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Q:  Can the condition Hyperparathyroid cause hair loss? What exactly is Hyperparathyroid?

A: The parathyroid makes its own hormone, PTH, which helps regulate calcium in the body. In the condition of hyperparathyroidism it releases too much of this hormone. Usually this is suspected when the calcium level is found to be elevated on routine blood tests. Hyperparathyroidism can cause loss of calcium from the bones.

Though several hormones can affect hair, PTH is not one of them. The main factors in female hair loss are increased testosterone action and falling estrogen levels. Thyroid conditions can be associated with hair loss but only if somewhat severe. The mild cases of under active thyroid which are the most common such condition do not affect hair. However alopecia areata is slightly more common with under active thyroid but is not caused by thyroid condition. Rather both are due to a problem with the immune system.

Remember that 20 to 40% of women have alopecia so by coincidence some will have other conditions as well.

Hope things work out for you.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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