have a thyroid disease after delivering a baby (a condition that usually goes away) and a small number develop Hashimoto’s later on. This suggests that sex hormones may be involved.

Genes: Most people who suffer from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have family members with thyroid disease or an autoimmune disease.

Too Much Iodine: According to research, too much iodine and some drugs may bring about thyroid disease. While iodine is needed by the body to manufacture thyroid hormones, too much of it can cause problems.

Exposure to Radiation: People who have been exposed to radiation – like the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the atomic bombs in Japan – often suffer from Hashimoto’s disease. The disorder also affects some people who have undergone radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s disease.


Most people don’t know they are suffering from Hashimoto’s disease because it may be mild at first. Sometimes it takes years to develop. The first telltale sign is usually an enlarged thyroid (a goiter). The goiter can make the neck to appear swollen and a big one can make swallowing painful. Other symptoms of Hashimoto’s include:

  • Constipation
  • Muscle pain and joint pain
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • A pale or puffy face
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Depression
  • Irregular or abnormal menstrual periods
  • Slow heart rate
  • Enhanced sensitivity to cold
  • Painful and stiff joints

Graves’ Disease

This is one of the most common thyroid disorders. It gets its name from the doctor who first described it, Robert Graves. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that leads to overproduction of thyroid hormones. While there are other disorders that may cause hyperthyroidism, it is a leading cause.

In Graves’ disease, the immune system manufactures antibodies – called thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins (TSIs) – that cause the thyroid gland to produce more hormones than the body needs.


While the main cause of Graves’ disease is yet to be identified, some researchers believe that genes may be the culprits. If someone in your family has Graves’ disease, chances are you may also get it.

Another aspect that makes one more likely to develop this autoimmune disease is gender. As stated on HealthLine, most autoimmune conditions affect women more than men, and Graves’ disease is no different. It mostly affects women over 20 years old, but even men and younger women can suffer from it.


  • Weight loss
  • Intolerance to heat
  • Goiter
  • Eye problems (such as double vision)
  • Thick skin
  • Bulging eyes
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
  • Chest pain and palpitations
  • Insomnia and anxiety


This is an unusual enlargement of the thyroid gland. While most goiters are painless, large ones can trigger a cough and make swallowing and breathing difficult. A goiter can be a small problem that may go away without medical intervention, or it might be a symptom of a serious thyroid condition that necessitates medical attention.


Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism: Goiters can occur from both a result of too much or too little thyroid hormones. In rare cases, the disorder may occur when the pituitary gland triggers thyroid growth in order to increase production of hormones. At times, a goiter forms with normal production of thyroid hormone.

Too Many Goiter-Stimulating Foods: If your diet comprises too many goiter-supporting foods, a sporadic goiter may form. These foods include cabbage, spinach, soybeans, cauliflower, broccoli, and peaches. They can stifle the production of thyroid hormone by affecting the thyroid’s ability to process iodide. However, for this to happen, you have to consume large amounts of these foods.

Lack of Iodine: Without iodine, thyroid hormones cannot be produced. The element is found in seawater and coastal soil. Iodine deficiency was once the most common cause of goiter. However, it stopped being a threat when iodized salt was introduced. Iodine is also added to some foods.

Hashimoto’s Disease: When you suffer from hypothyroidism, the pituitary gland produces more thyroid-stimulating hormone, which may cause the thyroid to enlarge.

Graves’ disease:  When antibodies created by the immune system attack the thyroid gland, it manufactures excess thyroxine. This over-activation makes the thyroid swell.

Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the body produces a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) that may enlarge the thyroid gland.


  • Difficulty breathing (at times accompanied by a high-pitch sound)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Tightness in the throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Coughing
  • Noticeable swelling at the base of the neck
  • Pain in the thyroid area

These 3 common thyroid disorders affect millions of people, but many aren’t aware. It is important to know about them and their symptoms. This way, you can stop them before they become an even bigger problem.

5 Signs You May Have a Thyroid Problem

Thyroid Sore

Thyroid problems are quite common in men and women. The thyroid gland produces hormones which helps maintain your body’s metabolism. There are two types of thyroid problems and as such the symptoms also vary.

The two types of thyroid problems are either hyperthyroidism (overactive) or hypothyroidism (underactive) which means a high level of thyroid hormone or low levels of the hormone respectively. Hyperthyroidism is commonly known as an overactive thyroid gland and hypothyroidism is known as an underactive thyroid gland.

heavy menstruation thyroid problemSudden Changes in Your Body

If women have hyperthyroidism, then they may suffer from menstrual changes where they have either prolonged or excessive bleeding when they menstruate. On the other hand, if women are suffering from hypothyroidism, the menstrual flow might be reduced.

Both men and women may also suddenly start to put on weight without knowing the reason. If you haven’t changed your diet or exercise regime and you find you are suddenly putting on weight where you didn’t before, you should consult a doctor for more advice.

cold feeling thyroid problemsTemperature Tolerance Fluctuations

Another common symptom is tolerance to temperatures. People with hyperthyroidism will often complain of being too hot and can’t tolerate higher temperatures.

Equally, those suffering from hypothyroidism will feel cold. They will find it difficult to warm up and continually feel cold even in mild or hot temperatures.

mental thyroid problemsMental Sluggishness

A person’s brain can be affected by either elevated levels or low levels of the thyroid hormone. Those people who have hyperthyroidism will often complain that they can’t concentrate very well. As a thyroid problem progresses, levels of concentration will often go down. Conversely, where a person has hypothyroidism people feel depressed and sluggish.

dry skin thyroid problemHair and Skin Problems

Thyroid conditions often cause problems for a person’s hair and skin. Hypothyroidism can cause hair to become dry and brittle, and it can break and fall out more easily. On top of this skin becomes very dry and irritable, as well as scaly and coarse. It has been known for the hair in the eyebrow to fall out too.

Hyperthyroidism can also cause hair to fall out. It doesn’t make hair brittle, instead your hair will be thin and very fine. Skin will also become thin and fragile. Moreover, rashes have been known to appear on the skin surrounding the shins.

Therefore, if you notice any changes in your hair or your skin complexion you should consult a doctor as it could be a sign of having either an overactive or underactive thyroid gland.

Digestion Issues

Another sign that you may have a thyroid problem is if you have any long-term or severe digestion issues. Hypothyroidism often causes people to become constipated over a long period of time. What’s worse is that this constipation doesn’t respond medication or other treatments and can cause a lot of pain.

Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. Suffers will often complain of diarrhea, a watery stool, and even develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In both cases the symptoms are long-term. If you have had diarrhea for longer than three days, you should always go to visit a doctor. But with thyroid issues, these symptoms can continue for much longer.

Identifying a Thyroid Problem

It is very important to remember that people have many different symptoms. Some people much notice all of the symptoms described in this article whereas others may not even get one.

Moreover, these symptoms are not specific to thyroid problems and could just be an isolated sickness or a sign of a different illness. Therefore, it is always advisable that you visit a doctor should you get any of the symptoms described in this article.