How Taking Biotin For Hair Loss Can Skew Thyroid Test Results
Thyroid diseases like thyroid cancer, Hashimoto's, and hypothyroidism are more common among women than men, especially those in the middle ages. These diseases can cause hair thinning.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland placed on our neck above the collarbone. It is part of the large endocrine glands that produce hormones. Thyroid hormones control many activities in our body, like how fast our heartbeats, how fast we burn calories, and our hair's growth cycle. This indicates that thyroid problems can lead to hair thinning and hair loss.
Thyroid diseases include:
- Hyperthyroidism: This is a disorder in which there's excess production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland
- Hypothyroidism: Here, there's insufficient production of thyroid hormones by the gland.
- Thyroid nodules: this is where large lumps develop in the thyroid gland
- Thyroiditis: This is when the thyroid gland swells up
- Goiter: This condition is when the thyroid gland becomes enlarged.
- Thyroid cancer: Cancer in the thyroid gland. The cause of this condition is still a mystery to scientists.
These diseases are mostly diagnosed with physical examination, medical history, or thyroid tests. Treatments depend on the problem's severity, including medicines, surgeries, or radio-iodine therapy.
Biotin, a form of vitamin B used to treat hair loss, has been linked to fake positive and false negative thyroid results. This is why doctors advise patients to quit Biotin before taking thyroid tests.
How does Biotin affect Thyroid results, what are the uses of this vitamin, and how can we get accurate thyroid results? These and other important questions related to Biotin and Thyroid test results will be answered in this guide. Grab a chilled drink as you go through the article.
Biotin: What it is and How it Affects Hair Loss
Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7, is one of the B vitamins. The nutrient is involved in many metabolic processes in humans, especially the utilization of fats and amino acids.
The vitamin promotes brain function, regulates metabolism, protects the heart, suppresses inflammation, helps during pregnancy and breastfeeding e.t.c
It is abundant in eggs, bananas, cauliflower, nut butter, liver, kidneys, whole cereals, grains, and legumes.
Our body needs Biotin to produce Keratin, a protein that helps grow healthy skin, hair, and nails. Deficiency in the vitamin can cause brittle nails, skin disorders, and hair thinning or loss.
For these, biotin supplements and hair products containing Biotin are marketed to support the growth of healthy, thicker, and stronger hair. However, few types of research suggest taking biotin supplements or using hair products containing the nutrient will promote hair growth in non-deficient people.
Does Biotin Prevents Hair Loss
There's little evidence that proves Biotin supports the growth of healthy and voluminous hair. However, there is evidence showing the nutrient prevents hair loss.
Still, the vitamin is likely to prevent hair loss and promote healthy hair growth in people experiencing its deficiency. Since the nutrient is found in most of our daily diets, its deficiency is very rare.
Research has shown that 38% of women experiencing hair loss have a biotin deficiency. 11% of these women had a history of conditions that increased deficiency risk factors like Inflammatory bowel disease or the use of some over-the-counter medications. This study shows the link between a deficiency in Biotin and hair loss.
Since hair loss and thinning are caused by several factors, taking biotin supplements without knowing the cause of hair loss can play little or no role in treating hair loss if it's not caused by biotin deficiency.
There are still many anecdotal pieces of evidence that Biotin helps in treating hair loss and promoting hair growth. Its popularity among consumers has been on the spike recently.
Thyroid Diseases: What's their Relation with Hair Loss
As stated earlier, the thyroid is one of the endocrine glands present in our bodies, and it's concerned with thyroid hormone production. The hormone performs several functions in our bodies, and its deficiency can cause diseases. Too much thyroid hormone secretion, growth of nodules, and cancers are also examples of thyroid problems.
The common symptoms of most thyroid diseases include hair loss, moodiness, drastic weight loss or gain, insomnia, anxiety, and excess fatigue.
What's The Connection Between Thyroid Diseases And Hair Loss
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause dry, frazzled, and thin hair. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to hair loss.
Disruption in thyroid hormone production affects many body processes, including hair development from the roots. This leads to hair fall out and sparse growth of new hair, resulting in hair thinning across the scalp and other body areas.
Thyroid conditions have also been linked to alopecia - a common hair loss disorder that causes patches on the head and other hairy body parts. Other autoimmune disorders related to thyroid problems and cause hair loss include lupus erythematosus and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Some thyroid disease medications can also cause hair thinning and loss. Propylthiouracil, levothyroxine, and Carbimazole are antithyroid drugs that have been linked to hair loss.
Hair loss caused by thyroid conditions and medications develops slowly, and you are likely not going to experience bald patches; instead, you might experience hair militarization or thinness.
The good news is hair thinning and loss caused by these conditions are primarily temporary and can be effectively treated.
Due to the long hair growth cycle, it might be hard to tell if thyroid conditions or medications cause your hair loss. Consider Talking to your doctor about the best treatment methods that are less likely to affect your hair growth.
If you're already experiencing hair thinning due to thyroid conditions, eating a nutritious diet and boosting your body iron level is essential. Also, using some specific herbs, essential oils like eucalyptus oil, taking anti-inflammatory foods, and treating your hair gently can go a long way in helping you to treat hair loss caused by thyroid disorders.
How Can Biotin Skew Thyroid Test Result?
The problem with today's blood test technology is most of them depend on Biotin for measurement. This is why taking too much of the supplement can interfere with your blood test results showing either a false negative or a false-positive result.
Inaccurate test results impact the form of treatment you'll undergo. With a fake positive result, drugs for a specific disorder that you don't have can be prescribed for you while leaving the disease you're suffering from untreated. Intake of those drugs can also lead to serious health issues.
But the question here is, does taking Biotin interfere with your thyroid test result? The answer is a big yes!
The vitamin affects thyroid lab tests and may cause falsely high or falsely low numbers. However, that doesn't mean your thyroid function has been interfered with also. While you might have a high or low lab test number, your symptoms will vary according to your thyroid level.
Recently, many types of research show that counter supplements can negatively impact your thyroid lab test results.
In most cases, biotin use leads to falsely high levels of the T3 and T4 thyroid hormones. It also causes a false low level of the TSH hormone, leading to a wrong diagnosis of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
According to her blood test results, a woman was taking a high amount of Biotin for hair loss and became thyrotoxic. Her FT4 level was very high, indicating the supplement might have aided in gut health.
A study reported that out of 149 patients taking Biotin and 812 taking multivitamins, 29.5% of the individuals didn't know the dosage they were taking, and about 8.1% reported they were taking 10,000 mcg, 18.1% reported they were taking 1,000 mcg. In contrast, 47% claimed they're taking less than a thousand mcg.
Their biotin level was measured by taking residual plasma samples for two weeks. The supplement level was immeasurable in 737 subjects, greater than 5ng/mL in 705 subjects, and greater than ten ng/mL in 107 patients. 14 of the subjects had a biotin level that was more than 30ng/mL.
At the end of the study, it has been shown that a biotin concentration of 10ng/ml is the least that can interfere with a test result when a typical assay is used. This, however, can be different when other assays are used.
How to Get Accurate Thyroid Test Results
Before taking any blood test, talk to your doctor about the supplements, multivitamins, and over-the-counter drugs.
In the case of Biotin, it's advisable to stop taking it a week before your thyroid test. Since it's a water-soluble vitamin, it should be excreted from your system within that period, allowing you to get a valid test result.
Once you're done testing, feel free to continue taking your biotin supplements; however, don't forget to talk to your doctor about the best dosage levels.
How to Stop Hair Loss Due to Thyroid Disorders
Are you worried about your hair loss due to thyroid disorders? Relax, hair thinning, and loss caused by thyroid problems are mostly temporary and can be effectively treated. Using thyroid balance medications can help replace thinned and frazzled hair with a healthy one, but this might take time. While it's essential to talk to your endocrinologist about hair loss due to thyroid disorders and the best ways to treat them. Here are some tips to help you overcome hair loss caused by thyroid diseases;
- Boost Your Iron Intake
Deficiency in iron causes deficiency in ferritin, a vital hair growth protein. Thyroid diseases are usually linked to low ferritin levels, which means if you're suffering from this condition, you need to boost your iron intake to get enough ferritin.
- Eat Enough Proteins
Consuming an adequate amount of proteins is essential as our hair follicles are made chiefly from proteins. Protein deficiency had been linked to hair thinning and loss.
Taking foods that contain high amounts of proteins like eggs and legumes can help promote the growth of hair loss due to thyroid issues.
Taking supplements that produce hair growth proteins is also highly recommended. An excellent example of this supplement is Biotin.
- Try Biotin With Multivitamins
Vitamins A, B, C, and E, Zinc, Copper, and Omega-3-fatty-acids are nutrients that promote the growth of strong, healthy hair. Biotin, a B vitamin, is an effective hair loss supplement marketed almost everywhere.
This vitamin can help treat hair loss even if it doesn't promote new hair growth. Ensure you're getting your biotin supplements from a reputable and reliable company to avoid taking a fake supplement.
Try multi-vitamins that have been specifically formulated with the various nutrients that hair needs to grow healthy, not just Biotin, like HAIRFINITY Healthy Hair Vitamins or HAIRFINITY Candilocks Chewable Hair Vitamins.
- Reduce Your Stress Levels
High-stress levels have been linked to hair loss. Too much stress pushes hair follicles into a forced Telogen or resting phase.
Excess stress also leads to over secretion of cortisol, and a hormonal imbalance can lead to hair loss.
Like hair loss due to thyroid issues, hair loss due to stress can be reversed within 6 to 9 months when the stress level reduces.
Too much intake of Biotin doesn't alter your thyroid levels and functions. It only alters your test result and makes it seems you're having a false high or false low thyroid level.
If you're a thyroid patient, you should know that the interference of Biotin in your test result is not a big deal. All you need to do is stay away from the over-the-counter medication for 5 to 7 days before your blood tests.
The amount of Biotin you consume will also determine whether it will interfere with your test result or not. Usually, low biotin concentrations don't affect the thyroid test results.
Hair loss due to thyroid disorders shouldn't cause panic as they can be effectively treated, especially when caught early. Talk to your doctor about the best thyroid medications that don't affect the growth of healthy, strong hair.
Whatever might cause your hair loss, Don't forget that eating a nutritious diet, reducing stress levels, and practicing scalp massage will help reduce it.