If you find yourself with graying hair or thick healthy locks of it, the function of your thyroid gland and the proper amount of hormones it produces will be the key factor. Human hair follicles are directly affected by thyroid hormones as new research in this area has now revealed. New studies reveal that these hormones determine length and pigmentation.
Thyroid Hormones Crash Course The thyroid gland produces T4 and T3 which are thyroid hormones. It begins with stimulation from the pituitary gland. TSH is one of the hormones secreted by the pituitary gland. TSH is also regulated by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain linked to among other things the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. The endocrine system is vital in regulating your metabolism, physical growth and development. Your hair is part of the body’s growth and development and that is why thyroid problems will affect it.
How Hormone Levels Affect Your Hair Evidence has been collected indicating that hair loss is caused by a decrease in the metabolism of scalp follicles in people with low levels of thyroid hormone. The result is an early release of the hair shaft and hair root. Brittle hair containing split ends and breakages have been observed to correlate with low thyroid hormone levels. Medical practitioners have been able to diagnose low thyroid levels based entirely on early graying and hair loss from the outer ends of the eyebrows.
When the thyroid gland is not functioning properly, the body tries to conserve energy by redirecting thyroid hormones from less essential areas to more essential ones in effort to repair and regenerate those essential areas. This is the underlying reason why hair and skin are among the first to suffer as the thyroid starts to fail. Other problems associated with low thyroid hormone production include a slower intestinal rate of absorption and use of nutrients the body needs. When the body is not getting the raw materials it needs for proper function it does not perform at its best.
Using radioimmunoassay techniques, it is now possible to measure circulating thyroid hormones in the blood much more accurately. Understanding how your thyroid gland functions is important in knowing what thyroid test or tests are needed to diagnose different diseases.
A Little Science Various reports and studies have covered the impact of thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) on hair follicles. It has been found that T4 increases the healthy proliferation of hair keratinocytes which are the cells that cause hair growth. The combination both thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) decrease programmed cell death. Studies also have also showed that T4 prolongs the hair growth phase. Both hormones stimulated the synthesis of melanin or pigmentation in the hair follicle.