Friday, March 13, 2009

Thinning outer third of eyebrows can mean hypothyroidism


Missing the outer third of your eyebrows can indicate hypothyroidism.

"Other possible symptoms [of hypothyroidism] are thick lips, missing the outer third of the eyebrows, dry falling hair or hair that grows slowly; rough dry elbows, and maybe they will develop puffiness under the eyes." (emphasis added)--Autism Awareness: Supplemental Support for Hypothyroidism by William Langford

"It turns out, though, that one symptom of Hypothyroid is having thinning eyebrows, and specifically missing the outer third of your eyebrows!"-Savvy Skin: Skimpy Thinning Eyebrows

Recommended Reading:


Hypothyroidism Type 2 -- get this book! You might notice lots of other hypothyroidism symptoms. Goes through treatment.

Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness -- get this one too! goes through theories and research and many hypothyroidism symptoms and correlates: heart disease, diabetes, skin infections, acne, infertility, etc.

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The best test of thyroid function is the basal body temperature. You'll need a liquid thermometer.

Here's how to test it: http://thyroid.about.com/cs/testsforthyroid/a/isityourthyroid.htm

You want it to be between 97.4 and 98.2F. Anything lower suggests hypothyroidism.

Test it! Getting your body temperature up to normal can help to resolve lots of chronic health problems.

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I've had this symptom for years. It's always tricky to draw in the outer third of my eyebrows, since I have to make it look like the other part of my eyebrows, which actually has hair. It's hard to fake eyebrow sections.

Correcting low adrenal function can help to alleviate hypothyroidism, since cortisol is involved in getting thyroid hormones into cells so they can be used. As Mary Shomon says on her web site thyroid-info.com, "Low adrenal, also called adrenal insufficiency, can actually cause someone's thyroid problem to be much worse than it would be otherwise."

If your eyebrows are thinning on the edges, go to your doctor and get tested for Free T3, Free T4, ferritin, and thyroid antibodies, not just TSH. See the tests listed on this site, Stop the Thyroid Madness.

In my case, I knew I was hypothyroid, but my TSH came back normal. When I finally had a Free T4 test done, it showed that I was hypothyroid. If your doctor won't cooperate, think about seeing a naturopathic doctor with prescribing rights for Armour Thyroid (depends on the licensure in their state) or seeking a Top Thyroid Doc or someone who practices functional medicine.

Now I am taking Armour Thyroid. My eyebrows seem to be growing in hair-by-hair. I can't wait until I have real eyebrows again.

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Update: June 24, 2009.
I have been on Armour thyroid and hydrocortisone (Cortef) for three months. Now I am weaning off the Cortef, back down to 5mg, and on 60mg Armour.

I am starting to get more eyebrow hairs throughout my eyebrows and ... eyebrow hairs reaching out to the edges of my eyes. There are definitely some new hairs growing in. It's not completely thick at the ends yet, but I don't have to pencil in the edges any more.
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Update September 1, 2009.
After taking Armour for a few months, it started to make me depressed. I stopped it for a while, got my ferritin up (ferritin should be above 60 if you are taking thyroid meds), and tried it again, but it still made me depressed.

Some people with other health problems in addition to hypothyroidism convert too much T4 into reverse T3 instead of T3. T3 is the active thyroid hormone, and reverse T3 is its chiral opposite and sits in its receptors and blocks its action, slowing down the metabolism. So taking thyroid medicine containing T4 had been making me more hypothyroid.

I found a yahoo group about Reverse T3 and got good information from them. Now I take T3 (Cytomel) only, spaced throughout the day since it has a shorter half-life, and I have none of the problems I used to have on T4-containing medications. And my eyebrows are growing in great!

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Update: Now I found a doctor who prescribes me slow-release (compounded) T3. This is wonderful. I feel great on this. I take it twice a day, and the capsules release over the course of 12 hours (although the T3 itself has a longer half-life).

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Do you have an experience with your eyebrows thinning due to hypothyroidism? Post it in the comments!
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Related posts:

Personality changes from thyroid, adrenal support, Armour, iodine


Posts on positive personality changes from thyroid hormone replacement


Are You Making Your Thyroid Sick?


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3 comments:

  1. Hi. I am excited for you about being on Armour. I also found out about it, and though I didn't have the eyebrow problem, I had so many others. I found that Stop the Thyroid Madness site, then got the book, and boy has my life changed. (I'm a hashis patient) You have to keep raising. There's a "things we have learned" page that tells all about it, plus a chapter in the book which I learned from (I like referring to the book more than the website). By the way, Mary Shoman learned about adrenal problems from the Stop the Thyroid Madness site (though she probably won't admit it. ha). Good luck. You are gonna get those eyebrows back, I'm sure. Also get your ferritin checked.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the comment.

    My ferritin was low. What do I do for this? I have some idea that iron supplements aren't always great for some reason, can't remember why.

    Also, if I had normal TSH but low T4, does that mean I am also hypopituitary?

    The hypothyroidism is related to Lyme for me, which can cause problems at pretty much every step of the thyroid hormone pathway. I am wondering whether it will resolve when I am done with Lyme disease.

    If I have a choice, I'd prefer not to be on thyroid treatment permanently. However, I do seem to have been hypothyroid even before getting Lyme, so maybe I already need to be on treatment for life. I just worry about down-regulating any natural thyroid activity by taking Armour.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What about the weight gain, with medication was were you able to lose weight? My doctor says I have normal TSH went from 1.9 to 2.78 with in 6 months. I have not had my free T3 and T4 levels checked but I have had weight gain over the last 2 years, thinning eye brows among other symptoms. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete

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