Could My Hair Loss Be Caused by a Thyroid Problem at 17?'

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Question: Hi! I am pravin, I am only 17 but l lost my hair continuously. The doctor recommended me for thyroid test. Is it possible that I am losing my hair because of thyroid problem at the age of only 17.

Answer: Hi, Pravin. Hair loss is a common side effect of thyroid issues so this is definitely a possibility.

As your doctor has recommended you go for a test, we suggest you follow this advice as there is often an underlying cause to hair loss. Given your age, whilst not impossible, it is unlikely that your shedding would be caused by genetics. Also, as you mention you have been losing hair 'continuously', it sounds more likely to be something called Chronic Telogen Effluvium.

This is where you experience thinning hair all over your scalp - rather that confined to just the top of the head and the hairline, as is the case with female pattern hair loss. It is a temporary condition, generally sparked by an underlying cause - such as an undiagnosed illness, including thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism - and can last for around 12 months from when the shedding first becomes noticeable.

Once your health issues have been dealt with and the underlying issue has been dealt with, the hair should grow back naturally in time. If you are given prescription medication to help control your condition, there may be more shedding when you first start taking it. This is normal and generally only persists while the body gets used to the drugs. After this, the hair should grow back naturally in time, although treatment for chronic telogen effluvium is also available for men and women aged 16 to help speed this process up.

We recommend you have the tests your doctor has suggested and once your health is back on track, a hair loss specialist can assess you and recommend appropriate treatment, if necessary. You are very welcome to have a parent or friend accompany you should you wish to have a consultation.

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