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Question of the Month

Q: Can increased hair growth be related to an under-active thyroid gland and not in conjunction with increased levels of testosterone?

A: This is a question I am asked frequently. Many books and articles list under active thyroid as a cause of increased hair growth. In fact however this is extremely rare. One reason is that we have much better thyroid tests than we used to and so hypothyroidism is almost always picked up when it is very mild. So, fortunately, we do not see the symptoms of extreme under activity very often.
Increased hair growth is almost always the effect of testosterone, even when levels of this hormone are normal. For why this can happen, I suggest you take a look at my web article on increased hair growth which explains this often confusing situation.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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