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Had COVD and Now Suffering Hair Loss?

It’s not in your head (no pun intended) and you are not alone. I’m Dr. Kirstie Cunningham. I’ve had COVID and relapses. I also know how distressing it is when every stroke of the comb or brush brings out clumps of long strands of hair which end up in the sink, on the bathroom counter or on the shower floor.

Turns out there are at least two COVID-related reasons for your hair loss. Firstly COVID, like, pregnancy and other physiologically stressful conditions, can cause a condition called telogen effluvium. In short, with telogen effluvium, the growth phase is shortened and more than the usual amount of hair is in the shedding phase. Telogen effluvium usually occurs around 3-4 months after stress, lasts for 3-6 months and usually resolves without treatment.

You might also be suffering from the another cause of COVID-related hair loss: post-COVID thyroiditis. COVID can cause inflammation in the thyroid causing it to make too much thyroid hormone. Elevated thyroid hormone can cause hair loss. Symptoms of post-COVID thyroiditis include night sweats, hot flashes, sweating, palpitations, hyperactivity, weight loss, insomnia and pain in the thyroid (lower part of front of neck). This condition requires treatment and will usually resolve within a few months.

So ladies if you’ve had COVID and now you’re suffering increased hair loss don’t just assume it’s telogen effluvium. Please see your doctor to have your thyroid panel checked, including TSH, T3, and freeT4. It may just be post-COVID thyroiditis which requires medical treatment.

In health,

Dr. Kirstie

Author
Kirstie Cunningham, MD, FACOG President, Metro Health and Wellness, LLC

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