Could Levoxyl have (slowly but surely) worsened my AA

Hello all,

I've had AA quite a long time now and am well-acquainted with its unpredictability and mysterious nature. BUT, something keeps bugging me and I'd be interested in a weigh-in or five.

First let me say that I've had eczema since infancy and had a dime-sized bald spot since kindergarten (though I was not diagnosed with AA till the end of college). So, my autoimmune history is well-established.

Yet. From my diagnosis in 2005 up till Fall 2011, my AA was never as bad as it has been for the past couple years - in fact I'd say it was the mild side of moderate - but now it continues to steadily worsen. Where not so long ago were dark corkscrew curls, I now have nothing but straggler-fuzz and the urge to shave my head is a daily impulse.

I can't help but notice that what's different about that time frame is that it's the exact time frame I've been taking Levoxyl for hypothyroidism. I was (to my awareness, at least) asymptomatic for hypo in 2011 when a blood test indicated a 5.74 TSH and I started the meds. Since then my yearly blood test has come back "normal". But in that exact same time frame, the hair loss has steadily worsened - never dramatically all at once, but an incremental, unmistakable progression.

Your thoughts? :) Simply a natural turn for the worse of a disorder I've always had, or a side effect? Impossible to tell? All are welcome.

Views: 144

Comment by Vicki on May 14, 2014 at 6:44am
My story is very similar, eczema from birth, mild asthma, hypothyroidism. I had bouts of AA in the past, but never as significant as this time. Then, I too, looked back at timing, it started falling out around the same time I started taking synthroid for hypothyroidism. I stopped the meds 6 months later after I had shaved the rest of my straggly bits off. That was end of December 2013. I have patches, but no significant regrowth. Still waiting :). My TSH blood work has also come back in the low range, normal as far as the doctors are concerned. Did you stop taking your meds? I actually stopped all meds, my antacids, had my Mirena IUD removed and of course the synthroid to see if it would make any difference as far as regrowth goes. I'm not interested in treatment and have chosen to go bald as I feel more comfortable.
Comment by OnlyChild1213 on May 14, 2014 at 9:28am

(Oh yes, I forgot to mention the mild asthma, haha)

I actuallly have not stopped the meds. It is a temptation, but it also seems too sketchy to me whether that would even help, and if they seem to be working otherwise...

I feel you on the treatment front. In almost ten years I have never had any kind of treatment; it just seemed like more trouble than it was worth.

Thanks for commenting, Vicki! Best of luck to you!

Comment by GardenJess on May 14, 2014 at 8:07pm

I have presumably had AA since I was a kid with a patch that grownups noticed when I was little and small, inconsequential spots that came and went through my 20s and 30s. I didn't have serious hair loss until last year when I was turning 46. I have been on various synthetic thyroid hormones for 15+ years, so in my case I worry that insufficient thyroid hormone replacement, rather than being on the medication, might have contributed to my hair loss. If my TSH gets above 2.0 I worry that I'm not getting adequate replacement. I also wonder whether being low in iron could have been exacerbating my hypothyroidism. 

I amuse myself by telling my kids that I drank the water here and my hair fell out, and then asking them if the water caused my hair loss. If only it were obvious what causes the body to turn on itself!

I also have vitiligo, which started a few years after I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, so when my hair loss got severe, I was already used to the idea that treatment might not work and side effects might not be worth it, so I haven't done anything to treat my alopecia.

Comment by Dawn on May 20, 2014 at 11:22am
I have Alopecia and also hypothyroidism. I also lost a large amount of hair after getting on synthetic meds along with feeling worse. I was reluctant to take them in the first place because i am about healing naturally. I started researching and found a book by Dr David Brownstein and healing the Thyroid naturally. There are natural thyroid medications such as Armour but your Doctor probably will not tell you unless you go to a Natralpathic Dr. I also believe through my research that Alopecia is a gut problem and Eczema is 100% a food allergy. Wheat, sugar and Dairy are the culprets. The Human body does have the power to heal itself but it takes knowledge and dedication.
Comment by OnlyChild1213 on March 13, 2015 at 6:29pm

Update: been off the thyroid meds for about ten months now and my hair is no better (prolly not much worse, either, it just shifts around). However, when I'd been off just a few months and got my checkup late last summer, my thyroid was normal. We'll see how this year's blood test goes. As for any thyroid related symptoms, I haven't - and didn't expect to - notice anything since I was asymptomatic before I got on the meds.

Hope everyone is doing well!

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